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Along with refrigerators and washers, dryers are among the most important modern home appliances. Because of this, any issues can be extremely frustrating and leave a homeowner without an easy way to dry their clothes. In this article, we look at some of the most common dryer problems, their potential causes, and what homeowners can do themselves before calling an appliance repair pro.

dryer with clothes in it

Common Dryer Problems, Their Causes, and What You Can Do Before Calling a Pro

Potential Problem #1: Tripped Breaker

Things to Investigate:

  • Circuit box for a tripped breaker associated with the outlet being used by your dryer
  • Also, check the outlet itself for any signs of burnout that may cause a loss of power.

What To Do Next:

After unplugging the unit, reset the tripped breaker in your box and then plug the unit back in. If the outlet appears burnt, turn off the power in your breaker box and consult with an electrician for repairs.

Potential Problem #2: Faulty Door and Start Switches

Things to Investigate:

  • The door switch; if it doesn’t make a clicking sound when you push it in with your finger it may need replacement
  • The starter switch, which is housed behind the control panel cover

What To Do Next:

Test each switch with a multimeter and if either shows infinite resistance, they will need replacing. Door switches fail more often than the start switches.

Potential Problem #3: Blown Thermal Fuse

Things to Investigate:

  • This part is found in every dryer and is mounted to the heating chamber as a safety measure. When it blows, it interrupts the main power supply when temperatures get too high. This is by far the most common failure.

What To Do Next:

Remove the cover or back panel to access the thermal fuse. Using a multimeter, test it to see if it has blown. That said, it’s essential to determine the initial cause of your dryer overheating. Possible reasons include blocked vents.

Potential Problem #4: Faulty Drive Motor or Belt

Things to Investigate:

  •  The drive motor turns the dryer’s drum and blower wheel and may stop working after years of use. However this is not often the case.
  • The drive belt spins the drum. Most dryers have a belt check switch which shuts off the dryer when the belt snaps. This is far more likely and a common failure.

What to do next:

Remove the top of the dryer and see if the belt is tight against the drum and the drum can be manually rotated. If not replace the belt and tensioner assembly.

1 comment on “Dryer Won’t Turn On: Common Problems and How to Fix Them”

  1. Zachary Tomlinson says:

    Thanks for pointing out that a faulty dryer component could affect the unit’s overall efficiency. My colleague talked about his plans of investing in apartment appliances after moving into his new unit. I believe it would be a good idea to consult an appliance repair expert when these issues start to happen.

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