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schmuk

join:2005-08-04
Cleveland, OH
reply to datguy11

Re: Gas dryer not igniting replace coils only or entire valve?

Had an issue recently with our dryer as well. After research I narrowed it down to the thermistor. It basically is the temp sensor that tells the gas to kick on and off based on the temp reading. When I went to go buy the part the guy at the counter said it sounded like the gas coils and talked me into replacing those. Did that and still had the same problem so back I went for the thermistor, put it in and it worked. Luckily both parts were only about a little over $30 each. Also if there is auto sensing moisture probes, it is recommended that you clean those as well. All in all everything took about 15 to 20 minutes.

agtle

join:2013-03-09

1 edit
reply to robbin
said by robbin:

said by IowaCowboy:

After the massive gas explosion in Springfield (MA) that was powerful enough to demolish a large commercial building, I would not mess with it. I feel comfortable messing with electrical panels and doing wiring but I would not touch gas piping/appliances if we had them...I've been by the area where the gas explosion occurred and its not a pretty sight.

If you don't feel comfortable working on gas appliances then don't. And you obviously don't have knowledge to help the OP. However, I consider your post to be scare mongering. The type of explosion you have described isn't caused by an improper repair on a residential gas dryer. Leaking gas mains create major explosions such as the one you describe. The difference is akin to a weekend mechanic not doing their own brakes because there was a brake failure on an 18 wheeler carrying gasoline.

+1

Another analogy would be, being terrified to do electrical work because you saw any number of the arc flash videos on youtube. No smoke detector is gonna save you from that.

Electricity or gas, both will kill you equally dead if you are stupid or careless. Respect the danger, don't fear it.

Edit to add: To the OP: A good cleaning of the lint may fix the problem; gas/air mixture is important for ignition, and lint accumulation can affect that. The fact that it goes and works fine when you "blow" on it indicates so; it would cut off shortly if any of the thermo-sensors were bad (high limit, cycling, etc.). Replacing the coils isn't a bad idea in any event - it may resolve the problem; the coils are a "wear" item - that is why they are readily available, relatively cheap, and easy to replace. Given the age, it is probably time, and preventative maintenance is always a good thing. Let us know how it goes.


tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:6
said by agtle:

said by robbin:

said by IowaCowboy:

After the massive gas explosion in Springfield (MA) that was powerful enough to demolish a large commercial building, I would not mess with it. I feel comfortable messing with electrical panels and doing wiring but I would not touch gas piping/appliances if we had them...I've been by the area where the gas explosion occurred and its not a pretty sight.

If you don't feel comfortable working on gas appliances then don't. And you obviously don't have knowledge to help the OP. However, I consider your post to be scare mongering. The type of explosion you have described isn't caused by an improper repair on a residential gas dryer. Leaking gas mains create major explosions such as the one you describe. The difference is akin to a weekend mechanic not doing their own brakes because there was a brake failure on an 18 wheeler carrying gasoline.

+1

Another analogy would be, being terrified to do electrical work because you saw any number of the arc flash videos on youtube. No smoke detector is gonna save you from that.

Electricity or gas, both will kill you equally dead if you are stupid or careless. Respect the danger, don't fear it.

RESPEK!

nuff said

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)


datguy11

@verizon.net
Problem fixed!

Turns out it was the ignitor.. Asked for help on an appliance repair site and they thought that me having to blow on it meant there could be a hairline crack or something

So ,I ordered a replacment factory original whirlpool ignitor for $12 on Amazon.... Installed it and now she starts up no problem

My thinking is that it got worn, and the entire element wasnt glowing (heating up) so by me blowing, i blew the gas past the unheated part of the element


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
You mean like many of the first replies you got here?


daguy11

@verizon.net
Well, actually, it happened again!

I have to blow on the new ignitor..so obviously thats not it.. Weird because i tested it a few times after install to see it would ignite on its own and it did...

back to the coils i guess


StillLearn
Premium
join:2002-03-21
Streamwood, IL
said by daguy11 :

Well, actually, it happened again!

I have to blow on the new ignitor..so obviously thats not it.. Weird because i tested it a few times after install to see it would ignite on its own and it did...

back to the coils i guess

When you blow, what could be happening? Your breath is so powerful that it vibrates the valve housing letting the gas turn on completely? If the coils were "weak" somehow, I guess replacing the coils could help. Is the valve itself a bit stuck and your wind lets the internal valving move? In that case, I don't see the coils helping. In either case, gently tapping the valve case with a pencil etc should have as much effect at your blowing.

It seems more likely wind is setting up air movement that blows the gas released into the air closer to the igniter. In that case, either the valve flow is reduced, or the igniter is bent a little farther from the gas flow than optimum.

I suggest lightly tapping the valve housing (without causing significant air movement). If that solves the problem, the coils may solve the problem. Maybe use a screw driver to tap this time to give even more vibration than a pencil.

If wind-free gentle to moderate tapping does not cause the fire to start, then I doubt that new coils will help.


datguy11

@verizon.net
Hmm.. that makes sense..When i replaced the ignitor i was obviously touching some of the parts and maybe jostling the valve just enough to get it to work again for a short while..

I will test out your theory.. thanks!


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
It's hard to tell in the photo, but is the primary air shutter open? If not you may be trying to light a gas mixture that is too rich. Blowing on it adds oxygen and brings the gas mixture below the upper explosive limit (UEL). Just a thought.


jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1

1 recommendation

I mentioned that, ten days ago. Go figure.


datguy11

@verizon.net
reply to StillLearn
Well all the tapping didnt cause it to ignite.....

primary air shutter... I did try to adjust that with no different results..

Pretty wierd that it worked right away when i swapped out the ignitor

Im going try to blow compressed air to clean out any dust thats in the area, maybe that might help


datguy11

@verizon.net
reply to jack b
Jack B,

Sorry i missed your post. The shutter was actually all the way open..it just looked closed in the pics.. Actually you cant completley close it, it wont allow it that far


Irun Man
Premium
join:2002-10-18
Walden, NY
reply to datguy11
HSI (hot surface ignitor) is the typical first point of failure in a gas fueled hot air furnace. Clothes dryers usually have many more firing cycles... it's a good plan to keep a spare ignitor on hand. You'll probably consume one or two over the life of the appliance.

That being said my eight years used Whirlpool started having no flame issues. In this case it was a relay that went bad ($31 for a new OEM part from an eBay seller).
--
I turned on my computer for this?


Raphion

join:2000-10-14
Samsara
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 edit
reply to daguy11
said by daguy11 :

Well, actually, it happened again!

I have to blow on the new ignitor..so obviously thats not it.. Weird because i tested it a few times after install to see it would ignite on its own and it did...

back to the coils i guess

Really sounds like the gas flow is not close enough to the ignitor, and when you blow on it, you're moving the gas stream over into the ignitor so it can light up. I'd say something is wrong with the relative position of the ignitor to the gas stream.

I don't know much about gas, we don't have gas here, but I'll wager a bet on a nozzle that used to blow gas in the general vicinity of the ignitor being clogged up now.


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to robbin
said by robbin:

If you don't feel comfortable working on gas appliances then don't. And you obviously don't have knowledge to help the OP. However, I consider your post to be scare mongering.

Oh so very true, to a DIY’er with half a brain, gas is considerably safer to work with compared to say electricity, with gas if one screws up and opens the main valve, one will be immediately made aware of the problem by either bubbles in the soap/water leak detection or by a stench that is detectable at about 100 times lower the ignition level of the gas.

It’s only when people ignore the warnings that things go south.


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL

1 edit
reply to daguy11
said by daguy11 :

Well, actually, it happened again!

I have to blow on the new ignitor..so obviously thats not it.. Weird because i tested it a few times after install to see it would ignite on its own and it did...

back to the coils i guess

Try this, turn on the dryer and as it calls for gas, gently and mean gently using the base of a screwdriver tap the top of the coil (the black device on the top of the gas valve) and see if it fires up, if it does replace the gas valve assembly it's buggered.

If that doesn't work, carefully check out the mixing tube in by the igniter, there should be a pilot hole or deflector, the purpose of which is to direct a plume of gas toward the igniter, if the pilot hole is blocked or the deflector is hair-balled or dusted up then that plume of gas is not going to hit the igniter, that is unless someone blows in there and mixes things up.

Remember you’re dealing with natural gas and it takes a bit more heat to ignite than propane.

lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:2
reply to datguy11
said by datguy11 :

Im a pretty handy guy to a certain extent and safety consciense.. I have a smoke detector and a CO detecor within 5 feet of this naturual gas dryer.

It would be a good idea to also install a natural gas sensor near the dryer. »www.sparkfun.com/products/9404

BTW methane needs to reach at least 5% concentration in air before it can ignite but once it crosses 15% concentration, it will no longer ignite.


datguy11

@verizon.net
reply to 54067323
Ok the saga continues,

replaced the 2 coils with new coils.. same problem!

WTF is going on?!?!

I did notice that on both repair attempts , i cut the power to work inside the dryer, and when i restored power the dryer worked fine.

So here I am with the aha moment, just put the new coils in, she lights up no problem and then bam! next time i go to use it, same thing..gotta "blow" after i hear the gas coils click on...

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
Have you cleaned both the vent area inside the dryer and also the vent hose/duct all the way to the outside vent to make sure that everything is free flowing with NO lint buildup?


datguy11

@verizon.net
Yes I have.. My issue is not the exhaust, once I blow on the ignitor/burner area i get it started and it runs the complete cycle just fine.

If dust build up was the problem then it would shut down prematurely

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
I was thinking in terms of the flow of air. If the exhaust was blocked it seems reasonable that it would affect the flow through the burner. You increase flow past the igniter when you blow on it.


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
said by robbin:

I was thinking in terms of the flow of air. If the exhaust was blocked it seems reasonable that it would affect the flow through the burner. You increase flow past the igniter when you blow on it.

And since it is natural gas (lighter than air) and the heater is low on the mixer tube, that blow might be just enough to ignite the gas in the absence of a good flow of air through the dryer by a congested exhaust.


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to datguy11
said by datguy11 :

If dust build up was the problem then it would shut down prematurely

It's a long shot, but if you can try this, disconnect the exhaust from the back of the dryer and see if it fires up consistently or fails out.

If it runs, you have a plugged exhaust, if not buy a new dryer as the one you have has gremlins in it.

Safety notice while operating a dryer with no vent always have plenty of room ventilation etc, etc…


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
It could also be clogged inside the dryer.


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
said by robbin:

It could also be clogged inside the dryer.

Any clog will do and you know something is not Kosher when the lint filter jams up about an inch out.


jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1
reply to datguy11
My money is still on the primary air shutter.
Or going with gas troubleshooting 101, how is the gas supply pressure? Within spec?