August 1, 2014

How to replace a thermal fuse in an electric dryer

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a thermal fuse in an electric dryer

This step-by-step dryer repair guide shows how to replace the thermal fuse on an electric dryer. The thermal fuse is a safety component that trips if the air flowing through the dryer drum overheats. A blocked exhaust vent is the most common reason the air overheats. When the thermal fuse blows in an electric dryer, the display lights still work but the drive motor won't run. You can't reset the thermal fuse; if it's blown, replace it with the manufacturer-approved replacement part.

These steps work for replacing the thermal fuse on Kenmore, Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, Roper, Crosley and Estate electric dryers with a lint screen housing located in the top cabinet panel.

We also have instructions for replacing the thermal fuse in a gas dryer.

Quick links
Tools required
1/4-inch nut driver
Slot screwdriver
Vacuum cleaner or shop vac
Duct cleaning brush
Work gloves
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Replacing a thermal fuse in an electric dryer

This video explains how to repalce the thermal fuse in an electric dryer.

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Shut off the power

    Unplug the dryer to disconnect electrical power.

  2. 02.

    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 screws.

    Remove the back panel from the dryer.

    Remove the back panel from the dryer.

  3. 03.

    Remove the fuse

    Pull the wires off of the thermal fuse. Remove the mounting screw using a 1/4" nut driver. Pull the fuse off of the blower housing.

    Remove the wires from the thermal fuse.

    Remove the wires from the thermal fuse.

    Remove the thermal fuse mounting screw.

    Remove the thermal fuse mounting screw.

  4. 04.

    Install the new thermal fuse

    Position the new fuse and secure it with the screw. Push the wires onto the connection spades on top of the new thermal fuse. It doesn’t matter which wire goes into which terminal on the thermal fuse.

  5. 05.

    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.

  6. 06.

    Plug in the dryer

    Plug the dryer into the wall outlet to restore electrical power.

  7. 07.

    Clean the exhaust vent

    To prevent the thermal fuse from blowing again soon, remove the flexible vent in the back of the dryer and clean the inside of the flexible vent hose. Clean the air duct going to the outside of your home with a duct cleaning brush. Vacuum the area to clean up dust. 

Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

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.

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