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A Dryer Not Drying Clothes: 5 Causes and Solutions

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If you have a dryer that isn’t doing its job, you are most likely having to spend extra time and energy on drying your clothes. If your dryer is not drying clothes, there could be serious mechanical or electrical problems.

A dryer not drying clothes can be caused by various factors. Here are short solutions for each:

  1. Clogged Lint Screen: Clean the lint screen before each use to ensure airflow.
  2. Heating Element that is Obstructed or Defective: Check and replace the element as necessary.
  3. Loose or Dirty Blower Wheel: Tighten or clean the blower wheel to improve airflow.
  4. Clogged Ducts: Clear any obstructions in the ducts to allow proper airflow.
  5. Not Enough Power to Dryer: Ensure the dryer is connected to a suitable power source.

This article will detail the five most common causes and solutions for a dryer not drying clothes completely. Take a look, troubleshoot, and decide if you think that these are solutions you can tackle yourself or if you feel you need a professional appliance repair help.

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Dryer not Drying Clothes: Causes

The most common causes of a dryer not drying clothes are mechanical. However, there are also several electrical dryers that could have electrical malfunctions that need to be addressed.

Below are the details about the most common causes for a dryer that does not dry along with explanations about the components most likely responsible.

Lint Screen Clogged

Lint screens or lint filters are simple to inspect for blockages if your dryer isn’t drying properly. A dryer that takes too long to dry clothes can often be rectified by regularly removing lint from the lint screen. This should always be the initial step before attempting any other repairs.

The lint screen in your dryer serves as a barrier for the duct. It captures any lint pulled out through the exhaust, preventing the majority of it from entering the ductwork. If the lint builds up to the extent that it restricts airflow, your dryer won’t effectively dry clothes.

Neglecting to clean the lint screen can pose a serious hazard. A blocked lint screen, combined with the heat generated by the dryer, could potentially lead to a dangerous fire situation.

Heating Element is Obstructive or Defective

If the dryer drum is spinning, it’s evident that electricity is reaching the control panel. However, if the dryer isn’t drying clothes, the most probable cause is a malfunction in the heating element.

The heating element comprises a metal casing with connected fuses linked to the panel and heating coil. This coil heats up and is responsible for generating the heat required for drying clothes. If the heating coil or element isn’t functioning correctly, the dryer won’t dry clothes effectively.

Blower Wheel is Loose or Dirty

If the dryer is heating up but not drying clothes, there may be a mechanical issue with the blower wheel.

The blower wheel operates inside the dryer by circulating heated air into the drum to dry the clothes.

The blower wheel could be damaged or excessively dirty, causing it to fail to spin. Without the rotating blower wheel, the dryer won’t receive sufficient heated air, leading to ineffective drying. This situation could also pose a fire hazard as all the heat would concentrate in one area of the dryer.

Clogged Ducts

The ducts are channels located at the back of the dryer that carry the hot exhaust and some lint out of the dryer and away from your home. If there’s a gap between the lint screen and the duct, lint can accumulate in the duct pipe.

Blocked ducts restrict airflow in the dryer and can impede its drying capabilities. You’ll notice that the ducts are clogged if the dryer heats up but fails to dry clothes effectively. Without proper exhaust, the heat generated by the dryer won’t be evenly distributed over the clothes inside.

Not Enough Power to Dryer

All gas and electric clothes dryers require 240 volts to function properly. If your power cord, outlet, or power fuses are loose or damaged, they may need to be replaced.

A Dryer Not Drying Clothes: 5 Causes and Solutions

A Dryer Not Drying Clothes: Solutions

If you are tired of the hassle of continuously having to dry the same load of clothes over and over again, it may be time to come up with some solutions.

If your dryer is hot but not drying clothes, the odds are it is a clog somewhere. If the dryer is not drying clothes in one cycle, it may be a mechanical problem that needs to be repaired or replaced.

Clean the Lint Screen

The best way to keep your dryer functioning properly is to keep the lint screen clean. This easy method of care can ensure that air flow is maintained and can fix a dryer heating up but not drying clothes.

The lint screen should be ideally cleaned after every use. To clean the screen, simply use a rag or wet cloth to remove any lint debris from the face of the screen. Then you can wad up the remaining lint and throw it in the garbage. It might also be helpful to use a wet cloth to wipe down the screen after use and then let it dry before putting it back into your dryer.

Remove Lint or Replace Dryer Heating Element

If you plan on working on the internal components of a dryer, be cautious with the electronics. Unplug the dryer and have a pair of gloves made of rubber, This is recommended to avoid getting electroshocked.

You can find the heating element inside a metal box within the dryer. Remove the back panel to get access to this heating element and, once inside the dryer, the metal casing should be obvious.

Use a multimeter to test the wires and fuses connected to the heating element. You may also want to clean and check the heating coil inside for any damage.

Remove Dust or Repair the Dryer Blower Wheel

The blower wheel is the motor and fan that pushes the heated air into the dryer drum. Open the back panel by unscrewing it and taking it off. Find the fan looking motor called the blower wheel which will be located near the heating element metal casing.

You have to check the continuity of the blower wheel fuse, motor, and wiring with a multimeter. If you find that the connections to any of these components are giving an infinite reading on the multimeter, you may need to replace the entire blower wheel.

You can also try to clean around and in the fan and around the fuse and wire connections. You may need to move the fan back and forth to break up clogged dust particles to get the component working again.

Clean Out Clogged Ducts

The best and only way to clean out ducts that are clogged is by hand or with a vacuum. If the clog is visible and reachable in the duct piping once you remove it from the back of the dryer, use your hand to remove it. If the clog is a far way away, you may want to invest in an extension on a vacuum and suck the clog out.

Why Communities Choose Fixappliances CA

Now that you know the most common causes of a dryer not drying clothes, you can probably complete the fixes and replacements on your own. However, if you feel like you are not that much into DIYs, or even feel like the installation and cleaning could be dangerous, it may be time to get in touch with Fixappliances CA.

We are experienced technicians standing by to take your call and offer same day service on appliance repair. Some reasons why people choose Fixappliances CA:

  • Always friendly and helpful service
  • TSSA gas contractors
  • Factory certified technicians
  • Same day appliance repair service is available
  • Parts and service of major brands of appliances
  • Fifteen years of experience with appliance repair

If you need professional help with your faulty kitchen or laundry unit, simply send us a message via chat form, or call us at: 1-888-242-0777. Our customer reps are at your disposal 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., 7 days a week.


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