Dealing with a dryer that refuses to heat up can be a frustrating experience. However, before you rush to replace your appliance or seek professional help, exploring the various potential causes and solutions is worth exploring.
This article will provide 7 practical ways to fix a dryer that’s not heating easily.
The solutions in this article are based on the information obtained from multiple credible sources, providing a comprehensive guide to troubleshooting and resolving a dryer that’s not heating.
Whether it’s a clogged electric dryer exhaust vent, a faulty thermal fuse, a malfunctioning heating element, a timer motor problem, issues with the gas valve solenoid coils or igniter (for gas dryers), or a problem with the main control board, we’ve got you covered.
By following the step-by-step fixes found in this article, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to identify the root cause behind your dryer not heating and take the necessary measures to restore your dryer’s heating functionality.
Why is your Dryer Not Heating?
There could be several reasons why a dryer is not heating. Here are some common reasons:
1. Clogged Dryer Vent
One of the primary culprits behind a dryer not heating is a clogged dryer vent.
A blocked vent restricts proper airflow, preventing the dryer from functioning effectively.
To address this issue, clean the lint trap after each load. It would also help to clean the vent in your dryer at least once a year to prevent potential fire hazards and lint buildup.
2. Faulty Thermal Fuse
The thermal fuse plays a vital role in detecting the temperature inside the dryer. The dryer may struggle to determine the internal temperature when it malfunctions, leading to a lack of heat.
Consult your dryer’s manual, locate the thermal fuse, and test it using a multimeter. If there is no resistance reading, it indicates a faulty thermal fuse (or blown fuse) an appliance expert should replace that.
3. Busted Heating Element
The heating element generates the necessary heat within the dryer. Over time, it may wear out or fail, resulting in a lack of heat.
Check your dryer’s manual to find the heating element’s location, and use a multimeter to test its current flow. If the current is insufficient, a replacement heating element might be required. However, replacing the heating element is best left to experienced technicians.
4. Timer Malfunction
Modern dryers utilize timers to control various cycles, including heating. If the timer malfunctions, the dryer may not heat up as expected.
Diagnosing timer issues can be challenging, as it could involve internal wiring problems or faulty electrical components. Contact a professional for a thorough examination and repair of the timer.
5. Problem with Gas Valve Solenoid (Gas Dryers)
For gas dryers, a malfunctioning gas valve solenoid can be a reason for no heat.
The solenoid is responsible for opening and closing the gas valve to enable heat production. If the solenoid is bad, the gas flow to the dryer will be disrupted, and causing the lack of heat you are experiencing.
Refer to your dryer’s manual to locate the gas valve solenoid, but it’s recommended to seek professional assistance for the dryer repair or replacement.
6. Faulty Igniter (Gas Dryers)
Gas dryers rely on an igniter to light the gas and generate heat. If the igniter is not working correctly, the gas will not ignite, causing the dryer to remain cold.
While it may be possible to test the igniter with a multimeter, it’s advisable to contact your gas company for assistance and prioritize safety due to the explosive nature of the gas.
7. Main Control Board Issues
The main control board acts as the central hub of the dryer, regulating its various functions. If the control board malfunctions, it may fail to transmit signals properly, leading to a lack of heat.
Repairing or replacing the main control board can be expensive and complex. Consult a professional technician to assess the issue and determine the best action.
8. Incorrect Dryer Settings
Sometimes, a dryer heating issue can be attributed to incorrect settings or a wrongly set timer.
Ensure you have selected the appropriate heat setting and the timer is functioning correctly to enable the dryer to heat up properly.
How to Fix a Dryer That’s Not Heating
If your dryer is not heating, here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot and potentially fix the issue:
1. Check for a Clogged Dryer Vent
A clogged vent is a frequent culprit behind a dryer not heating effectively.
Start by inspecting the lint trap and ensuring it is clean after every load. A buildup of lint can obstruct the airflow, preventing proper heating.
Additionally, cleaning the dryer vent at least once a year is essential. If accessible, remove the vent (exhaust duct) cover and dryer hose and clear any debris or obstructions. Regular vent maintenance can help prevent fire hazards and improve the dryer’s performance.
2. Examine the Thermal Fuse
The thermal fuse is responsible for detecting the internal temperature of the dryer.
A faulty thermal fuse can hinder the dryer’s ability to determine the appropriate heat level, leading to inadequate heating.
Consult your dryer’s manual to locate the thermal fuse, and consider using a multimeter to test its functionality. If the thermal fuse is defective, seeking professional assistance for replacement is recommended, as attempting to replace it independently may void the warranty.
3. Assess the Heating Element
A malfunctioning heating element can also contribute to a dryer not generating sufficient heat.
Refer to the manual if you can’t find your dryer’s heating element. Once you have found it, use a multimeter to test its current flow. If the current flow is inadequate, it indicates a need for replacement.
Due to the complexity involved, it is advisable to rely on professional help to replace the heating element. Before you go ahead with replacing your dryer’s heating element, compare the cost of a new heating element to the cost of a new dryer to determine the most cost-effective solution.
4. Verify the Timer Operation
Modern dryers utilize timers to regulate the heating cycles accurately. If the timer is not advancing correctly, it can disrupt the dryer’s cycling and result in inadequate heating of wet clothes.
Troubleshooting the timer can be challenging, as the issue could be related to internal wiring or specific components.
To address timer-related problems, seeking professional assistance is advisable for accurate diagnosis and resolution.
5. Inspect the Gas Valve Solenoid (for Gas Dryers)
Gas dryers rely on a gas valve solenoid to control gas flow for heating purposes. If a gas dryer fails to heat up adequately, the gas valve solenoid or gas valve coil may be at fault.
The first step is locating the solenoid, as described in the manual. However, repairing or replacing the gas valve solenoid is a task that is best left to professionals due to the potential hazards of gas appliances.
6. Examine the Igniter (for Gas Dryers)
In gas dryers, the igniter plays a crucial role in igniting the gas that generates heat. If the igniter malfunctions, the gas will not ignite, resulting in a lack of heat.
Testing the igniter using a multimeter can provide insights into its functionality, but it is recommended to involve a professional due to the safety concerns associated with gas appliances.
7. Evaluate the Main Control Board
The main control board is responsible for coordinating various functions within the dryer. If the main control board malfunctions, it can impact the heating capability of the dryer.
Unfortunately, repairing or replacing the main control board can be expensive. In such cases, it is advisable to consult a professional to assess whether the control board can be fixed or if replacing the entire dryer is more viable.
How much does it cost to replace a thermal fuse in a dryer?
The cost of replacing a thermal fuse in a dryer can vary depending on several factors, including the brand and dryer model, the location, and the labor charges.
In general, the cost of a thermal fuse itself is relatively inexpensive, usually ranging from $10 to $30.
However, it’s important to note that the cost may increase if you hire a professional technician to replace the thermal fuse. The technician’s service fee or labor charges vary based on the region and the specific service provider.
Will the dryer run if the thermal fuse is blown?
No, a dryer will not run if the thermal fuse is blown. The thermal fuse is a safety device that protects the dryer from overheating. If the dryer temperature exceeds a certain limit, the thermal fuse will blow, interrupting the electrical circuit and preventing the dryer from running.
This is a safety feature to prevent potential fire hazards. If the thermal fuse is blown, it must be replaced before the dryer can operate again.
It’s essential to identify and address the underlying cause of the overheating issue to prevent the thermal fuse from blowing repeatedly.
Is it worth it to repair the dryer?
The decision to repair or replace a dryer depends on various factors, including the extent of the issue, the age of the dryer, the cost of repairs, and personal preference. Here are some factors to consider:
1. Cost of repairs: Evaluate the cost of repairing the dryer compared to its current value. If the repair cost is significantly lower than the cost of a new dryer, it might be worth repairing.
2. Age of the dryer: Consider the age of the dryer. If it’s relatively new and still under warranty, repairing it can be cost-effective. However, if the dryer is older and experiencing frequent issues, investing in a new one may be more practical.
3. Overall condition: Assess the overall condition of the dryer. If it’s in good condition apart from the current issue, repairing it could extend its lifespan and save money in the long run.
4. Energy efficiency: Newer dryers are often more energy-efficient, which can lead to long-term savings on utility bills. If your dryer is old and ineffective, buying a replacement can be a better choice.
5. Personal preference: Consider your personal preferences and needs. If you’re attached to your current dryer or have unique features you value, repairing it may be the preferred choice.
It’s advisable to consult a professional technician who can accurately assess the repairs needed and their associated costs. They can help you make an informed decision based on the specific circumstances of your clothes dryer.