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Table of Contents

1. Tripped Circuit Breaker

2. Absence of the Gas Supply

3. Clogged Lint Screen

4. Blown Thermal Fuse

5. Blown Thermal Cut-Off Fuse

6. Broken Heating Element

7. Weak Gas Valve Coils

8. Flame Sensor Failure

9. Faulty Operating Thermostat

10. Defective Timer

Schedule your dryer repair now!

Call (213) 596-2538
  1. Resource Center
  2. Repair

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Dryer Won’t Heat

6 min readUpdated Apr. 08, 2024Lyle WeischwillDryer
Investigating the top 10 reasons why your clothes dryer won't heat.

Encountered the frustrating issue of a dryer not heating? Don't fret, we've got your back. This guide will demystify the top 10 reasons why your dryer won’t heat and provide effective solutions. Whether it's a minor glitch or a complex issue, our insights will equip you with the knowledge to get your dryer back on track.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Lack of heat in your clothes dryer can be caused by many different types of failures.
  • We cover the top 10 causes of dryer heating problems and offer some practical DIY fixes.
  • When you’re unable to determine the cause of a heating problem in your dryer, schedule repair service and we’ll send a Sears Home Services Technician to your home to fix the problem.

Some common culprits of a dryer not heating are a tripped circuit breaker, no gas supply, or a blocked lint trap. We'll dive into these issues and more in the subsequent sections. Keep reading for expert solutions and practical tips to restore your dryer's heating function. And remember, Sears Home Services team is always ready to help if you need professional assistance.

1. Tripped Circuit Breaker

One of the top 10 reasons why your dryer won’t heat is a tripped circuit breaker. This device serves as a watchman for your home's electrical system, protecting it from overloads. It cuts off power when it detects excessive current in a circuit, preventing damage or fire.

Locate the electrical panel, often found in your basement, garage, or utility room. Find the switch that controls your dryer's power. If it's in a different position than the others, it might have tripped. Flip it off, then on. You should hear a click as it resets.

If your dryer is not heating even after resetting the breaker, there might be another issue at play. In such cases, it's wise to schedule service by a professional technician.

2. Absence of the Gas Supply

Another reason why your dryer will not heat is due to an absence of gas supply. Gas dryers require a steady flow of natural gas to operate. If the gas is not reaching your dryer, it won't heat up.

To see if this is the issue, check the dryer’s gas cut-off valve and ensure other gas appliances in your home are functioning. If you discover a problem with the gas supply, reach out to your gas provider or a professional appliance technician. Remember, handling gas issues can be hazardous, so it's crucial to ensure safety.

3. Clogged Lint Screen

A clogged lint screen is another common reason for a dryer not heating. The lint screen catches lint and debris during the drying process. If it becomes blocked, it can restrict airflow, causing your dryer to overheat and the heating element to shut down.

To prevent this, clean your lint screen before starting every cycle.

Additionally, clean the lint screen with water to rinse fabric softener off the screen. Dryer sheets and water softener residue from clothes builds up on the screen and inhibits air flow. Locate the lint screen, typically on top of the dryer or inside the door, remove it, clean off any lint, rinse it with water, let it dry, and then replace it. Cleaning your lint screen with water at least once a month will enhance your dryer's efficiency, minimize fire risks, and prolong the lifespan of your dryer.

Here’s a video that shows more details about washing the lint screen:

4. Blown Thermal Fuse

Poor airflow through a gas dryer due to a clogged lint screen or problems with the exhaust air path to the outside of your home can blow the thermal fuse and prevent the dryer from heating. The thermal fuse will trip when exhaust air gets too hot.

When the thermal fuse blows in an electric dryer, the dryer will not run at all. The thermal fuse shuts off electric current going to the drive motor.

When you have a gas dryer not heating, check the thermal fuse as described in this video: Gas dryer won't heat troubleshooting video.

5. Blown Thermal Cut-Off Fuse

Similar to the thermal fuse but housed directly on the heater, the thermal cut-off fuse trips when heater temperature gets too high. The thermal cut-off fuse shuts off heat in both a gas and electric dryer. The above video for troubleshooting a gas dryer heating issue shows how to test the thermal cut-off fuse in a gas dryer. You can follow the steps in this video to check the thermal cut-off fuse in an electric clothes dryer: Electric dryer won’t heat troubleshooting video.

6. Broken Heating Element

A broken heating element is a common cause of a heating failure in electric dryers. The above troubleshooting video for electric dryers will help you determine whether replacing the heating element in your dryer will fix a heating problem.

7. Weak Gas Valve Coils

The gas valve coils open the gas valves to help ignite the burner while the dryer is running. If the dryer heats initially but then stops heating, the problem is usually the gas valve coils. That's because weak coils can open the valves when you first start the dryer, but when the burner cycles off and then tries to light again, weak coils can't open the valves correctly. If you’re facing this scenario with your gas dryer, you’ll likely need to replace the gas valve coils.

8. Flame Sensor Failure

Located on the burner funnel, the flame sensor detects the igniter temperature. When the igniter is hot enough to light the gas burner, the flame sensor shuts off the igniter, the coils open the gas valves, and the burner ignites. If the flame sensor fails, it won't shut off the igniter, gas won't flow to the burner, and the dryer won't heat. You can determine if the flame sensor is faulty by following the troubleshooting tips in our Gas Dryer Won't Heat Troubleshooting Video. You’ll need to replace the flame sensor if it’s defective.

9. Faulty Operating Thermostat

A broken operating thermostat will prevent the heating element or gas valve assembly from getting electric current so the dryer won’t heat. You can use the above troubleshooting videos for the gas and electric dryers to determine whether the operating thermostat is working in your dryer. Replace the operating thermostat if it’s defective.

10. Defective Timer

A broken contact in the control timer can prevent the dryer from heating. You’ll typically need to have a service technician diagnose and repair this type of failure.

There are other types of failures that can prevent your clothes dryer from heating. If you’re unable to find and fix the cause of the heating problem in your dryer, schedule repair service through Sears Home Services and we’ll sent a technician to your home to fix the dryer. Our technicians are experienced at diagnosing all major brands of gas and electric dryers. We’ll fix your clothes dryer fast so you can get back to doing your laundry.

Schedule your dryer repair now!

Count on our knowledgeable technicians to provide thorough dryer repairs, ensuring your appliance operates at peak performance for years to come.

Call (213) 596-2538 or schedule online now.

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