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Kenmore dryer: model 86821100  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Wed Jun 8th, 2005 10:46 pm
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boydsthree
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Our dryer quit working (no heat) about four weeks ago, and I was able to track the problem to a bad centrifugal switch ( thanks to your web site and great forum postings).
I replaced the suspect piece with a new one from Sears and the dryer took off like a new one. 
Now, four weeks later, no heat again and all tests (tstat/element checks, etc.) point once again to the motor mounted centrifugal switch.
What's your take on this?
Am I dealing with a second switch simply gone bad, or could this indicate something more sinister going on...like something blowing the switches?
Buying a new switch every month could get to be expensive.
I'd appreciate any suggestions you may have.
Thanks,
MB

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 Posted: Wed Jun 8th, 2005 10:49 pm
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Pegi
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This is very unusual, we have seen perhaps 2-3 bad switches go bad.  The whole motor/switch assy costs less than just the switch usually and the motor could be causing the switch failure.  Do not know for sure but your problems seem unique.



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 Posted: Thu Jun 9th, 2005 03:10 pm
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kdog
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if it is the heater contacts in the switch that are failing,perhaps you should check the heating circuit more thoroughly for problems such as a sagging heating element that is either grounding,or shorting turn to turn- also look for burnt wire connections in the h.v. circuit.



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 Posted: Thu Jun 9th, 2005 05:45 pm
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boydsthree
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Thanks for the replies.
I rechecked all continuity issues (tstats,element, etc.) and all appear ok.
I've also metered my outlet, and the terminal block : no problems.
The timer checks out good, too.
I removed the drum, disconnected the two large wires, started the motor and checked for continuity across the safety switch (centrifugal switch): no continuity, so I assume I'm looking at another bad switch.
Also, I've inspected all my connections for signs of burning or overheating and found none, and I've checked the element to make sure it's not grounding out anywhere and found everything kosher.
Any suggestions at this point will be appreciated.
Is there any way I can check as to whether or not the motor is causing these switches to die an early death?
Sears wants $63.99 for a switch and $99.99 for a new motor which (according to their parts diagram doesn't include the switch), so I can't replace many more of these darn things before it'll cost me more than a new unit.
Help!
Martin

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 Posted: Fri Jun 10th, 2005 02:23 am
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kdog
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the heater contacts in the centrifugal switch are normally open contacts-that is, they are only closed to complete heating circuit when the motor is running-if you measure them for continuity with the dryer shut off,they should read open as they do- set your meter on an ac voltage scale above 250v and measuer voltage at heating element with dryer running on a heat cycle-this is the best starting point. could be that the tco has opened that is mounted on the side of the heater box-if so,it will require replacement.



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 Posted: Fri Jun 10th, 2005 03:42 am
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boydsthree
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Check done, and the winner is:  the switch is not closing when the dryer is running.
Now my dilemma is that I just replaced the thing three weeks ago.
Do I assume that the new one I put on was a lemon and failed this quickly, or do I look for something (like a problem with the motor) that could have caused it to fail and would do the same to the next one I put on?
Has anyone ever heard of this happening?
Thanks for your time.
MB

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 Posted: Fri Jun 10th, 2005 03:53 am
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Pegi
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The clutch inside of the motor activates that start switch, see if the clutch lip is pushing on the button for the 1-2 wires for the heat circuit.



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 Posted: Fri Jun 10th, 2005 06:41 am
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kdog
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forget replacing the switch and do the whole motor,price difference is very little



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 Posted: Fri Jun 10th, 2005 07:34 am
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kdog
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part #279827



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 Posted: Fri Jun 10th, 2005 08:11 am
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FatMan
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motor does come with switch by the way:yikes:

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 Posted: Fri Jun 10th, 2005 01:46 pm
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kdog
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indeedly-doodly!!



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 Posted: Fri Jun 10th, 2005 05:33 pm
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boydsthree
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Lint...it was lint.
Somehow, lint had gotten inside the safety (centrifugal) switch and blocked the contact points.
I can't believe it was something that simple.
I've looked the thing over and can't figure out how enough lint got into it to foul it up. You'd think that as a little accumulated, it would burn off or something, but not this time.
Live and learn.
Anybody ever seen this before?
MB

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 Posted: Fri Jun 10th, 2005 06:03 pm
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Pegi
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Yes, lint can block the switch contacts and the clutch inside of the motor.  Check your vent to see if it is clear, as a blocked vent to the outside causes this lint build up problem.



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