Dryer Repair Tips
Dryer Won’t Heat
- To determine the cause of no heat, you will need a multi-meter, and, if possible, the wiring diagram for the heating circuit. Components to be checked are the power supply, thermal fuse, heat element, thermostat (2), belt switch (if present), motor switch, and timer.
- The dryer motor runs on 110 – 125 VAC, while the heat circuit requires 205 – 250 VAC to operate. It is possible for one side of the circuit to be bad and the other side to supply the voltage to the motor, allowing the motor to run, but no heat to be generated.
Dryer Won’t Turn On
- First ascertain that the wall outlet is supplying a minimum of 205 VAC across the two hot legs, and 110 VAC from each hot leg to neutral. With the dryer disconnected from the power supply, check continuity across the door switch with the door closed and wires removed from the switch. If there are three wires, the switch contacts will be marked C for common, NO for normally open, and NC for normally closed.
- With the door closed, there should be continuity between C and NO, and with the door open, continuity between C and NC.
- The next thing to check is continuity across the terminal of the start switch. There should be no continuity until the switch is actuated. If this all checks out ok, a wiring diagram is going to be helpful for the remaining steps.
- The timer contacts need to be checked against the timer chart that is on the wiring diagram, the thermal fuse needs to be checked on certain models, and the motor overload needs to be checked.
- If no problems have been found at this point, each wire will have to be checked from the timer through to the motor for continuity. Check each wire individually and reconnect each wire after it is checked. If you have completed the complete check out procedure and still have not located a fault, put everything back together and try the dryer again.
- Often times, there has been a poor connection that was corrected just by removing and then reconnecting a wire. At this point, if the dryer still won’t start, I strongly recommend calling a qualified professional, as the dryer is going to have to be checked further, with power applied. This is dangerous, and beyond the scope of these tips.
Dryer Takes A Long Time To Dry
- If heat is being generated, but drying time are increased, this indicates an air flow problem most commonly caused by a clogged external vent, or a clogged airway within the dryer.
- Clogged or restricted airways and vents need to be thoroughly cleaned. FAILURE TO DO THIS CAN EASILY RESULT IN A FIRE.
Dryer Is Smoking/Has Burning Odor
- It is important to determine if the problem is electrical. Unplug the dryer, or turn off the appropriate breaker. Remove the back panel, if removable, or the bottom front panel, and visually inspect for signs of burning or electrical arcing. If none is found, proceed with removing the front panel and drum.
- Again inspect for signs of burning or arcing. You should have removed the belt when the drum was removed; inspect it for signs of slippage. Usually there will be a build-up of black residue on the bottom of the cabinet near the motor pulley or idler. Check also that the motor turns freely with no binding.
- If necessary, and ONLY IF YOU HAVE THE NECESSARY TECHNICAL SKILL TO DO SO SAFELY, reapply power and start the motor, keeping well clear of moving parts. Watch for smoking.
- Sometimes a burning odor is detected if lint has been disturbed and has settled on the heat element. While the dryer is disassembled is an excellent time to clean out the accumulated lint. BE SURE THAT YOU HAVE AGAIN REMOVED THE POWER BY UNPLUGGING THE DRYER OR TURNING OFF THE BREAKER!
Dryer Drum Won’t Tumble
- BEFORE DOING ANYTHING ELSE, REMOVE POWER TO THE DRYER BY UNPLUGGING IT OR TURNING OFF THE APPROPRIATE BREAKER SWITCH FAILURE TO HEED THIS WARNING CAN RESULT IN SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH !
- When the dryer runs, but the drum fails to tumble, the most common cause is a loose or broken belt. Some belts are accessed through the front by removing the front panel, and others are accessed from the rear through a small access panel. In either event the belt is installed on the drum from the front and connected to the motor pulley from either the front or the rear depending on the design.
- Dryer belts go around the drum and a pulley on the end of the motor shaft. Tension is applied to the belt by a spring loaded idler and pulley. There are a number of different ways that these are designed and failure to properly install the belt can result in damage to the dryer. The best insurance is to call a trained professional. If the belt is intact, the most likely cause for the no tumble is a bad front or rear bearing. This is usually preceded by loud squeaks or squeals from the dryer for some time before the failure occurs.
Dryer Won’t Stop
The two instances of a dryer failing to stop running are:
- The dryer continues to run after the door is opened. In this case, replace the door switch.
- The timer is not advancing. In this case, replace the timer.
Dryer Won’t Complete The Cycle
- If the dryer has stopped before the end of a cycle, try to restart it. If it won’t start, proceed as described above in “My dryer won’t start”. If it does start, let it run to see if it completes the cycle now. This symptom most commonly indicates a motor overheating and the motor will likely need replacing at some point.
Dryer Makes Noise
- Dryer noise can be classified as squealing, scraping, metal on metal noise, or rattling noise. Inspect all contact areas of the drum; turn the drum by hand to see if the noise occurs.
- Rattling noises generally come from either objects that have worked their way into the fins inside the drum, or a blower wheel that has become loose on the motor shaft.