Issues with Kenmore 90 Series dryer

Valerie EmmerichDecember 3, 2012

We've had our Kenmore 90 Series dryer for about ten years and it's always been terrific. A few years ago, the timer stopped working (I THINK, not sure) - for example, I use air dry a lot for delicates like lingerie, etc, and the dial simply wouldn't advance to off. It wasn't a big deal so we didn't get it repaired. Then the other day, something weird started happening: we'd open the dryer to get the clothes and the dryer kept on spinning! (You can stop it by putting the dial at the "off" position). We have no idea what's causing this, or if it's related to the timer issue but again, since it's not a big issue, my husband is inclined to let it go since we just had a relatively large radiator repair bill. I, on the other hand, am inclined to call in someone and replace whatever part(s) need to be replaced, in case they lead to bigger (and more expensive) problems down the road. Looking for advice, and especially on the second problem. Thanks!

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Dryer keeps running when door is opened = probably bad door switch. The door switch should *always* shut the unit off upon opening. This is a pretty easy DIY repair. Does require some disassembly but it's usually minimal. Look up your specific model (find it on the label at the door opening) at to find the part and break-down diagrams. Note the part number and search it at other online sources ... may be cheaper price from another source, maybe not. Test the switch to be sure it's bad before ordering parts.

Regards to the timer ... there's only one little clock motor that runs the timer on all the various cycles. It stalls only on the air setting, or on other cycles (timed drying, auto-sensor) as well?

You didn't include the model number of the unit, so I can't look up any of this info for you.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 5:56PM
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Valerie Emmerich

Thanks! It makes sense that it would be the door switch.

The timer stalls on the air setting and auto-sensor setting; we don't use the timed drying setting so I don't know but I would suspect that it would stall there too. The model number of the dryer is 110 70912990. Thanks!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 6:53PM
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This is a 27" design unit.

Door switch is original part number 3394881, substitutes now to 279782.

Access to change the switch: Remove the trim pieces at left and right of the console to reveal screws at the base of the endcaps. Remove the screws, pull the console slightly forward then tilt it back (it's hinged at the corners). Find three screws under the console that anchor the top panel. Remove the screws, slide the top forward and off. Open the door and unscrew the switch, should be able to reach down from top to the front panel to get at it.

Your unit has a small electronic board related to the moisture sensor and controlling the timer. I'm not intimately familiar with these but it could be the timer culprit. There should be a tech sheet under the console that outlines some procedures to test the board and timer. Unfortunately the board is rather expensive. Part number 3390537 substitutes to 8558178.

But since the timer doesn't run on air cycle, the timer itself may be bad. Part number 3976576.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 10:24PM
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Valerie Emmerich


    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 6:20AM
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Valerie Emmerich

I forgot to ask you this. . . would it "hurt" the dryer if we put off these repairs for a while, maybe several months or even a year? We'd probably need someone to come in and do the work, which isn't cheap. :-) I'll ask my husband (who is quite handy, but doesn't have any experience doing this kind of thing) if he could do it, though. I'm just concerned that if we put it off something bigger will happen. Thanks!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 12:45PM
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A non-functional door switch is a matter of safety moreso than inconvenience, although the machine should not be routinely run with the door open. Air will get pulled in through the open door rather than across the heating source, which will cause the heater to overheat and possibly blow a protective thermal fuse.

Delaying the timer repair is a matter of inconvenience of the machine not working automatically as it should. It's also a safety factor ... overheating (and possibly a fire, if an overheat protector happens to fail) can also occur if whoever is monitoring the machine's operation gets distracted and doesn't manually shut it off when a load is dried.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 3:49PM
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