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10 Things That Go Wrong With Clothes Dryers


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Written by TechVill Appliance Repair Ltd. Editorial Contributors

We rely on our clothes dryers for a lot, including fresh clothes, clean sheets, and fluffy towels, so it can be frustrating when our clothes dryers fail to work properly. Luckily, most dryer problems have fairly simple explanations and can be fixed with a little bit of know how.

If your dryer is causing you grief, you may be able to fix the problem on your own. However, before you do any troubleshooting or begin any repairs, make sure you stay safe. Turn off your dryer and unplug it before you begin.

Before you start work you should also review your owner’s manual so that you can become acquainted with your dryer and it’s various parts. This will help you pinpoint your problem and find an appropriate solution. You should also make sure that any DIY repairs don’t cause you to accidentally void your warranty.

Should your problem require replacement parts to fix make sure you consult your owner’s manual for the appropriate manufacturer and model number. Some parts may be universal, but not all parts are, so save yourself some frustration and make sure you have the right part for your model before you begin repairs.

Some problems are also harder to solve than others and should be left up to a professional.

Common Clothes Dryer Problems and Their Solutions

My Dryer Isn’t Producing Any Heat

If your dryer isn’t heating up at all chances are something is broken. Heating a dryer is a multi-step process, and if one part fails along the way the entire process comes to a halt. The most common culprits are the fuse, the thermostat, the heating coils, the timer and the incorrect power supply. You should inspect all of these parts for any visible wear or tear and replace any parts that are worn. 

The Motor is Running But My Dryer Isn’t Tumbling

Problems with the belt, rollers, or motor can all cause your dryer’s drum to stop rotating. Excessive lint around the rollers can keep the rollers from rotating, so you should give the interior of your dryer a good vacuuming while you are in there. Check your motor, rollers, and belt for any visible damage or wear, and replace anything that needs to be replaced.

My Dryer is Overheating

Luckily for this problem, the most common cause is also easy to fix. Most dryers overheat because the vent is clogged. Inspect your vent and remove any lint or other debris that has built up in it, then give your vent a good vacuuming.

If your vent is not clogged then your thermostat or heating coils may be to blame. Visually inspect these parts for damage or wear, and replace them if necessary. 

My Dryer Won’t Turn On

Powering a dryer is a multi-step process that involves a lot of different parts. If one part breaks or malfunctions it can cause the whole process to grind to a halt. If the power supply, thermostat, start switch, thermal fuse, or thermal block becomes damaged it can keep your dryer from accessing the power it needs to run. Check all of these components and replace any that appear to be damaged or worn. 

My Dryer is Noisy and Vibrates More Than Usual

A noisy dryer is more than just annoying. It could indicate that something is wrong. Most dryers feature plastic glides that are located on the front end of the drum. If these become worn down they should be replaced.

Problems with the blower wheel, drum support rollers, or belt may also be causing your dryer to make strange noises. Inspect all of these parts for damage or wear and replace them if necessary. 

My Clothes are Taking Too Long to Dry

If you find that your clothes are still dry after your usual cycle it might be because of a build-up of lint on the vent. A clogged filter doesn’t allow air to flow freely and keeps moisture from escaping. A build-up of lint is also a fire hazard, so be sure to clean out your lint filter after every use.

My Dryer Runs, but My Clothes are Still Wet

This problem often has a simple solution that doesn’t involve replacing any parts. If the moisture sensing strips on your dryer are unable to correctly read the moisture levels in your load of laundry it may be causing your dryer to cut its cycles short. The moisture strips can only get an accurate reading if your dryer is level, your laundry load is large enough, and your strips are clean. The residue from dryer sheets can build up on the moisture sensing strips, so it is important to clean them regularly. This can be done using a cotton ball and some rubbing alcohol.

If your sensing strips aren’t the culprit than your problem may lie with your heating element. Check your heating element to ensure it is in good working order and replace it if necessary. 

My Dryer Runs, But Then It Turns Off Right Away

This may be an indication that your thermostat is broken. Check your thermostat and replace it if necessary. 

My Dryer is Squeaking, Chirping, Thumping, or Rumbling

Some noise is to be expected, but when your dryer starts to make a lot of noise it might indicate that something is wrong. Avoid putting heavy objects (such as shoes) in the dryer. These tend to bang around and can damage your dryer over time. Worn or broken rollers are the most common cause of noisy dryers. Inspect your drum support rollers and your tension roller for any signs of wear or damage, and replace them if necessary.

My Clothes are Wrinkled or Covered in Lint

If your clothes are covered in lint chances are your lint screen is to blame. Clean your lint screen after every use, and make sure to give it a thorough once over with your vacuum cleaner every three months.

There are a number of reasons why your clothes may be wrinkly after they come out of the dryer. These include not removing your clothes promptly after they are finished, putting a load that is too large or too small into your dryer, using the wrong temperature setting for your clothes while you were washing them, not using the correct wash or dry cycle for your clothes, or not using enough fabric softener. 

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