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FIXED Kenmore dryer 796.81383410 not drying properly


Premium Member
Nov 15, 2022
Model Number
Sears Kenmore
6-10 years

The dryer requires more time/often two cycles to dry. Have used "normal 41 minutes cycle" that uses moisture sensor and have tried timed dry for 60 minutes. I initially replaced the thermistor (which tested OK), eventually have replaced entire heating element with new thermostat and thermal fuse. Replaced moisture sensors. Finally replaced control board last week with no improvement. When I put it through diagnostic mode, the moisture sensor tests ok, the first and second heaters work ( I have checked the amps while putting it through the diagnostic mode and it pulls 4 amps initially when drum starts, then 11 AMPS THEN 22 AMPS with the second heater element. There are no diagnostic codes turning up and the inside is pristine (no lint etc, the run to outside vent is less than 8 feet and clean) If I feel the back of the dryer in upper right where heat comes in, its hot but when running clothes in dryer it the clothes never feel very "hot" just warm and the exhaut pipe is just warm
If the vent is clear and clean you will need to take the dryer temperature--->WITH NO CLOTHES in the dryer--->With the dryer on timed dry, high heat, the temperature at the dryer vent should be 160*F to 190*F. Watch the thermometer or multimeter display and note the temperature the element turns off and the temperature it turns back on through about 6-8 cycles. They should be fairly consistent.

My multimeter reads temperature, it comes with a probe you put in the dryer door. WITH NO CLOTHES in the dryer--->Just open the dryer door and insert the probe, then close the door and run the dryer and watch the meter. Don't put the probe to far in or it will be hitting the drum as it turns.
So running the dryer on timed dry, high heat with no vent hooked up so that I am putting the temp probe in the exhaust pipe it cycles 140-157 fairly consistently. With the temp probe in the drum, it is very sensitive to where it is place but if its not near the door I got 154-208 on average over several cycles. I have the top off (I put the old control board back in as it ran the same with the new /old) and I can hear it cycling by the relay on the control board, which seems to turn on/off at about the same temps every time.
I also put the probe through the hold in front of the lint trap and go 144-177 consistently. Finally I left the probe in their and put the dryer in diagnostic test mode and turned on both coils, the temp went up to 186 and then I could hear the high limit thermostat click out rather than the relay...hope this is not too much info.
That's normal to me, so I'm not sure why its not drying properly, very uncommon for sure. Its best at this point to contact Sears to come out at 1-800-469-4663 to see what's going on.
So when I was checking the drum temp if the temp probe moved near door it would drop temp quickly. I had installed a new door gasket about a month before we started having problems. When I looked at it, I put it in backwards so it was letting air in to mix with hot air. So basically I rebuilt the dryer to figure that out! I think my wife is going to take away my tool box! It does explain why everything kept testing ok like thermistor/ heating element etc. Anyway Jake your advice to check those two temp locations was really helpful. I had totally spaced on the door gasket install and never made the connection. Installed backwards it kinda closes ok but It is not obvious. Thanks again!
Glad to hear you found the problem.(y)

Here's the door gasket for your model, in case others need it too:
Door Seal MDS47263101

Thanks for the update!
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