How Do You Find Out What's Causing An Electric Dryer To Not Heat Up?


An electric dryer that won't heat is a frustrating problem that leaves you with soaking-wet clothes. Thankfully, it's usually easy to find and fix what's causing it. You'll need a multimeter to check the dryer's electrical components and a copy of the owner's manual to find out where the components are. If you don't have the owner's manual, check your dryer for its model number—it should be stamped onto a metal plate on the back. After you have your multimeter and the owner's manual for your dryer, read on to find out how you can find out what's causing it to not heat up. 

Heating Element

Before inspecting the electrical components of your dryer using the multimeter, make sure it doesn't have any power by unplugging it from the wall. If you can't reach the plug because it's behind the dryer, turn off the power from your home's electrical panel. Confirm that the dryer is cut off from electricity by trying to start it up.

Once you're sure the dryer doesn't have power, open the back panel and look for the dryer's heating element. The heating element can sometimes burn out, resulting in the dryer not producing any heat. Switch your multimeter to connectivity mode, then place a probe at each end of the heating element. When an electrical component doesn't have any connectivity, your multimeter will read either "0" or "open loop."

If your heating element doesn't have any connectivity, electricity can't pass through it, so it's not capable of producing any heat. You'll need to replace the faulty heating element in order to fix your dyer.

Thermal Fuse or High-Limit Switch

Your dryer will have either a thermal fuse or a high-limit switch inside of it. Both of these components serve the same purpose: they prevent the dryer from overheating. If the inside of the dryer gets too hot, the thermal fuse will blow or the high-limit switch will close.

You can test either component for connectivity in the same way. Place the first probe on one terminal of the thermal fuse or high-limit switch and the second probe on the other terminal. If there's no connectivity, it means that power isn't able to reach the heating element. These components are one-time use only, so you'll need to replace them entirely if they've tripped.

If you have a problem with the thermal fuse or high-limit switch, make sure that you correct whatever caused them to trip. Clean out your dryer's lint collector and clear out any clogs in the dryer's exhaust vent: these are common causes of overheating.

Cycling Thermostat

Your dryer periodically turns the heating element on and off in order to maintain a constant temperature inside. This is controlled by the cycling thermostat, which is another electrical component that can become faulty. You test this component in the same way as the thermal fuse and high limit switch. Place a probe at each terminal on the cycling thermostat and check for connectivity. If there's no connectivity, your cycling thermostat is faulty and never engages the heating element. Replacing it will fix your problem and let your dryer heat up again. 

Moisture Sensor

Some dryers have a moisture sensor that measures the humidity of the clothes in the drum. Dryers with a moisture sensor will run until it senses that the humidity in the drum is low, which means that the clothes are dry. When this component is broken, the dryer will assume that anything you put into the drum is already dry, and it will refuse to heat the dryer up. You can check this in the same way as you checked the above components, with a multimeter probe on each terminal to test for connectivity. If there's no connectivity, replace the moisture sensor.

If you can't find the source of the problem, call an appliance repair service in your area. Your dryer may not be heating up due to a fault in the control board or one of the wires inside the dryer may be loose. An appliance repair service will test each component of your dryer in order to find the one that's causing it to never heat up, allowing you to dry your clothes again without having to go to a laundromat.

Contact a local appliance repair service for more info.


9 June 2022

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