How to Fix a Dryer Not Heating

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Is your dryer not heating? Then you’re in the right place.

In this article, we will give you step-by-step instructions for how to find the cause of the problem and fix it.

These instructions work with most makes and models of dryers, but if any of the components listed below don’t apply to your specific make and model, simply skip that step and move on to the next one.

Step 1 – Check the Thermal Fuse

The first step is to check the thermal fuse. The thermal fuse turns your dryer off if it deems your dryer is overheating. If it becomes faulty, it will stop your dryer from heating.

Here’s how to check the thermal fuse:

  1. Turn the power to your dryer off – at the wall or turn the circuit breaker off.
  2. To access the thermal fuse, you’ll have to remove the top and side panels (check your dryer’s manual if you’re not sure how to do this).
  3. Find the thermal fuse – it is usually located on the blower housing or close to the dryer’s heat source (check your dryer’s manual if you’re not sure where it is located).
  4. Once located, use a multimeter to check the fuse for continuity.
  5. If the thermal fuse is working correctly, the fuse should be closed for continuity. This means that it should have a continuous electrical path through it. If it fails, it is faulty and will need to be replaced. If the fuse has continuity, it is working fine, and you can move on to the next step.
  6. Once replaced, turn your dryer back on and check that the dryer is now heating. To help prevent the fuse from blowing out again, make sure the exhaust vent is not blocked up.

Step 2 – Check the Gas Valve Solenoid and Igniter

The next step is to check the gas valve solenoid and the igniter. If your dryer is electric, you can move straight on to step 4.

Depending on the specific make and model of your dryer, it will have two or more gas valve solenoid coils. These coils help to open the gas valve ports so that gas can flow to the burner assembly. Once the valve ports open, the igniter ignites the gas so that your dryer can heat. When these components become faulty, your dryer won’t heat.

Here’s how to check these components:

  1. To check if the gas valve solenoids are working correctly, you need to check if the igniter is working. You can do this by checking if the igniter glows and ignites the gas or if it just goes out without igniting the gas when you try to turn the dryer on.
  2. If the igniter does not glow, you need to check the igniter with a multimeter to see if it has continuity. If the igniter fails the test, you will need to replace it.
  3. If the igniter glows but the gas doesn’t ignite, this means you will need to replace all of the gas valve coils.
  4. If you’ve replaced any of the components, you will then need to check if the problem has been solved, and if not, move on to the next step. If the components are all working correctly, you can also move on to step 3.

Step 3 – Check the Flame Sensor

The next step is to check the flame sensor. This component detects how hot the dryer is from the flame. If it becomes faulty, your dryer won’t heat.

To check the flame sensor, you need to:

  1. Turn the power off to the dryer.
  2. Find the flame sensor – if you haven’t already, you’ll need to remove the top and side panels so you can access them.
  3. Check the sensor for continuity with a multimeter (to get an accurate reading, the sensor should be at room temperature when you check it).
  4. If the sensor has no continuity, it will need to be replaced. If it does have continuity, this means it is working fine, and you can move on to the next step.
  5. If you replace the flame sensor, you will need to check if the dryer now heats, and if not, move on to the next step.

Step 4 – Check the Heating Element

The next step is to check the heating element. If you have a gas-powered dryer, you can move on to step 6.

The heating element heats the air so your dryer can work. If it becomes faulty, your dryer won’t be able to heat.

Here’s how to check the element:

  1. Turn the power off to the dryer if you haven’t already.
  2. Remove the top and side panels from your dryer if you haven’t already.
  3. Locate the heating element (check your dryer’s manual if necessary).
  4. Check the element with a multimeter to see if it has continuity. If it has no continuity, you’ll need to replace the heating element. If it does have continuity, this means it is working fine, and you can move on to the next step.
  5. Once replaced, check to see if your dryer now heats. If not, move on to the next step.

Step 5 – Check the Incoming Power

Most electric dryers require two legs of 120 volts AC (250 volts in total) to operate correctly. If one of the fuses trips, your dryer won’t be able to heat. Checking the fuses is quite dangerous if you don’t have the correct training or experience, so don’t attempt this step if you aren’t qualified to do so. Instead, call a qualified electrician to come and check the fuses for you.

Here’s how to check the fuses:

  1. Go to your household fuse box.
  2. Locate the fuses that power your dryer.
  3. Test each fuse with a multimeter. If the fuses are working correctly, they will have the correct voltage. If they do not, they will need to be replaced.
  4. Once replaced, check to see if the dryer now heats, and if not, move on to the next step.

Step 6 – Check the High-Limit Thermostat

The high-limit thermostat monitors the temperature in your dryer and shuts the burner off if your dryer overheats. Sometimes it can become faulty, and this will cause your dryer not to heat.

Here’s how to check the high-limit thermostat:

  1. Ensure the power to the dryer is switched off.
  2. Locate the high-limit thermostat.
  3. Use your multimeter to test the thermostat for continuity.
  4. If the test shows no continuity, the thermostat will need to be replaced. If it does have continuity, it is working fine, and you can move on to the next step.
  5. Once replaced, check to see if the problem has been solved; if not, move on to the next step.

Step 7 – Check the Cycling Thermostat

Most dryers also have a cycling thermostat that works to cycle the heat on and off to regulate the air temperature in the dryer. If it stops working correctly, your dryer won’t be able to heat.

Here’s how to check the cycling thermostat:

  1. Ensure the power to the dryer is switched off.
  2. Locate the cycling thermostat.
  3. Use your multimeter to test the thermostat for continuity.
  4. If the test shows no continuity, the thermostat will need to be replaced. If it does have continuity, it is working fine, and you can move on to the next step.
  5. Once replaced, check to see if the problem has been solved; if not, move on to the next step.

Step 8 – Check the Timer

If you have checked all the other components in this guide, the last component to check is the timer. The timer very rarely breaks down, but it can happen.

Here’s how to check the timer:

  1. Ensure the power to the dryer is switched off.
  2. Locate the timer in your dryer.
  3. Use your multimeter to test the timer for continuity.
  4. If the test shows no continuity, the timer will need to be replaced. If it does have continuity, it is working fine, and you can move on to the next step.
  5. Once replaced, check to see if the problem has been solved; if not, move on to the next step.

Step 9 – Replace the Main Control Board

The last step is to replace the main control board. The main control board is the “brain” of your dryer, and when it stops working correctly, your dryer will become defective and probably won’t work at all. Testing the control board is very difficult, so if you’ve tested every other component in this article, you will have to decide whether to replace the control board and hope that fixes the problem, or you might decide you’re better off buying a new dryer.

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