Things You'll Need
Quarter-inch nut driver
Do not attempt any of these repairs, except for the initial voltage check, while the dryer is plugged in. Some of the components work on 240 volts, which can be dangerous.
Whirlpool electric dryers are good, reliable machines, and most problems can be fixed by replacing a part. Most Whirlpool dryer parts are stocked by appliance stores, so you don't have to worry about a part going on back order. One of the common problems with a Whirlpool is that the dryer simply won't start. This can be caused by a couple of problems. Read on to learn how to diagnose and repair your dryer.
Check to make sure that power is actually getting to your dryer. Check the breakers or fuses first. If the fuses are good and no breakers are tripped, you must check the outlet into which the dryer plugs.
Slide the dryer plug out just far enough that you can see the prongs that go into the socket. Use an ohmmeter to check for 240 volts from one prong to the other. Be careful not to touch the prongs or the leads on the meter. If no voltage is present, your problem is electrical in nature rather than in the dryer. Consult a licensed electrician. If 240 volts are present, continue reading.
Unplug the electrical cord and remove the rear panel of the dryer. Remove the quarter-inch screws and place them in a bucket or bowl together. Also remove the small terminal block cover in this process. Set the panels to the side.
Look for the fuse near the back center of the dryer. It is an elongated, white plastic piece with two wires leading to it. You will notice a round disc-shaped component near it; the component has four wires running to it. This part is the thermostat.
Pull one wire free from the plastic fuse using a pair of pliers. Set your ohmmeter to the ohms or resistance setting. Run a continuity check using an ohmmeter by check from one prong on the fuse to the other. You are checking to make sure that current can flow through the fuse.
If the fuse has no continuity, replace the fuse as well as the thermostat. If the fuse does have continuity, you have an unusual problem and should call a professional appliance technician.
Zack Harding is a writer in North Carolina. His writing and publication experiences include working as the managing editor for the literary journal The Pisgah Review, as well as serving as the arts & life editor for the Brevard College Newspaper, The Clarion, in Brevard, North Carolina. He graduated from Brevard College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 2008.