Troubleshooting a clothes dryer involves identifying what the actual problem is and narrowing down its possible causes until the fault is isolated to a single component. Diagnosing the problem with a broken dryer typically requires disassembly, but some issues can be singled out without having to take the machine apart.
When a clothes dryer stops working as it should, performing a few tests can help to identify what the exact problem is. Users should first check that the dryer is plugged in and powered. The home's breakers and fuses need to be checked as well to make sure none have tripped or blown out. If the dryer is powered, running and monitoring it for symptoms should reveal the problem.
If a powered dryer does not even start when it is set to run, the issue can be isolated to a problem with the door switch. For example, a bad plunger might not be depressing the door switch all the way, or the switch might have simply broken down from repeated use.
If the dryer does start but clothes don't dry as they should, a thermal fuse, igniter, radiant sensor or gas valve coil might be broken and needs to be replaced. Otherwise, the heating element might have failed or might not be receiving power.
Other problems include drums that do not turn or turn noisily, which might be caused either by a broken belt or damaged rollers. Dryer doors that don't stay open likely need a replacement latch.