How To Fix Dryer That Won't Start | Dryer Repair

How To Fix A Dryer That Won't Start

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  • Rated as EASY
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Door Switch

On all dryers, the door switch allows the dryer to start tumbling only when the door is closed. If the dryer does not start when the door is closed then the door switch may be defective. In most brands of dryers, the switch is located behind the front panel with the switch button protruding into the door opening. The switch and can be tested with a multi-tester for continuity and it may have two or more terminals. The test should be made between the terminals marked “C” and “NO” and should read “0” ohms when the door is closed or the button is depressed

Thermal Fuse

The thermal fuse is a safety device found in some dryers to prevent overheating. It is a heat sensitive fuse and will open if the temperature becomes too hot and will typically interrupt power to the drive motor and cause the dryer to be inoperable. The thermal fuse is about an inch or more long and normally embedded in a white plastic housing. Some brands of dryers use more than one thermal fuse, and they are normally located on the blower housing and/ or the heating element housing in an electric dryer and/or the burner housing on a gas dryer. The fuse will not have any continuity when tested with a multi-meter. Disconnect power to the dryer before testing the fuse

Rotary or Push Start Switch

Located in the dryer’s main console is the start switch. When depressed it sends power to the drive motor and starts the dryer tumbling. If the dryer doesn’t start then the start switch may be defective. The switch can be tested for continuity using a multi-meter. Unplug the dryer before you test the start switch.

Drive Motor

Gas and electric dryers have a motor that turns the blower and the dryer drum. A defective motor can cause your dryer to not start and may even produce a humming noise from a bad winding or switch on the motor. To check for a defective motor you will need to remove the front panel and the drum to gain access. You will then need to supply line voltage to the proper terminals on the motor to verify if it is defective. This is a live voltage test and should only be performed by qualified persons.

Main Control Board

Electronic controlled dryers will use a circuit board to operate the dryer’s electrical components much like the timer in timer controlled models. The circuit board is normally located in the dryer’s main control panel. If the dryer is not starting then inspect this part as a potential cause. Symptoms that the board is faulty include burn marks on the board itself and/or parts on the circuit board appear to be shorted out. If the board is defective then it normally cannot be repaired and will need to be replaced.


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 and the timer motor itself. A defective timer contact can prevent power from getting to the drive motor and the timer will need to be replaced. The contacts can be checked for continuity with a multi-meter. This test should only be made with the power removed from the dryer.

Terminal Block

If the dryer is blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers in your main electrical panel, then this may be a symptom of a faulty terminal block. The terminal block connects the dryer’s internal wires to the power cord. Loose connections at the terminal block will eventually overheat and fail and could be a fire hazard as well. You will need to disconnect the power before accessing the terminal block and then check visually for signs of overheated wires or terminals. Overheated terminals will require that the terminal block be replaced and damaged wires will need to be repaired or replaced as well.

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