The Kenmore Elite HE3 is 7.2 cu. ft. capacity electric dryer by Kenmore.

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Gas smell from dryer when opening the door

I smell gas when opening the dryer door but do not smell gas when dryer is shut. The dryer vent seems clear as there is good air exhaust. Is this likely a problem with a gas valve shutoff on the dryer or a gas connection to the dryer?

Answer this question I have this problem too

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Is it the mercaptan smell or a carbon smell?


mercaptan (gas) not a carbon (burnt) smell


I also have this problem in the unit I'm renting. (I'm an engineer, I like to tinker with and fix things. Don't have to, but I like it.) The dryer is about 20 years old. Any suggestions? This weekend I may take it mostly apart and slather all connections and the flame nozzle (what is the right industry term there?) with the gas leak fluid from the hardware store. Then I can update this post with the gas source. I suspect it'll be the nozzle. If that is the case... what can be done? New valve? New dryer? I replaced the igniter about a year ago, and that breathed new life into it. Cheap and easy fix (identified with help of this site!). Later on I took it completely apart (every last piece that could be opened up was) and cleaned it out well... much better airflow after that, much happier dryer. Been like this for a while (long before tear-down), though it varies, sometimes goes away for a week, then comes right back. Just makes me wonder about valve seals/seats and if they eventually wear out.


I have the same problem from my kenmore dryer.

Could you share how did you fix it ?

Thank you! :)


Our LG Dryer model #DLGX2371W purchased in 2/14 has had same problem. The smell of gas or whatever is very bad and our clothes have the same smell. My husband took out the screen and thoroughly cleaned the entire assembly where screen goes in. Also cleaned out the back vent and we still have the same problem. We have turned gas off to dryer and not using until we solve the problem. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.


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Funny smell from a gas dryer:

If you are having trouble with a funny smell inside your dryer or on your clothes, consider this...have you painted or varnished anything inside the home recently? Your gas dryer uses a lot of air, not just the air that blows out the vent but the air used to burn the gas ( natural or propane ) as well, anything like paint fumes or varnish fumes in the air will be picked up in the air used by the burner flame and burnt....this is often described by customers as - burnt fabric softener smell ..... - burnt soap smell .... - burnt medicine smell. Open your windows, air out the basement/home as good as possible, most customers tell me this will go away after a week or so once everything is dried and all the fumes are gone. Remember, if you smell gas....turn off the gas valve to the dryer and call for service!!

A tip from ( A Fire Marshal ) - This is sometimes caused by the filter not being completely clean. By this I am referring to the clogging of the screen from the use of fabric softener sheets. The chemicals in these sheets will, over a period of time, impair the air flow through the screen and cause the "gas odor" to become prominent – not to mention the temperature to rise within the dryer. I clean my filter with soapy water and a tooth brush about every other month and it keeps this from occurring.

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THank you! I just had my floors refinished and I painted my living room this past week. This makes sense!


It's always nice to hear that an unexpected answer, like this one, really answered the problem ;-)


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Had a gas smell inside drum and from outer vent during recent use.

1) Cleaned removable filter/screen with soapy water.

2) Disassembled and removed filter/screen chassis inside drum for access to chassis sump and front of duct.

3) Removed a surprising amount of debris; lint, coins, bits of paper of about a 1/2 cup in volume with some density but no actual blockage.

4) Removed and cleaned vent tube from back of dryer to wall; nothing of note.

5) Rubbed and vacuumed internal duct from filter/screen chassis to back of dryer; nothing of note.

6) Reassembled.

Ran a load. Seems fine.

Thank you for posting.

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Hi Edward,

I think the issue you are facing with the gas dryer is the lack of "make up air". This issue is often overlooked in dryer and other vented applications like stove hoods and bathroom vents. The issue is that these devices need to receive enough air to work properly, and if the house (or closet) is very air tight (which is the trend), then the dryer will starve for air. The result is incomplete venting of the dryer exhaust. This is less of an issue in an electric dryer as there is no combustion. But in a gas dryer, you will need to provide some make up air. One solution is to just open the window. But a better solution is a vent with a flapper on it that allows air to enter when the dryer begins to run.

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Edward DePauw will be eternally grateful.
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