GE DBXR453EAWW Residential Dryer Won’t Start, Makes Humming Sound


A Facebook fan by the name of Barry sent us an interesting question about a GE residential dryer with model number “DBXR453EA1WW” a couple of weeks ago. It was an old dryer that wouldn’t start. From what he had mentioned, it seemed like the unit was getting power, but the motor would run only if the drum is given a push. There was also a humming sound once the unit was powered on.

Since we weren’t able to do an inspection and run some tests on the unit, we just did a search on the model number he gave us before giving our diagnosis. We turned up a number of results, but only for parts and almost nothing for the unit itself.

Initially, it sounded as if the problem was caused by a faulty start capacitor. Now what exactly is a start capacitor?

To explain it simply, a dryer is driven by a rotating cylinder in its motor called the armature. This armature is spun by the windings that surround it by providing alternating push and pulls. These “push” and “pulls” happen immediately when the voltage comes on, but since the armature cannot react instantaneously, a start capacitor is used to create a “lag” to give the armature time to gain momentum.

A dryer’s start capacitor often looks like a white cylinder with terminals on one end, similar to a battery. When a “start cap” fails to work, the motor will just sit and produce a sound called “Mains Hum” which is typical in electrical wiring and equipment.

But Barry replied that he couldn’t find a start capacitor in his dryer, which sounded quite accurate because we weren’t able to locate the part online for his dryer model as well.

Our research also made us conclude that the model number might be “DBXR453EAWW” instead of “DBXR453EA1WW”. The first one shows up as a GE® Extra-Large 6.0 Cu. Ft. Capacity Electric Dryer at the GE website. Even with this, there’s still an unfortunate lack of technical information online for this model.

Barry also said that he made sure the belts were on correctly. At this point we were thinking that it was an issue with the start winding of the motor, and so recommended replacing the motor altogether. From the image he provided us, it looked like the motor was a GE Hotpoint Dryer motor with part number “5KH26JJ064S”

By the way, the start winding is the fine, insulated copper wire that receives current in the motor at startup. A humming dryer motor that does not start can also be caused by a bad start wiring.

We have not heard back from him so we think he went ahead with our suggestion. In any case, we hope that the information we’ve uncovered from this issue helps others who own the same GE dryer model.

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