Do you find that your clothes are still wet when the dryer finishes a cycle? There’s perhaps nothing more frustrating than opening your dryer after a dull cycle and finding your clothes is still wet.
If your dryer is not working properly and producing heat to adequately dry your clothes, there are a few things you can check to find a fix. Some of the most common issues include, a tripped circuit breaker, clogged vent, lack of gas flowing into the dryer, a faulty thermal fuse, or a broken heating element.
By following this guide, you might be able to solve some of the basic dryer heating problems. But if you can’t get your dryer going or you simply don’t have time, schedule appliance service through Pulled. Our experts have the experience to diagnose the common causes of problems related to dryers as well as issues with other major appliances like your refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine, and more.
Gas Dryer Vs. Electric Dryer
Gas models require a 3/4″ gas line and gas valve to provide adequate heat. To ensure there is not a gas issue with your gas line or valve, make sure the dryer gas line is 3/4″ and is not being restricted in any way and that the gas valve is turned on.
If you’ve checked both of these and don’t find any issues, it’s worth checking your gas bill to ensure a payment wasn’t missed, especially if you’ve recently moved and updated your address.
Sometimes gas companies will leave the gas turned on for several months without receiving payment and will shut it off one day, without notice, to get your attention to call and pay.
Electric dryers don’t use gas, but require two 120v breakers: one to run the motor that turns the drum and one to power the heating element that allows the clothes to dry.
The breakers can trip independently, depending on how the panel is wired. If you have a tripped breaker that is responsible for the heating elements, the dryer drum will continue to turn while not getting hot.
Check your breakers on your electrical panel and reset them if needed to see if that solves the problem. If you’ve looked over these power sources and your clothes are still not drying when running a full cycle, you may have a blocked heating element or more complex issue.
Why Is My Dryer Not Heating Simple Fix?
If you’ve checked to make sure that your dryer is plugged in to the power source, thr dryer door is fully closed and and the dryer drum spins, then we can look at the different parts that may be faulty, causing the dryer temperature to be too low to dry your clothes even when the dryer spins.
Blocked Heating Element
The heating element in your gas dryer or electric dryer can become blocked from lint and debris, causing overheating.
To ensure your thermal switch doesn’t shut off the dryer to prevent overheating and the potential for a fire, make sure your lint screen is clean and doesn’t have a lint clog.
You can use a vacuum attachment to clean out the lint trap and dryer vent that blows to the outside of your house.
You can also remove the vent hose from the back of the dryer and shake it out.
Why Is My Dryer Not Heating Complex Fixes?
If one of the issues described below resonates when asking why is the dryer not heating, we recommend consulting an appliance repair expert. While you can try to test and replace these parts on your own, a professional dryer repair expert is recommended in order to positively diagnose the issue and eliminate safety concerns. Here’s a few of the complex reasons your dryer is not heating.
Blown Thermal Fuse
The thermal fuse is a safety device that will trip when the heating element in the dryer becomes too hot. This will stop the dryer from producing too much heat and overheating. The blown thermal fuse can be due to several factors including a blockage discussed above. When the temperature inside the dryer gets too high, the thermal fuse will trip as a safety device designed to prevent a fire hazard.
Once this happens, the dryer will still function, but the blown thermal fuse will prevent the heating elements from receiving any power and therefore no heat will be produced. Newer models, have a thermal fuse that will not allow them to turn on at all.
A blown thermal fuse can be found next to the exhaust vent and needs to be replaced in order to reactivate the heating element.
Thermostat and Temperature Switch
The thermostat and temperature switch inside your dryer are responsible for keeping an even temperature throughout the drying cycle.
If you have a bad thermostat or temperature switch, the temperature won’t be regulated properly and your clothes will get too hot, which may trip the thermal fuse.
In some cases your dryer may also have a high limit thermostat. The high limit thermostat, disrupts the continuous electrical path to the heating element, if the temperature gets too hot and effectively shut down the dryer from heating.
You can use a multimeter to run a continuity test on both devices. When using a multimeter to test the thermostat, you should get a zero reading if the unit is bad. The multimeter will read either zero or infinity if the temperature switch is bad.
You can replace a temperature switch fairly easily by removing the old one and replacing it with a new one. However, replacing the thermostat is more involved and we recommend booking a professional appliance repair service through Pulled to replace this.
Once you’ve checked the thermal fuse, thermostat, and temperature switch and you find you still have no heat, you may have faulty heating coils.
To check your heating coils, remove the access panel on the back of your dryer and look for the metal wires coiled together.
Test the terminals with a multimeter to see if you get a zero reading. If you do, the coil needs to be replaced and we recommend calling a pro because this can be a bit complicated.
A bad timer (on mechanical-based models) won’t advance the cycle and in some dryers, your dryer will spin and spin waiting for the signal to move to the next cycle, because the timer went bad.
To check if you have a defective timer motor, remove the knob and open the panel. Once the leads are disconnected from the motor, you can check for continuity with a multimeter. If your multimeter reads infinity, then the timer motor is faulty and needs to be replaced.