GE is well known for producing robust and feature-rich dryers. Yet despite their stellar reputation, sometimes these dryers can develop a problem where they suddenly stop heating.
Needless to say, this can be frustrating to deal with, leaving you with a load of cold, wet clothes after the cycle is supposed to already be finished.
If this is happening to you, don’t worry, this problem usually isn’t as bad as it seems. And we’re going to explain why this issue occurs and how to solve it so you can get your GE Dryer back to working order quickly and easily.
Why is your GE Dryer Not Heating?
Most of the time, this problem is caused by not cleaning the machine. This can cause excess dirt, dust, and lint to build up in the dryer, which prevents the clothes from drying.
However, sometimes it may also be a component failure that stops the dryer from producing heat.
Let’s take a look at all the main causes of this so you can better diagnose the problem and know what needs to be fixed on your dryer.
1. The Dryer is Overloaded
The fundamental way in which dryers work is that the air inside the machine is heated up.
This causes the moisture inside the clothes to evaporate into the air and be expelled out through the exhaust vent.
So if too many clothes are in the dryer, it may not leave enough room for the hot air to circulate well and dry all the clothes, resulting in cold, damp clothes after the cycle has finished.
By removing some of the clothes and giving the air room to circulate you can dramatically increase the efficiency of the dryer.
2. The Dryer Vent is Clogged Up
As we mentioned, the moist, hot air that has been pulled from the clothes then gets expelled out through the dryer vent which usually leads outside.
These vents tend to get clogged up with dust, debris, and lint that gets picked up from the clothes.
If it hasn’t been cleaned in a while, it may become so blocked with debris that it restricts the dryer’s ability to expel the hot air, keeping the moisture inside the dryer and your clothes wet.
An easy way to test this is to put your hand at the exit point of the vent during a wash cycle and see if you feel the moist, hot air coming out. If the airflow seems very minimal there’s a good chance it’s blocked up and you’ll need to clean it out.
3. The Cycling Thermostat is Faulty
The cycling thermostat is responsible for monitoring the internal temperature of the dryer during a cycle, and when the LG dryer needs more heat it will instruct the gas valve to open more, or if it’s an electric dryer it will increase the current of the heating element.
So when the cycling thermostat becomes faulty it won’t instruct these components to turn on, which then means the dryer won’t be able to heat.
This component will need to be tested using a multimeter for continuity, and if it’s found to be faulty, it will need to be replaced.
4. A Clogged-Up Lint Screen
Most modern dryers utilize a lint screen, lint trap, or lint filter to catch all the dust and clothing fibers that will inevitably be pulled out of the clothes during a drying cycle.
When left unchecked this lint can clog up many critical components and impede the functionality of the LG dryer, so it’s important to keep lint in check.
Lint screens can over time, become so clogged up that they stop working, so we need to get them cleaned out.
Fortunately, cleaning them is a very easy process as lint screens are purposely made to be very easy to remove.
5. The Heating Element is Faulty
Only applicable to electric dryers.
The fundamental way in which an electric dryer produces heat is through a heating element. This is essentially a coiled-up wire with an electrical current passing through it, producing heat.
So when the heating element breaks, it will no longer be able to generate heat.
It’s quite difficult to repair a faulty heating element so most of the time you’ll just need to replace it with a new one.
6. The Thermal Fuse has Blown
Also known as a high-limit thermostat, the thermal fuse monitors the internal temperature of the dryer. When it exceeds a dangerously high threshold, it will blow and immediately stop the machine from heating.
This is to protect against the risk of fire and also from having excessively high-heat damage other components in the dryer.
The thermal fuse only blows when the heat has reached dangerous levels. Once a thermal fuse has blown it will need to be replaced with a new one as these are one-time use components.
7. A Power Supply Problem
Dryers require a consistent supply of power to function properly. Sometimes the circuit breaker may have tripped and require flipping back.
Additionally, GE recommends not using the dryer on a multiplug or power strip due to the high amount of voltage it requires to work.
8. The Gas Valve Solenoid is Failing
Applicable to gas dryers only.
Instead of a heating element like electronic dryers, gas dryers use a gas valve solenoid to control the gas flow into the machine.
When the igniter has gotten hot enough to ignite the gas, the gas valve solenoid will open and allow the gas to reach the burner. This is what allows the dryer to produce heat.
When the gas valve solenoid fails it will not open even after being instructed to by the cycling thermostat.
So we will need to replace this component before the gas dryer will be able to heat up.
How to Fix a GE Dryer Not Heating
By giving the clogged-up filters and vents a good clean and replacing any defective components with new ones we can get your dryer heating again.
Let’s now walk through how to fix each specific problem that might occur with your dryer.
1. Remove Some Clothes
An overloaded dryer will not be able to circulate the hot air inside it, and thus will not correctly heat the clothes.
GE recommends that the dryer be no more than 75% full at any one time. So if you have too many clothes in the dryer you should take a few out to make some room.
Remember, it’s always better to dry two loads effectively rather than one load ineffectively.
In addition, if the clothes are all tangled together and bundled up, you should separate and distribute them evenly in the dryer drum. This will also help the air circulate around the clothes better.
2. Unclog the Dryer Vent
When the dryer vent is clogged up the moist, hot air won’t be able to expel from the dryer, leaving your clothes wet.
So we need to get this vent cleaned out and unclogged.
- Start by unplugging the dryer and pulling it away from the wall to get access to the vent.
- Disconnect the vent from the dryer.
- Take a vacuum with a long hose attachment and vacuum up as much of the internal debris as you can reach.
- Repeat this process from the outside exterior vent.
- If you don’t have a hose to hand you can also use something like the back of a broom handle to dislodge the debris and shake it out. Just be careful not to damage the vent as the aluminum can be quite fragile.
- Re-install the vent.
You should ensure that when you push the dryer back into place you’re not crushing or crimping the vent which may also restrict the airflow.
3. Replace the Cycling Thermostat
A faulty cycling thermostat may result in low heat or completely stop the dryer from heating.
If this has been tested and found to be faulty then it will just need to be replaced by a trained technician as this is too difficult to user-service.
4. Clean out the Lint Screen
Cleaning out the lint screen is considered part of general maintenance and should be done every few months.
Remove the lint screen from the dryer and let it sit in a sink of warm water and dish soap for 5-10 minutes to help loosen the lint a bit.
Then gently scrub it clean with something like an old toothbrush. Then rinse it off under clean water. Give it time to dry thoroughly before re-installing.
5. Replace the Heating Element
Once the heating element has failed it will just need to be replaced as there is no easy way to user-service it.
The best option here is to contact GE support who will help arrange for a replacement element and have a trained technician replace it for you.
6. Install a New Thermal Fuse
If the thermal fuse has been tested and found to be blown it will need to be replaced.
Start by removing the back panel to gain access to the thermal fuse. If you are unsure of its location refer to the user manual for your specific model.
Remove the wires and screw that hold the old thermal fuse in place. Then you can just pull it out with your hands and discard it.
Insert the new thermal fuse in its place, and re-attach the wires and mounting screw. Then re-attach the back panel, and you’re done!
7. Fix the Power Supply
The first thing to check is that the circuit breaker associated with the dryer has been flipped to the on position.
Once this is done ensure that you are not using it on a multiplug or power strip, it needs to have its own dedicated wall outlet.
If this doesn’t work then the power cable may be faulty and should be replaced.
8. Install a New Gas Valve Solenoid
Much like the heating element, when the gas valve solenoid has failed, it will just need to be replaced.
Once again you should contact GE support who will help you to source a replacement solenoid and have a trained technician install it for you.