Dryer Repair: Replacing the High Limit Thermostat on Your Whirlpool Appliance

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If your dryer is either not heating at all or it’s overheating, then your high limit thermostat probably needs to be replaced. This is a simple repair that takes just a few minutes, so if you have a Whirlpool brand dryer (including their manufactured brands such as Kenmore, KitchenAid, Amana, and others), then these instructions will match up with your appliance. Order the part with the Whirlpool EOM number of 3977767. Here’s  how you can quickly replace the part and get your machine working again:

  1. Remove the power to the device: either unplug it or, if it’s a hard-wired dryer, shut it off through the circuit breaker. Whenever you’re repairing an appliance, you always want to be sure that there is no power going to the device. For this repair, you will be removing wires and replacing an electrical component, so it’s important that the electricity to the appliance is turned off. Also, disconnect it from the dryer vent.
  2. Pull the dryer out so you can access the back panel and remove the screws holding the metal sheet in place. Set the sheet to the side and keep the screws in a small cup so they don’t get lost.
  3. Remove the old or broken high limit thermostat. To do this, remove the two wires connected to the high limit thermostat. Then carefully remove it from the heater connection and rotate it so you can remove it from the tab holding the thermostat in place.
  4. Slip the new thermostat over the tab, then connect it to the heater terminal. Once it’s secure, reconnect the two wires.
  5. Put the back panel back into position and add the screws. Then you can reattach the dryer vent, put the dryer back into its usual spot, and plug it back in.
  6. Review your dryer vent.  This thermostat typically fails due to poor venting for your dryer.  The shortest run is recommended along with annual cleaning.

Whenever you’re repairing or replacing electrical components on large appliances, it can be a little nerve-wracking to get started. If you want to start with simpler repairs or you want to learn a bit more about electrical appliance repair before you get started, go to Appliance Express for tips and more information.