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A Dryer Takes Too Long to Dry Clothes: 5 Causes and Solutions

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One of the most consistent complaints that repairmen get about a dryer is that it takes too long to dry clothes. This is a big problem that can cost you your valuable time and money.

No one should have to run the dryer 3 or 4 times just to dry a load of clothes. We have compiled a total of 5 causes and solutions that are the most common for a clothes dryer that takes too long to dry:

  1. Clogged Lint Screen: Clean the lint screen before each use to ensure proper airflow.
  2. Drum is not Sealed: Examine and repair any surrounding dryer drum seals that are deteriorated or missing.
  3. Door is not Sealed: Adjust or replace the door seal to ensure a tight seal when closed.
  4. Defective or Broken Blower Wheel: Replace the blower wheel if it’s damaged or malfunctioning.
  5. Burnt-Out or Dirty Heating Element: Clean or replace the heating element as needed for efficient drying.

Keep reading to find out all the details.

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Dryer Takes Too Long to Dry Clothes: Causes

If you are finding that your clothes are taking multiple cycles in the dryer to get completely dried, you may need to do some troubleshooting on your appliance. Luckily, we have listed the top five causes for why your dryer may be taking too long to dry your clothing.

Dryers have several mechanical components that help to insulate, seal, and move the drum of the dryer so that the clothes are dried in the most efficient way possible. Also, if you have a gas dryer you may need to inspect the gas valve or piping.

Clogged Lint Screen

One of the initial steps to take when your dryer is taking too long to dry clothes is to inspect the lint screen or lint filter. This simple yet effective action is the best first step to address the issue when your clothes aren’t drying properly.

The lint screen is a screen that separates the duct leading away from the machine from the dryer drum that catches particles of lint. These particles of lint accumulate on the screen and need to be cleaned away after each use of the dryer.

In case you don’t clean the dryer lint screen you could cause a fire and definitely won’t be getting the best air flow and efficient drying from your dryer.

Drum is not Sealed

A more difficult problem to troubleshoot is when the dryer drum is not sealed. There is a felt lining around the perimeter of the dryer drum which keeps excess air from escaping or entering the heated area of the dryer where the clothes are.

Clothes can take way too long to get dry if the seal is broken or delaminated from the dryer drum. This is a more advanced fix but it can be done at home if you are willing to open up the body of the dryer.

Door is not Sealed

Another component of the dryer that insulates the heated area where the clothes are dried is the door seal. The door seal is usually made of felt or rubber and goes along the perimeter of the door.

If the door seal is missing or broken, the door will leak heat from the drum and will affect the efficiency of the dryer.

Blower Wheel is Defective or Broken

If the insulation and air flow of the dryer is fine, then there may be more serious mechanical problems with your dryer. The first component to check is the blower wheel.

The blower wheel is an internal component that takes heated air from the coil and moves it into the dryer drum where the clothes are.

If the blower wheel is dirty or broken it will not spin and it can lead to the dryer squeaking as well. A blower that does not spin will not circulate the warm air into the dryer drum where it needs to dry clothing.

Heating Element is Burnt-Out or Dirty

The heating element and coil is the component in the dryer that provides the heat. The coil heats up and is housed in the heating element casing. This heated coil has several connecting wires to the panel and override fuses.

If any of these connections or the coil itself becomes dirty or broken, the heating element will need to be cleaned or replaced.

A Dryer Takes Too Long to Dry Clothes: 5 Causes and Solutions

Dryer Takes Too Long to Dry Clothes: Solutions

If you are getting tired of running your clothes through the dryer continuously and taking multiple cycles to dry one load of clothes, it may be time to take some action. Below is a list of the best solutions for the most common problems for a clothes dryer that takes too long to dry.

Clean the Lint Filter

One of the simplest ways to address a slow-drying electric or gas dryer is to inspect and clean the lint filter. Situated between the dryer’s exhaust duct and the drum, the lint filter should be cleaned regularly after each laundry cycle to ensure optimal performance.

To clean it, simply use your fingers or a cloth to wipe away the excess lint from the face of the filter. The lint will ball up and can be thrown away. You may also want to wipe the filter down with a damp cloth and allow it to dry before replacing it in its slot.

Replace the Drum Seal

The drum seal needs to be securely stuck to the perimeter of the dryer drum. If the seal is missing, broken, or loose, it needs to be replaced.

To replace the drum seal, remove the front panel of the dryer using a soakle knife or flat head screwdriver. Then, locate the area where the drum and the paneling meet. This is where the seal should be located.

Use the spackle knife to scrape away excess adhesive from the old seal. Install a new seal and firmly press the adhesive side onto the perimeter of the drum. Make sure that the panel and door close securely.

Clean or Replace the Door Seal

Much like the drum seal, the door seal on a dryer that takes too long to dry can get dirty, loose, or broken on an older unit. Buy a new seal with adhesive and cut to the length you need for the perimeter of where the dryer door meets the front panel.

Scrape away any excessive adhesive around the perimeter of the door. Gently press the seal in place and make sure it is a good fit all the way around with no gaps. Gently close the door and make sure that it closes securely.

Clean or Replace the Blower Wheel

A caution to take into account is that you should unplug the dryer and wear rubber gloves any time you are working inside of your dryer to reduce the risk of electrocution.

The blower wheel is an internal part of the dryer and will require you to open the back panel of the dryer to get access to it. To open the back panel, unscrew the back panel and remove it. Locate the blower which is a circular fan and motor attached to the panel with wiring.

Use a multimeter to test the connections and motor of the blower wheel. If any of the connections have an infinity reading, the blower should be replaced. If these connections are good, try cleaning the blower with a damp cloth and moving it back and forth to break it free from dust or lint.

Clean or Replace the Heating Element

The heating element is located within a metal casing behind the back panel. To open the back panel, unscrew the back panel. Locate the metal casing, which is a metal box with a coil mounted inside of it.

Use a multimeter to test the connections and wiring of the fuses and coil in the heating element. If any of the connections have an infinite reading, the fuse or coil should be replaced. If these connections are good, try cleaning the coil with a dry cloth to loosen up and remove any lint or dust build up.

Why Choose Fixappliances CA

Repairing the common causes of a dryer that takes too long to dry clothes are possible to be completed on your own. However, some of the parts may be difficult for you to find and install.

If you want to save time and money on your dryer repairs and replacements, consider hiring our repair company. We have over fifteen years of experience providing highly trained professionals for same day services.

Some reasons why you should choose Fixappliances CA:

  • Friendly and helpful service
  • Locally owned and operated company
  • TSSA licensed gas contractors
  • Factory certified repairmen
  • Same-day service available

No problem is too big or too small for our team! If you experience any performance issues with your dryer, message us via chat form or simply call at: 1-888-242-0777


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