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How to Fix a Dryer That Won't Start: 5 Causes and Solutions

Oleg Chudnovski, CEO

Technically Reviewed by Oleg Chudnovski, CEO on Nov 07, 2023 | Written by Olga Larina

Authorized repair service for most home appliance manufacturers

There are several common reasons why a dryer won’t start. Many of these are problems that you can diagnose and fix on your own.

If the dryer won’t turn on or makes a humming noise but won’t start, it may be an electrical issue. On the other hand, if the dryer doesn’t start and buzzes, this could be a mechanical problem. Even if your dryer won’t start but has power, this article can help you determine the best fixes for your unit. Read on for the most common reasons and how to fix a dryer that won’t start.

Read on to learn more about what to do if the dryer is not starting and how you can fix it.

5 Common Possible Reasons Why Your Dryer Won’t Start

When a dryer doesn’t start, it can be very irritating. The first thing that you want to consider is if it is an electrical or mechanical problem. Below is a list of the leading causes for a dryer that won’t start.

Reason 1: No Power to Dryer

All dryers need some form of electricity to run correctly. The electrical power for a dryer that won’t run is located at the outlet or electrical box of fuses. When a dryer has no power being supplied to it, you will not be able to see any lights on the dryer, turn on or hear any noises.

No power to the dryer is an electrical issue that may be dangerous, so it is important to carefully inspect the dryer before attempting to repair it.

Reason 2: Burnt-Out Thermal Fuse

One component of the dryer that is constantly overlooked is the thermal fuse. It is an internal part of the dryer that maintains a consistent and safe temperature for the dryer. If broken, it will not do its job to tell the dryer that it is overheating. A thermal fuse on a dryer that won’t start can be tested and fixed or replaced.

An indication that a fuse has blown is if the dryer won’t start but the light is on. Check the lights first for electrical continuity before considering burnt fuses.

Reason 3: Broken or Burnt-Out Dryer Heating Element

Some dryers have a fail switch attached to them that activates if the heating element fuse is burnt out or overheated. You may hear a beeping or a buzzing, but the dryer won’t start or run a cycle, even if it is getting electricity.

Reason 4: No Gas Supply

A gas-powered dryer requires gas connected securely to it. If the gas flow is limited or not working, the dryer won’t turn on. You will notice the gas as a noise at the intake valve and should be able to tell if the dryer is receiving any gas. If it is not connected securely and or working, the dryer won’t work.

Reason 5: Broken Door Switch

When you close the door of your dryer, there is a switch which signals that it is safe for the dryer to turn on. If that door switch is broken or not working correctly, your dryer won’t start. A door switch that is faulty or broken can be diagnosed and fixed or replaced.

How to Fix a Dryer That Won't Start: 5 Causes and Solutions

Dryer Won’t Start: Actions You Can Take

Being unable to dry your clothes is a hassle that no one should have to go through for long. Luckily, there are actions you can take to fix your dryer at home.

Step 1: Plug-in or Replace Power Cord

Safety is the number one concern when working on fixing the power supply to your dryer. For a faulty dryer, you will want to check the outlet and fuse box, so eye protection and rubber gloves are recommended.

If you notice burn marks or sparking coming from the outlet or fuse box, discontinue and call for professional help!

To check the outlet and fuse box, use a multimeter. The screws holding the fuse and the holes of the outlet should have two readings of both 120 volts and 240 volts. If you get no reading from one of those places, it may be time to replace the outlet or fuse.

It may be possible that you need to replace the power cord that runs from the outlet to the back of the dryer. A replacement power cord for a dryer that won’t start is easy to find and install. You must unscrew the back panel, disconnect the old cord, and screw the new one in place.

Step 2: Check the Thermal Fuse for Continuity

The fuses are important to check with a multimeter in a dryer that won’t start. The one that regulates the overheating of the heating element and overall dryer function is the most important to check and see if it has burnt out.

Getting access to the thermal fuse is not easy. Follow the wires from the thermal component to the dryer panel and check for continuity. Then, check the connections of the thermal fuse itself for continuity. If either position reads an infinity on the multimeter, the fuse is probably blown and should be replaced with the same part.

Step 3: Replace the Heating Element Assembly

The fail switch attached to the heating element and the heating element itself have wires and connections that can be worn out, dirty, or burnt out. To check the heating element of a dryer that won’t start, locate the significant metal box heating element behind the back panel of the dryer.

First, try cleaning the connections of the heating element wires, as these tend to have a build-up of dust or lint. Then, use a multimeter to check for continuity of the wire connection to the heating element and where the wires connect to the main dryer panel. Infinite multimeter readings at any of these positions mean the heating element and its wires must be replaced with new parts.

Step 4: Gas Supply Valve and Igniter

The first thing about gas is that if you smell it as a leak, turn the gas off immediately. If the gas is connected securely and safely and flowing to other parts of your home, but your unit still doesn’t work, you should call certified gas contractor Fix Appliances CA.

For a gas dryer that doesn’t turn on, a gas tech must check the gas valve. The valve going into your dryer needs to be open. If the valve is open and the dryer is still not getting a gas supply, the problem may be in the gas igniter, solenoids or piping.

Gas piping is a complex problem to handle on your own and may require the help of one of our gas specialists.

Step 5: Check the Door Switch for Continuity

Fixing a broken door switch on a dryer that won’t start requires you to identify if the wire that connects the door to the motherboard panel of the dryer is cut. If so, you need to replace the wire. If it is not cut, you must use a multimeter to check the switch and wiring connections for continuity. Replace the switch if you get infinity readings for the switch.

Remember, a dryer won’t turn on but still have power if the door switch is broken. Make sure the electricity is off before making any repairs.

Why Our Clients Choose FIX Appliances CA For Service

Some of the repairs for a dryer that won’t start can be time-consuming, dangerous, and costly if done incorrectly. Although you could fix some of these issues alone, it might be best to trust professional service providers and repair specialists at Fix Appliances CA.

Some reasons why you should choose us:

  • Open 7 days a week
  • Access and ordering of parts
  • Highest quality service
  • TSSA gas contractors
  • Factory certified technicians
  • Same-day service repair is available
  • Authorized of major brand appliances
  • Techs with 18+ years of experience

With over 18 years of dedicated service, we’ve established ourselves as a trusted and dependable name in appliance repair in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Our unwavering dedication to delivering top-notch service speaks volumes about our commitment to excellence, and we’re ready to assist you at your convenience. Whether you opt to reach out to us by calling 888-242-0777 or by using our online service request form, the decision is entirely up to you. If your dryer is encountering problems such as failing to start or heating, there’s no need to wait – contact us today for a same-day service!

Date of page creation: November 30, 2020

Page update date: November 07, 2023


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FAQ: Top Frequently Asked Questions

A dryer may refuse to start due to various reasons, such as power issues, a blown thermal fuse, heating element problems, gas supply issues, or a broken door switch. The specific cause can be diagnosed and resolved through a series of steps.
If your dryer lacks power and remains unresponsive, start by checking the outlet and fuse box for any issues. Use a multimeter to verify proper voltage and replace the outlet or fuse if needed. It's crucial to prioritize safety and wear protective gear when dealing with electrical components.
The thermal fuse regulates the dryer's temperature, and a blown fuse can prevent the dryer from starting. Check the fuse for continuity and replace it if necessary. Always ensure the dryer is unplugged and safe to work on before making repairs.
A malfunctioning heating element can prevent your dryer from starting. Start by cleaning the connections on the heating element, as dust and lint buildup can affect its performance. Check for continuity with a multimeter, and if the readings are infinite, it's time to replace the heating element and its wires.
Gas-powered dryers require a secure and functioning gas supply. If you suspect a gas supply problem, ensure the gas valve is open. If the issue persists, consult a certified gas contractor for a thorough inspection and necessary repairs.

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