Solve dryer heating issues: Circuit breaker, lint screen, and more

Written by Jason Hutchinson
6 Min read

Why Is my dryer not heating?

If you’ve opened your dryer to find it not heating, you’ll want to know why. To find out, there are a few steps you can take to diagnose the problem and determine what needs to be fixed. Read on for tips on troubleshooting and solutions to help get your dryer running again.

Not heating solutions

The most common cause of a dryer not heating is a buildup of lint that has caused an internal part to stop working. However, if this isn’t the case, there may be a simpler cause. Check for tripped circuit breakers, make sure the gas valve is turned on, and the gas pipe connected, and clean the lint screen. These solutions could help without any part's replacement.

How to fix a dryer not heating

If the problem persists after checking these solutions, you’ll need to check for other potential causes. Check for a faulty timer, ventilation blockage, and lint buildup inside. One of the most common causes is a blown thermal fuse, which should be replaced with a new one if it fails the multimeter test. Other potential causes include a broken heating element, a faulty thermostat or thermistor, and in the case of a gas appliance, a faulty flame sensor.

How do I check a tripped circuit breaker?

To check if the circuit breaker has been tripped, locate the electrical panel near your dryer and look for a switch in the “Off” position. If the breaker is tripped, reset the switch and check to see if it starts heating again. If this solution doesn’t work, then proceed to other troubleshooting methods.

How do I turn on my gas valve?

If your dryer runs on gas, check that the gas valve is turned on—if it’s not, turn it on and wait for it to heat up. It’s also important to make sure the gas pipe is connected properly, as it may have become loose over time.

How do I clean the lint screen in my dryer?

Cleaning the lint screen is an important maintenance step for all, gas or electric. When the lint screen becomes clogged with debris, it reduces airflow and can cause it to malfunction. To clean the lint screen, simply remove it from the dryer, clean off any debris that has accumulated, and reinsert it before operating the dryer.


What if the timer is faulty?

If your timer is faulty, you may need to replace it. To identify a faulty timer, start the dryer and note when it stops heating. If the timer continues to run even after it has stopped heating, it’s likely the timer is faulty and needs to be replaced.

How can I tell if there is a blockage in the ventilation?

If your dryer’s ventilation system is blocked, you’ll notice that it takes longer than usual to dry clothes and may even produce more heat than normal, causing discomfort. To spot a blocked vent, first go outside and look at the vent cover, then look inside and feel around for any obstructions. If there’s a blockage, you’ll need to clear it out to let air flow freely again.

Is lint buildup a common cause of not heating?

Yes, lint buildup is a common cause of not heating. Over time, lint builds up inside and eventually clogs the heating element, preventing it from doing its job. To prevent lint buildup, make sure to regularly clean the lint screen, and if possible, vacuum out the inside to remove any excess lint.

What is a thermal fuse, and how do I replace it?

A thermal fuse is a safety device that helps to prevent overheating or fires. If the thermal fuse has been tripped, it should be replaced with a new one—you can test it with a multimeter before replacing it. Before you replace the fuse, make sure to unplug the appliance and allow it to cool completely.

How can I tell if the heating element is broken?

To test if the heating element is working properly, unplug the dryer and locate the heating elements. Using a multimeter, test for resistance by placing the probes on either side of the element. If the multimeter fails to register any resistance, then the element needs to be replaced.

How do I test a thermostat or thermistor for not heating?

A faulty thermostat or thermistor can also cause a dryer not to heat. To test the thermostat or thermistor, use a multimeter to check the continuity. Place the probes on either side of the component and look for a reading of infinity on the multimeter. If there is no reading, the component needs to be replaced.

What is a flame sensor, and what do I do if it stops working?

If your appliance runs on gas, then there may be a flame sensor installed. The flame sensor ensures the dryer is working safely by detecting the presence of a flame. If the flame sensor has stopped working, you’ll need to replace it.

Expert Tip:

Regular maintenance is key when it comes to keeping your appliance running safely and efficiently. Make sure to clean the lint screen regularly, and vacuum the inside to remove any excess build-up of lint. This will help keep your dryer running smoothly and will help prevent any major issues in the future.

What is the best way to clean the lint filter?

The best way to clean a lint filter is to use a vacuum cleaner with a crevice attachment. Vacuum the lint from the sides, bottom, and top of the filter, paying close attention to the nooks and crannies around the edges. Make sure to remove all the lint from the filter to help ensure optimal performance.

How can I make sure my vent is not blocked?

To make sure your vent isn’t blocked, have it inspected regularly and cleared of any obstructions if necessary. This should be done at least once a year, or more if you notice a decrease in drying performance. Be sure to look out for any pets or small children who might be blocking the ventilation system.

What safety measures should I take when replacing parts?

Replacing parts in a dryer can be dangerous, so it’s important to take safety measures. Disconnect the power source and, if applicable, turn off the gas supply before beginning. Wear protective gear, such as gloves and safety glasses, and take precautionary steps when handling potentially hazardous components.

What parts will I need to replace my dryer's heating element?

If your dryer’s heating element needs to be replaced, you will need to purchase a new element and some install tools. You may also need to buy some replacement screws, gaskets, and other small parts depending on the make and model of your dryer.

Can I install my new dryer parts myself?

Installing parts on your dryer can be a complicated process, and it is not recommended that you attempt to do it yourself unless you are an experienced appliance repair technician. If you are not, it’s best to call a professional to get the job done right.

Are all parts compatible with my dryer?

No, not all parts are compatible with all dryers. When purchasing parts for your dryer, make sure to check the manufacturer's specifications for compatibility. Most parts websites have a searchable database that allows you to enter your model number and find the correct parts for your dryer.

Do I need any special tools to replace parts in my dryer?

Yes, you may need certain tools to replace parts in your dryer. Depending on the part, you may need a screwdriver, adjustable wrench, pliers, or a multimeter. Before beginning any work on your dryer, make sure you have all the necessary tools and supplies.

Where can I buy replacement parts for my dryer?

Replacement parts for your dryer can be found online or at appliance stores near you. When buying online, make sure to check the reviews and ratings to ensure you’re buying quality parts. Also, compare prices to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Should I call an appliance repair technician if I can't figure out the problem?

If you’ve tried all the above steps and still can’t figure out why your dryer isn’t heating, then it’s probably time to call an appliance repair technician. A qualified technician will be able to identify the problem and recommend the best solution to get your dryer running again.

What Is the average cost for repairing a dryer that Is not heating?

The cost of repairing a dryer that isn’t heating can vary widely depending on the cause and required parts. Generally speaking, the average cost can range anywhere from $150 to $400. It’s best to call around to different technicians to get a better idea of pricing in your area.

If your dryer is not heating, there are several potential causes that you may be able to check or replace yourself, such as a blown thermal fuse, a tripped circuit breaker, a faulty timer or thermostat, or a blocked ventilation system. It is important to take safety measurements and precautions when replacing any parts in your dryer. If these solutions don't work, it may be time to call an appliance repair technician for help. The cost of repairing the dryer will depend on the cause and the parts needed, but it can range from $150 to $400.

Appliances made simple. 

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram