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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 coming out of the device.
Reason #2. Heating element issues
Although it sounds fancy, the heating element is nothing but a non-conducting wire inside the dryer. When it’s damaged, broken, or connected poorly, your dryer won’t get hot.
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 be preventing a steady stream of heat. You will need to carefully remove the igniter from the device and start testing 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 both hinder the steady heating of the appliance.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to repair a faulty main control board — you will have to replace it.
Dryer Is Not Heating — What to Do?
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. Keep in mind 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 particles of dirt and dust. When that happens, the volume of air an appliance can blow reduces and 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 get rid of 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
In some cases, 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 make sure 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
FIX Appliances CA — Number-One in Appliance Repair in Canada
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, 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 country. Additionally, we conduct a same-day repair without charging extra fees.
- Trusted service partners. We help our clients find high-quality replacement parts for appliances. Working with our technicians will help you get special offers for replacement parts from leading brands — LG, Blomberg, Whirlpool, Maytag, GE, Samsung, and other makes.
- 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 other appliance repair, leave us a message or call at 1-888-242-0777. We’ll get in touch with you right away and find out why your dryer doesn’t heat up.
What Our Customers Say About Us
They were very professional and dig a great job. They even picked up the unit from the store for me.
Excellent service on all my home appliances. Have used them for years on my Sub Zero fridge and Whirlpool laundry machines.
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