If your dryer isn’t producing any heat but it’s tumbling, there’s a couple of issues that could cause this problem. However, look for the obvious first by checking your dryer’s settings. Before you will start testing the listed parts below, be sure that you have the appropriate settings for the clothes that you are drying. The fabric temperature and timer selections are all key to the performance of your dryer.
Many dryers have a safety feature called a thermal fuse which protects the dryer from over-heating. The thermal fuse is generally in a white plastic housing and it’s located in the exhaust duct in the back panel of the dryer.
The thermal fuse will “trip” and prevent your dryer from working if it gets too hot. There’s not a way to reset the fuse, so if this is your problem you’ll need to replace the thermal fuse with a new one.
The thermostat is located in the back panel of the dryer. Set the multimeter to RX1 and remove one lead from the two outside terminals on the thermostat. Press the probes to the terminals. You should see a reading of zero if the thermostat needs to be replaced.
Heating Element (Coils)
A heating element is a coil made from nichrome (nickel-chrome alloy). They can be found behind the back panel of the dryer.
Look for broken or burned areas by visually inspecting the heating element. Use a multimeter to check for continuity. Set the multimeter to RX and press the probes to the terminals of the element (remove the leads from the element first). The element is defective and needs to be replaced if you receive a reading of zero.
Access the temperature switch by removing the knob to the switch and opening the control panel. Set your multimeter to RX1 and remove the leads before touching the probes to the switch’s terminals. You should see a reading of zero or infinity.
Next, test again after turning the switch. The reading should change. If in the first test your result was zero, you should see infinity. If you saw infinity the first time, you should see zero. With any other results you’ll need to replace the switch.
The timer is located in the control panel. Set your multimeter to RX100 and remove the leads from the timer motor. Clip the probes to the leads, if you receive a reading of infinity you’ll need to replace the timer motor.
Electric dryers draw a lot of power to operate. They should always be plugged directly into an outlet . . . never use an extension cord.
Unplug the dryer and check the plug and cord for broken connections, burns or scorching. If there is a broken connection it’s possible that the dryer will continue to operate, but it won’t be able to deliver heat.
Ignitor (Gas Dryers)
If your dryer is powered by gas, check to see if the ignitor is cycling. If it is, yet the burner is NOT engaging, then you may have defective electrical coils in the gas valve. The electrical coils have wires coming from the top of a black cylinder and they are located near the burner valve assembly. The coils will open and supply gas to the burner when supplied with power.
Another thing to check is to visually see if your ignitor glows. If it doesn’t, look for a yellowish or white discoloration. There may also be a break in the ignitor.
Replace the ignitor if you notice a visible problem. If you don’t see anything obvious such as a burnt area or a break, check for continuity.
The issue could also be originating from somewhere else in the burner system or the control area.
Burner (Gas Dryers)
Check the flame. If the burner flame is burning clean and blue it’s functioning properly.
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