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

Oleg Chudnovski, CEO

Technically Reviewed by Oleg Chudnovski, CEO on Feb 26, 2024 | Written by Igal Geiler

Authorized repair service for most home appliance manufacturers

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

Read on to learn more about why a dryer starts and then stops 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 a few minutes in the dryer isn’t enough to completely dry your clothes. 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 to fix 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 by running the heat at almost all times. The heating coil within them needs regulation or could cause a fire. Dangerous dryers start and do not stop, even if the heating element and coil are overheating.

If your dryer runs for a few minutes and stops, the thermal fuse may fail or become burnt out. Only one of these thermal fuses is attached to the heating element and coil.

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

#2 The Dryer Drive Motor is Failing

A more serious problem that could be why a dryer starts and stops mid-cycle is if the dryer drive motor begins to fail.

The dryer drive motor is an essential part that picks up RPMs as the dryer cycle runs. If the drive motor begins 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 time 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 sometimes 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. You do these solutions at home, which are fairly easy if you follow our step-by-step instructions.

#1 Test and Replace the Thermal Fuse

As a safety precaution, the thermal fuse runs a shut-off function for the dryer 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, 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 Fix Appliances CA 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 move 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 the risk of electrocution.

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

Test the wire connection prongs coming in and going out of the motor with a multimeter. The motor may be burnt out if any prongs or connections read an infinity reading. If the reading is fine, check the air intake for dust and lint build-up. Brush or blow away excess dust. Replace the 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 access to the control panel at the top. The dryer timer has a series of switches that open and release 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.

There Are Several Reasons To Contact the Professionals at Fix Appliances CA

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

Please don’t wait and contact us today by email on our website or 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.

Date of page creation: May 11, 2021

Page update date: February 26, 2024


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FAQ: Top Frequently Asked Questions

This article explains several common reasons for this issue, including problems with the thermal fuse, the dryer drive motor, and the dryer timer. It provides insights into the potential causes and troubleshooting steps.
If you suspect that a faulty thermal fuse is causing your dryer to stop prematurely, the article offers a step-by-step guide on how to test and replace the thermal fuse, ensuring the safety and efficiency of your appliance.
The article mentions the benefits of contacting certified technicians for dryer repairs, emphasizing the importance of expertise, safety, and the peace of mind that comes with professional service. It also provides contact information for Fix Appliances CA, a reliable option for appliance repair services.
The article provides insights into how to inspect and clean or replace the drive motor in your dryer. However, it's important to address the safety concerns associated with handling electrical components. This FAQ could emphasize the importance of taking necessary safety precautions and wearing appropriate gear while working on the dryer.
This FAQ could further elaborate on the advantages of opting for Fix Appliances CA's services, including their consistent and friendly service, local operation, factory-certified technicians, and same-day dryer repair service. It highlights why customers should consider their experienced team for their dryer repair needs.

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