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Thread: Whirlpool dryer wiring question

  1. #1

    Whirlpool dryer wiring question

    Model Number: WED4800XQ0
    Brand: Whirlpool
    Age: Less than 1 year

    I have a Whirlpool electric dryer that is less than a year old (model #WED4800XQ0). It suddenly stopped working. I unplugged it & then pulled it out. Removed the metal back plate that covers the cord connection area. I came to find out that the black wire (only) had somehow melted and was no longer together. All other wires (green, red and white) were in perfect shape. I figured this was the issue, but wondered why it had happened only 6 months after purchasing the dryer.

    After talking to a neighbor who helps maintain Atlanta area schools (HVAC, electrical, misc, etc.). He said it was probably due to that black wire not being screwed on to the (plastic) terminal block back there tight enough. I checked the remaining black wire screwed terminal connection and sure enough, it didn't seem real tight. Therefore, I'm thinking this was the problem.

    I looked into getting the black plastic block kit (Sears part #279320). Is about $50 at a local store and out of stock in my area. So for now, my neighbor helped me repair it by basically first stripping the machine's black wire back enough to good wiring. Then also stripped back the electrical plug's black wiring enough to a good area as well. Used a wire nut to connect these two black wires and wrapped it good in black electrical tape. The dryer is now working. I also noticed that the Sears block replacement kit is really just a piece of plastic anyway and simply an easy place to connect the machine's wires and the plug's wires. Also, the wires that come in this $50 kit need to be wire nutted just like I did. Therefore, I felt I am good to go anyway and no need to order this repair kit.

    I've gotten varying opinions on this direct wire connection I have done though. An appliance repair person said that this way is not safe and the plastic block should really be replaced. However, my local authorized repair place (that has the kit in stock) says people do it this way all the time with no problems. Any opinions on either. I guess the bottom line is what is so special about this plastic block piece when wire nutting is required anyway to repair it with this kit as well?

    Also, since its comes with a 1yr parts/labor warranty, is this something that will be covered by Whirlpool? I got it from best Buy and they even convinced me to purchase a whole new $30 electrical plug saying that if I used my old one, it would void the warranty. I didn't necessarily buy that line, but bought a new electrical cord anyway (which of course had been damaged anyway). I have installed numerous dryers myself (including this one) and never had this problem. I'm just wondering what Whirlpool might say if I try to get them to fix it

  2. #2
    Admin/Technician Doc Ryan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    South Dakota
    A burned through wire on the terminal block is usually caused by a poor electrical connection. The poor connection causes a higher amp draw through that wire which eventually gets hot enough to melt through the wire and terminal block. Always make sure the connections on the terminal block are good and tight. Also make sure that the strain relief is properly installed on the power cord. We see a lot of issues caused from the strain relief not being installed, or not properly installed.

    When we see a problem like this happen, we recommend replacing the power cord, terminal block, and burned wiring on the dryer. We cannot recommend to bypass the terminal block, as it might not be safe, and it might not follow your local electrical codes.

    You could contact Whirlpool to see if they will cover it under warranty. Since the problem probably occurred from improper installation, they might not cover it.

    Terminal Block Kit - Part # PD00002508 (mfg #279320)
    Ryan - Discount Appliance Parts & Accessories

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  3. #3
    After I originally made this post, I also saw this kit (part #279320) as the replacement as well. What is so special about the plastic block that is basically just a place to conveniently connect my black wires together? Instead, I just have them connected directly and wrapped good in electrical tape. Also, I tucked them away to make sure they aren't interfering with anything else. Plus, from the looks of that kit, wire nutting is is still needed anyway. Therefore, I tend to wonder what the real difference is between using wire nuts or a convenient plastic block.

    Now, even though I have pretty much repaired it myself, I actually got the dryer from Best Buy and called them this morning. They are initially willing to send a Geeksquad person out to fix it since it falls under the 1yr warranty period. I even told them I did the initial install myself (6 months ago) and the rep still seemed cool with having someone come out. I'm still a little hesitant on the final outcome by them so we'll see.

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