Basic Troubleshooting For Dryers

Occasionally, you can experience problems with your clothes dryer. In some instances, you can use basic troubleshooting to diagnose what is wrong with your dryer and make repairs. If your dryer is on the fritz, here are some simple steps you can take.   

The Dryer Turns Off Before It Is Finished

Dryers are equipped with a safety feature that is designed to turn off the dryer if it becomes too hot. When that occurs, it is usually because your dryer does not have proper ventilation. If your dryer is turning off without warning, check the vent hose. 

A good way to eliminate the vent hose as the culprit is to remove it completely and turn on your dryer. If it operates for several minutes without turning off, check your hose for signs of blockage. The lint from your clothes can buildup inside the hose and prevent the heat from circulating out of your home. 

You can also check the vent hood flap to determine if there is blockage. The flap is located outside and should open when you are running your dryer. If it does not open, there is significant blockage. You might have to call a professional to clean the ductwork. 

If the dryer continues to turn off after the has been thoroughly inspected and cleaned, the thermal overload switch is possibly damaged. The switch is responsible for turning off the dryer if it is too hot. Contact a repairman to replace the switch. To save on the repair, you can purchase the parts for the repair yourself. 

The Dryer Is Not Drying Clothes

When the dryer is not heating up enough to dry your clothes, you should start by checking the settings. Ensure that the dryer is on a setting that is designed to push heat. Settings, such as "Fluff," rely on cooler air and do not actually dry clothes. 

If you have a gas dryer and it is still not heating up, it is possible that the gas valve for the dryer is switched off. Check the valve and turn it on if it is off. 

If you have an electric dryer, it is possible that the circuit breaker for the dryer has been flipped. Check the main electrical panel in your home to ensure that it is flipped to "On." If not, flip it and check the dryer again. If the problem persists, it is likely that the fuse for the breaker has burned out and needs to be replaced.   

Consult with a professional (such as one from Automatic Appliance) to troubleshoot other problems with your dryer.