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Relay clicks, but dryer won't turn on

I’ve got a Kenmore model 110.78832700 natural gas dryer that’s stopped turning on. When you click the start button you can hear a relay click, but nothing happens. Before it stopped working you’d sometimes have to give the drum a push to get it to start spinning, so maybe I’ve burned out the motor?

If I’m lucky it sounds like my issue might be the thermal fuse:

Any ideas or things I should check? Or should I just start by replacing the thermal fuse and see if that fixes it?

Model info:

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Update: I disassembled it and bypassed the thermal fuse (I think), but it’s still the same behavior. I also broke the belt, but it looks like it was ready to break. There was huge amounts of lint everywhere inside the dryer, which can’t be helping it. I’m not sure if the next culprit is the actual motor, or ?

Lint everywhere:

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Broken belt:

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Motor details:

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Bypassed thermal fuse:

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Update 2 (testing thermal fuse, start switch, and door switch per @mayer)

Thermal fuse seems good, I have continuity over the contacts:

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Start switch seems good, no continuity normally, continuity when pressed:

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Door switch I’m not entirely sure on, I have continuity between white and brown when not pressed, no continuity when pressed. I’m not certain if this is correct, but I do also hear an audible click when pressing/releasing the door switch:

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Update 3:

I found a troubleshooting guide inside the dryer! I haven’t entirely comprehended everything in here, but it includes a wiring diagram and it seems like a lot of other good information. If anyone has ideas on what to try next I’m all ears…

Dryer Troubleshooting

Update 4:

I ordered a belt:

and a motor:

I’ll report back after they’re installed…

Update 5:

I plugged in the new motor and it turns on! I also received the new belt and it looks to be correct. However, I’ve been unable to get the blower wheel off the old motor (and at this point I think destroyed that blower wheel):

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Also, I think I’ve found the root cause of this whole problem, the idler pulley barely turns and looks like it has belt burned onto it:

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I’m still in the process of figuring out how to get the blower wheel off the old motor…

Meanwhile, I’ve ordered a new blower wheel:

And idler pulley:

Once the wheel and pulley arrive I just might be able to put this all back together and have a dryer again!

Update 6:

I received the blower wheel and idler pulley. The wheel’s correct, but the idler pulley is the wrong part. It’s more-or-less a mirror image of the part I need.

Old is on the bottom and new is on the top:

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I definately ordered the wrong part. Trying again, with what’s hopefully the correct idler pulley:

Update 7:

It might be fixed! I think I’ve got a little bit of alignment problem between the blower wheel and the lint screen duct. If I put the screws in all the way the blower wheel rubs, but as long as I don’t tighten down the screws it’s fine. I’ve also got a few extra screws…

Look at my dryer turning and burning and blowing!

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Chosen Solution


I’ve learned a lot about how my dryer operates, and it’s once again happily spinning and drying clothes.

I think the root cause was a bad bearing on the idler pulley. The idler pulley keeps tension on the belt, and the stuck pulley then put too much strain on the motor and burned it out. The belt broke during disassembly, but needed to be replaced anyway. I broke the blower wheel during disassembly, so that was the only “unnecessary” part of this repair. The dryer was also desperately in need of having the lint cleaned out from all its parts.

Idler pulley: $7.15

Belt: $12.98

Motor:$54.44 (was refurbished)

Blower Wheel:$30.98

My grand total: $105.55

Had I maintained my dryer and cleaned the lint out and replaced the idler pulley and belt at the first sign of the drum not spinning easily, this repair would have been vastly easier and required only $20 in parts. Thanks @mayer for all your suggestions on this!

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Most Helpful Answer

Use a multimeter to test the fuses before just replacing things willy nilly.

Digital Multimeter

Cause 1

Thermal Fuse

The thermal fuse is a safety device designed to protect the dryer from overheating. The fuse is located on the blower housing or at the dryer’s heat source such as the heating element on electric dryers or at the burner on gas models. The fuse should be closed for continuity meaning it has a continuous electrical path through it when good. If overheated the fuse will have no continuity meaning the electrical path is broken and the fuse has blown. A multimeter can be used to test it for continuity. Be aware that a blown thermal fuse is an indication of a restricted exhaust vent from the dryer to the outside. Always check the dryer venting when replacing a blown thermal fuse.

Cause 2

Start Switch

To determine if the start switch is defective, attempt to start the dryer. If the dryer hums but does not start, the start switch is not at fault. If the dryer does not respond or make any noise, the start switch could be at fault. Use a multimeter to test the start switch for continuity. If the switch does not have continuity, replace it.

Cause 3

Door Switch

The door switch activates when the dryer door is closed. On most dryers, the door switch makes an audible clicking sound when it activates. To determine if the door switch is working, try starting your dryer and then listen for the “click.” If the door switch makes a clicking sound, it is probably not defective. If you don’t hear a click, use a multimeter to use the door switch for continuity. If the switch does not have continuity, replace it.

BELT unable to find this part

Digital Multimeter Afbeelding


Digital Multimeter


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Thanks for the helpful tips @mayer!

I edited my question with updates so I could post more pictures.


I wish someone I knew got what you said about fuse replacement :-(. They bought a bag and think they can get away with it.

I've even told them to check for another fault if it happens to a 2nd fuse.


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