Dryer Not Working? How to Fix It

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In most cases, if your dryer will not work, it is because of a defective door switch or a blown thermal fuse. However, the dryer may also have a power, gas, or control board glitch issue. A defective start switch, motor, or broken dryer belt are less common but can also stop the dryer from working. An error code may also be able to tell you what the problem is and how to fix it.

Is there a power or gas problem?

If your dryer is not working, the first thing to check is that the dryer is receiving power or gas. After checking that the dryer is plugged in and turned on, or whether the gas has been disconnected, also check the home’s breaker box for a tripped breaker that has cut off the dryer’s power.

Is there an error code?

Many modern dryers will display an error code when there is a problem with the dryer. Dryer error codes are usually specific to the brand of dryer. If the dryer is displaying an error code, check the dryer’s manual or search online for what the error code means. Once you know the issue, it will make it clearer which dryer component needs to be cleaned or replaced.

Will a reset fix the dryer?

Occasionally, the dryer’s control board can suffer a glitch or a power surge. If the dryer experiences a glitch or power surge, it will usually display an error code, which can typically be resolved by disconnecting the power to the dryer for a few minutes.

While most error codes can be cleared by disconnecting the power for a few minutes, if there is an issue with the dryer, it is important to fix the issue that caused the error code. For instance, if the dryer error code refers to the dryer overheating, you will want to fix that issue quickly because it poses a fire risk.

Is the door switch defective?

The dryer should contain a door switch, which is a safety feature that stops the dryer from operating when the dryer door is open. If your dryer’s door switch is not working, the dryer may think the door is open when it is not.

Depending on your dryer, you may be able to locate and manually test the door switch. First, locate the door switch by opening the dryer door and looking for a component that is activated when the door is closed. Then, if you can, press the switch and listen for a clicking sound that indicates the switch is working. If you press the switch and don’t hear any clicking, the switch is likely defective and will need to be replaced.

Most dryer door switches can also be tested for continuity with a multimeter. If the dryer’s door switch does not have continuity, it will need to be replaced.

The dryer’s door switch should be located on or around the dryer door. Depending on the dryer, you may be able to access the door switch by unscrewing the screws that secure it to the dryer, while other dryers may require the removal of the dryer door or the entire front panel. Make sure to disconnect the power or gas before accessing the door switch.

Once you have removed the door switch from the dryer, it can be tested with a multimeter and replaced if necessary.

Has the thermal fuse blown?

The dryer’s thermal fuse is another safety feature designed to stop the dryer from overheating. If you have noticed that the dryer is overheating, a blown thermal fuse is likely why the dryer is no longer working. The drum spinning, but not heating, can also be caused by a blown thermal fuse. However, the dryer’s vents and lint filter should also be checked and unclogged, as clogged ventilation can also cause temperature issues.

Accessing the dryer’s thermal fuse will depend on the type of dryer that you have. With some dryers, the thermal fuse is located on the exhaust duct and is accessible by removing the dryer’s rear panel. With other dryers, the thermal fuse is located on the dryer’s heating assembly, and the dryer’s front panel and dryer drum will likely need to be removed to access it. Make sure to disconnect the power or gas before accessing the thermal fuse.

Once you have accessed the thermal fuse, unscrew it and remove it from the dryer. The thermal fuse can then be replaced or tested with a multimeter for continuity. If the thermal fuse does not have continuity, it has blown and will need to be replaced. Thermal fuses cannot be reset, and so they must be replaced.

What else can cause the dryer not to work?

If resetting the dryer and checking the dryer’s door switch and the thermal fuse has not allowed you to fix the dryer, the following components may be causing the issue.

Make sure to disconnect the power or gas before removing any dryer access panels.

Start switch

If the dryer will not start, a defective start switch may be responsible for the issue. The start switch will need to be tested with a multimeter for continuity to determine if it has failed and needs to be replaced.

Motor

If the dryer hums when turned on but the drum does not rotate, and you cannot turn the drum by hand, the dryer’s motor may be defective. The motor can be tested with a multimeter for continuity to determine if it has failed and needs to be replaced.

Dryer belt

If the dryer’s belt is worn or broken, the drum will either struggle to spin or not spin at all. In most cases, the dryer’s front and top panels will need to be removed to access and replace the dryer belt.

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