Do Old Kenmore Dryers Have a Circuit Breaker?

My late 80's Kenmore Dryer worked one day, then just stopped the next. It won't turn, it won't heat, nothing happens! It's as if it came unplugged suddenly, but it didn't. Is there a circuit breaker in there somewhere like blow-dryers have in case they get too hot?


The circuit breaker in my wall panel is fine. If they DO have a circuit breaker, where do I look for it? I have to fix this one. I can't afford another one. My house looks like one big clothesline, with clothes and sheets drying all over the place! Please Help!

Cyinda from Seattle

March 13, 20080 found this helpful

Your dryer is probably 16+ years old, and if you got this many years service out of it you're very fortunate.

I don't know of any circuit breaker in the dryer. Appliances will never tell you when it's going to expire, it just does. It can work fine one day, and then die the next.

You will probably have to start going to a laundromat to dry your clothes. Also look in the yellow pages under appliances (used). My husband and I purchased all four appliances from a used appliance store and they are all still in working condition.

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March 13, 20080 found this helpful

Well, well, well. Living in Seattle without a clothes dryer is like being the ex-governor of New York without a prayer.

(huh?) :-)

I have a dryer about the same age-- when I got it (it was used), it didn't work either. A friend and I got together and took off the top and we found a broken wire. We repaired the wire-- and wouldn't you know it, that old baby fired right up!

You could have a similar problem. Remember to UNPLUG the dryer before you start looking for any broken wires.

After that I had to replace the heating coil, but it's been working great ever since-- that was over 12 years ago.

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March 14, 20080 found this helpful

One more thing I didn't mention in my post: I'd have a hard time replacing that old dryer, (& not just for the money it'd cost) I live in a mobile home & (I've measured) I'd have to take off the WHOLE door jam (not just the front door) to get the dryer out & a new one in. Plus, I have no one to help me lift the darn thing! This dryer fell into my hands, used (as part of a set) when I bought the place 2 years ago. The only thing I know about it is, the gal who lived here previously had 2 small kids... & we all know what THAT means, she did LOTS of laundry!

---> Thank you for the Tip, Me being the "dweeb" I am, I'd never thought to look at the wiring... I was, of course, looking for the easiest route, a circuit breaker! ---> And "Otis P Driftwood" you ARE so VERY right about Seattle ...In fact, it's raining right NOW (of course!) :-)

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March 15, 20080 found this helpful

Yep-- it's always raining in Seattle-- who knows what they say about ex-governors of New York.

(again? huh?) But geeze, can you imagine the messages he gets on his answering machine?

Cyinda, you may want to try to get some help with this project. A neighbor, friend, coworker, somebody who has worked with household appliances and has a few tools.

If I remember correctly, we had to pry off the top of the dryer with a screwdriver. We put an old rag around the screwdriver to avoid marring the finish of the dryer. Turns out there were little spring clips around the top to hold it on-- and they are stubborn little devils.

While working on mine, we got lucky with the location of the break in the wire. This particular wire was broken near the clip plugged into a switch, and there was enough slack in the wire to trim off the broken area, reattach the clip, and then we plugged the wire back into the switch. Plus it was right near the top of the dryer body so it was easily accessible.

Near as I can remember, this is what we did-- step-by-step:

Unplugged the dryer and pulled it into the middle of the room. Then we rotated it so we could access the back of the unit if we needed to.

We pulled off the top of the dryer and the broken wire was right in front of us. Pretty lucky if you ask me! So we repaired it, put everything back together and plugged it in. Wallah!

Cyinda-- what I mean by the "top of the dryer" is the entire top-- not just the section where the controls are, but the whole freakin' top. Looking at the front of the dryer, you'll see a ridge on the side that's about an inch down from the top edge. This ridge goes around the entire unit-- that whole top section comes off. Well, let's just say that it will come off with some muscle, a little patience, and a lot of cursing! You cannot completely remove the top, the wires inside are connected from the switches of the control panel to the heating element and the drum motor inside the dryer.

You may want to have a flashlight handy for looking inside the dryer body.

It may be a good idea to do this during regular business hours-- you may find yourself needing to go to the hardware store to buy the clip. If that happens, take the old clip with you and have the hardware people match it up for you. It may cost you 50 cents.

Then again, you may look inside the dryer and find that all the wires are in good shape. If that's the case, it may be a switch-- and the need of a repairman to test the switches.


Have you thought about getting on of those wooden dryer racks that will sit in your tub?

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March 17, 20080 found this helpful

If I remember right it's located on the motor, it's a little red button, being it is as old as it is it probably is getting hot because of dust build up and it's not getting enough air, but then again it could be the motor give up.

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March 17, 20080 found this helpful

Hello from Moses Lake, and formerly near Bellingham. I have no advice for your dryer, but I just wanted to say I feel your pain, this is no time of year to dry clothes in the Coastal Northwest! Hang in there and God Bless You! -Kim

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May 14, 20080 found this helpful

"Won't turn, it won't heat, nothing happens! Is there a circuit breaker?" Cyinda from Seattle

I use to work at a repair center and there is what is called a "thermal fuse". It would make your machine act that way. It usually only costs about $14 and it plugs in with little prongs. It was white when I saw them, oblong in shape with a slightly raised bubbled top and has the

prong plugs underneath. You would need to look by the blower housing.

That is in the back of the dryer where the air blows out after which it goes into the hose to outside.

Find your model number, where the door touches against the front. You can look it up on their site In there they call it a fuse, thermal.


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January 4, 20090 found this helpful

Yes, there is call me at 206-241-0300. We would be happy to help you.

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