dryer not drying

Dryer Not Drying, Heating, or Spinning? Here’s What to Do

With an average lifespan of about 14 years, you can expect to enjoy years of reliable service from your dryer. However, a lack of maintenance or old age may be the cause of your dryer not drying, heating, or spinning. You can avoid downtime and costly repairs by performing routine maintenance, paying close attention to warning signs, and knowing when to call the experts.

dryer not drying

What Can Go Wrong?

A dryer is a relatively simple machine that uses a large drum to rotate clothing and heated air to evaporate and remove the moisture and vent it to the outdoors. While it is not uncommon for certain components such as a heating element or electrical parts to fail due to wear and tear, breakdowns may also occur as a result of improper installation techniques or an accumulation of lint in the dryer vent or trap.

Older dryers may use a significant amount of power during the drying process, while new technologies can help you to achieve greater energy efficiency. If your dryer’s not drying, start by checking the basics.

Common Dryer Not Drying Problems & Solutions

Use these troubleshooting tips to diagnose the issue with your dryer not heating or spinning before you call us for repair services. If the dryer will not turn on, check the following before proceeding to the interior components:

Is the dryer getting power?

Check the power cord to ensure it is plugged in and undamaged.

Has the breaker been tripped?

Check the breaker box and try turning the breaker all the way off and back on again to restore power. Check that the GCFI outlet hasn’t been tripped. Unplug the dryer and push the button on the outlet to reset it. 

Is there gas flow?

In the case of a gas dryer, conduct a visual inspection to verify the flow of gas.

*NOTE: Before attempting to troubleshoot your dryer take the necessary safety precautions and disconnect the power source to prevent injury.

Three Causes of a Dryer Not Drying

In order for clothes to dry, there must be heat and airflow. Having one without the other will cause your clothes to remain damp after a cycle is complete. If your dryer turns on but isn’t drying your clothes, the problem may be a lack of circulation due to an accumulation of lint or an overloaded dryer.

In addition to the potential for a dryer fire and the unnecessary wear and tear on system components, a clogged lint screen or dryer vent hose hampers the flow of air and forces your dryer to work harder than necessary.

Dryer is Overloaded

An overloaded dryer can restrict the amount of airflow between pieces of laundry, which may cause you to have to run more than one cycle to achieve dry laundry. Separate the laundry into two loads.

Lint Screen is Full

The lint screen is the first defense against preventing a clogged dryer vent and even fires. Clean the lint screen before or after each load.

Dryer Vent is Clogged

Experts suggest cleaning the dryer vent once every six months or more often depending on how often the dryer is used. A clogged dryer vent will restrict airflow and may even cause your dryer to overheat, and trip the thermal fuse.

Top Reasons Your Dryer Isn’t Heating

A lack of heat is typically due to a faulty heating element or a blown thermal fuse. The thermal fuse is attached to the heating chamber and is designed to blow once the temperature reaches a dangerously high level. While the fuse may have simply blown on its own, it is important to determine if there is an underlying issue causing the dryer to overheat.

Blown thermal fuse
The thermal fuse is a safety measure that will stop the dryer from heating if the heat reaches a certain threshold. A clogged lint screen or dryer vent, or even too big of a load can cause the dryer to overheat and trip the thermal fuse. If the thermal fuse is blown, it will need to be replaced.

Faulty heating element
As the name suggests, the heating element is responsible for producing the heat in electric dryers. In gas dryers, the air is heated with a gas burner. A faulty heating element will require professional service or replacement.

Most Common Reasons Your Dryer Won’t Spin

A dryer that starts, but won’t spin, likely has a broken door switch, worn belt or drum rollers. If you are handy and have the right tools you may be able to locate and replace some parts yourself, but be sure to disconnect power to the dryer before beginning any repairs.

Broken door switch
The door switch is a little peg that signals to the dryer when the door is closed so it can begin spinning and heating. If the door switch is broken, it won’t be able to signal that the door is closed.

Broken Drive belt
The drive belt helps the drum spin and can wear out over time and snap. If you can move the drum easily, the drive belt may be broken.

Worn-Out Drum rollers
Drum rollers are little wheels that hold the drum while it spins. Just like the drive belt, the drum rollers can wear out over time. Look to see if there’s a gap between the back wall inside the dryer and the drum. If there is, worn-out drum rollers may be the cause.

If you’re still having to hang dry your clothes, call the dryer repair professionals at AG Appliance today!