REPAIR > DRYER > NOT ENOUGH HEAT

How To Fix A Dryer That's Not Producing Heat

A dryer that’s not producing any heat or not enough heat to dry clothes can be frustrating and repairing it through a serviceman can be expensive. Even for someone who may not consider themselves handy, repairing a dryer is not a difficult process. Below we've provided you with a list of the most common parts that fix a dryer that’s not producing any heat or not enough heat. Use this information to help troubleshoot which part is broken, and then enter your model number in the search box to find the right part for you, along with tons of helpful information like our step by step installation videos and instructions.

Heating Element

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In electric dryers, heat is generated by the heating element. The element is a coil of heating wire enclosed in a metal chamber. Electric current flowing through the coil creates heat and the air being pulled through the chamber absorbs this heat. If the element is defective then it will not heat. It can be tested with a multi-meter for continuity. Unplug the dryer and remove the front or rear panel to locate the element so it can be tested.

High Limit Thermostat

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The high limit thermostat is a safety device mounted on the heating chamber and is designed to prevent the dryer from overheating when the exhaust vent is restricted. A restricted vent will cause the high limit thermostat to trip or activate, interrupting the circuit to the heating element or gas valve. The high limit thermostat is not designed to activate repeatedly like a cycling thermostat and will eventually fail causing a no heat symptom. Disconnect the power to the dryer and check the thermostat for continuity with a multi-meter. If there is no continuity then it will need to be replaced and the restricted vent system corrected as well.

Cycling Thermostat

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Cycling thermostats control the temperature inside the dryer drum. They are designed to “cycle” the heating element on and off to maintain the correct amount of heat. Cycling thermostats are normally located on the blower housing or elsewhere in the internal airflow ducting. Over time, the cycling thermostat can become defective. Disconnect the power to the dryer and check the thermostat for continuity with a multi-meter.

Igniter

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    Newer gas dryers have an igniter or glow bar, which ignites the gas released by the gas valve. When the dryer is calling for heat, the igniter will begin to glow as it heats up. When maximum temperature is reached, the gas valve will open and the gas will be ignited. The igniter is located inside the dryer next to the gas valve burner tube. Depending on the model of gas dryer, the igniter may be coil shaped or flat. They are very fragile and should be handled very carefully. A multi-meter can be used to check for continuity. Disconnect the dryer’s power source before you test the igniter.

    Radiant Flame Sensor

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      The radiant sensor or flame sensor is designed to sense heat from either the igniter or the burner flame in gas dryers. It is part of a gas dryer’s burner assembly and is located next to the igniter. The sensor detects heat from the igniter to open the gas valve, also detects heat from the burner flame to keep the valve open. If the sensor is defective, either the igniter won’t glow or the gas valve won’t open. If the igniter does not glow, then you should check the radiant sensor for continuity with a multi-meter. This test should only be done after the power has been disconnected.. If the igniter glows continuously and the gas valve does not open to light a flame, then the electrical contacts inside the sensor may be stuck closed and the sensor will need to be replaced.

      Gas Control Valve

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        In gas dryers, an integral part of the gas burner system, is the gas valve. The flame sensor and igniter circuit provides power to the gas valve. When this circuit is complete, the coils will be energized and the valve will open releasing gas into the burner where it ignites. A symptom of a defective valve is an igniter that glows but then shuts off without a flame being produced. The valve may also function correctly at the beginning of the drying cycle but can fail later into the drying cycle resulting in not enough heat being produced to dry clothing properly.

        Coils

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          Modern gas dryers have electric coils that operate the gas valve. They are located on top of the gas valve and are controlled by the heat circuit. If one or more of the coils are not working then the gas valve won’t open and you will have a no heat symptom. The coils may function normally at the beginning of a cycle but may fail later on as they heat up internally. The coils can be checked for continuity with a multi-meter. Disconnect the dryer’s power source before you test the coils.

          Temperature Sensor

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            Temperature sensors are devices that change resistance depending on the temperature. The internal temperature of gas and electric dryers is managed by cycling thermostats on most dryers and by temperature sensors on some electronic controlled dryers. Depending on the dryer it may use multiple sensors to regulate the temperature. You can use a multi-meter to check the resistance of the temperature sensor. You will need to know what that resistance is at room temperature to verify if it is defective. This test should only be done when the power has been disconnected.

            Timer

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            Located in the control console of the dryer the timer consists of a small motor connected to a series of gears that rotate cams, which turn electric contacts off and on inside the timer. The timer contacts control the dryer motor as well as the heat circuit. A defect in the timer’s electrical contacts can cause the dryer to stop producing heat and the timer will need to be replaced. The contacts can be checked for continuity with a multi-meter. Unplug the dryer before conducting this test.

            Thermal Fuse

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            The thermal fuse is designed to prevent the dryer from overheating. Once a dryer's thermal fuse has blown, it is no longer of any use. If your dryer's fuse is blown, you will have to replace it. Open up your dryer's cabinet and locate its thermal fuse so that you can test it.

            More Repair Parts

              We've identified the most common parts that can cause a dryer not to heat, but there are other parts that could be at fault. If you are unable to fix your dryer with the information above, enter your model number into the search box for additional repair help. Searching with your model number will give you access to all parts and schematics, symptoms for your specific dryer as well as all installation instructions and videos.