How to Fix a GE Dryer that Won't Start
If your GE dryer won't start, you should check that there is no disruption in the power supply to the dryer, the dryer settings are correct, the child lock is disabled, and the door is latched shut. If these issues are resolved but your dryer still won't start, then you will need to look at faulty parts that may need replacement. The most common parts behind GE dryer starting issues are a faulty door switch, a faulty start switch, or a blown-out thermal fuse. However, other parts that may cause issues starting your dryer include the timer, control board, and motor. Understanding the reasons why your GE dryer won't start is the first step towards getting your appliance back in working order. This guide is specially designed to help you whether you own a gas or electric GE dryer by providing you with simple step-by-step troubleshooting instructions to resolve each one of the issues mentioned above.
Common Issues to Check First
- Check the Power Supply: Inspect the circuit breaker to ensure that the dryer's circuit is receiving power. The electrical supply to the dryer may be disrupted if you have a tripped breaker. You should also inspect the power cord for any damage, and ensure the power outlet is working properly.
- Ensure the Door is Closed: The dryer door has a safety feature that prevents it from starting if the door is not closed properly. Inspect the door latch for any obstructions and ensure that the door is securely shut.
- Check the Dryer Personality Settings: For newer GE dryers you will need to use the "Start" button to ensure that the dryer personality settings are correct. If you have an electrical dryer it must be set to "1" and if you have a gas dryer, it must be "2".
- Check the Child Lock Feature: This feature disables the control panel to prevent injury. If it is switched on, your dryer will not start. Check that it is switched off if you are attempting to use your dryer.
- Reset your GE Dryer The control board controls the functions of the dryer. If it experiences any minor glitches, your dryer will likely fail to start. Look for error codes or unusual displays on the control panel. You can reset the dryer by unplugging it or turning it off at the circuit breaker for 3 - 5 minutes before attempting to use it again.
Faulty GE Dryer Door Switch
The door switch is a safety mechanism found along the door frame of the dryer. It prevents the dryer from running when the door is open to prevent accidents and potential injury. The switch is activated when the door is closed and it disengages when the door is open. If the door switch is damaged, worn out, or faulty, your dryer will likely fail to start or it may stop running midcycle. You will need to inspect the switch and test it with a multimeter to check that it is working properly. If it is faulty you will need to replace the door switch to fix your dryer.
How to Find and Test the Door Switch
- Disconnect the dryer from the power outlet or turn off the circuit breaker.
- Depending on your model, you may need to lift the top panel of the dryer to access the door switch.
- Take a picture of how the door switch wires are routed and connected before carefully disconnecting the wires from the switch terminals.
- Open the dryer door and remove the screws that hold the door switch in place and pull it out of the dryer.
- Inspect the door switch for signs of damage or general wear. If any damage is present, the switch will need to be replaced. If you can not see any damage, you will need to test the switch for continuity.
- Take your multimeter and set the meter to the "continuity" or "ohms" setting.
- Touch one probe of the multimeter to one of the switch terminals and the other probe to the other terminal. Close the dryer door to engage the switch and again touch each probe to the switch terminals. Check to see if the reading is in the correct range. It may be helpful to refer to your user manual for the exact specifications.
- Open the dryer door to disengage the switch, and again, test the switch terminals. You should see an "open" or "infinite" reading, indicating that the circuit is not complete, and the switch is open.
- If the readings do not fall into the specified ranges, then the switch has failed and needs to be replaced.
How to Install a Door Switch to Fix a GE Dryer that Won't Start
- With the wiring already disconnected, simply remove the mounting hardware that holds the switch in place.
- Pull the old door switch out and discard it.
- Take your new door switch place it in the same position and secure it in place.
- Refer to your image from earlier and reconnect the wire harness to the new switch.
- Reassemble the dryer in reverse order.
- Plug in your dryer and check that the door switch is working and the dryer is running.
Faulty GE Dryer Start Switch
The start switch is a button or a knob on the dryer's control panel. When you press or turn the start switch, electricity flows to the dryer's motor. This process starts the motor and allows the dryer to run. If the start switch is faulty, your dryer will not start, and the switch will need to be replaced. You can use our model search feature to find the right replacement start switch for your GE dryer.
How to Find and Test the Start Switch
- Unplug the dryer from the electrical outlet or turn off the circuit breaker.
- You may need to remove the back panel or the control panel to access the wiring.
- Locate the wires connected to the start switch, and take a picture of how the wires are connected for the installation process later.
- Disconnect the wires to the start switch.
- Set your multimeter to the continuity settings and touch the probes to the terminals on the start switch. If it's a push-button switch, press the button while testing.
- The start switch should show continuity when tested. If it does not, the switch is faulty and will need to be replaced.
How to Install a Start Switch to Fix a GE Dryer that Won't Start
- Use a screwdriver to remove any screws holding the old start switch in place.
- Carefully pull out the old start switch and dispose of it appropriately.
- Position the new start switch in the same location and secure the new start switch in place using the screws you removed earlier.
- Reconnect the wires to the appropriate terminals on the new start switch.
- If you removed a panel to access the control panel, reattach it and secure it with the screws.
- Plug the dryer back in or turn on the circuit breaker.
- Check that the new start switch is working by pressing or turning it to initiate the dryer cycle.
Faulty GE Dryer Thermal Fuse
The thermal fuse is a safety device used in dryers to prevent overheating. It is responsible for shutting off the power to the dryer if the temperature inside the dryer gets too high. The thermal fuse is designed for one-time use, therefore, if it trips or blows, you will need to replace the fuse. You can find the thermal fuse near the blower vent. However, on gas dryers, the thermal fuse can also be located near the burner. It may be helpful to consult your dryer's schematic to be sure of the exact location
How to Find and Test the Thermal Fuse
- Remove the back panel of the dryer to access the thermal fuse.
- Once you've located the thermal fuse, make a note of how the wire connectors are routed, or use your phone to take a picture.
- Carefully disconnect the wires from the terminals. Some thermal fuses have terminals that can be pulled off, while others may be connected with screws or other connectors.
- Set your multimeter to the continuity or resistance setting.
- Touch the multimeter probes to each terminal of the thermal fuse. If the thermal fuse is not blown, you should hear a beep if it is set to continuity or see a resistance reading close to zero ohms.
- If there is no beep indicating continuity or there is a very high resistance reading, this indicates that the thermal fuse has blown and needs to be replaced.
How to Install a Thermal Fuse to Fix a GE Dryer that Won't Start
- With the wires already removed from the old thermal fuse, remove any screws or clips securing the thermal fuse to the housing.
- Remove the old fuse and position the new one in its place.
- Secure the new thermal fuse in place with the appropriate mounting hardware.
- Reconnect the wires to the new thermal fuse. Refer to your notes/image from earlier to ensure you connect the wires correctly.
- If you removed any panels to access the thermal fuse, reattach them now.
- Plug the dryer back in or reconnect it to the power source to complete your repair.
Faulty GE Dryer Timer
The timer controls the length of the drying cycles. It contains a small motor which is responsible for turning the electric contacts on and off inside the timer. If the timer's motor or contacts are malfunctioning, you may notice difficulties controlling or completing the cycles. Eventually, the dryer may also be unable to start. You will need to inspect the timer for signs of aging or damage and check for electrical failure using a multimeter. If it is indeed faulty, you will need to replace the timer to fix your GE dryer. You can find the timer inside the dryer's control panel.
How to Find and Test the Timer
- Begin by unplugging your washing machine and shutting off the gas if you have a gas dryer.
- You will need to access the underside of the control panel to reach the timer. Depending on your dryer, you may have to remove the back panel to access it.
- Once you have located the timer, take a picture of how the wires are routed and connected to help you with installation later.
- Carefully disconnect the wire connectors to the timer.
- Inspect the timer for any damage. If there is none, you will need to test the timer for electrical failure.
- It is helpful to refer to your dryer's wiring diagram to know which set of contacts you need to test with the multimeter.
- Once you’ve noted these, touch the multimeter probes to the appropriate terminals on the timer.
- If there is no reading or the reading is outside of the specified range, then the timer has failed, and it will need to be replaced.
How to Install a Timer to Fix a GE Dryer that Won't Start
- Remove any mounting screws or clips that are holding the timer in place.
- Pull out the timer and dispose of it appropriately.
- Place your new timer inside the console and plug in the wire harnesses.
- Reinstall the mounting screws to secure the timer in place.
- Reassemble the dryer in reverse order.
- Restore the power supply to the dryer and check that it is now functioning properly.
Faulty GE Dryer Control Board
The control board sends and receives signals from various components within the dryer to control the functions of the dryer. If your control board is faulty, it may be unable to send the correct signals to turn on the dryer, resulting in your dryer failing to start. You will need to visually inspect and/or test the control board to determine if it needs to be replaced. You can find the control board inside the control panel.
How to Find and Test the Control Board
- Begin by unplugging your dryer from the electrical outlet for your safety or shutting off the gas supply.
- Remove the top panel of the dryer and detach the control panel of the dryer.
- Locate the control board and note the placement of wire connectors before disconnecting them.
- Visually inspect the control board for any signs of burning or damage. If it shows signs of damage, you will need to replace it.
- If there is no damage, you should test the control board for electrical failure.
- Take your multimeter and set it to continuity mode.
- Touch the probes on the multimeter to the appropriate terminals on the control board and refer to your dryer's user manual for the correct ranges to look for.
- If the readings on the multimeter do not fall into the specified ranges, then you will need to replace the control board.
How to Install a Control Board to Fix a GE Dryer that Won't Start
- Pull out and discard the old control board.
- Position the new control board inside the control panel and secure it in place with the appropriate fasteners.
- Reconnect the electrical wires to the correct terminals.
- Place the control panel back on.
- Reassemble the rest of the dryer and restore the power supply to complete your repair.
Faulty GE Dryer Motor
The motor is responsible for providing power to the dryer so that it can run. If it is damaged or faulty, the dryer will likely not start. Other signs that the motor is faulty include hearing grinding, squealing, or loud humming from the dryer. You may also notice that the dryer shuts off unexpectedly during use or the drum does not spin. Replacing the motor is a more involved repair and it is recommended to call in a professional technician if you are not comfortable with the repair.
How to Find and Test the Motor
- Unplug the dryer from the power source for your safety.
- You will need to remove either the front or back panel of the dryer to access the motor. Check your manual for the exact location of the motor for your model.
- Remove the dryer belt by pushing down on the idler pulley to release the tension.
- Detach the blower wheel from the motor shaft using a nut driver and carefully slide it off the motor shaft.
- Use labels or take a picture of how the wires are routed and connected, as you will need to re-attach them later.
- Disconnect the wires that are connected to the motor.
- Remove the screws/bolts that secure the motor to the mounting brackets.
- Carefully remove the motor from the dryer and set it aside.
- Inspect the motor for worn-out bearings or signs of damage, such as burned areas to loose components.
- Use a multimeter to check that the motor is receiving power and that the motor switch is not experiencing electrical failure. You will need the wiring diagram to know which terminals to check both on the motor and the motor switch. If the reading is not within the range specified by your manufacturer, then you will likely need to replace the motor.
How to Install a Motor to Fix a GE Dryer that Won't Start
- Install the new motor into the same position as the old one, and ensure that it is properly aligned with the mounting brackets.
- Reattach the motor mounting bolts/screws or clips to hold the motor in place.
- Return the blower wheel to the motor shaft.
- Reconnect the wires to the appropriate terminals using your notes from earlier.
- Carefully reinstall the belt around the drum and motor pulley. Ensure that it has sufficient tension.
- Reattach the panels of the dryer and ensure they are securely fitted on.
- Plug the dryer back in the power source to complete the repair.
A GE dryer that refuses to start can be a frustrating experience. However, by understanding how your dryer works and following the troubleshooting instructions above you can restore your dryer in no time. Remember to regularly inspect and maintain your GE dryer to ensure it stays in top condition for many more years.