My clothes dryer is not starting. I pushed the start button and nothing happens. The dryer is plugged into the power outlet. If my electric dryer is getting the proper voltage and it will not start, what could be the obvious fault?
There are multiple parts and components that may be the reason the dryer does not start. You can first check a few simple things before taking it apart and troubleshooting the dryer.
SAFETY NOTE: Always remember to unplug power to the dryer and switch the dryer breaker OFF when troubleshooting or performing maintenance.
What can I easily check first when my DRYER WILL NOT START?
1. The dryer door may not be completely shut – Be sure the door is securely closed.
2. Power may not be getting to the dryer – Check the breaker switch for the dryer and turn on.
3. Lint filter in dryer is not installed properly – Be sure lint filter is placed into dryer housing correctly.
4. Loose wiring on power cord/plug – Inspect for a loose dryer power cord or plug and tighten as necessary.
What faulty parts can cause DRYER DOES NOT START?
When your dryer will not start be sure the door is shut securely. If the dryer door is shut but the dryer will still not start, the DOOR SWITCH may be the issue.
A THERMAL FUSE that is “blown” in your electric dryer will also cause the dryer to not start. This is a cheap part and can be replaced easily. This blown fuse is a common cause for a dryer not starting.
The MAIN CONTROL BOARD may also be an issue if a wire harness has become detached or the board is faulty and burnt or melted.
The POWER CORD OR PLUG might be loose or damaged. A switch located on the dryer panel such as the PUSH TO START SWITCH might also be faulty or loose.
A BAD TIMER and or the MOTOR RELAY can cause the dryer to not start.
A BROKEN BELT or an issue with the DRIVE MOTOR can also cause the dryer to not start properly. There may be a BELT SWITCH/MOTOR RELAY SWITCH on some dryers. This belt switch prevents the drive motor from turning on. If this happens you will not hear the motor turning if the belt is broken.
A DRYER NOT HEATING could be a multitude of reasons. Here are ways to FIX A DRYER THAT WILL NOT HEAT.
Electric Dryer Won’t Start — Dryer Troubleshooting
If any of these parts are found faulty, your dryer WILL NOT START. Check all of the parts listed below in the order that they appear. By checking all of the below parts, you will find the problem that is causing the DRYER NOT STARTING.
DRYER WILL NOT START – How to troubleshoot?
To begin troubleshooting first unplug the dryer from power and turn the breaker switch OFF. It is best to obtain a copy of your Dryer Service Manual to help further troubleshoot the DRYER NO START issue.
You will need to use a multimeter to check some of the parts for continuity. Use the list of parts below as a guide for which parts to check first and in order.
What parts on the dryer can cause it to NOT START?
– Dryer Door Switch
– Dryer Thermal Fuse
– Push To Start Dryer Switch
– Dryer Electric Power Cord/Plug
– Dryer Timer Mechanism
– Electronic Control Board
– Dryer Drive Motor
– Dryer Drive Belt
– Dryer Motor Relay Switch/Belt Switch
Tips for testing dryer parts for faults
1. Remove the part from the wiring first. Isolate the part to test it properly.
2. When testing for continuity, a thermostat, fuse, or element should read 0 OHMS of resistance when testing continuity.
3. If you have an audible meter, it will produce a sound. This means the part is working properly.
4. If the part is faulty or blown, the meter will not change, which means the part is faulty and needs to be removed and replaced.
Need help testing parts on your dryer? Check here for TESTING APPLIANCE PARTS WITH A MULTIMETER – CONTINUITY – OHMMETER
Dryer Door Switch
The dryer cannot start if the door switch is bad. The door switch senses the door either being open or closed. The dryer can start and then suddenly stop if the door switch is faulty. Check the switch with a multimeter and replace if needed. Use your multimeter/ohmmeter and test the door switch for continuity.
Dryer Thermal Fuse
The thermal fuse in your dryer senses the temperature of the hot air blowing out of the dryer. The fuse will trip when the air temperature becomes excessively hot. The location of the thermal fuse is on the housing of the blower fan. Set the multimeter to the R x 1 scale. Test for continuity by touching the leads to the thermal fuse terminals. If the thermal fuse is blown the meter will show an infinite or zero reading.
Push TO Start Dryer Switch
If the dryer has mechanical controls (On dryers without a digital control panel) this switch completes the voltage path to the dryer drive motor. If this switch does not complete the circuit to the motor to start up the dryer it will need to be removed and replaced. Use your ohmmeter and test this switch for continuity. Set the multimeter/ohmmeter to measure resistance at a scale of R x 1. If the switch on your dryer is a 2 wire type switch, touch one probe to each of the terminals on the switch. With the multimeter probes touching the terminals on the switch, press the button and hold the switch in. The meter reading should change to zero if the switch is working properly. Replace the switch if the results are not the same.
Dryer Electric Power Cord/Plug
The dryer power cord connects to the terminal on the back of the dryer. Inspect for any sign of a problem on the power cord. Check for loose wires or a possible short that may have melted the wiring insulation. Check the wiring going to the plug prongs. Be sure the wires are secure and no damage is present. If the power cord or the plug is found to be damaged, melted, or burned, replace it.
Dryer Timer Mechanism
The timer internally has contacts that operate the dryer drive motor and the heating element among other components. A dryer timer is faulty when the contacts cease to operate properly. When a dryer timer goes bad, the dryer will not start and or not advance. Remove and replace the timer if found to be faulty.
Electronic Control Board
This main electronic control board (on newer dryers) control all functions of the dryer. To find if the control board is faulty, check for any sign of burns or melted areas. Replacing this control board should only be done when all other parts have been checked to be operational. This control board is the most costly component on the dryer. Only remove and replace the control board when you find burned or melted areas and it is deemed to be faulty.
Dryer Drive Motor
This motor is what operates the dryer. It spins the main motor shaft, pulley, and the dryer drive belt. The dryer drive motor can overheat and shut off temporarily. This can lead to believing the motor is faulty. Test the motor to be positive the motor is faulty and not a simple overheat issue. An overheating dryer drive motor can be a sign that a component is binding up, the belt is too tight, or the motor is becoming faulty. Check the wiring harness to the motor to be sure it is secure. Replace the dryer drive motor if after applying the proper voltage it does not run.
Dryer Drive Belt
The dryer drive belt can wear out and break. This is a common issue for DRYER NOT TURNING. On most dryers, you can remove the panel on top and inspect the belt for wear. If the belt is found to be frayed, broken, or loose, replace it.
Dryer Motor Relay Switch
Not all dryers have a motor relay switch. Check in your dryer manual if your dryer has one. This dryer motor relay switch supplies power to the motor. If this switch is faulty, the power will not flow to the drive motor and therefore the dryer motor will not operate. Replace the dryer motor relay switch after testing with a multimeter.
The troubleshooting tips listed above will work on all GE, Whirlpool, Maytag, Samsung, LG, Haier, Kenmore, Hotpoint, Emerson, Sharp, Bosch, KitchenAid, Frigidaire, Toshiba, and Panasonic Electric Dryers. For the clothes dryer manufacturers listed, here is where to find most Dryer Service Repair Manuals or see below for the manufacturers website service manual page.
Need assistance with your dryer not starting? Please leave us a message below with a detailed description of your issue and we will get back to you.
Allen is the author and creator of this website. He has years of experience with appliance repair, commercial food machinery maintenance, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, vehicle maintenance, and critical aviation related systems.