Dryer Repair or DIY? Common Dryer Problems

By Terry Mehilos | Oct. 14, 2023 5:00 pm PST

Updated October 14, 2023

Don’t get hung out to dry! Take a look at our helpful dryer repair advice for common problems. We’ll help you decide whether you can fix a dryer problem yourself and when you need to call in a professional to fix your clothes dryer.

Easy DIY Dryer Repairs

Do-it-yourself appliance repairs can save a lot of time and money, but research and preparation is essential to a successful and safe DIY repair. A dryer is no exception.

Here are some common dryer repairs that are easy to complete on your own.

Long Dry Times

The #1 cause of long dry times is a clogged exhaust vent duct system. Unless your dryer exhaust duct snakes a long way through walls or vents out through the roof of your home, you can typically fix this dryer problem on your own.

Follow these steps to clear the exhaust vent duct system:

  1. Check the vent damper on the outside of your home to make sure the damper opens freely and check for debris clogs in that area.
  2. Disconnect the flexible dryer vent from the back of your clothes dryer and clean all lint and debris from the flexible vent.
  3. Use a leaf blower to clear out lint and debris from the vent duct going to the outside of your home.

If you’re unable to clean the dryer vent duct system yourself, it’s time to call in a professional.

Dryer Won’t Start

A broken door switch often prevents the dryer from starting. For many dryers, this is a simple repair that you can complete yourself. Our How to replace a dryer door switch repair guide with video shows how to complete this DIY repair.

If a broken door switch isn’t causing the problem, you may be able to figure out what’s preventing your dryer from starting by viewing our YouTube DIY troubleshooting video:

Of course, when you’re unable to find the cause of this dryer failure, it’s time to set up a service call.

Advanced Dryer Repairs

Some clothes dryer repairs require technical expertise. Replacing a failed dryer motor is one example of a complicated procedure that often requires a service technician.

Here are some additional repairs that often are not DIY fixes that you can complete on your own.

Dryer Won’t Heat

Although we provide plenty of DIY troubleshooting advice for clothes dryers that won’t heat on our Sears PartsDirect website, figuring out why a gas or electric dryer won’t heat up sometimes requires live voltage checks. Only a technician should perform these types of tests. Don’t risk your personal safety to complete a dryer repair that isn’t safe.

Dryer Trips the House Circuit Breaker

An electrical short in wiring or a dryer component often causes the house circuit breaker to trip. We recommend that you have a service technician find and fix this type of dryer problem.

Dryer Gas Leak

When you smell gas leaking from your dryer, take immediate steps to safeguard yourself and your family. Leave your home and call your local gas supplier from a neighbor’s home to find and fix the gas leak.

Never risk your health and safety to complete a clothes dryer repair on your own. Sears Technicians are always available to visit your home and fix your dryer.

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