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By: Nick

CEO Nick's Appliance Repair

dryer not heating

Table of Contents

How do Troubleshoot Dryer not heating

A dysfunctional dryer can cause inconvenience for any household. However, there are several solutions that you can attempt to restore your dryer’s functionality. Typically, older or obsolete appliances are more prone to heating issues. If you plan to replace your dryer, many brands provide a range of dryer models with warranties.

Why is my dryer not heating or drying correctly?

There are multiple possible causes for your dryer not heating up as it should. Some of these causes include insufficient power supply, problems with the load size or wetness, a malfunctioning heating element, or a blown thermal fuse.

While a dirty lint screen or a clogged dryer vent may not be the root cause of the dryer heating element or issue, they can certainly hinder the dryer’s ability to thoroughly and properly dry your clothes. Therefore, if your dryer isn’t performing as expected, these common issues are a good starting point for troubleshooting.

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The lint screen is dirty.

If the lint screen in your appliance is clogged with lint, it can take longer for your clothes to dry. To prevent this, clean the lint screen after every use. When too much lint accumulates on the screen, it can restrict airflow, which puts more strain on the heating system.

Solution: clean off the lint screen

If the lint screen in your dryer is clogged, it can reduce the airflow and put extra strain on the heating system. Cleaning the clogged lint screen can improve the dryer’s performance. You can find the lint screen at the dryer’s top or door opening. Remove it and use your fingers to remove the lint. Don’t rinse the screen with water, as wet lint can be challenging to remove. Close the lint screen and push it back into place.

It’s recommended to clean your dryer’s lint trap every six months thoroughly. Wet a nylon brush with hot water and liquid detergent to do this. Scrub both sides of the lint screen and rinse each side thoroughly with hot water.

Check the screen to make sure you’ve removed all the residue. Repeat as needed, and then dry the lint screen completely.

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The house vent is crushed or obstructed.

For your dryer to work correctly, it’s essential to have proper airflow. Even though a crushed or blocked vent may not cause the dryer to stop heating, it can still affect its performance. As the wet clothes tumble inside the dryer, they produce steam that needs to escape for the load to dry. If the steam is not vented, it can significantly prolong the drying time. Therefore, the venting must run from the dryer to the outside of your home and be free of any obstructions.

Solution: remove kinks and obstructions

Before requesting service, inspect your home’s vent for any kinks or blockages, such as excess lint buildup. If necessary, clean the entire vent length, starting from the back of the whirlpool dryer and ending where it exits your home.

Lack of power

Electric Dryer

For these dryers to operate, a 240-volt supply is necessary. If the outlet to which your dryer is connected provides a voltage lower than 240 volts, it will be unable to supply power to your unit. To confirm whether your wall outlet can provide enough power electric dryers at this voltage, it’s recommended to consult with a certified electrician.

Gas Dryer

To receive a gas supply, these dryers use a valve that can be opened by turning the handle parallel to the gas pipe. If the valve is closed, the dryer drum will rotate but not produce heat. Refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions to ensure the power is supplied correctly to your appliance.

Solution: check and adjust power supplies

for electric dryers

Ensure your wall outlet has a minimum power supply of 240 volts. Also, ensure that the circuit breakers of your dryer have not tripped. To do this, unplug your dryer and reset both circuit breakers before plugging it back in.

for gas dryers

Please locate your dryer supply line and check the position of the gas valve. If the gas valve is perpendicular to the gas pipe, please turn it parallel to the pipe to open it.

Frustrated with a dryer that’s not spinning? We’re here to help! Explore our step-by-step guide on diagnosing and repairing a dryer that won’t spin. Get your dryer back in action now!

The load size is too large.

Dryers need sufficient space for hot air to circulate within the unit and for clothes to tumble. If you overload the dryer, it may not work correctly. Inadequate airflow can prolong the drying time and cause undue strain on the heating mechanism.

Solution: check the load size

After running the dryer cycle, remove your clothes and check if any are still damp. Also, be mindful not to overload the dryer drum; aim to fill it to about 75% capacity.

If you’re using a front-load dryer and can see your clothes tumbling, ensure they have enough room to move freely while drying.

Soaking-wet clothes

If you put excessively wet clothes in your dryer, they may not work correctly due to the excess moisture from the very wet clothes. Unlike slightly damp clothes, extremely wet clothes can create too much moisture in the dryer drum, making it difficult for them to dry.

Solution: put damp clothes in the dryer

Before putting your clothes in the dryer, check their level of dampness by feeling them with your hand.

If they are too wet, run a spin or spin cycle in your washing machine to remove excess water from the load.

For wet items such as rags, towels, or bathing suits, either wring them out manually or use the washer spin cycle to get rid of any excess water before putting them in the dryer.

Heating elements

Electric dryers use a heating element to warm the air inside the drum, while gas dryers utilize a burner. If there is any damage to either of these heating systems, your dryer may not be able to produce heat anymore.

Solution: contact a professional

Suppose the DIY solutions don’t work to restore heat to your dryer. In that case, we suggest seeking professional assistance since dryer heating elements require disassembling the machine for examination or replacement.

Blown thermal fuse

Dryers are required by law to have a thermal fuse as a safety feature to prevent fires. These blown thermal fuses are designed to activate only once, shutting down the dryer when the temperature is too high. If your thermal fuse has been triggered, replacing it before using the dryer again is essential.

Solution: contact a professional

If your dryer’s thermal fuse has blown, it will be necessary to disassemble the machine to inspect or replace the fuse. Therefore, we suggest seeking the assistance of a professional if the DIY solutions you have tried do not resolve the heating issue.

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What should I do if my gas dryer is still not heating?

If the gas shutoff valve is closed, the gas dryer drum will still turn, but the dryer won’t produce heat. To confirm whether the valve is open, check the position of the valve handle.

If it’s facing parallel to the pipe, the valve is open. If it’s not, you need to open the valve as required.

What can I do to keep my dryer working correctly?

It’s essential to clear your dryer’s lint screen after every use to ensure that your appliance is working at its best. You should thoroughly clean the lint screen using soap, water, and a nylon brush every six months or more frequently as needed.

Moreover, you should clean the vent that extends to the outside of your home at least once every one to two years or more if you notice a decrease in dryer performance. How often you need to clean the vent may also be affected by how frequently you use the dryer or the types of items that you dry.

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