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What to Do if the Dryer Won't Turn Off Unless the Door is Open?

Oleg Chudnovski, CEO

Technically Reviewed by Oleg Chudnovski, CEO on Apr 08, 2024 | Written by Igal Geiler

Authorized repair service for most home appliance manufacturers

There are many reasons why homeowners contact service companies for repair help. One that’s more common than you may think is a dryer that won’t turn off unless the door is open. If you’re experiencing this kind of problem or if your dryer won’t turn off at all, read on for some helpful tips.

When confronted with a situation where the dryer persists in running only when the door is ajar, it’s essential to take specific measures. Firstly, prioritize safety by disconnecting the dryer to mitigate potential risks. Then, assess both the functionality of the door latch and its corresponding switch. A malfunction or obstruction in the switch could lead to the continuous operation of the dryer despite attempts to turn it off. If you possess the necessary skills and confidence, you might consider troubleshooting and rectifying the issue independently. To guarantee a safe and effective remedy, it is advised to seek the assistance of a qualified technician if any doubt or discomfort develops.

Read on to learn more about what to do if the dryer won’t turn off unless the door is open and what you can do about it.

What Are the Causes for Why Your Dryer Won’t Shut Off Automatically

Typically, when you open the door of your dryer, it should stop spinning and prevent overheating. If it continues to operate with the door open, it suggests more serious issues, and you should immediately disconnect your appliance. Here are some common problems that may cause your dryer to remain operational when the door is closed and sometimes even when it’s open.

Diagnosing a Broken Door Switch

If your dryer doesn’t shut off automatically despite the door being open, the first thing to check is the door switch. When you close the dryer door, it activates the door switch, sending a signal through the electric components, indicating it’s safe to start the drying cycle.

The easiest way to determine if the door switch is the problem is to manually press it. If the latch mechanism seems to be sticking, it’s likely that the dryer won’t shut off even when the door is open. There could be dirt or debris causing the issue, and cleaning it may resolve the problem. However, if the door switch is broken, it will need to be replaced before the dryer can be used again. Remember to unplug the machine to power it off before attempting any repairs.

When a Dryer’s Timer Stops Working

Unless your dryer is an older model, fixing a timer can be a complicated process. Most modern dryers have computer processors and circuit boards that control everything, and you have to be a trained technician to replace these types of components safely and effectively. Older dryers may use a mechanical timer that you can replace yourself, but it may be more difficult to find the parts for a dryer that’s no longer in production.

Cycling Thermostat or Cool Down Thermostat

Some dryers, both gas and electric models, have a couple of different thermostats to help regulate when it’s time to move through the dryer cycles and to know when to enter the cool-down phase. If either one of these components isn’t working correctly, it can prevent the dryer from shutting down unless the door is opened.

Testing a cycling thermostat isn’t easy. The dryer has to be on at the time, and with electrical components exposed, there are safety risks. Only people with technical know-how and experience fixing cycling thermostats should attempt this. It’s almost always better to contact a service technician to perform this type of repair.

The cooldown thermostat may be a bit easier to diagnose. If this thermostat isn’t working properly, the dryer may continuously tumble until you open the door. If you want to check your cooldown thermostat, you’ll want to unplug the dryer first.


How to Fix a Dryer that Keeps Running Unless the Door Is Open

Replacing A Door Switch

If there’s a repair that most homeowners are more comfortable with than others, it’s probably replacing a door switch. It’s a simple mechanism — the only complicated part is the wiring involved. If you have some electrical knowledge, this shouldn’t be a major obstacle. Just remember to unplug the machine before you get started.

Replacing the Dryer’s Timer

As you probably remember reading earlier, the dryer’s timer isn’t an easy component to replace if you don’t have the required technical knowledge. Testing it can be dangerous. If you’ve tested everything else and you’ve concluded that the timer is the problem, we recommend hiring a certified expert to help with the repair.

If you have an older dryer with a mechanical timer, it may be easier to replace it yourself. Before attempting this, we suggest checking your local hardware store or online parts source to see if they carry replacement parts for your model dryer. If you’re having trouble finding replacement parts for your older dryer, contact FIX Appliances CA for help.

Replacing a Cycling Thermostat or a Cool Down Thermostat

Replacing a cycling thermostat isn’t your typical DIY project. As we discussed earlier, you should only attempt to replace this component if you have much technical knowledge. You’ll have to remove the back panel to access it, and you should disconnect your power source before starting.

While it is easier to diagnose a cool-down thermostat, it’s still not a quick fix for someone lacking experience. Again, you’ll have to open up the machine, but only after you’ve unplugged the appliance first. It’s usually easier and safer to contact a qualified technician for help.

When it’s Time to Contact Service for a Dryer That Won’t Shut Off

If you’ve considered trying to fix your dryer yourself and decided against it, there are still great options available to you. We suggest you call us today for a fast and reliable service. Our factory-trained technicians are familiar with all major appliance brands and how to diagnose them.

We have been one of Canada’s most trusted names in appliance repair in Toronto and the GTA for over 18 years. We stand by our record, and we’re ready to get started when you are. You can call us at 888-242-0777 or request service through the online form. If you have a dryer that is not starting or a dryer that won’t turn off unless the door is open, don’t wait. Please call us today!

Date of page creation: October 01, 2020

Page update date: April 08, 2024


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FAQ: Top Frequently Asked Questions

If your dryer keeps running with the door open, it's likely due to a malfunction in one of the components responsible for detecting the door's status. Common causes include a faulty door switch, a malfunctioning timer, or issues with the thermostat.
To check if the door switch is causing the issue, you can manually press the switch with your hand. If it appears to be sticking or if there's dirt or debris on it, cleaning it may resolve the problem. If the switch is broken, it will need to be replaced.
Repairing the timer in modern dryers with computer processors and circuit boards is complex and should be done by a trained technician. Older dryers with mechanical timers may be more accessible for DIY repairs, provided you can find replacement parts.
Cycling thermostats help regulate the dryer's cycles and the cool-down phase. Testing a cycling thermostat can be risky and should only be attempted by individuals with technical knowledge. It's generally safer to contact a service technician for such repairs.
If you're uncomfortable with DIY repairs or if the issue involves complex components like the timer or cycling thermostat, it's best to contact a professional service technician. They can diagnose and fix the problem safely and effectively.

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