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Why Your Dryer Starts and Stops After a Few Minutes and How to Fix It

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    Licensed technicians with over 15 years of experience

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It doesn’t matter the make or model of a dryer or even how old it is, a dryer that starts then stops is of no use to anyone. Repairs on a dryer that stops during the cycle are possible, but they can be costly, time-consuming, and difficult to figure out. Luckily, with the expertise of Fixappliances and years of providing dryer repair services, we can show you some of the most common problems with your broken dryer. We also will list the solutions you can take at home for these specific problems.

Read on to find out more about why a dryer starts then stop mid cycle and what you can do about it.

Main Causes for the Problem of a Dryer That Stops After a Few Minutes

Everyone knows that a few minutes in the dryer isn’t enough to get your clothes completely dry. In fact, a dryer that functions like this is a waste of power and money.

Fixing your dryer with this problem requires troubleshooting the unit to find out the specific problem. Then, you can take the steps necessary for fixing your problematic dryer.

Below are some of the most common problems that cause a dryer to start and then stop mid-cycle.

#1 The Thermal Fuse is Burnt Out

Dryers operate with running heat at almost all times. The heating coil within them needs regulation or it could cause a fire. Dangerous dryers are dryers that start and do not stop, even if the heating element and coil are overheating.

If your dryer runs for a few minutes and then stops, the thermal fuse may be failing or has become burnt out. There is only one of these thermal fuses attached to the heating element and coil.

The heating element will be given the chance to heat up, but once it gets to a certain point, the thermal fuse won’t be able to take the heat and cut the system. This is why the dryer is able to start and run for a while, but ultimately will stop.

#2 The Dryer Drive Motor is Failing

A more serious problem that could be the reason for a dryer starting and stopping mid cycle is if the dryer drive motor is beginning to fail.

The dryer drive motor is an essential part of the dryer that picks up RPMs as the dryer cycle runs. If the drive motor is beginning to fail, it will short out and shut off the entire cycle after only a few minutes.

To troubleshoot a dryer drive motor, listen for the clicking sound at the end of the cycle that happens mid-cycle. That is the drive motor shutting off and stopping the cycle.

All major brands of dryers have drive motors, so it doesn’t matter if it is a smart Samsung dryer or an all-mechanical dryer like Bosch. The drive motor is essential and needs to be functioning, otherwise your unit will have serious problems that need to be fixed.

#3 The Dryer Timer is Malfunctioning

Sometimes because of heat, water, or physical damage, the timer that runs the amount of time that a dryer stays on will short out. When this happens, a dryer will short out mid cycle. This may look like a few minutes, or like a dryer that runs for 10 minutes and stops.

If the amount of time varies for the shut off of a dryer, you probably have a problem with the dryer timer. If the dryer timer is malfunctioning, it is incredibly frustrating because at times it will seem like your dryer is fine, and other times you may want to call a repairman.

Easiest Actions to Take for a Dryer That Stops After a Few Minutes

Once you do some troubleshooting and before you call a technician, there are a few easy actions that you can take to fix the problems with your dryer. These solutions are done at home by you and are fairly easy as long as you follow our step by step instructions.

#1 Test and Replace the Thermal Fuse

The thermal fuse runs a shut off function for the dryer as a safety precaution so the cycle and heating element won’t get too hot and start a fire. However, if the thermal fuse is malfunctioning, damaged, or partially or fully burnt out, it may not allow the dryer to run a full cycle.

To troubleshoot the thermal fuse in your dryer, you need to open the dryer and test the thermal fuse for continuity. To open the dryer, simply remove the back metal panel with a screwdriver. The thermal fuse is a two prong fuse connected to the large metal box housing the heating element coil.

Use a multimeter to test the continuity of each prong of the fuse. If either of them or they both test with an infinity reading, the fuse is damaged and must be replaced.

Certified technicians and trusted repairmen at Fixappliances can find you a replacement part for your specific dryer make and model.

#2 Inspect and Clean or Replace the Drive Motor

Like all motors, the drive motor in the dryer uses kinetic energy to produce movement within the mechanism. Motors may tend to suck up lint or dust into their air intake, which clogs the motor and makes it inefficient or even stuck.

To inspect a drive motor for dirtiness or breakage, open the back panel of your dryer with a screwdriver. Make sure to unplug the dryer before leaning it over and opening it up and wear rubber gloves because of a risk of electrocution.

Identify the drive motor, which rotates the drive belt and moves the dryer drum. You should see it close to the rubber belt looped around the dryer drum.

Test the wire connection prongs coming in and going out of the motor with a multimeter. If any of the prongs or connections read an infinity reading, the motor may be burnt out. If the reading is fine, check the air intake for dust and lint build-up. Brush or blow away excess dust. Replace back panel and plug it back in to try to turn the dryer back on to test it.

#3 Replace the Dryer Timer

If your dryer starts and stops various times, the problem is probably due to the dryer timer. Dryer timers can become damaged by water, dust, or physical wear and tear, but may continue to work partially for a long time before fully giving out.

To replace the dryer timer, you need to get access to the control panel at the top of the dryer. The dryer timer has a series of switches that open and releases as the timer runs. If there is a lack of power due to damage to the connections of the timer, it won’t run properly or for a long enough time.

Remove the screws holding the wire connections in place on the timer. Also, remove the screws holding the timer in place behind the timer knob. Fit the replacement in the exact position as the old one, connect the wires first, then attach them behind the knob of the timer. Close up the control panel and screw it into place.

Some Reasons to Consider the Professionals of Fix Appliances CA

All of the problems and fixes for a dryer that starts then stops immediately require expertise, knowledge of the internal systems of the dryer, equipment to test continuity, and the danger of electrocution. Why risk working on the dryer yourself when you can save time and money and get peace of mind allowing the certified technicians at Fixappliances to work on your dryer.

The advantages of working with our company are:

  • Consistent and friendly service
  • Locally owned and operated
  • Quality service every time
  • TSSA gas contractors
  • Factory certified technicians
  • Dryer repair service that is same-day
  • Over fifteen years of experience with appliance repair

Don’t wait and contact us today either by email on our website or by giving us a call at 888-242-0777. Our customer service team is here to help you seven days a week, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.


What Our Customers Say About Us

Discover how Fix Appliances maintains a 5-star service record since day one.

They were very professional and dig a great job. They even picked up the unit from the store for me.

rating Angela, Kleinburg, ON
Angela, Kleinburg, ON
Microwave repair

Excellent service on all my home appliances. Have used them for years on my Sub Zero fridge and Whirlpool laundry machines.

rating Alex, Alliston, ON
Alex, Alliston, ON
Fridge Appliance Repair

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