Common Dryer Problems

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When the dryer stops working, it can be a real inconvenience. Some problems are easy to fix while others are more complex and require maintenance from a certified technician. Understanding why your dryer stopped working will help you decide when to call a professional and how to fix simple problems yourself. Here are the most common dryer problems and how to fix them.

Dryer Not Heating

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There are many reasons why your dryer is not heating. Before inspecting your dryer, first check to see if it is plugged in and the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. If you have a gas dryer, check to make sure the gas valve is turned on.

Once you have the checked power, check to make sure the dryer door is closing properly and the dryer vent, lint trap/lint screen are clean. If built-up debris on the inside or outside vent is blocking the dryer heating element, your dryer will overheat and shut down the thermostat.

Other reasons why your dryer is not heating up could include a faulty thermal fuse, a broken heating element or thermostat, your timer motor is defective, or a more serious electrical or gas issue. These issues will require a professional to handle your dryer repairs.

Possible Solutions

Check your plug-ins and circuits. Inspect your dryer to make sure the door is closing properly. Clean all the vents and lint traps inside and outside to make sure there are no blockages. For more serious repairs, call a service technician to assess and fix your machine.

Dryer Not Drying

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If your dryer is not drying your clothes, one of the reasons could be because your washing machine is not removing enough water. If it is indeed the dryer, it could be because the lint vents and traps are dirty, there is an issue with the power connection, or a part is broken and needs to be replaced.

Possible Solutions

Check to make sure your dryer is plugged in and the gas line is open. Inspect and clean the lint vents and traps to make sure there is proper air flow. If the problem is due to a faulty or broken part, call a service technician for your dryer repairs.

Dryer Won’t Start

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If the dryer won’t start, it could be an issue with the power source. Other common causes include a faulty door switch or the door not closing properly, a blown thermal fuse, a broken dial timer, or an issue with circuit board.

Possible Solutions

If your dryer won’t turn on, check to make sure your electrical appliance is plugged in and the circuit breaker has not been tripped. If you own a gas dryer, make sure the valve is opened and the dryer is properly connected to the fuel source.

Once connection is confirmed, check to make sure your dryer door is closing properly. You can check a faulty door by pressing down on the door switch. If the light remains on, the switch is broken.

If a broken or damaged part is the reason your dryer won’t start, you will need to call in a repair technician to service your dryer.

Dryer Not Spinning

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The most common reasons why your dryer is not spinning is because it is not plugged in, the door is not closed properly, or there is a damaged or faulty part. Broken parts could include a seized drum, a blown thermal fuse, a faulty door switch, a broken motor, or a faulty drum rollers.


Once you have confirmed the issue is not caused by the power source, test for damaged or broken parts. Damaged parts will need to be replaced. You can save a lot in dryer repairs by troubleshooting your own machine problems.

Dryer Overheating

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An overheating dryer is a serious issue. If the dryer heating element gets too hot, it could start a fire. There are a few reasons why your dryer is overheating. A dirty lint trap or vent caused by built-up dirt and debris will prevent the air from flowing properly, eventually causing your dryer to over heat. A dryer overheating could also be caused by a faulty or damaged thermostat, blower, or heating element.

Possible Solutions

Clean your lint traps and inspect the vents and ducts to make sure there is no debris or obstacles blocking the air from flowing properly. If your dryer heating element gets too hot because of a faulty or damaged part, you will have to replace the part.

Dryer Timer Not Working

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There are a couple of reasons why your dryer timer is not working. Most dryers have a mechanical timer that is run by a small motor. If the motor stops working, the timer will not work. You can check to see if the timer is working by using a multi-meter to test the continuity of the motor when the machine is turned off.

A defective cycling thermostat will interfere with your dryer’s auto dry cycle. If the cycling thermostat is faulty, your timer will not advance. A technician will have to troubleshoot your auto dry cycle to see if it is your cycling thermostat.

Possible Solutions

If the timer motor is the issue, you will have to replace the motor or the whole timer. If the cycling thermostat is not working, it will have to be fixed or replaced.

Dryer Keeps Stopping

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If your electric dryer has stopped working or keeps stopping, it is likely because your thermal fuse is blown. Once the thermal fuse goes in an electric dryer, the appliance will no longer run. If your thermal fuse goes on your gas dryer, your appliance will still run but the dryer will not heat up.

Possible Solutions

Cleaning lint and debris from your traps and vents will extend the life of your machine and lower the risk of your thermal fuse tripping. However, once the fuse is blown, it will need to be replaced.

Noisy Dryer

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Your dryer is made up of many moving parts that make noise when they start to wear. Your dryer can make different sounds like squealing, humming, squeaking, or thumping depending on which part is broken. Troubleshooting the cause of the noise can help you find which part is breaking down. Some of the more common parts to wear include the dryer belt, glides, blower wheel, drum support roller, or idler pulley.

Possible Solutions

Some parts, like belts are relatively easy for homeowners to replace on their own, while other parts require a service technician to inspect and replace.

Wrinkled Clothes

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Troubleshooting reasons why your clothes are wrinkled is easier than you think. The most common causes of wrinkle clothes are:

  • Clothes left in dryer after cycle finished
  • Load is too big or too small
  • Fabric softener not used
  • Water temperature too hot or too cold
  • Incorrect water levels used
  • Not properly sorting laundry before washing
  • Incorrectly set washer and dryer cycles

Possible Solutions

Before starting your laundry, sort your clothes properly, set the washing machine water level and temperature for the load, and use fabric softener. Make sure the load is not too big or too small for your machine. If your washed load is too big, split it into two loads for the dryer. Once the clothes are dry, remove them and fold them right away so they do not sit inside the machine longer than necessary.

Dryer Won’t Tumble

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The most common reason why dryer is not tumbling is because the dryer belt is worn or broken. A faulty or damaged drum bearing or drive belt could also stop the dryer from spinning. In most serious cases, the dryer is not spinning because the motor has seized.

Possible Solutions

Check your dryer belts. If they are damaged or broken they will need to be replaced. If you cannot do it, a service technician can. Likewise, if your drum bearing is faulty, it will need to be replaced.

If your dryer’s motor has seized, you will need to get a new motor. However, if the cost to replace the motor is higher than the dryer’s value, you might want to consider buying a new dryer.

Dryer Taking Multiple Cycles to Dry

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If your dryer is not drying your clothes, it could be caused by the power source. If your machine is not plugged in or there is an issue with the circuit breaker on your electrical machine or gas flow on your natural gas machine, your dryer will not dry your clothes. Other causes could be an overloaded machine, dirty lint trap, clogged vent, clothes are too wet, or a faulty part.

Possible Solutions

While troubleshooting the cause of your dryer issue, check the power source, clean the vents and traps, and make sure the washer is spinning the excess water out. Break large loads in half so you do not overload your dryer. If it is caused by a faulty part, you will have to complete your dryer repairs before using your appliance.