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Dryer Won't Start

The part(s) or condition(s) listed below for the symptom Dryer won't start are ordered from most likely to least likely to occur. Check or test each item, starting with the items at the top of the page.

Most Frequent Causes for Dryer won't start

For the most accurate results, enter your model number.


Cause 1Thermal Fuse

The thermal fuse is a safety device designed to protect the dryer from overheating. The fuse is located on the blower housing or at the dryer’s heat source such as the heating element on electric dryers or at the burner on gas models. The fuse should be closed for continuity meaning it has a continuous electrical path through it when good. If overheated the fuse will have no continuity meaning the electrical path is broken and the fuse has blown. A multimeter can be used to test it for continuity. Be aware that a blown thermal fuse is an indication of a restricted exhaust vent from the dryer to the outside. Always check the dryer venting when replacing a blown thermal fuse.

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Cause 2Start Switch

To determine if the start switch is defective, attempt to start the dryer. If the dryer hums but does not start, the start switch is not at fault. If the dryer does not respond or make any noise, the start switch could be at fault. Use a multimeter to test the start switch for continuity. If the switch does not have continuity, replace it.

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Cause 3Door Switch

The door switch activates when the dryer door is closed. On most dryers, the door switch makes an audible clicking sound when it activates. To determine if the door switch is working, try starting your dryer and then listen for the “click.” If the door switch makes a clicking sound, it is probably not defective. If you don’t hear a click, use a multimeter to use the door switch for continuity. If the switch does not have continuity, replace it.

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Cause 4Drive Motor

The drive motor turns the drum and the blower wheel to exhaust the air. Before replacing the motor, first check the thermal fuse, start switch, and door switch. If all of these parts are working properly, but the motor is making a humming noise, remove the belt from the motor and check the blower wheel for obstructions. If the blower wheel is clear of obstructions, the dryer motor might be at fault. If you suspect the motor is defective, replace it.

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Cause 5Drive Belt

On most dryers, when the dryer belt breaks, the motor will still run, but the drum will not turn. However, some dryers have a switch that shuts off power to the dryer if the drive belt is broken. Check the dryer belt to determine if it is broken. If the belt is broken, replace it.

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Cause 6Belt Switch

On most dryers, when the dryer belt breaks, the motor will still run, but the drum won’t turn. However, some dryers have a switch that shuts off power to the dryer if the drive belt is broken. If this switch fails, it could shut off power to the dryer even when the belt is not broken. First, start the dryer and then listen for a humming noise. If the dryer makes a humming noise when you try to start it, this indicates that the belt switch is not defective. Next, search for your model number to determine if your dryer has a belt switch. If your dryer has a belt switch, use a multimeter to test the switch for continuity. If the switch does not have continuity, replace it.

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Cause 7Incoming Power Problem

If you have a gas dryer, unplug the dryer from the wall and plug something else into the outlet to determine if the outlet is working. If you have an electric dryer, check the home circuit breaker or fuses. If the circuit breaker or fuses are working, use a multimeter to test the outlet.

Cause 8Main Control Board

The main control board might be defective. However, this is rarely the case. Before replacing the main control board, check all of the more commonly defective parts.If you have determined that all of the other components are working properly, replace the main control board. (The control board cannot be easily tested, but you can try to inspect it for signs of burning or a shorted-out component.)

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Cause 9Timer

The timer might be defective. However, this is very rarely the case. Before replacing the timer, check all the more commonly defective parts. If you determine that all of the other components are working properly, test the timer by using a multimeter and consulting the wiring diagram. If the timer is defective, replace it.

Parts