Why Won’t My Electric Dryer Heat Up?

There are many reasons an electric dryer might not heat up, and the most common reason is the heating element needs to be replaced. Another possibility is that it is being plugged into a low voltage outlet.

Mary Marlowe Leverette, laundry expert for the About website, says the first and most comical reason that electric dryers don’t heat up is due to being unplugged. It is a simple oversight, particularly for people moving to a new house and rushing to set up appliances. Before calling a repairperson, check the dryer plug and make sure there is an electrical connection.

According to the experts at Easy Appliance Parts, a dryer will not heat properly if it is not receiving the proper voltage. Even if the cord is in an outlet, it is possible that the outlet is not supplying enough power. One way to check this is through checking the circuit breaker. If the circuit trips, the dryer could need a new or larger circuit.

If the dryer is connected and the voltage is proper, the heating element needs to be checked. It could be defective or simply old and needs to be replaced. A dryer repairperson should check this to prevent the possibility of electrocution.

All dryers have a thermostat that controls the temperature of the heat. When the thermostat goes bad it needs to be replaced. This is not difficult using the owner’s manual and a diagram of the dryer cabinet; however, most homeowners let a professional handle the job.

A broken, old or defective timer motor can also prevent the dryer from heating properly. Call a professional repairperson to test the motor and replace it if necessary. The same is true for the thermal fuse. If the fuse has blown or is defective, it needs to be replaced in order for the dryer to work properly.

Regardless of what causes the dryer not to heat, working with electrical appliances is dangerous. Call a repairperson who knows how to repair dryers and do not risk electrocution.