In some households, dryers have become a necessity. These appliances are extremely useful for speeding up the laundry process and getting our clothes dry and warm in no time.
However, as with all appliances, dryers can sometimes malfunction in various ways and for varying reasons. One common issue that dryer owners tend to experience is a dryer that stops abruptly in the middle of a cycle for seemingly no reason whatsoever!
As frustrating as this might be, there’s no need to worry about it! If you keep reading, you’ll find that the issue is usually quickly and easily solved, so you’ll be getting back to your laundry before you know it.
Why Does My Dryer Keep Stopping Mid-Cycle?
Before you can think about whipping out your toolkit to try and save the day, first spend some time familiarising yourself with some of the common reasons for this issue with your dryer.
1. Dryer Overheating
One of the first possible causes you might consider is that your dryer is overheating. When a dryer overheats, it will automatically shut down as a safety measure.
This occurs to prevent damage to the machine and any potential fire hazards from overheating. Several different factors, such as clogged air vents or a faulty thermostat, can cause overheating.
If the air vents are clogged, it restricts airflow and causes the dryer to overheat. On the other hand, a faulty thermostat can cause the dryer to run at a high temperature, leading to overheating.
2. Condenser Issues
If the condenser is clogged or damaged, it can cause the dryer to stop working. When the condenser is clogged, it restricts the flow of air, leading to overheating and other issues.
Also, a damaged condenser can cause the dryer to leak, triggering the safety mechanism to stop the dryer. You might also simply be dealing with an overfull condensation tray or other tray issues.
3. Moisture Sensor Malfunction
Most modern dryers are equipped with a moisture sensor that detects the moisture level in the clothes and adjusts the drying time accordingly, which is pretty smart!
However, if the moisture sensor malfunctions, it can cause problems for your appliance. When the sensor fails to detect the moisture level accurately, it can either over-dry or under-dry the clothes, leading to a stop in the drying process, which could be caused by a faulty sensor or wiring issues.
4. Faulty Drive Belt
A dryer’s drive belt turns the drum during the drying process, so your clothes move around in the dryer cabinet and dry out thoroughly. If the belt becomes worn out, damaged, or loose, the dryer might stop working entirely.
When worn out or damaged, the belt can slip or break, causing the drum to stop turning, which stops the dryer cycle. Also, a loose belt can cause the drum to stop spinning, leading to the same problem.
5. Faulty Power Supply
Your dryer might also be stopping randomly due to an issue with your power supply, meaning it is likely nothing wrong with the dryer itself.
When the power supply is weak or unstable, it can cause the dryer to lose power completely and shut down. You might be dealing with a faulty power outlet, cord, or circuit breaker.
If the power outlet or cord is damaged, your dryer might lose the connection. On the other hand, a circuit breaker can trip due to overload or short circuit, leading to a complete stop on your appliance.
6. Faulty Door Latch
Finally, a faulty door latch could be the culprit. When the door latch is not properly secured, it can trigger the safety mechanism to stop the dryer.
If you have a broken latch or a misaligned door, the door won’t be held securely in place. This will send a message to the control board that the door isn’t closed, causing the appliance to stop, even mid-cycle, for safety reasons.
How to Fix a Dryer That Keeps Stopping Mid-Cycle
Now that you know all the potential reasons for your dryer issues, you’re better equipped to do some troubleshooting and figure out what’s going on and how you might be able to fix it.
1. Check and Clean the Air Vents
If you suspect your dryer is stopping randomly due to overheating, checking and cleaning the air vents should be your first step. Air vents allow hot air to escape from the dryer, so when they are clogged, the hot air will be trapped inside, causing the dryer to overheat.
To check the air vents, disconnect the dryer from the power source and remove the vent hose. You can then use a vacuum cleaner or a long brush to remove any debris or lint from the vents.
Another thing you can do is clean out the lint filter regularly to ensure that it’s not clogging anything.
2. Replace the Thermostat
If the air vents are not clogged, but the dryer still overheats, then a faulty thermostat could be the problem. If it is malfunctioning, it might not be regulating the temperature in your appliance properly.
This might lead to excessively high heat, overheating, and a trigger of the safety mechanism that stops the dryer. You can replace the thermostat by disconnecting the dryer from the power source, removing the front panel, locating the thermostat, and then replacing it with a new one.
However, to complete this task, you’ll need specific tools, knowledge, and experience, so if you’re unsure, get in touch with a repair service.
3. Clean or Replace the Condenser
If your dryer stops because of condenser issues, cleaning out or replacing the condenser can help. The first step is simply to empty the condenser tray.
Next, to clean the condenser itself, remove it from the dryer and clean it with warm, soapy water and a soft brush (a toothbrush will work fine). Unfortunately, if you notice any damage or cracks, you’ll need to replace them with a new one.
4. Check the Moisture Sensor
A malfunctioning moisture sensor might be the issue – this could require some wiring replacements or even a replacement of the entire component.
To check the moisture sensor, you can use a multimeter to test it for continuity. If it is faulty, replace it with a new one, or contact a professional to assist you.
However, if the wiring is the problem, you can use a wiring diagram to check for any issues and replace any faulty wires. That being said, you might want to call a licensed electrician for this job!
5. Replace the Drive Belt
You’ll need to check the drive belt by turning off your appliance and manually spinning the drum inside your machine. If anything seems amiss, this might be your problem.
The drum should spin smoothly and without any issues. If it won’t turn or makes strange noises when it turns or appears to get stuck, this indicates that the drive belt has slipped or broken.
Remove the front panel, locate the drive belt, and see what the problem is. You might be able to shift it back into place and secure it. Otherwise, if it’s worn or broken, you will need to order a new one as a replacement and change the dryer belt.
6. Replace the Door Latch
To check if your door latch is the problem, you can manually press the latch and investigate your dryer’s door. Feel if the latch clicks into place or is stuck or loose.
Check the door’s hinges too, and look for damage and wear all around those areas. If there are any issues, contact an appliance repair service to have the door hinge or latch replaced.
This should ensure that the dryer can run a complete cycle without any safety measures being put in place due to a faulty door.
7. Check the Power Supply
Finally, check if your power supply might have been the issue all along. If you have a multimeter, you can use it to test the power outlet, power cord, and circuit breaker.
If you don’t have the right tools or knowledge, you can call an electrical professional to look at the power supply in your home and your dryer.
They will be able to diagnose any issues and replace or repair wiring, broken outlets, or issues with your circuit breaker without any concern needed for your own safety.