Troubleshooting A Clothes Dryer

Simple clothes dryer troubleshooting for common problems. Lists several different causes for each problem.

When your clothes dryer isn't working correctly or stops working at all it helps to have some clue as to why this is happening. There are a few main problems that occur with a clothes dryer. If you have some basic knowledge about the parts of the dryer you should be able to troubleshoot problems with a broken clothes dryer yourself. Locate the problems you are having in the following list and try the suggestions below it.

1. The clothes dryer doesn't have any power:

a) Make sure that it is plugged in. This may seem simple, but can save time and money if it does turn out to be the problem, so it is worth a look. Also look for any areas that may be worn. Replace the cord before using if there are worn areas.

b) Check the fuse or circuit breaker. Make sure it is not blown or tripped.

c) Inspect the timer. Make sure it is working properly. Listen to see if you can hear it working.

d) Inspect the start switch. If you know how to take the dryer apart, look at the switch check out the connections and wires for breaks or wear.

e) Inspect the door switch. Make sure the door opens and closes properly. Try using your finger to manually work the switch. Look for any obvious breakage.

2. The drum does not turn or moves slowly.

a) Check for a blockage. If you know how to open up your washer, look for excess lint or anything else that could be rubbing against the drum.

b) Inspect the door switch. See above for information.

c) Inspect the drum belt. If you have opened the dryer up to see the inside, look at the belt for a breakage or wear. Also make sure it fits tightly and is not loose at all.

d) Check the load. Make sure you have not overloaded the dryer. Try taking some items out and starting again. Even if this solves the problem it may be a warning that something else is wrong, such as a worn belt.

e) Check the bearings. Make sure they are not worn out.

3. The dryer produces no heat or low heat.

a) Check the door seal. Make sure it is fitted tight with no spaces or signs of cracking or wear.

b) Inspect the thermostat. This controls the heat and is often a reason for heat-related problems. Call a professional or take it in to a repair shop if you are unsure of what a bad thermostat looks like.

c) Check for blockages. Look in the vent and around the inside of the dryer for excessive lint or a build up of dryer sheets.

4. The dryer is loud and makes a thumping, scraping or other abnormal noise.

a) Check the drum belt. See above for information.

b) Check the drum support roller. Make sure it moves properly and check for wear. If you are unfamiliar with this part you may need to seek professional help.

c) Check the bearings. See above for information.

Do not attempt to repair or replace anything if you are unsure of what you are doing. Always unplug the dryer before troubleshooting problems and keep it unplugged, especially if the dryer is taken apart. If you are ever in need of help contact a professional and he or she can help you in troubleshooting problems with a broken clothes dryer.

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