This dryer repair guide explains how to replace the thermal cut-off fuse in an electric dryer. The thermal cut-off fuse is a safety device that shuts down the dryer's heating element if the dryer severely overheats. The dryer severely overheats if the high-limit thermostat didn't shut off the dryer when the heating element began overheating. You can't reset the thermal cut-off fuse—you must replace it, as well as the failed high-limit thermostat. The thermal cut-off fuse kit contains both components, and the step-by-step instructions in this repair guide show you how to replace them in an electric dryer, using a manufacturer-approved replacement kit.
Use this procedure to install a thermal cut-off fuse kit in Kenmore, Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, Roper, Crosley and Estate electric dryers with a lint screen housing located in the top cabinet panel.
If you have a gas dryer, see the repair guide How to Install a Thermal Cut-off Fuse Kit in a Gas Dryer.
This video explains how to install a thermal cut-off fuse kit in an electric dryer.
Shut off the power
Unplug the dryer to disconnect electrical power.
Remove the back panel
Move the dryer forward and use a 1/4-inch nut driver to remove the screws from the back panel. Remove the back panel from the dryer and set it aside.Tip: While you have the back of the cabinet open, vacuum lint and dust from the cabinet.
Remove the back panel screws.
Remove the back panel from the dryer.
Locate the components
The thermal cut-off fuse is at the top of the heater box.
The high-limit thermostat is at the bottom of the heater box above the connections for the heating element.
Locate the high-limit thermostat and the thermal cut-off fuse.
Remove the thermal cut-off fuse
Remove the wires from the thermal cut-off fuse.
Remove the mounting screws from the thermal cut-off fuse and pull it off of the heater box.
Disconnect the wires from the thermal cut-off fuse.
Remove the mounting screws from the thermal cut-off fuse.
Remove the fuse from the heater box.
Install the new thermal cut-off fuse
Position the new thermal cut-off fuse in place and mount it to the heater box. Connect the wires to the new thermal cut-off fuse.
Remove the high-limit thermostat
Pull the wire off of the high-limit thermostat. Remove the high-limit thermostat from the side of the heater box.
Disconnect the wire from the high-limit thermostat.
Remove the high-limit thermostat from the heater box.
Install the new the high-limit thermostat
Position the new high-limit thermostat in place and mount it to the heater box. Connect the wires to the new high-limit thermostat.
Reattach the back panel
Position the back panel on the back of the dryer. Line up the mounting screw holes. Insert the mounting screws and tighten them firmly.
Plug in the dryer
Plug the dryer into the wall outlet to restore electrical power.
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.
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.
These easy tests will help you check the heating element, high-limit thermostat, timer, thermal cut-off fuse and operating thermostat.
Learn how to repair broken, frayed or damaged wires in your appliances.