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Clothes Dryer Not Drying Clothes But Is Heating

We have an older Kenmore or Whirlpool clothing dryer (13 years old) and it is not drying well. Clothing dryer not drying clothes needs multiple cycles to dry. The drying cycle would always require 2 or 3 full drying cycles. We pulled the dryer away from the wall and there was a small amount of water behind the dryer on the ground. I did some checking and found that there was a massive amount of clothing lint and water clogged up in the vent hose. Should I use heat resist duct tape on the vent hose and check my outside air flow where the vent expels the heat? Maybe I should just replace my old dryer? If I do get a new dryer will the company replace the ventilation hose as part of the install?

front load dryer heating but not drying clothesOlder front load dryer heating, but not drying clothes

25-35% of all dryer problems is a heat exhaust issue. The vent hose exhausts the air and all moisture from your clothing. All this air and moisture go out of the dryer and into the vent hose. The vent hose then leads to either the roof or usually the side of your home. If your dryer ventilation is packed with heavy lint, it will not be possible to remove the moisture out of the clothes and they will not dry well. There is a huge blockage of lint somewhere in the vent exhaust. This is why there is a blob of wet lint behind your dryer.


dryer vent exhaust HOW TODryer vent exhaust HOW TO

No need to buy a new dryer. The only thing you must do is clean out dryer vent exhaust starting from the dryer to the outside of your house. You could simply call a local dryer vent cleaning company and have them clean that vent for you! If the dryer has been there 13 years, then there is a massive amount of lint in there for sure. Clean the vent once a year to prevent dryer fires.

dryer vent hose can be cloggedDryer vent hose can be clogged preventing your dryer from drying your clothing

If you want to clean the complete dryer vent line, you can use a toilet snake. Feed it through the exterior vent outside to help breakup any lint build up. When doing this you will most likely have lint pouring out into the inside of your home. Clean all the lint up and use the toilet snake or plumbing snake once again from the inside to the outside to be sure all lint is removed.

outside dryer exhaust ventCheck the outside dryer exhaust vent for blockage – Complete dryer exhaust replacement kit here

If your dryer vent exhaust hose is in bad shape, you may as well order a new dryer vent hose to make this issue never happen again. If you have holes in your dryer vent exhaust hose, then heat is being expelled into your home. If it is summer time, all this is doing is adding heat into your home. Check the vent hose, if it is ripped or has holes, replace it ASAP. Once you clean the vent out and everything is hooked back up, run your dryer for a test. You should have perfect air flow coming out of the exterior vent. We would recommend to do the vent cleaning yourself and save about $150.00 dollars. If you do not have a toilet snake, use a shop-vac with a long extension instead.

dryer vent hoseDryer vent hose –  Replace if ripped or torn

Here are a few tricks you can try:
On older dryers, there is a pull-out lint screen on top. Pull the lint screen out completely and run the dryer. Add some lint in where the lint screen was and see if it gets pulled in by airflow suction. This indicates the air flow is working properly.

If you MUST dry clothes in a rush, remove the vent hose to the dryer and run the dryer. Lint will come out of the vent tube but have a bucket or something to catch it.

To check that the dryer is expelling the hot air, use caution and touch the vent hose behind dryer. If it is hot then air flow is flowing.

Leave a comment below if you have more information to add.

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5 thoughts on “Clothes Dryer Not Drying Clothes But Is Heating”

  1. We have 5 dryers unfortunately some of the dryer can’t dry totally…i was wondering what was the problem on it..they load assorted clothes in dryer and it was set with 40mins only for drying..

  2. DIY Project Help Tips

    Aloys Metty,
    Have you tested any of the components like heating element, hi limit thermo, checked to be sure there is no lint build-up in the dryer itself?

  3. I have a one piece stackable Washer Dryer–Frigidair. Vent is open and air flow is good. Initial temp of air is 190′ or so I was told yet it takes multiple drying cycles to dry clothes. Is there a sensor that could be broken. Advice requested

  4. In the case of clothes dryer heating and not drying, in addition to checking the exhaust vent tube and outside vent one might also clean the duct from the dryer lint filter to the exhaust vent. Unplug the dryer and remove the exhaust vent tube. Remove the back panel of the dryer and the duct cover that leads to the exhaust outlet. Lint and other trash accumulates here and may cause poor performance or a fire. Re-assemble the covers re-attach the exhaust vent tube and plug the dryer back in.

  5. You need someone to roto-clean your vent tube from the wall at the dryer to the exit.
    It’s clogged and a very big fire hazard.

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