9 Reasons Your Dryer Won’t Start
If your dryer won’t start, your first thought may be to call a repairman. But Repair Clinic is dedicated to helping people like you troubleshoot and fix their appliances on their own. By the end you’ll have a working dryer, pride that you did it yourself and more money left in your wallet. Here are nine reasons your dryer won’t start:
- Thermal fuse
A thermal fuse is the most common dryer problem and usually due to a clogged dryer vent. It’s a safety device that protects your dryer from overheating. You’ll find the thermal fuse on either the blower housing or the dryer’s heat source: the heating element on an electric dryer or the burner on a gas one. It should show continuity or a closed circuit, meaning an electrical current can run through it. If the continuity is broken, your dryer won’t work. The easiest way to test for continuity is with a multimeter tester. If there’s no continuity, you’ll need to replace the thermal fuse and clean the dryer’s venting before starting it back up again.
- Start switch
It’s somewhat simple to detect if a start switch is working. Try to start your dryer. If you hear a hum but it doesn’t start, then the start switch is okay. If nothing happens when you attempt to start your dryer, then you’ll need to check the continuity with a multimeter tester as described above. No continuity? Time to replace the start switch.
- Door switch
That clicking you hear when you shut your dryer’s door is the door switch. The clicking noise means it’s activating. If the door switch is clicking when you press it, then it’s probably functioning. If there’s no click, you’ll need to replace the door switch.
- Drive motor
The drive motor is what makes the dryer’s drum turn and the blower wheel to work. If you’ve already checked reasons 1-3 above and these parts are all functional, but the dryer is still humming but not working, you’ll need to check the drive motor. Remove the belt from the motor and check the blower wheel for any obstructions. If it’s obstruction-free, the motor is probably defective and needs replacing.
- Drive belt
If your dryer motor turns on but the drum isn’t turning, you’ll want to check the drive belt. However, some dryers have a switch that turns it off if the belt is broken. Either way, you’ll want to replace the drive belt.
- Power problems
Incoming power may be the issue if it’s an electric dryer that isn’t working. To check this, unplug the dryer and plug something else in the outlet. If the device won’t turn on, then a circuit breaker or fuse could be at fault. If the circuit breaker or fuse is functioning, then use a multimeter tester to check the outlet.
- Belt switch
Not all dryer models have a belt switch. You’ll want to check your owner’s manual or search using your model number to see if it does. If your dryer does have a switch belt, start it and listen for a humming noise. If you hear a hum, then the belt switch is fine. If there’s no hum, use a multimeter to test the switch for continuity. No continuity when it’s running? New belt switch.
- Main control board
It’s not often that the main control board is to blame if your drying won’t work. However, if you’ve determined that all of the above parts are in good shape, you’ll probably want to replace the main control board. While there’s no easy test to see if it’s functioning, the main control board sometimes shows signs of burning or a shorted out component if it’s defective.
A dryer's timer is essentially your last hope since it seldom breaks. If none of the parts above are faulty, it may be time to replace the timer. As with the main control board, you can’t easily test a timer to see if it’s functioning, so your best bet is to just replace it.
If your dryer still isn’t working or you’re having other issues, take a look at our Dryer Repair Help page to troubleshoot, watch dryer repair videos or read some maintenance tips or FAQs. Repair Clinic is dedicated to helping you make your own repairs and has millions of appliance parts available for same-day shipping as well as a 365 return policy guarantee.