How Do You Fix a Dryer?

Many problems can cause a dryer to stop operating, but if the motor has overheated, waiting a few minutes for it to cool and pressing the red reset button usually fixes it. Other causes of failure include a clogged exhaust vent or a fault in the electric heating element.

If the clothes in the dryer take too long to dry, a vent clog is the likely cause. As the dryer tumbles the clothing, small fibers break away from the fabric. The dryer vent catches most of the fibers; however, a small amount from each load escapes the machine. The lint fibers collect on the vent cover on the outside of the home and in the vent tubing, eventually to the point they slow the exhaust of moist air. With a clean vent, each load should dry in one cycle.

Electric dryers use a resistance coil to produce heat. The heat they produce sometimes causes the coil to melt. The broken coil is no longer able to conduct electricity or produce heat. While the drum of the dryer continues to turn, the clothing does not dry without heat. Most appliance parts stores carry replacement heating elements. Before beginning the replacement process, the owner should unplug the dryer to prevent electrical shock.