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Two whirlpool dryers with no heat

I'm hoping someone might be able to give me some ideas. I purchased the Whirlpool WED5010LW dryer two weeks ago from HD. They delivered and installed. I put in a load of clothes I had just washed. Went back an hour or so later surprised to find it still running and the clothes were wet and cold. There was no hot air coming out. So I tested further and it just wasn't producing heat on any setting. So I had them deliver a replacement and the same issue. This dryer will not heat either. It comes on fine, but no heat. I had an electrician out to check the outlet and he said it was fine. He tested with the dryer on and said it was fine, he had no idea. I've tried everything. This is a brand-new unit. Why would it not heat? It is electric, btw. Everyone is stumped other than 2 bad dryers?

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Hi April,

As you've already thought, I have to agree that two brand new dryers in a row with exactly the same defect being wrong with them seems at best... unlikely. So let's try and figure out how things work and perhaps that will lead us to some sort of clue as to what's not working.

We'll start out with the electrical outlet. There are three prongs (at least) on your plug; two "hot" prongs and one "return" or "ground" prong. Now each of the hot prongs, when measured against the ground, will read 110 VAC. In order to get the 220 VAC that the dryer's heating element wants, you go from one hot prong to the other, so 110V + 110V = 220V.

The thing is, if one of those two prongs isn't working, then it's entirely possible to get what you're seeing; the motor and most of the other electronics and motors in the dryer will work fine because they run on 110V, but since the heating element (the only thing that uses the full 220V) isn't getting power, the dryer won't dry.

Now how can that happen? The most likely possibility is that one of the two 110V circuit breakers feeding the dryer has tripped, leaving the other one active. That would be my personal bet, but that's tempered by the fact that if that's what happened, a professional electrician should have easily caught that. Regardless, go to your circuit breaker panel and check; look for the one marked Dryer and verify that both breakers are all the way on, not in a halfway or off position. If not, switch it to the off position then back to on.

Okay, you'll need a voltmeter for the next parts. First, set the meter to measure AC volts, and if it has different ranges, set it to read at least say 300 volts; that'll cover the 110 and 220 volts we're expecting. Now put one probe in each of the two side prongs and you should see 220V. Move one of the probes to the middle and you should get 110V. Swap it around and connect the other side to the middle and again you should see 110V. If one of the 110V sides is missing, you've got a wiring problem between the circuit panel and the outlet.

Assuming you've got good voltages at the outlet, next step is to make sure you've got that same power getting to the dryer itself. There is usually a panel covering the place where the dryer plug connects up to the dryer itself, so open that up so you can see the three connections corresponding to the three plugs in the outlet. Plug it in and go back through the same measurements you just did, on the dryer this time. You should get 110V going from either side to the middle, and 220V connecting across the two outside terminals. If you've got power at the outlet but not at the dryer, then you've got a bad cord; if you used the same cord on both dryers that would explain it.

As I said, a professional electrician should have caught any of the issues I've described, but if you've got a voltmeter you can do those checks yourself. You never know, there are people who call themselves professionals who I wouldn't want changing a light bulb so it's not impossible that your electrician missed something.

Those are my thoughts; take them for what you paid for them, but I hope they help.

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Thanks for your insights. I need to find my voltmeter around here, but I do know the electrician checked everything and it was all working with no burned out wires, and everything measuring correctly. The breaker box is right near the dryer so it was easy to test them both. He is not an appliance guy so he couldn't do anything about that. It just all makes no sense. He also ran the dryer and tested the connections and everything seemed good. It's just that dang heat won't come on. I'm at the point where I may just try another manufacturer. I guess my last resort is having someone run a whole new line for an outlet? I'm sure that would be a pain. Otherwise I don't know what to do with this. Thanks for your help.

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@aplywi I don't know if this is feasible at all, but at this point I'd almost be tempted to put the dryer on a hand cart and trolley it over to a neighbor's house just to see once and for all if it's the dang dryer or not.

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@dadibrokeit why not just check the outlet and check the plug? I have had to change the power cord on my dryer before as well. @aplywi post a picture showing what your wall outlet looks like, with your question. Agregar imágenes a una pregunta existente

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@oldturkey03 Yes, checking those things were the first things I suggested in my answer, but I don't have much hope they'll get anywhere since a professional electrician already checked those.

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@dadibrokeit there should be a service cover on the dryer where the electrical cord connects. @aplywi remove that cover and take some pictures of where the cord is connected let's see what you got going on there.

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