Why is my dryer spinning but not heating?

Many people find themselves asking this simple question. Why are my clothes still wet after they come out of the dryer?

The following solutions assume the dryer control panel still works and the drum spins. If your dryer isn’t turning on at all, you probably have a flipped breaker or faulty wiring. For some reason, your outlet isn’t getting power.

The following are the five most common reasons your dryer would stop heating.


Is the dryer not getting the correct voltage?

Dryer Plug

Inspect the plug and make sure the connections look solid. Look over the entire cord as well as the plug to make sure there aren’t any signs of burn marks.

If everything visually looks good, you can either attempt to plug the dryer in at another person’s house or use a multimeter to test the power coming out of the dryer plug. If your dryer is only receiving 120v instead of 240v some dryers will still come on but the heating element will not work.


Has the Thermal fuse blow?

Thermal Fuse

You cannot repair the thermal fuse and it will need to be replaced if it is broken. To test the thermal fuse you will need to remove the wires leading to the fuse and use a multi-meter to check for continuity.

If the fuse doesn’t have continuity it will have to be replaced as it has been triggered. It is also a good idea to try and identify why the fuse triggered. Ensure there isn’t any lint buildup in the dryer or any pipes leading outside.


Has the Heating element malfunctioned?

Heating Element

The heating element is another part that will have to be completely replaced if it is broken. You test the heating element the same way you tested the Thermal fuse. You would first unplug the connections to it and then use a multimeter to test for continuity.

If there is a break in the heating element (should be visible) it will not work anymore. If the multimeter shows infinite resistance (no connection) then you have to replace the heating element.


Has the Thermostat broken?

Dryer Thermostat
Thermostat

Dryers contain multiple thermostats to help control internal temperatures. Dryer thermostats are typically a little over an inch long and have two wires connected to them. They look similar to a thermal fuse. To check the thermostat, remove the two wires connected to it and use a multi-meter to check for continuity. If there is no continuity your thermostat most likely needs to be replaced.

I would definitely search for how to test your specific thermostat before buying a replacement though. (it should have the model engraved in the thermostat.)


Has the Timer motor gone out?

Dryer Timer Motor
Timer Motor

The timer motor inside a dryer regulates the length of time power is directed to different components. The timer motor is located inside the timer assembly. The timer assembly will be located behind the control panel. (behind the lights & knobs)

Remove the wires from the motor and set your multimeter to measure resistance in Ohms. The reading should be between 2000 to 3000 ohms. If you google your dryer’s model number you should be able to find the exact range for your dryer. Most likely, if this part has failed your meter will show infinite resistance.

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