How to Change a High Level Thermostat in a Kenmore Elite Dryer


If your clothes are cold and wet when you take them out of your Kenmore Elite dryer, the high-limit thermostat may be faulty. The thermostat switches the heating element off and on in response to signals from the dryer controls. When the thermostat is working correctly, the dryer maintains a steady temperature range for drying your clothes. If it fails, the dryer may not start. If it does start, it may not heat correctly. A repairman could charge you hundreds of dollars to change a high-level thermostat in a Kenmore Elite dryer -- or, you can do it yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Nut driver
  • Disconnect the power to the dryer. Turn off the gas supply if it’s a gas dryer.

  • Remove the two hex-head screws with a nut driver holding the dryer’s bottom panel. Pulling out and down removes the panel from the dryer.

  • Remove the hex-head screw from the heater shield on the right-hand side of the dryer. Pull the shield free, and set it aside.

  • Pull the two wires off the high-limit thermostat’s terminals. The high-limit thermostat is mounted to the heater duct between the thermal cutoff sensor and the heater terminal block. The wires connected to it are red with a white stripe, and black.

  • Unscrew the two hex-head screws holding the thermostat to the heater duct. Pull the thermostat out of the duct.

  • Place a new thermostat in the heater duct, and then insert the hex-head screws in the mounting holes. Tighten the screws securely.

  • Connect the two wires to the thermostat terminals. Place the heat shield in its mounting location. Secure it with the hex-head screw.

  • Slide the top edge of the dryer panel under the dryer’s front panel and swing the bottom back against the dryer frame. Insert and tighten the two hex-head screws.

Tips & Warnings

  • Lint buildup in the lint trap or duct can cause uneven or slow drying. Check for excess lint before replacing the thermostat.
  • Trying to service an appliance that is plugged in can result in personal injury and damage the appliance.

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  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images
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