Model #LE5800XSW3, this electric dryer would start for the customer when the button was pressed but it would stop as soon as the button was released. She did notice if the button was held down, the dryer would continue to run, but again would stop as soon as the button was let go. With the aid a heavy book, she was able to finis the laundry, but this didn’t seem like a long term solution to the problem. Wanting to prevent any further damage, she gave me a call to come out and have a look.
Various electrical components are used to get the dryers motor started and then to keep it running during a cycle. Those with electronic controls will often just close a set of electrical contacts on a control board when the start button is pressed, while others using mechanical timers will have push-to-start buttons to get things going. Whichever method is used, the purpose is to provide a current path for electricity to flow to the motor. When the switch fails, the symptom will generally be a motor that will not start, or like the dryer I was visiting, will only run as long as the button was being continuously pressed.
With power obviously to the dryer and it’s electrical components (it would start after all) I figured the push-to-start switch was the obvious place to begin my search for a failure. Now normally I would explain how to go about some basic testing of these components, but I have already written a post Understanding Push-to-Start Switches which I think does a good job of this. By following the information in the post, I was able to determine the coil in the switch was reading as an open circuit which means it was no longer keeping the switch contacts closed once the button as released. To get this dryer working again, a new switch is in order.
With a new start switch in hand, I removed the mounting screws and while paying attention to where each wire attached, I installed the new switch and reconnected each wire to it’s appropriate terminal. With the dryer plugged back into the outlet, pressing the start button caused the motor to start, and once the button was released, it just kept going. Now the customer can get back to doing laundry without using a book from the reference section.
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