Q:

How do you fix a clothes dryer that doesn't heat?

A:

Quick Answer

Fix a dryer that does not heat by troubleshooting the problem and replacing the defective part, such as a bad heating element. Other potential causes include a blown thermal fuse. Before beginning any work on an electric dryer, unplug the unit from the power outlet.

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Full Answer

On most dryers, the heating element is accessible by removing the front panel under the door or the rear panel. The heating element is a long, coiled wire. When working properly, it turns red when the unit is heating. An ohmmeter should return a reading when the probes touch the two ends of the heating element. Once the element is out of the machine, look for breaks in the wire. Replace the element if it is defective.

The thermal fuse monitors the temperature of the dryer. If the temperature is too high, the fuse melts so the heating element no longer receives power. While this safety feature prevents dryer fires, if it is blown, it requires replacement.

If the dryer is heating but not drying clothes, the exhaust duct could be full of lint. Dryer lint prevents the machine from pushing moisture away from the clothes. When the dryer is working properly, it should finish most loads in a single cycle.

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