March 27, 2015

Easy DIY dryer repairs

By Sears PartsDirect staff
Easy DIY dryer repairs.
Easy DIY dryer repairs.

Do-it-yourself appliance repairs can save a lot of time and money, but research and preparation is essential to a successful DIY repair. A dryer is no exception. Our DIY dryer repair page offers troubleshooting tips, articles and frequently asked questions, all designed to help you determine the cause of many common problems that can happen with a dryer.

We also have a dryer error codes chart that lets you know what the code means and what you can do to fix it.

Once you've done your research and are ready to take on the dryer repair, we have several dryer repair guides that give detailed instructions on how to do the job yourself. Here are the two most common dryer problems—won't heat and won't start—with links to the repair guides for the most likely causes. These very quick and simple repairs are ones that even the novice do-it-yourselfer can do.

Easy repairs if your dryer won't heat

Several parts on a dryer work together to produce the heat to dry clothes. A problem with any of them could keep the dryer from heating air, even though the dryer comes on.

Electric heating element in an electric dryer

The heating element in an electric dryer is the first thing to check if the dryer won't heat. If the heater coil is broken or burned out, the heating element won't heat.

We have instructions on this easy repair in our DIY repair guide How to replace a heating element in an electric dryer.

Thermal cut-off kit in an electric dryer

The thermal cut-off fuse is a safety device attached to the heater box that shuts off the heater if the dryer overheats. The dryer can overheat if the high-limit thermostat fails.

Replace both parts, which come in a kit.  See our DIY repair guide How to install a thermal cut-off fuse kit in an electric dryer for replacement instructions.

A gas dryer also has a thermal cut-off fuse. It works in a similar fashion, shutting down the gas burner if it overheats. The repair is simple following the instructions in our DIY repair guide How to install a thermal cut-off fuse kit in a gas dryer.

Thermal fuse in a gas dryer

The thermal fuse, not to be confused with the thermal cut-off fuse, is located on the gas dryer’s blower housing. The burner won’t ignite if the thermal fuse fails. The most common cause for failure is poor airflow. Instructions for how to fix the issue are in our DIY repair guide How to replace a thermal fuse in a gas dryer.

Easy repairs if your dryer won't start

A number of things could prevent a dryer from starting. Once you make sure that the problem isn't a lack of power to the dryer, check out these repair guides for help.

Thermal fuse in an electric dryer

Unlike in a gas dryer, the failure of the thermal fuse in an electric dryer will prevent the dryer from starting at all. The reasons for the failure, as well as the instructions on how to fix it are the same as in an electric dryer and are in our DIY repair guide How to replace a thermal fuse in an electric dryer.

Push-to-start switch

The push-to-start switch should do exactly as it says—start the dryer when you push it. If the push-to-start switch fails, the dryer won't start when you push the switch or could start even if you don't push the switch.

Follow the instructions in our DIY repair guide How to replace a dryer push-to-start-switch.

Dryer door switch

The dryer door switch lets the control board know when the door is open or closed. If the door switch stops working, the dryer won't start.

If the dryer has a light in the drum, an easy way to tell if the switch is the problem is to open the door and press the switch lever. If the light doesn't come on, the switch is bad. Our DIY repair guide How to replace a dryer door switch shows how to fix this problem.

Symptoms common to all dryers

Choose a symptom to see related dryer repairs.

Main causes: door switch failure, lack of power, broken belt, blown thermal fuse, bad drive motor, control system failure
Main causes: clogged exhaust system, heating system failure, deposits on moisture sensor, control system failure
Main causes: bad drum support roller, damaged idler pulley, broken blower fan blade, worn drum glide bearing, bad drive motor
Main causes: bad gas valve coils, broken heating element, tripped safety thermostat or fuse, bad operating thermostat, control failure
Main causes: bad timer or electronic control board, door switch failure
Main causes: lack of electrical power, bad power cord, wiring failure, bad control board, blown thermal fuse, bad door switch
Main causes: clogged exhaust vent, bad motor relay, loose dryer door catch, bad door switch, control system failure, faulty drive motor
Main causes: damaged door strike, worn door catch

Repair guides common to all dryers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your dryer.

August 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dryer blower wheel

A rattling noise or lack of air flow through the dryer could indicate that the blower wheel is damaged. Follow the steps in this repair guide to replace the blower wheel in your dryer.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 60 minutes or less
August 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to install a dryer gas valve coil kit

If the dryer heats initially but then stops heating, the problem is usually the gas valve coils. This step-by-step guide explains how to replace the gas valve coils in a gas dryer.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 90 minutes or less
August 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dryer drive belt

If the drive belt breaks, the motor runs but the drum won't rotate. These step-by-step instructions guide you through the repair process.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 90 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all dryers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your dryer.

November 4, 2016

Electric dryer won't heat troubleshooting video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

These easy tests will help you check the heating element, high-limit thermostat, timer, thermal cut-off fuse and operating thermostat.

October 26, 2016

How to repair broken or damaged wires video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to repair broken, frayed or damaged wires in your appliances.

June 20, 2016

Electric dryer won't start troubleshooting video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn what four things to check if your electric dryer won't start or run.