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Dryer Not Heating Up? Here’s What to Do

Few things are more frustrating than finding your clothes wet after the dryer runs. Is your dryer not heating up? Common reasons for an electric or gas dryer not heating are a tripped circuit breaker, clogged vent, and no gas flow. Other potential reasons include a faulty thermal fuse and broken heating element.

If you gather your tools and follow this guide, you may be able to solve basic dryer heating problems on your own. But if you can’t get your dryer going or you simply don’t have time, call your local Mr. Appliance® professionals or schedule appliance service online.

“Why Is My Dryer Not Heating?”: The Most Common Answers

  • The dryer is not plugged in.
  • The dryer door isn’t completely closed.
  • The dryer is on an “eco” or cool setting.
  • There’s a tripped circuit breaker.

Electric dryers need two 120v breakers: one to run the motor that turns the drum, and one to power the heating element. Those breakers may trip independently, depending on how the panel is wired. One tripped breaker would explain why the drum is turning while the dryer is stone cold. If any breakers are tripped in your electrical panel, reset them.

  • There is no gas flow.

If you have a gas dryer, make sure you paid your gas bill on time and that the gas valve feeding the dryer is on. Make sure the appliance gas line is the right size (is it 3/4 inch?), and pursue gas line replacement if needed.

  • The dryer vent, lint trap, and/or lint screen is suffocating the heating element.
  • When the heating element is blocked, it overheats and shuts down the thermostat. To fix this, clean off the lint screen, and use a vacuum to clean out the lint trap. Then remove the vent hose from the back of the dryer and shake it out. You might be surprised by all the trinkets that accumulate in dryer vent hoses. Finally, assess whether it might be time for professional dryer vent cleaning to prevent fires.Maybe the problem isn’t your dryer at all.

Check your washing machine’s performance. Is the spin cycle wringing enough water out of your clothes? Sopping-wet fabric will take a long time to dry in any dryer.

“Why Is My Dryer Not Heating?”: The More Complex Answers

If none of the reasons above explains your dryer’s malfunction, your unit may have one of these issues:

  • A faulty thermal fuse
  • A broken heating element
  • A broken thermostat
  • A defective timer motor
  • A complex electrical or gas issue

We recommend consulting an expert for these problems. (Keep reading for recommendations.)

If your dryer has other symptoms besides unregulated temperature, try our dryer troubleshooting tool to find out which component is likely failing. Some homeowners may try to test and replace these parts on their own, but professional dryer repair is recommended in order to positively diagnose the issue and eliminate safety concerns.

Dryer Not Heating Still, Even After Troubleshooting? Call the Experts

If you’ve reached the end of your troubleshooting capabilities and your dryer is still not drying, you’ll likely need diagnostic and repair help from experts. There are three potential paths:

These reliable brands are part of the Neighborly® family of home service pros, who will go above and beyond your service expectations.