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DRYER

What to Do if a Dryer Not Heating Up?

Oleg Chudnovski, CEO

Technically Reviewed by Oleg Chudnovski, CEO on Feb 26, 2024 | Written by Olga Larina

Authorized repair service for most home appliance manufacturers

A dryer is a go-to item we use to handle laundry. It’s particularly frustrating when such a widely-used appliance doesn’t heat well. There are plenty of reasons this could happen — from circuit damage to heating element kinks.

Before rushing to buy a new dryer, take some time to determine what exactly is wrong with the appliance. Some issues are not as serious as others — you might be able to get your dryer back in shape on your own or by calling a local repair team. 

If your dryer is not heating up, it can be quite frustrating as it hampers the drying process. Several common issues could lead to a dryer not heating properly. Here’s a table of common issues, possible causes, and potential solutions:

Issue Possible Causes Potential Solutions
No power Tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse Check and reset the circuit breaker or replace the fuse. Ensure the dryer is properly plugged in
Faulty heating element Burnt-out heating element Test and replace the heating element
Thermostat issues Malfunctioning thermostat(s) Test and replace the faulty thermostat
Thermal fuse blown Overheating or power surge Test and replace the thermal fuse
Igniter malfunction Defective gas igniter Test and replace the igniter
Gas supply issues No or insufficient gas supply Ensure the gas valve is open, and the gas supply is adequate. Check for gas leaks
Malfunctioning timer The timer is not sending a signal to the heating components Test and replace faulty timer component
Wiring problems Loose or damaged wiring connections Inspect and repair or replace wiring
Control board issues Faulty control board (PCB) or relay Test and replace the control board or relay
Ventilation issues Poor airflow due to clogged venting Clean and clear the dryer vent and exhaust duct
Gas valve issues Defective gas valve Test and replace the gas valve assembly

note: Please note that working with electrical appliances can be dangerous, especially if you’re not experienced with repairs. If you’re unsure about diagnosing or fixing the issue, it’s recommended to consult a professional dryer repair FIX Appliances CA technician to ensure safety and proper repair.

Main Reasons Why a Dryer Is Not Heating Up

To understand why the dryer is not heating up, match your situation against the most common causes of dryer failure. Here’s a rundown of reasons a dryer won’t heat well. 

Reason #1. Circuit breaker damage

One of the chief reasons why a dryer won’t heat up is that only one of the hot contacts of the circuit breaker is attached properly, while the other two are hanging loosely. As a result, the dryer can only get 120, not 240, volts of power — so there’s no hot air from the device. 

Reason #2. Heating element issues

Although it sounds fancy, the heating element is nothing but a non-conducting wire inside the dryer. Your dryer won’t get hot when it’s damaged, broken, or connected poorly.

Depending on whether you use an electric or gas clothes dryer, they have different heating elements and issues to watch out for:

  • Electric dryers

If this type of dryer is not heating up, low heat element resistance is the main problem. To troubleshoot the issue, disconnect the heating element wires and inspect the element to diagnose damage or wear.

  • Gas dryers

If a gas dryer doesn’t heat, igniter malfunctions might prevent a steady heat stream. You must carefully remove the igniter from the device and test its resistance. 

Reason #3. Airflow obstruction

Another reason for the dryer not heating up is that the air can’t circulate freely inside the appliance. The pile-up of dust, dirt, and grease inside the filter is one of the main obstacles to an uninterrupted heat flow. Detach the filter from the device carefully and clean it thoroughly. 

Reason #4. Cycling thermostat malfunctions

In a dryer, a cycling thermostat is a component that is triggered by temperature changes. Chances are, the thermostat is malfunctioning and getting incorrect temperature readings. As such, it’s activated when it shouldn’t be and prohibits the dryer from heating up efficiently.

Checking the continuity of the thermostat is the most common way to troubleshoot the issue. 

Reason #5. Main control board

This is one of the most important dryer components, as it controls all cycles and circuits inside the appliance. Charring inside the control board or short-circuiting can hinder the appliance’s steady heating.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to repair a faulty main control board — you must replace it. 

 

Dryer Is Not Heating — What to Do?

What to Do if a Dryer Not Heating Up?

Struggling with a dryer not heating properly is a common problem. The good news is that most problems can be repaired easily — there’s no need to worry about purchasing a new one.

If your dryer does not heat, follow the tips below. Remember that most of these tasks should be performed with the assistance of a technical team or by an experienced professional.

Action #1. Clean the dirt and debris out of the dryer

The filter inside the dryer is extremely vulnerable to catching dirt and dust particles. When that happens, the volume of air an appliance can blow reduces, and it struggles to heat properly.

Here’s how to fix the dryer filter problem:

  • Unplug the appliance.
  • Remove the cover panel and use a pin or a pair of tweezers to eliminate any dust in the filter in the back of the dryer.
  • Plug the appliance in again and check its performance.

Action #2. Let the dryer cool down fully

It’s common for dryers to stop heating up when they have been running for a long while — it happens because an automated shut-off is triggered. Turning the device off and letting it cool down is one of the most common and helpful ways to get a steady stream of hot air back. 

Action #3. Inspect the outlet for damage

Sometimes, the appliance is not the problem — the outlet is to blame. If you can reset the outlet or breaker, do it and plug the clothing dryer in again. If the problem is not solved, call an electrician to ensure all circuits are intact. 

Action #4. Check the heating element for short circuits or burn marks

Most heating problems in electric dryers have to do with heating element malfunctions. To inspect yours, carefully unplug the device and unscrew and remove the back cover of the dryer. You will have a clear view of all components of the appliance.

Dryer Not Heating – Causes & Possible Solutions

Make sure there are no short circuits or burns. If you see any, call a service technician for a repair

dryer not heating

Even though it’s one of the most common problems for all brands, everything in the laundry room stops when your dryer isn’t heating; surprisingly, there are 11 possible causes you can troubleshoot and a few solutions you may be able to take care of yourself. 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 the 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, lighting 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 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.

It may be defective if the igniter fails to heat up sufficiently to ignite the gas.

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 only to replace the coil but a certified technician should do it.

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

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

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 or 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 faulty sensor.

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

Electric dryers may experience no heat if the machine has insufficient power. Two legs of 120 volts AC, or a total of 240 volts, are 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 running to the dryer. If you have an incoming power problem, contact a professional electrician to run lines equal to 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

A cycling thermostat controls the temperature inside the dryer drum. It “cycles” the heat on and off to produce the proper amount of heat to dry the clothes. The cycling thermostat can malfunction after several 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 must be replaced.

FIX Appliances CA Is the Number One Appliance Repair Company In Toronto

Removing parts of a dryer can be dangerous unless you’re an experienced technician. Additionally, you might further damage the device or void its warranty eligibility.

That’s why, when it comes to troubleshooting the issue of a dryer not getting hot, consider contacting professional technicians. In Canada, specialists from FIX Appliances CA are the go-to choice.

Our certified technicians are skilled and trained in repairing and maintaining the most common home appliances — dryers, ovens, refrigerators, washing machines, and others. For all your appliance service needs, rely on our FIX Appliances CA specialists — a professional team will consult with you on the phone, via social media, via online chat, or visit your house or business for an on-site assessment.

Here’s how we build trust with our clients and prove our expertise:

  • Certified professionals: All our technicians are factory-certified. Our team is TSSA licensed as proof of expertise in repairing gas appliances
  • Flexible collaboration: Our customer support team is constantly online, ready to assist homeowners and businesses across the GTA areas. Additionally, we conduct same-day repairs in Toronto without charging extra fees.
  • We are an authorized service partner: We help our clients find high-quality appliance replacement parts. Working with our technicians will help you get special offers for replacement parts from leading brands — LG, Blomberg, Whirlpool, Maytag, GE, Samsung, Dacor and others
  • Free service call: Feel free to call our technicians for a consultation. They’ll analyze your issue and determine the most likely cause of the problem for free. Later, a professional technician will follow up and schedule an appointment for repair.

To hire our professional technical team for a dryer or appliance repair, message us or call the toll-free number at 1-888-242-0777. We’ll send a technician to you immediately to diagnosis and to find out why your dryer doesn’t heat up

Date of page creation: April 29, 2020

Page update date: February 26, 2024

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What Our Customers Say About Us

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The technician they sent was wonderful he explained everything clearly and didn't start anything until he knew I understood what was wrong and how he was going to repair it.

rating  first_tear, Barrie
first_tear, Barrie
August 20, 2019

Dima was very knowledgeable and a good worker. Explanation of what was not working and why some parts had to be replaced. Dryer sound and how it now works hasn’t been this good for a while. Same day service was great. Thanks, fix appliance and Dima!

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August 20, 2019

FAQ: Frequent Asked Questions

If your dryer is running but not generating heat, the heating element could be faulty or the thermostat might be malfunctioning. It's also worth checking the thermal fuse, as a blown fuse can disrupt the heating process.
Replacing a heating element can be complex and potentially hazardous if you're not experienced with appliance repairs. It's generally recommended to consult a professional technician to ensure safe and proper installation.
If your gas dryer isn't heating, first ensure that the gas supply valve is fully open. Additionally, check for any gas leaks and follow gas safety protocols. If the issue persists, it's advisable to seek assistance from a professional technician to avoid potential hazards.
Cleaning your dryer vent and exhaust duct is crucial to maintain proper airflow and prevent overheating. Aim to clean them at least once a year, but if you notice reduced drying efficiency, it's best to clean them more frequently.
Yes, a malfunctioning timer can impact the heating process. The timer controls various cycles in the dryer, including the heating element. If the timer is not sending the correct signals, it might prevent the heating element from activating at the right time. Consider testing or replacing the timer component if you suspect it's causing issues.

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