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Dryer Not Heating – Causes & Possible Solutions


In this article…

dryer not heating

Even though it’s one of the most common problems for all brands, when your dryer isn’t heating, everything in the laundry room stops. Surprisingly, there are 11 possible causes you can troubleshoot, and a few solutions you may be able to take care of yourself. As always, whenever you need them, the skilled technicians at FIX Appliances CA are just a call or click away.
Our Technicians have licensed gas fitters with current and updated Technical Standards and Safety Authority “TSSA” certificates.

Cause #1 – Thermal Fuse. For Electrical and Gas Dryers

The thermal fuse is used to protect the dryer from overheating. It’s located on the blower housing.

A clogged or restricted airflow through the exhaust vent is the most frequent cause of overheating.

Possible Solutions

  • Clean out the lint screen to remove debris build-up. It can be washed with water and a soft brush. Dry thoroughly before replacing into the housing.
  • Check for kinks or clogs in the flexible vent hose at the back of the dryer.
  • Be sure the exhaust duct system to the outside is clear of restrictions. Contact a duct cleaning service if you’re unable to clear it yourself.

Once you’ve established all vent areas are clear, contact FIX Appliances CA to replace the thermal fuse.

Cause #2 – Gas Valve Solenoid. For Gas Dryers Only

Gas dryers use two or more gas valve solenoid coils to open the gas valve ports. Once open, gas flows to the burner assembly and lights the igniter to produce heat.

If the igniter fails to ignite the gas, one or more gas valve solenoids may be defective.

Possible Solution

Contact a certified gas technician to replace the set of gas valve coils.

Cause #3 – Igniter. For a Gas Dryers Only

When the dryer calls for heat, the igniter will heat up and glow. Once it reaches the maximum temperature, the gas valve will open, the gas will ignite and the dryer will heat up.

If the igniter fails to heat up sufficiently to ignite the gas, it may be defective.

Possible Solution

The igniter is located inside the machine next to the gas burner tube. It is fragile and should be replaced by a certified gas technician only.

Cause #4 – Heating Element. For Electric Dryers Only

Electric current flows through a coil of heating wire called the heating element. This coil is enclosed in a metal chamber, heats up the air being pulled through the chamber and then blows it into the drum.

The element will not heat if it’s defective.

Possible Solution

Usually the heating element is located behind the lower front panel of the right side of an electric dryer. It should be tested for continuity. It’s possible to only replace the coil but should be done by a certified technician.

Cause #5 – Heating Element Assembly. For Electric Dryers Only

This is a complete bundle that includes the rear housing with a heating element coil and insulators already attached.

As in #4, if the heating element is defective, it will not heat the air being blown into the drum.

Possible Solution

In cases where the heating element alone can’t be replaced, a repair technician should replace the entire heating element assembly.

Cause #6 – Flame Sensor aka Radiant Sensor. For Gas Dryers Only

The radiant sensor or flame sensor detects heat from the igniter or burner flame. It is responsible for opening the gas valve and keeping it open while is burning. If for any reason flame dies flame sensor will shut the gas valve.

Symptoms of a defective sensor include an igniter that won’t glow or a gas valve that won’t open. If the igniter glows continuously but doesn’t open the gas valve, the electrical contacts inside may be damaged.

Possible Solution

Contact an authorized gas technician to test and replace the sensor if defective.

Cause #7 – Incoming Power Problem. For Electric Dryers Only

Electric dryers may experience no heat if there is insufficient power to the machine. Two legs of 120 volts AC or a total of 240 volts is needed for the dryer to run properly. Occasionally, this situation will allow the dryer to run, but not heat, due to only one fuse or breaker being tripped.

Possible Solution

Check your circuit box for the number of volts being run to the dryer. If you determine there is an incoming power problem, contact a professional electrician to run lines that equal 240 volts.

Cause #8 – High-Limit Thermostat. For Electric and Gas Dryers

The high-limit thermostat is designed to prevent the dryer from overheating. It is mounted on the heating chamber and will detect overheating from a restricted exhaust vent and shut down the heat. In rare cases, a malfunctioning high-limit thermostat will shut off the main burner even if it’s not overheating.

Possible Solution

Because this component is rarely defective, check other more common problems first. A test of the thermostat by a qualified technician will determine if the high-limit thermostat needs to be replaced.

Cause #9 – Cycling Thermostat. For Electric and Gas Dryers

The temperature inside the dryer drum is controlled by a cycling thermostat. It “cycles” the heat on and off to produce the proper amount of heat to dry the clothes. The cycling thermostat can malfunction after a number of uses and cause the dryer to stop heating.

Possible Solution

The cycling thermostat is located inside the dryer on the blower housing. A skilled technician should test for continuity and replace it if found to be defective.

Cause #10 – Main Control Board. For Electric and Gas Dryers

The main control board operates all the technical software components of the dryer. It’s difficult to test, but signs of burning or a short may indicate a major malfunction that led to a no heat situation.

Possible Solution

Once a technician has determined other components are working correctly, he can replace the main control board.

Cause #11 – Timer. For Electric and Gas Dryers

A small motor connected to gears and cams turns electric contacts on and off inside the timer. It’s located in the control console of the dryer and also controls the dryer motor and heat circuit. The timer’s electrical contacts can malfunction and stop producing heat.

Possible Solution

A timer malfunction is rare, so your repair technician will have to check more commonly defective parts in addition to the timer. If all other components are working properly, the timer will need to be replaced.

Troubleshooting your dryer when it’s stopped heating can sometimes be confusing. If you have questions about dryer maintenance or require a service visit, contact FIX Appliances CA online or by calling 1-888-242-0777 today.

We offer our appliance installation service and appliance repair services in Barrie, Bradford, Newmarket, Ottawa, Toronto and all of the GTA with same-day dryer repair also available.

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