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I have Kenmore dryer model 110.96588210. For about 10 years it worked flawlessly.

Then, its thermal cutoff started blowing in an unreasonable frequency. Since the hi-limit thermostat must be replaced as well when replacing the thermal cutoff, I now have a collection of about 10 perfect (but useless) thermostats...

The replacement kit is the so called 279769 kit. You can see an example here.

The rate at which this component has been failing is unreasonable, and in my search for explanation I eliminated the following possible causes:

  1. I verified the the vent is not blocked in any way.
  2. I verified the lint screen is totally clean.
  3. I verified that the blower wheel is good.

What possibly could explain a situation that has gotten worse to a point where the cutoff does not even last one full drying cycle?

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Have you contacted Kenmore? –  Tester101 Mar 17 '11 at 16:05
    
If you just replaced the thermal cutoff, the Thermostat should have been changed also from everthing I've found. A faulty Thermostat can cause the temp to go too high. Both parts come as a kit. –  user9911 Jan 4 '13 at 19:14
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4 Answers

How did you check the vent? Mine had an open airway, but after years of use, I picked up a cleaning brush and was amazed as how much lint came out of the vent. If your dryer is anywhere other than on an outside wall, I'd pickup a cleaning kit just because they are nice to have and reduce your fire risk. Here's one from Amazon:

enter image description here

That reminds me, I should clean it again soon.

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You might have to take the dryer apart and check the entire vent path, there may be some lint buildup inside it. Sometimes the front panel is easily removable and you can get to the air path that way. Also, take the hose off and check it all the way to the outide.

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Check the heating element...look at the coils inside and make sure they are not touching the frame of the element.. this will cause the entire duct to heat up and thus blow the cutoff every time... very common problem good luc

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You need to clean the entire duct from dryer to outside vent. Any blockage can result in exhaust and heat build-up in the system, and the thermal fuse popping.

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