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Brand: whirlpool
Model: senseon ggw9868kq2

Lately the dryer will not always heat up. I pulled off the front panel and watched the igniter while I started the drying cycle. It will always glow bright, but sometimes I will not get a flame. I'm guessing that either it's not getting gas consistently or that the igniter is not always getting hot enough to ignite... but I don't know much about this and am not sure what is wrong.

What would cause this behavior?

Video of when it starts:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDKW8EdmNnI

Video of when it doesn't:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcwPH2upVxY

I also noticed that right before and during the glow, there is a bunch of clicking like sound coming from that area.


Edit 9/24

I tried holding a flame near the igniter while the igniter was glowing but it still didn't ignite.

Here is a video with me using a multimeter (not sure if I used it correctly though):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8Lpgdmsqjo

and a video trying to get a good look at the pipe/igniter area:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kfgy49R24zI

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    Do you have any other gas appliances, and if so are they OK? If they are, either the gas feed to the dryer is plugged, as EdBeal suggests, or something else is wrong. If nothing lights up, then you're out of gas. – Carl Witthoft Sep 22 '16 at 13:47
  • @CarlWitthoft, interesting that you ask that. We have a gas stove as well that has some issues. The stovetop burners seem to work fine and the oven always starts... but sometimes I think it fails to reignite because I've went to take something out of the oven and the oven was much cooler than what I had it set at and the food wasn't cooked properly :( ..but usually when this happens I flick the stove top igniters I'll hear the oven flame turn on as well. – Dallas Sep 22 '16 at 14:03
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Make sure the gas is on

The first thing to check, is to make sure the gas is on. Check any valves, and make sure they're in the full open position.

Clean the orifice

An orifice obstruction could prevent the proper amount of gas from being injected into the system. Check the orifice to make sure it's clean and free of debris.

Check the gas valve solenoids

Start by checking the gas valve solenoids. There should be two solenoids on top of the gas valve, one of which can be seen in your video. The second solenoid should be just next to the first.

enter image description here

It's recommended to remove the solenoids for testing, but it can be done with them in place if you can reach. To test the solenoids:

1. Remove the wire harness.

enter image description here

Removing the harness will reveal two or three terminals.

2. Measure coil resistance

For a two terminal solenoid, simply measure the resistance between the two terminals. A good solenoid should have a resistance between 1000-2000 ohms (check with manufacturer for exact values).

If the solenoid has three terminals, one of the terminals will be common (COM, C, etc.) It may be marked in some way, or you'll have to check with the manufacturer to determine which terminal is common. Once you've located common, simply check the resistance between common and each of the other terminals. A good solenoid should measure between 300-2000 ohms between common and each other terminal (again, check with the manufacturer for exact values).

Check the gas valve

If the solenoids test good, you'll want to make sure the valve is actually opening when it's supposed to. Since the rotating drum is so noisy, it will make it difficult to hear the valve open. Also, since there's a spinning drum in close proximity, you'll not want to stick your hand in to feel if the valve opens.

It's possible to apply a test voltage to the solenoid, to see if it pulls open the valve. However, you'll want to have the gas turned off, so as not to release gas into the home. You'll also want to electrically isolate the solenoids from the circuit, to avoid accidentally damaging other components. Be sure to apply the correct voltage to the solenoid, as you'll not want to damage it during the test.

Check the schematic

In most equipment, you'll find a schematic printed or stashed inside the unit. Study the schematic, and try to determine if there are any safety sensors that could be preventing the gas valve from opening. Locate and test each one, to verify they are all in good working order.

Check the gas supply

If all else fails, you might want to have the gas supply checked out by a professional (or the utility). If you're on Propane, make sure the tank is not low or empty. If you have a natural gas feed, have the utility check the supply pressure as well as the pressure after the regulator. Also ask them to do a load calculation, to make sure the supply is suitable for the number of appliances you have.

  • thanks for the reply, i'll take a look at the dryer this weekend and see how it goes – Dallas Sep 23 '16 at 16:05
  • I updated the post with a video of me checking the coils, first time I've ever used a multimeter so I'm not sure if I used the correct setting on the dial or what the measurement means. – Dallas Sep 24 '16 at 17:59
  • Seems okay, but if it's intermittent you might get good readings sometimes. The first reading was 555 ohms, while the second reading was 1200 ohm. If it's possible to run the dryer with the drum motor disconnected, that might let you hear if the valve is getting pulled open. Just don't run it like that long. – Tester101 Sep 24 '16 at 20:56
  • I can't find a service manual for your dryer, so I'm not sure what the exact coil resistance should be. However, the readings are within the typical range. If it was really low, it would show a short-circuit. An open circuit means a broken coil. – Tester101 Sep 24 '16 at 20:59
  • I'm wondering if it is just that something needs to be cleaned or unplugged as it was definitely very dusty in there at first. But I am having trouble finding what to clean. It is very hard to access anything in there. I've used my vacuum to clean it out as much as I could and sprayed that area as good as I could with an air duster, but no luck. – Dallas Sep 25 '16 at 12:32
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Igniters do go bad but the ones I have had trouble with don't work at all or have area that is dark. I have had more problems with the gas mix. I have seen cases where the jets in the burner have gotten plugged or partly plugged causing problems. I have had success using a piece of wire small enough to push through each port opened them up enough. The other possible problem can be where the air is drawn in to the burner sometimes there is a screen to keep dust and spiders out if this screen gets coated with dryer lint the air/gas mix is not correct and the burner may not light. The last problem I have had is the very small orifice just after the gas valve but before the burner gets plugged. This small orifice is difficult to clean but there are usually replacements available for a couple of bucks if you change this make to get the same size there are different sizes for natural gas and propane.

  • Thanks for your response, I'll look into those things when I get back home. In the meantime I've added some videos to see if they'd offer more insight into the problem. – Dallas Sep 22 '16 at 13:46
  • Looking at the video + by the way the flame color or air/gas balance looks off at the start. I would look for a screen prior to the burner that may have a layer of lint on it. Causing the hard start. – Ed Beal Sep 22 '16 at 13:56
  • I'll see if I can figure out a way to get there, might need to try taking that whole unit out. – Dallas Sep 24 '16 at 18:33
  • I guess taking the unit out is not an easy task, especially considering the pipe is all attached and going through a ring with no way I can tell to disassemble – Dallas Sep 24 '16 at 20:33
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Had this problem with my Whirlpool Gas Dryer GGQ9800PW1. Replaced the two solenoid coils (ten minutes) and dryer works perfectly. With bad coils heard chattering noise which was caused by a weak coil.

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