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Kenmore Dryer Won’t Turn Off (How To Fix)

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The control board may be to blame if your Kenmore dryer is not turning off. The control board can’t be repaired but it can be replaced.

To determine if you have a faulty control board, remove it from the dryer and look at it using a magnifying glass. Look for any burnt circuitry or damage, such as cracks. Replace the control board if damage is obvious.

Why Kenmore Dryer Won’t Turn Off

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When you have a problem with a dryer that won’t turn off, it is more than just an inconvenience. It can actually be a hazard that could cause a fire in extreme circumstances. What can be done?

A cycling thermostat that is malfunctioning is the most common reason why a dryer runs constantly. The thermostat is responsible for both the time and the temperature in the dryer, so if it isn’t able to sense the dampness, it will continue to operate the dryer indefinitely.

Obviously, we want our dryer to work as smoothly as possible. It’s not just a matter of convenience, we depend upon our dryer to get the work done every day.

Unfortunately, the way to fix a dryer that will turn off is not always as simple as it may seem at first. In fact, there are a number of factors that can be considered, and we will cover them in this article.

In some cases, the setting may be relatively simple but in other cases, you may have to dig in and tear apart the dryer to get to the control systems. In either case, we will walk you through the process so you are sure to get the job done.

As is true with almost any problem you have at home, the first step in the process is to test things. If you test the dryer in various ways, it will narrow down the issues and allow you to focus on the ones that could be a problem.

There may also be other types of troubleshooting that are necessary, and although a dryer is a relatively simple machine, there are many complex factors that could be responsible.

The bottom line is, you want to get this issue fixed as quickly as possible. It may be possible to manually open the door and stop the dryer from running when the load should be finished, but you are guessing, to say the least.

Trying to guess at this could lead to clothes that are damaged or you may have an excessively high energy bill as a result. In addition, some of the problems that could cause a dryer to continue running are not only focused on the operation, they could be focused on the heat. In other words, your dryer may get overly hot.

Along with addressing the specific problem that would keep the dryer running indefinitely, it’s also important to know what you could do to stop it from happening in the future.

There is very little maintenance that is necessary to a dryer but focusing on the cleaning of the vent and removal of the lint, along with checking any issues to ensure that things are running properly can go a long way to keeping this problem from happening again.

In addition to all these issues, you also need to consider your safety when working on a dryer. That is especially true if you open any panels, because you can be exposed to dangerously high levels of electricity.

Any electrical appliance in the home can be dangerous but a dryer operates at a higher voltage, making it much more dangerous. In all my years as a maintenance man, I’ve seen some very frightening things associated with electricity. It’s just not worth it.

One of the first things I learned about working on a dryer is to maintain control of the electrical source when you are working on it. In other words, if you unplug the dryer, keep the cord with you so nobody plugs it back in. If you switch off a circuit breaker, lock it out.

These steps can go a long way to keeping you comfortable and safe. The last thing you want is to be hit with 240 V. It could stop your heart.

You also are working with some sharp edges when working on a dryer because of the sheet metal involved. Screws and other sharp objects can also be very damaging to the skin.

Wear gloves and if possible, get a comfortable pair of cutlass gloves for this purpose. Even all-purpose gloves will go a long way in helping to protect your hands.

There are many other things you can do to protect yourself when working on a dryer. Safety glasses are something that come to mind.

Those safety glasses should be worn anytime you are doing a DIY project. Don’t sacrifice your eyes because you feel it is uncomfortable to wear eye protection.

When all else fails and you are not able to properly correct the issue on your own, don’t allow it to continue. You should have a technician come to your home to fix the dryer because having a dryer running constantly is a hazard.

Ways To Fix Kenmore Dryer That Won’t Turn Off

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We already discussed one of the most common reasons why a dryer will not turn off but there are actually several issues that can be associated with it. We will discuss five of the top issues, and you will likely find that it fixes the problem before you get to the bottom of the list.

Defective Start Button

The start button may be a simple device but it is actually one of the more common problems associated with the dryer that is not starting or stopping. If the start button is faulty and it is stuck in the in position, it can keep the dryer running.

You may need to disconnect the panel to look at the inner workings of the start button. Before you do so, however, look for any damage to the outside of the button or anything that may be obstructing it. Even lint could keep the button pushed in.

After removing the panel, check the start button for any damage that may have been hidden from the outside. Trace the wire from the start button to the control panel and look for any damage on the control panel associated with that simple mechanism.

You may be able to repair the issue if something is blocking the start button from working. If it is physically damaged, however, you will have to replace it.

Timer Problems

The timer is responsible for stopping the dryer at a specific time. It is not typically associated with stopping the dryer when it is using the sensor to determine when the clothes are dry.

The first thing you can do to test this problem is to operate the dryer in sensor mode. If it stops at the appropriate time, then you are likely looking at a faulty timer.

On the other hand, if the dryer still does not stop even in sensor mode, then you will have to test the timer to see if it is the problem or not. Fortunately, the timer is easy to test and replace. We will cover it in detail in the following section.

Damaged Moisture Sensor

Many modern-day dryers have two different ways of timing the load. Some of them are able to time it with a specific timer clock and others are going to use a sensor to determine when the clothes are sufficiently dry.

If the moisture sensor has become damaged, the dryer may continue to run because it will not recognize that the clothes are no longer wet. This can be a problem, especially if you don’t monitor the dryer on a regular basis.

The moisture sensor is relatively easy to test. Simply turn it to a timed setting and see if it shuts off at the appropriate time. If so, you likely have a problem with the moisture sensor.

The moisture sensor is something that can often be repaired easily. We will discuss how to do so in the following section.

User Error

This is more common than most people realize. When I was a maintenance man working on dryers every day, it is unbelievable how many times I had to tell the homeowner that it was the operator and not the dryer.

One of the most common reasons why this occurs is because the dryer is being overloaded. Although it may be able to handle a larger load, it is going to take a lot longer and in some cases, you may ‘confuse’ the dryer into thinking that it needs to constantly run.

Check your user manual, either the one that came with the dryer or you can look it up online. It will give you specific instructions on how much clothing can fit in the dryer. Don’t overload the dryer.

You may also be overloading the dryer without realizing it. This can occur when the washing machine is not working as expected.

One of the functions of the washing machine is to go into a spin cycle to remove the majority of the water from the clothing. If the spin cycle is not working, then it is going to take a lot longer to dry the clothing in the dryer.

Finally, get familiar with how to use your dryer on all levels. Some dryers are very complex and you have many different options to learn. The more you understand your dryer, however, the better it will work for you.


It is important for a dryer to vent properly to the outside. There are a number of things they can keep it from doing so, however, including a clogged lint trap or a clogged vent.

Proper ventilation is important to allow the heat to escape from the dryer. In addition, it can affect the operation of the dryer on many levels and can even cause damage to internal parts if it is not kept clean.

One other reason to check the ventilation regularly is because of the fire hazard associated with it. Blocked vent pipes are responsible for many fires. It only takes a few minutes to blow out the vent pipe on an annual basis but it is well worth it.

You can also inspect the ventilation system for any signs of damage. Aside from making sure the lint trap and any other filters are kept clean, you can also look at the vent hose and make sure it is in kinked or pinched in any way.

Keeping the ventilation system clean can go a long way in helping your dryer to work properly and can even stop it from running incessantly.

Considerations When Fixing Kenmore Dryer

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We’ve already covered some of the top reasons why a dryer will turn off. We will now focus on three specific ways to fix this problem. Try them, you might be surprised with how well they work.

Replace the Timer

The timer may be a simple part but it is also one that can keep the dryer running indefinitely. It is also something that is easy to test and replace if necessary. Use these steps:

Step 1. Disconnect: Before opening the dryer and removing the timer, you will have to disconnect the power. If you don’t, you will be exposed to high voltage when you open the panel. Unplug the dryer or turn off the circuit breakers.

Step 2. Gain Access: You can access the dryer timer by opening the panel. Typically, you will find the timer near the control panel but it may be located elsewhere, depending on the model you are fixing. Check the manual for more information.

Step 3. Disconnect And Remove: This is not the same as step 1, you will actually be disconnecting the timer in this step. You will see a small wiring harness that connects the timer to the rest of the unit. Disconnect the wiring harness and then remove the timer from the dryer.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on August 4, 2023.

The timer is typically held in place with a screw or two. Just remove those screws and pull the old timer from the mount. Be cautious because there may be some easily damnable items nearby.

PRO TIP: Take a picture with your phone before removing the timer. If you have any questions as to the position of the new timer when you install it, the picture can be used as a reference.

Step 4. Testing: Use a multimeter to test the timer for continuity. If it doesn’t test out, it should be replaced.

tStep 5. Replace: The new timer should be put in position in the same way as the old timer. After attaching the timer to the board with mounting screws, you can reconnect the wiring clip.

Step 6. Reassemble and Test: Put the panel back in place, reestablish power to the dryer, and run a short test cycle.

Moisture Sensor Cleaning

This was a very common issue when I was working maintenance on dryers. Most people are not even familiar with the sensors that detect moisture, but they are an important part of the dryer and can keep it from running without letting up.

You will typically find a moisture sensor on the front of the drum near the lint filter. The manufacturer’s instructions will give you a more specific location.

If you notice any dirt or debris that is blocking the moisture sensor, you likely have found the problem. It should be cleaned using a soft cloth, such as a microfiber cloth.

You may notice some small metal bars on the moisture sensor that can easily accumulate debris. These should be cleaned carefully, so as not to cause additional damage.

When there is a coating on the sensor, you can use a mild detergent to gently clean the sensor until it has been removed. Use a soft cloth, like a microfiber cloth and some gentle dishwashing liquid to clean the sensor.

Finally, you will have to dry the sensor thoroughly. Make sure it is dry before you operate the dryer or it may not work properly. If there is moisture on the sensor, it may continue to operate as previously.

Perform a test run with a small load of laundry. It should shut off when the clothes are dry.

Door Switch Replacement

The door switch can also keep the dryer running permanently. The switch is actually a safety device that keeps the dryer from operating when the door is open. If it is not functioning properly, however, it can send the wrong signal to the control panel.

Typically, the door switch is held in place with one or two screws. Remove the switch, test for continuity with a multimeter and if it doesn’t check, it should be replaced.

Typically, the door switch and door sensor are both one unit. They will have to both be replaced at the same time.

After you put the new switch back in place, you will have to reassemble and dryer and anything that was removed in order to reach the switch. You are then ready to test the dryer.

Test the dryer by putting in a small load, closing the door, and running a small load to ensure it stops at an appropriate time. Continue to operate the dryer and pay attention to the timing to see if the new door switch is operating properly.

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Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on August 4, 2023.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on August 4, 2023.

Kenmore Dryer Won’t Stay On (How To Fix)