Why is my Whirlpool duet dryer sensing but not starting?

If you are having a Whirlpool duet dryer sensing but not starting problem, then this guide is for you.

Here, I will tell you what might be causing the problem and give you the possible solutions to help you fix your dryer.

Whirlpool duet dryer sensing but not starting – possible causes and solutions you can try

Below is what might be causing your duet dryer to act up and how to troubleshoot it…

It could be due to a power failure

When this is the case, your dryer will display a PF error code.

The PF error code means the dryer was interrupted mid-cycle due to a power failure.

What you can do

There are three methods you can use to fix this problem:

  1. Touch and hold the Start button to restart the cycle.
  2. Press the power button to clear the display.
  3. Reset the dryer – unplug it from the power outlet and let it sit for five minutes. This method is the most effective and works even when the previous two won’t.

The thermal fuse might be blown

A common cause for a Whirlpool dryer sensing but won’t start problem is an open/blown thermal fuse.

To be sure if yours is bad, use a multimeter to test it for continuity.

If the fuse lacks continuity, it’s an indication it’s bad and you should replace it – order a replacement fuse here.

Something else: If your thermal fuse is bad, be sure to clean the dryer’s venting system.

This is because a clogged/crushed venting system is the most common cause for the fuse blowing up and you want to avoid it from occurring again.

The belt might be loose or broken

Of course, if the belt is loose or broken, the drum won’t rotate.

So, be sure to also inspect the belt.

If yours is loose, be sure to tighten it – use the pulley assembly to do this.

On the other hand, if it’s broken, you should replace it – shop for a replacement belt (perfect fit for Whirlpool dryer) on Amazon.

The belt switch might be open

Some dryer models have a belt switch that shuts off the dryer if the belt is broken.

In most models, you will find the belt switch under the idler pulley.

To test if the switch is bad, check it for continuity using a multimeter – no continuity means it’s defective.

Fortunately, it’s a replaceable part – get a Whirlpool dryer replacement belt switch from Amazon.

The motor might be bad

A bad motor is also another common culprit for Whirlpool dryer senses but won’t start problem.

The only way to be sure if the motor is to blame is by testing it.

How to test a Whirlpool duet dryer motor

Pro tip: Before you perform the tests below, first perform the tests above. This is because the motor assembly relies on the proper functioning of other parts such as the thermal fuse and the belt switch.

  1. Disconnect the dryer from the power outlet.
  2. Measure the resistance across P8-4 and P9-1 connectors on the control board. If the resistance is between 1 and 6 ohms, it means the board is probably bad and you should swap it out– check its price on Amazon

Otherwise, proceed to step 3.

  1. Confirm that all wire connections are good – reinsert loose wire connectors and fix broken wires.
  2. Remove the white connector to get access to the main and start winding coils as shown:

Whirlpool dryer senses but wont start

  1. Measure the resistance through the main and start winding coils using the table below to guide you along:
Winding Contact points of measurement Resistance (Ω)
Main Lt. blue wire in back at pin #4 and bare copper wire on pin #5 of the black drive motor switch. 2.4 – 3.6
Start Lt. blue wire in back at pin #4 and bare copper wire on pin #3 of the black drive motor switch. 2.4 – 3.8

If the resistance values you are getting are good, test the belt switch – refer to the belt switch section above.

On the other hand, if the start winding is in question and its resistance is greater than 4Ω, it means the motor is bad and you should replace it – you may order a new motor for your dryer here.

The control board might be defective

Another common cause for a Whirlpool duet dryer sensing but not starting problem is a bad control board.

In most cases, this is signified by a burnt relay.

So, carefully inspect your dryer’s control board for any burn marks.

If you spot burn marks, it means that the board is indeed defective.

How you can fix the problem

There are two routes you can take when fixing a bad control board.

The first (and cheaper) route is to replace the burnt relay – remove it and solder in the replacement relay… You can purchase a replacement relay on eBay.

This is a good fix if your control board has been discontinued by the manufacturer.

On the other hand, if your model’s control board is still available on the market, you should consider replacing the board – shop for a replacement board on Amazon.

Whirlpool duet dryer sensing but not starting – final words

At times, your duet dryer might be acting up due to heating problems – the dryer is not able to heat.

To help you troubleshoot and fix this problem, I have made two guides (depending on your model) to point you in the right direction. So, be sure to check them out:

Gas dryer not getting hot [Fixes]

Why is my electric dryer not getting hot? Reasons and fixes


Whirlpool front load dryer not heating? Try this

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