Why Won’t My Dryer Start? Troubleshooting Tips

Why Wont My Dryer Start?

If your dryer won’t start, there are a few potential causes to consider.

First, check the start switch using a VOM set to the RX1 scale.

If the switch reads zero, it is working fine.

If it shows a high reading, the switch is faulty and should be replaced.

Another possibility is a faulty thermostat, which can be tested using a VOM.

A reading of zero indicates a working thermostat, while a high reading means it needs to be replaced.

Additionally, the dryer timer could be the issue.

To test it, use a VOM and disconnect one of the power leads while the timer is set to the NORMAL DRY setting.

If the meter reads zero, the timer is working.

Otherwise, it needs to be replaced.

Replacing the timer involves disconnecting the old wires one at a time, connecting each corresponding new wire as you work.

Key Points:

  • Possible causes for a dryer not starting include:
  • Faulty start switch
  • Faulty thermostat
  • Faulty timer
  • To check the start switch:
  • Use a VOM set to the RX1 scale
  • A reading of zero means it is working fine
  • A high reading suggests a faulty start switch that needs to be replaced
  • Testing for a faulty thermostat:
  • Use a VOM
  • A reading of zero indicates a working thermostat
  • A high reading suggests a faulty thermostat that needs to be replaced
  • Testing the dryer timer:
  • Use a VOM and disconnect a power lead while the timer is set to the NORMAL DRY setting
  • If the meter reads zero, the timer is working
  • Otherwise, it needs to be replaced
  • Replacing the timer involves:
  • Disconnecting old wires one at a time
  • Connecting corresponding new wires.

Did You Know?

1. The very first patent for a hand-operated clothes dryer was issued in 1800, long before electric dryers came into existence. This early version consisted of a wooden frame with racks on which clothes could be hung to dry.

2. The most common reason for a dryer not starting is a blown thermal fuse. This small device is designed to protect the dryer from overheating, and if it blows, it will cut off the power supply to prevent any potential fire hazards.

3. Did you know that certain types of fabric softeners can actually cause a film to build up on the moisture sensor of your dryer? This can lead to inaccurate readings, causing your dryer to shut off prematurely or not start at all. It’s best to clean the moisture sensor regularly to ensure proper functionality.

4. In the early days of mechanical clothes dryers, before the invention of electric ones, some machines were fueled by gas or even wood. These contraptions were often placed in dedicated laundry rooms or basements, but extreme caution was required to prevent fires.

5. Dryers have evolved a great deal over time, but the invention of the automatic clothes dryer, as we know it today, can be attributed to J. Ross Moore. In 1938, he introduced the first fully automatic dryer that combined heat, airflow, and tumbling to dry clothes efficiently and safely. This invention revolutionized how we dry our clothes at home.

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1. Start Switch Troubleshooting

When your dryer refuses to start, the first component you should check is the start switch. Start switches can fail over time, causing the dryer to become unresponsive. To determine if the start switch is the issue, you’ll need a volt-ohm meter (VOM) set to the RX1 scale.

Begin by disconnecting the dryer from the power source to ensure your safety. Once you have done so, locate the start switch, usually located near the door or control panel. Detach any wires connected to it and set the VOM to the RX1 scale. Touch the probes to the terminals of the start switch. If the meter reads zero, the switch is functioning correctly. However, if the needle jumps to a high reading, the start switch is faulty and should be replaced with a new one.

2. Testing And Replacing Thermostats

Thermostats are responsible for regulating the temperature inside the dryer. When these components become stuck or stop functioning properly, it can result in a dryer that doesn’t start. Testing and replacing thermostats require caution, as you’ll be working with live electrical components.

Important note: As a precautionary measure, remember to disconnect the dryer from the power source before proceeding with any repairs.

To test and replace thermostats, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the thermostat, which is usually found near the heating element or blower housing.
  2. Disconnect any wires connected to the thermostat.
  3. Set your VOM (Volt-Ohm-Meter) to the RX1 scale.
  4. Touch the probes of the VOM to the terminals of the thermostat.
  5. If the meter reads zero, the thermostat is functioning correctly.
  6. However, if the needle jumps to a high reading, it indicates a faulty thermostat that needs to be replaced.

Remember to handle the electrical components with care and ensure your safety throughout the process.

3. Understanding And Repairing Dryer Timers

The dryer timer is a crucial component located in the back of the control panel. It plays a significant role in controlling various functions of the dryer including the drying time, electricity flow to the heating element, and power flow to the timer motor and drum motor.

Dryer timers are equipped with synchronous motors that drive the timer mechanism, ensuring accurate timing for the drying process.

However, over time, the contact part of the timer can become dirty or misaligned, leading to a malfunctioning dryer. In such cases, it is recommended to seek professional help for timer motor repairs.

Alternatively, if you are confident, you can easily replace a faulty timer yourself, avoiding unnecessary expenses.

To summarize:

  • The dryer timer is a vital component that controls various functions of the dryer.
  • Synchronous motors are used in dryer timers to drive the timer mechanism.
  • If the timer becomes dirty or misaligned, it can cause the dryer to malfunction.
  • Seek professional help for timer motor repairs.
  • Alternatively, you can replace a faulty timer yourself to save on expenses.
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4. Steps To Test And Replace A Faulty Timer

To troubleshoot if the timer is causing your dryer to not start, you will need a volt-ohm meter (VOM) set to the RX1 scale. Follow these steps:

  1. Access the timer by removing either the front of the control panel or the timer knob and pointer, depending on your dryer’s model.

  2. Set the timer to the “NORMAL DRY” setting and disconnect one of the power leads. Then, use the VOM probes to touch the corresponding terminals on the timer. If the meter reads zero, the timer is functioning correctly. However, if the needle jumps to a high reading, it indicates a faulty timer that needs replacement.

  3. When replacing the timer, it’s recommended to have a helper hold the new timer close to the old one. Disconnect the old wires one by one and connect each corresponding new wire as you work. Alternatively, you can draw a diagram to ensure proper connections. Once all the wires are securely connected, double-check the connections for accuracy.

5. Tips For Properly Replacing A Dryer Timer

When replacing a dryer timer, it’s crucial to follow a few tips to ensure the process goes smoothly and without any complications. Consider the following advice:

  • Always refer to your dryer’s user manual or seek professional guidance before attempting any repairs.
  • Make sure to purchase the correct replacement timer for your dryer’s make and model.
  • Take extra precautions with live electrical components and disconnect the dryer from the power source before starting the replacement process.
  • Keep a record or take pictures of the wiring connections to avoid confusion when connecting the new timer.
  • Double-check your connections once the replacement is complete to ensure accuracy.

6. The Importance Of Assessing Heating Problems In Dryers

A dryer that won’t start can be incredibly frustrating. However, it’s important to remember that even if your dryer does start but fails to generate heat, it won’t be able to effectively dry your clothes. Therefore, troubleshooting heating problems is crucial in addition to addressing the starting issue.

  • Gas dryers: Make sure that the gas supply is turned on and check if the pilot light is lit, if applicable. If you suspect a problem with the gas supply, it’s best to contact a professional technician.

  • Electric dryers: Heating elements are responsible for producing heat in electric dryers. If your dryer is not generating enough heat, check for any obstructions in the vents or exhaust ducts. Additionally, inspect the heating element for any signs of damage or malfunction. If you don’t feel confident in your ability to diagnose and repair heating issues, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a professional technician.

“Remember, safety should always be prioritized, and professional assistance is recommended when necessary.”

Now, let’s focus on troubleshooting a dryer that won’t start. Identify potential issues with the start switch, thermostats, and timer. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to effectively diagnose and replace faulty components, bringing your dryer back to working order.

  • Troubleshoot gas supply and pilot light (if applicable)
  • Check for obstructions in vents and exhaust ducts for electric dryers
  • Inspect heating element for damage or malfunction
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Remember to prioritize safety and seek professional assistance when necessary.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What would cause my dryer not to start?

In addition to a malfunctioning or improperly latched door, another possible cause for a dryer not starting could be a faulty thermal fuse. The thermal fuse acts as a safety device to prevent the dryer from overheating. If it senses excessive heat, it will blow and cut off power to the dryer motor. Therefore, if the thermal fuse is blown, the dryer won’t start until the fuse is replaced.

When I press the start button on my dryer nothing happens?

If pressing the start button on your dryer does not trigger any response, one possible cause could be a faulty door switch. The door switch is responsible for signaling the dryer that the door is securely closed, allowing it to start. If the switch is malfunctioning, the dryer may not receive this signal and therefore will not initiate any actions. In order to resolve this issue, inspect the door switch to ensure it is properly aligned and functioning correctly. If necessary, replacing the switch should resolve the problem and allow your dryer to start functioning again.

Why won’t my dryer start but has power?

If your dryer is not starting but has power, it is possible that the heating element fuse is broken or burnt out. This can trigger a fail-switch in some dryers, preventing them from running a cycle. Even though you may hear beeping or buzzing indicating power, the fail-switch will prevent any further operation until the heating element is fixed or replaced.

Are dryers easy to fix?

Clothes dryers are indeed relatively easy to fix compared to other home appliances. Their straightforward design and simple mechanics make them more accessible for repairs. Additionally, they are often less expensive to fix, making it a financially viable option to repair instead of replacing them. With a lifespan of over 20 years, dryers are built to be durable and long-lasting, further emphasizing their repair-friendly nature. So, if you encounter any issues with your dryer, rest assured that it is highly likely to be an easy and affordable fix.

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