How To Fix A Clothes Dryer That Is Not Heating Or Drying Your Clothing




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If your old or new front or top loading dryer is all of a sudden not drying your clothes, then we have a few simple DIY fix tips you can try yourself. If the dryer is no longer drying your clothes then the first thing to do is to check and clean the dryer lint filter trap. We were forced to add that as our first step as there really are some people who do not realize there is a LINT FILTER that must be cleaned before or after each use. Once that is cleaned out, check if the dryer is still NOT drying your clothes. If that was NOT the cause of the problem, then you will need to inspect the vent hose on the back of the dryer. Commonly this HOT AIR VENT HOSE will become clogged, caked or full of lint that is constantly being removed from your clothing when drying. When this happens your dryer is unable to expel the hot air from within, therefore making it impossible for your dryer to actually dry your clothing in a timely manner or at all.

dryer not dryingThe most common causes for an electric or gas dryer to stop drying or heating is:
1. The dryer lint screen (lint trap) has not been cleaned (poor or restricted airflow).
2. A clogged or kinked (bent) dryer air vent hose (inadequate or no airflow).
3. Drum has stopped turning, broken drum drive belt.
4. Overheated or bad motor (possible thermal overload).
5. Heating element burnt out.
6. Loose electrical plug or power socket.
7. Other mechanical issue, fault or malfunction.

So… If your clothes dryer is taking forever to dry your clothes or it is not drying your clothing at all (and you already thoroughly cleaned the lint filter screen), then the first step is to CLEAN OUT THE INSIDE OF THE DRYER VENT HOSE. First, unplug your dryer from the electrical socket on the wall. Slide the dryer forward very carefully so you can get behind it. Locate the (usually silver colored) air vent hose, and remove it from the wall and the dryer (2 connection points). Do this by squeezing the clip at both ends and pulling the hose outward. Using a long dryer vent brush or similar, clean out the inside of the air vent hose by removing all of the built up lint and dust looking material. Clean the area on the back of the dryer and the hole in the wall where the air is vented out. Most of the time the lint will be built up in both of these areas. Once all of the lint is cleaned out, reattach the vent hose and slide the dryer back in place. Make sure you DO NOT KINK the vent hose when repositioning the dryer as this will cause the dryer to NOT expel the hot air properly. If you kink the hose the dryer will not function properly and your clothes will take forever to dry. Next, plug the dryer back into the power outlet and run a test. If your dryer is now heating and properly drying your clothes then you fixed the problem. If not, read on…

dryer vent filled with lintHere is how much lint that can become stuck in your dryer vent hose.
This much lint in the hose or in the wall, will prevent your dryer from properly drying your clothes.

dryer vent hoseDO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN! Dryer air vent hose clogged with lint.
Clean your dryer AIR VENTING HOSE on a yearly basis!
It is the reason your dryer takes forever to dry AND can be a fire safety hazard!

At times your dryer can overheat and this can cause the motor that turns the drum to stop working temporarily. There is a safety mechanism built into the motor that makes it stop working if it gets too hot. This is called a thermally protected motor. Your dryer may seem to be running but the motor will not be turning the drum. If the drum is not turning then the clothes are not moving. Therefore they can not get DRY! So if your dryer motor is NOT turning on but the rest of the dryer works, such as the lights and other mechanical parts, then your motor is probably overheated. For this, you need to just give the motor some time to cool down. If you suspect that this is your problem then give the dryer about an hour to cool down and run a test after that. If your motor has overheated then you may be overloading your dryer with too many clothes. Try running the dryer with less clothes in it the next time you dry a load and this should remedy the issue.

The solutions above are the most common causes for this specific malfunction. But if neither of the explanations above have been your specific problem, then there can be a number of things wrong. If you feel comfortable you can remove the front panel of your dryer (while unplugged) and look to see if there are any obvious causes of the problem. A possible loose wire, loose part, burnt area, pieces of the dryer that have come off, fried or burned mechanical switches, etc. If the problem is not visual and you do not know what the issue can be, we recommend going here and posting a question to online appliance repair technicians. If all else fails then simply leave a comment or question below and we PROMISE to answer your question in a timely manner.

Basic Clothes Dryer FunctionHow Does It Work? Basic Clothes Dryer Function

Dryer Parts SchematicDryer Parts Schematic Parts Location Diagram Chart

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ray January 5, 2014 at 9:20 pm

I have an electric dryer which is running too hot. The vent is clear, but the clothes are coming out too hot to handle.

DIY Project Help Tips January 12, 2014 at 8:33 pm

Hi Ray,
Try setting the HEAT TEMP to a lower setting. If the temperature setting is not working properly then there is a fault in the switch or control board. Try changing different settings to see if that will reduce heat. If all else fails, take the clothes out of the dryer earlier than normal to avoid overheating.
-RR

Carmelita Valera February 24, 2014 at 7:28 pm

My Kenmore 90 series electric dryer spins but gives out no heat. Opened and took the drum out, the whole housing looked like it had an insulation material from all the lint. I’m hesitant to put it back together, in case I need to open it again if it still does not work after cleaning.
What else could I check while the dryer is open?

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