Common electric dryer problems [causes and fixes]

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So your electric dryer has refused work? Well don’t panic, they occasionally do and the good thing is that some of the common electric dryer problems are simple DIY stuff.

Below we look at the commonest electric dryer problems that often leave owners’ heads spinning and easy solutions to get your dryer going again.

Common electric dryer problems

In no particular order, here are the most common electric dryer problems and how to go about troubleshooting an electric clothes dryer for each issue.

Your dryer won’t start

Plenty of reasons can cause this so let’s head straight into how to fix a dryer that won’t start.


  • Take a good look at the power supply – Check if there is a problem with fuses and circuit breakers and replace if they are blown or damaged.
  • Look at your dryer’s internal thermal fuse – Replace the fuse since your dryer will never start if the fuse is blown.
  • The door latch is not engaging – Check the latch for dirt and clean it nicely so that the door closes tightly. You can also use alcohol on a cotton swab to clean metal contact surfaces.
  • Start switch – If the power supply is good, the internal thermal fuse is working, the door latch is engaging well but your dryer still won’t start, it could be the switch. Turn on your dryer and listen out for a humming sound which means the start switch is fine. The switch may require a replacement if nothing happens.
  • Drive motor – This is what makes the dryer’s drum to turn. If your dryer is humming but not working, you need to check the drive motor. If the drive motor doesn’t turn, remove the belt and look for obstructions. If there are no obstructions, consider replacing the motor.

Help my dryer, squeaks loudly!

Squeaking, squealing, thumping, and rumbling and such strange noises are also among the most common electric dryer problems.


  • Check the drum belt – A loose or worn-out drum belt can make a squeaking sound as it slides around the outer part of the dryer drum. Replace the belt.
  • Examine the drum rollers – There two or more rollers supporting the front and the rear of the drum. When the rollers wear out, you will hear a loud rumbling sound. Simply inspect the rollers. We advise you to replace all the rollers at the same time to prevent further damage, if you find one or more rollers to be seriously worn.
  • Look at the blower wheel – The blower wheel sucks air into the dryer and pushes the air out through the vent. Lint and small clothes particles can go through the lint filter and get stuck in the blower wheel causing the dryer to make noise. The easiest thing is to remove any obstruction.

Also, try to rotate the blower wheel using your hand. Consider replacing it if it wobbles when turning since it could be the source of the noise.


Your clothes are wrinkled

Here is what to do if your clothes are coming out badly wrinkled.


  • Improper drying cycles – You should use permanent press dry cycles to prevent your clothes from wrinkling.
  • Overloaded dryer – When loading, ensure that you leave room for items to move freely. Permanent press loads should always be smaller than regular loads lest you’ll be screaming help, my overloaded dryer stopped working.
  • Too few items– In case you find yourself with only a few pieces of clothes to dry, you can add a few other similar items to enable proper tumbling.
  • Incorrect sorting of laundry – You should avoid laundering heavy permanent press items like overalls with lighter permanent press items, such as shirts and shorts.
  • Clothes left in the dryer after tumbling ends – After tumbling comes to a stop, you should remove clothes immediately and place them on hangers to prevent this issue.

Your dryer wont heat

Don’t pull out your hair if your dryer spins but no heat is produced.


Here are some things you can narrow down on and get rid of the mishap.

  • Thermal fuse – The dryer thermal fuse prevents the dryer from overheating. When your dryer overheats the thermal fuse ‘trips’ to protect your dryer from heat damage. You should replace the thermal fuse since it’s pretty difficult to repair.
  • Check the heating element – Do a visual examination of the heating element. Look out for burnt or broken places. Again, you should replace it if broken.
  • Blocked venting – If your dryer’s venting is clogged, no heating will take place. Put your dryer on high heat and check the exhaust vent with your hand. If you find little airflow, consider cleaning the venting. Replace it if this doesn’t help.

Your clothes take too long to dry

Are your clothes taking ages to dry? Check the following:


  • Check the lint filter – You can fix this annoying problem by cleaning your lint filter. A lint filter catches the lint as well as allows air to flow and may become clogged, messing air flow freely. This makes your clothes to take unusually long to dry.
  • Faulty heating element – Back to the heating element and your dryer will still spin and complete the cycle, but it will not get hot fast enough to dry your clothes if it has malfunctioned. You should replace it.

Your dryer is too hot

An overheating dryer is a potential fire hazard. We recommended that you look into the following whenever you suspect that your dryer is overheating.


  • Thermostat – This important part regulates the temperature in the dryer drum. It breaks the electrical flow when the drum is too hot. If faulty, consider replacing it. Thermostats are not expensive and are easy to replace.
  • Vent – One of the most common reasons why your dryer will overheat is restricted airflow. If the vent that runs from the dryer to the outside is blocked, it will lead to overheating and build-up of carbon monoxide. Check the lint filter for blockage and proceed to remove and clean it.
  • Heating Element – Your heating element may have warped and is getting into direct contact with the drum and other parts. This may cause the element to heat the drum more than usual.

Final words

The above guide should put your mind to rest.

However, the best way to avoid these common electric dryer problems is to regularly clean the airways and attend to a fault immediately you suspect it.

This should keep your dryer up and running.

Note that these are just some of the many probabilities and its best to call a qualified electrician if you’re unable to get around the issue.


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