I have cleaned all air ducts related to an electrical Kenmore dryer, washed the lint screen etc. Still, the thermal cut-off keeps tripping. Since there is a thermal gradient along the heating element I wonder if it would be safe to swap the high temperature thermostat and the thermal cut-off so that the thermal cut-off position is closer to the heating element's plug-in end while the high temperature thermostat is located closer to the tumbler's inlet (where the temperature is higher). Thank you!

  • Have you actually taken off the back of the dryer to do a full cleaning? Commented Aug 21, 2022 at 17:38
  • 1
    Why do you think the thermal cutoff is not broken? Even your appliances break. Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 1:00
  • As I have stated in my question, I have cleaned all ducts related i.e. outer and inner. I have bought two new sets. The cut-off still goes off while the thermostat remains on. It is not rocket science! Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 18:50
  • Did you buy the correct thermal cutoff? I ask because I have made the mistake of buying one that 'looked' like the right one but had a much lower temperature cutoff.
    – rtaft
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 19:50
  • I have bought the ones for Kenmore 90 Series. They look exactly like the ones I had installed before Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 1:36

2 Answers 2


Thermal cut-offs can go bad. Have you considered replacing the one you have installed?

Those parts are installed as safety devices and moving them around from their designed positions is not a good idea. It would void any warranties and possibly create a safety hazard.

  • Thanks Jack! Probably this is the reason I had purchased two new sets. Thermostat and cut-off are serially connected and it would make more sense to install the one with lower threshold (the thermostat) where the temperature varies more for better control. If this is not a good idea please provide a technical reason. Regarding the warranties - if still valid - would be void even for opening the dryer for cleaning. Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 19:01
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    @DragosBandur Makes sense but you'd have to know why the manufacturers did it in the first place. I can't give a reason.
    – JACK
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 19:10
  • Jack, the dryer is a Kenmore 90 Series, probably discontinued now. The vent was cleaned from one end to the other with brush. All inside cleaning for this series is being done from the front as the back seems welded or glued somehow. The thermostat is at the cold end of the heating element. This is why I think it never senses the heat built at the other end therefore, the cut-off tripping before the temperature increases enough to be sensed by the thermostat at the cold end. Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 1:42

You start fires at the hottest place, where the duct feeds the rest of the dryer, after the air has passed along the heating element. So you put the thermal trip where the air is going to be hottest.

If the thermal trip is tripping , it is most likely that you still have not cleaned all of the lint from the dryer, or that the dryer air intake is hot.

Also consider your installation : is the outlet air heating up the inlet air, or has an output hose become disconnected near the dryer leading to hot air recirculating.

  • So, if I understand correctly, the hot end can get hotter without the thermostat sensing it, probably due to the cold air coming in. Therefore this may be the reason the cut-off (high threshold thermal fuse) is at the hot end. Switching them would place the thermostat in the hot area and the increase will be sensed before the temperature gets too high. Wouldn't it make sense to have the thermostat at the hot end? That would make the thermostat cycle more often though. Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 1:47

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