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My Whirlpool gas dryer stopped working efficiently recently. Peering into the burner hole shows clearly that it is sparking when the dryer starts, but doesn't seem to reignite later on. I checked the thermostats, solenoids, and fuses in the front and back with an ohm meter and they are all closed. I also cleaned out the vent pipe, and the blower as well. Still not working well.

Does anyone have a recommendation for next steps?

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Some clarity would help (e.g. does it reliably ignite when cold, but doesn't reignite when hot?). – Daniel Griscom Apr 29 at 14:44
  • Yes. When "hot", the area glows orange but does not ignite. My current theory is the ignitor is bad. That is, It heats up but does not provide a spark. How is that spark manifested? You cannot light natural gas through heat alone, right? – nlucaroni Apr 30 at 15:06
  • Actually you can; a hot enough coil, and an air-gas mixture will ignite. Is the gas valve opening, or is the igniter just heating up? – Daniel Griscom Apr 30 at 16:15
  • I don't know. I don't smell gas though at the little porthole. I hear the solenoids click. Is there another way to tell? Is a high temp how these ignitors work though? – nlucaroni Apr 30 at 16:41
  • I'm no pro, but I'll guess that the gas valve isn't opening when it's hot. – Daniel Griscom Apr 30 at 17:29
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I changed the ignitor and that resolved the issue.

I took it out, and the side of the ignitor facing the gas was dull,. The other side sparkled, like the new one I got. I wonder if I could have just flipped it over exposing the sparkled side to the gas -- the design was symmetrical. I considered it, but had already purchased the replacement.

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