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Clothes Dryers

Troubleshooting an Electric Clothes Dryer
Drum doesn't rotate, though dryer turns on.
Dryer doesn't heat, though drum rotates.
Clothes don't dry.
Dryer runs noisily.
You can't turn the dryer on.
The motor runs but the drum doesn't turn.
The drum turns but nothing gets dry.
It takes too long to dry a load.
It doesn't stop drying at the end of a cycle.

Troubleshooting an Electric Clothes Dryer

Dryers are classified according to the kind of power that provides their heat-either electricity or gas. But even a gas dryer uses electricity for all its non-heating actions. When your dryer doesn't do its job, look first to the basics. Is it plugged in? Is the cord defective? Has the dryer's fuse blown or has the circuit breaker tripped? Clean the lint trap and use a vacuum or a piece of wire to remove any lint from the exhaust duct. If the load seems too wet to dry efficiently, put it through the washer's spin cycle again.

Safety Tip - Before doing any work on your dryer, pull the plug. Turn off the gas supply to a gas dryer, at ether the appliance shutoff or the main shutoff valve. Should you smell gas, get out of the house immediately.

Guide to Symbols

G - Gas heater only

E - Electric heater only

Note: Appliance models vary; see your owner's manual for information specific to your dryer.

Drum doesn't rotate, though dryer turns on.

Check for:

  • Defective start switch, door switch, or timer.
  • Loose or broken drum belt.
  • Loose or broken idler pulley or spring.
  • Defective support roller, centrifugal switch, or motor.

Remedies:

  • Replace start switch, door switch, or timer.*
  • Tighten loose belt.
  • Replace broken belt.*
  • Replace idler pulley or spring.*
  • Replace support roller, centrifugal switch or motor.*
    *Problem is best left to a professional.

Dryer doesn't heat, though drum rotates.

Check for:

  • Defective temperature control or timer.
  • Defective over heat protector.
  • E - Power off.
  • E - Defective heating element.
  • G - Pilot light out.
  • G - Defective electric pilot.
  • G - Incorrect air-gas ratio.

Remedies:

  • Replace temperature control or timer.*
  • Replace overheat protector.*
  • E - Check fuse or circuit breaker.
  • E - Replace heating element.
  • G - Relight or replace flame switch.*
  • G - Replace pilot.*
  • G - Adjust shutter on burner.
    *Problem is best left to a professional.

Clothes don't dry.

Check for:

  • Clogged lint trap or exhaust duct.
  • Worn door seal.
  • G - Incorrect air-gas ratio.

Remedies:

  • Clean lint trap or exhaust duct.
  • Replace door seal.
  • G - Adjust shutter on burner.

Dryer runs noisily.

Check for:

  • Worn drum belt.
  • Defective idler pulley or support roller.
  • Loose blower.
  • Worn motor bearings.

Remedies:

  • Replace drum belt.*
  • Replace idler pulley or support roller.*
  • Tighten setscrew holding blower to shaft.
  • Replace bearings or motor.
    *Problem is best left to a professional.

You can't turn the dryer on.

Check for:

  • Open door
  • No power reaching the outlet.
  • Loose motor wiring
  • Damaged door switch
  • Defective centrifugal switch
  • Defective wiring between the outlet and the terminal block
  • Defective timer
  • Defective motor

Remedies:

  • Shut the door again.
  • Check the fuse box/circuit breaker.
  • Tighten the electrical connections.
  • Check the switch and replace it if necessary.
  • Check the timer and replace if necessary.
  • Call a qualified contractor.

The motor runs but the drum doesn't turn.

Check for:

  • Blocked drum
  • Broken drive belt
  • Broken idler wheel assembly
  • Work support wheel

Remedies:

  • Open the unit and look for any obstruction around the drum.
  • Replace the belt.
  • Check the assembly and replace if necessary.
  • Check the wheel and replace if necessary.
  • Call a qualified contractor.

The drum turns but nothing gets dry.

Check for:

  • Clogged lint trap or exhaust vent
  • Defective safety thermostat is defective
  • Defective heating element
  • Defective timer

Remedies:

  • Unclog lint trap or exhaust vent.
  • Replace safety thermostat.
  • Replace heating element.
  • Replace timer.
  • Call a qualified contractor.

It takes too long to dry a load.

Check for:

  • Clogged lint trap or exhaust vent
  • Overloaded dryer
  • Clothes that are too wet
  • Loose fan
  • Damaged door gasket

Remedies:

  • Clean the trap and vent.
  • Reduce the load and try again.
  • Check fan and tighten if necessary.
  • Check the gasket and replace if necessary.
  • Call a qualified contractor.

It doesn't stop drying at the end of a cycle.

Check for:

  • Defective timer is defective
  • Defective dampness sensor

Remedies:

  • Replace the timer.
  • If your unit has this type of electronic dampness sensor, call a qualified contractor.
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