Dryer: Won't start

You push the start button-and nothing happens. First, make sure the door is shut tight. If the dryer still doesn't start, there are several possible reasons, from a door switch that's not recognizing that the door is closed to a failure in the main electronic control board. A broken power cord, failed push-to-start switch or a bad timer can also prevent the dryer from starting. Some dryers use a motor relay to control the drive motor so a broken motor relay can prevent the dryer from starting.

If you hear the motor running but the drum doesn't turn, you likely need to replace the drive belt. Some dryers use a belt switch to keep the drive motor from running so you might not hear the motor run when the drive belt breaks. A failed drive motor will also prevent the dryer from starting.

In electric dryers, a blown thermal fuse can keep the dryer from starting. Follow the tips in this electric dryer won't start troubleshooting video to figure out the problem

Although a blown thermal fuse won't prevent most gas dryers from starting, all of the other failures mentioned above will prevent the motor from running. Watch our gas dryer won't start troubleshooting video for tips to get your gas dryer going again.

dryer

These repairs may help solve your dryer problem

Replace the dryer door switch

Replace the dryer door switch

The dryer door switch detects whether the dryer door is open or closed. The dryer won't start if the door switch senses that the door is open. Or, the dryer might start then stop if the door switch fails during the cycle. If the switch reads the door as being open when it's shut, or if it allows the dryer to keep running when the door is open, replace it.

August 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dryer door switch

If your dryer won't start when you shut the door, it may mean the door switch has failed. This DIY repair guide and video explain how to replace the dryer door switch in 30 minutes or less.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
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Replace the dryer push-to-start switch

Replace the dryer push-to-start switch

For dryers with mechanical controls instead of electronic controls, the push-to-start button starts the drying cycle when the user presses and releases it, by completing the voltage path through the drive motor. If the push-to-start switch isn't completing the electrical circuit to start the dryer, replace it.

August 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dryer push-to-start switch

Is your dryer not starting when you push the start button? It could mean the push-to-start switch has failed. This repair guide and video show how to replace the dryer push-to-start switch in less than 30 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
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Replace the dryer thermal fuse

Replace the dryer thermal fuse

The thermal fuse is usually mounted on the blower fan housing. It detects the temperature of the air venting from the dryer to the outdoors and trips if the air becomes too hot. It typically trips if the vent tube is clogged or the exterior damper is closed. In an electric dryer, the thermal fuse shuts off the dryer when it trips. In a gas dryer, it prevents the dryer from heating, but the dryer still runs. The thermal fuse doesn't reset when the dryer cools and must be replaced if it trips.

How to replace a thermal fuse in an electric dryer

If your electric dryer's won't start, but the control panel lights are working, it may be due to a blown thermal fuse. This DIY repair guide and video explain how to replace an electric dryer thermal fuse in 30 minutes or less.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
August 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a thermal fuse in a gas dryer

Gas dryer not getting hot? The termal fuse might have blown. This repair guide and video show how to replace the gas dryer thermal fuse in 30 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the dryer timer

Replace the dryer timer

The timer on the control panel lets you set the drying time by turning the timer's control knob. A small motor on the back of the timer advances the timer during the cycle. The timer's internal cams open and close switches or contacts to operate the various electro-mechanical components in the dryer (mainly the drive motor and the heating element). Replace the timer if the contacts aren't working, the dryer won't start, heat or continue running, or the timer won't advance.

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

If your dryer won't advance through the drying cycle, the timer might have failed. This step-by-step repair guide and video show how to replace a dryer timer in 30 minutes or less.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
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Repair or replace the dryer electronic control board

Repair or replace the dryer electronic control board

The electronic control board governs the timing and execution of dryer functions. The wiring connections on the control board can be repaired, but the control board itself cannot. Replace the electronic control board if it's receiving voltage but isn't transmitting it to the dryer components, causing the dryer to not work. The dryer may start but then stop in the middle of the cycle if internal control board components don't detect sensor signals accurately. It can be difficult to determine if the electronic control board is the problem (unless you see burn marks on it) and it's an expensive part that can't be returned once installed; for that reason, have a trained service technician perform advanced diagnostics on control board before you replace it.

August 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dryer electronic control board

A dryer's electronic control board manages the dryer's operations, including drying time and temperature. If you or a service technician determine that the electronic control board has failed, follow the steps in this repair guide and video to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
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Replace or repair the dryer drive motor

Replace or repair the dryer drive motor

The drive motor rotates the motor shaft, which in turn rotates the idler pulley, which rotates the drive belt that's wrapped around the dryer drum. The motion of these components causes the drum to rotate during the cycle. The drive motor also rotates the blower fan blade on most dryers.

A failing drive motor may shut off in the middle of a cycle then restart after the motor cools down. Replace the drive motor if it overheats.

The wire harness connections on the motor can be repaired, but the internal components on the motor cannot. If the drive motor doesn't run when voltage is applied to it, replace the drive motor.

August 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dryer drive motor

If your dryer's drum won't turn, the problem could be the drive motor . This step-by-step repair guide and video show how to replace a dryer drive motor.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 90 minutes or less
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Replace the dryer drive belt

Replace the dryer drive belt

Unplug the dryer and remove the top panel to examine the belt from the top of the dryer. If it is broken or damaged, replace it.

August 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dryer drive belt

If your dryer's drum won't turn but you can hear the motor running, it's possible the drive belt is worn or broken. This repair guide and video show how to easily replace the dryer drive belt.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 90 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the dryer motor relay

Replace the dryer motor relay

Some dryers have a motor relay, which is an electrically operated switch. The motor relay stays electrically closed to keep the drive motor running as long it receives the proper voltage from the electronic control board. When the voltage supply to the relay stops, the relay opens electrically to halt the voltage supply to the drive motor, which then stops. When a motor relay fails, the dryer motor stops running when you release the start button.

Replace the dryer power cord

Replace the dryer power cord

A 240-volt power cords connects to contacts on the terminal block in the back of the dryer. Replace the power cord if overheated loose or shorted wires melt the insulation, if damaged wires no longer complete the electrical circuit to the dryer or if prongs on the outlet cord plug become disconnected from the wiring.

Symptoms common to all dryers

Choose a symptom to see related dryer repairs.

Main causes: bad gas valve coils, broken heating element, tripped safety thermostat or fuse, bad operating thermostat, control 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: door switch failure, lack of power, broken belt, blown thermal fuse, bad drive motor, control system failure
Main causes: clogged exhaust vent, bad motor relay, loose dryer door catch, bad door switch, control system failure, faulty drive motor
Main causes: lack of electrical power, bad power cord, wiring failure, bad control board, blown thermal fuse, bad door switch
Main causes: bad timer or electronic control board, door switch failure
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.

How to replace a heating element in an electric dryer

The heating element in an electric dryer generates the dryer's heat—it's one of the first things to check if the air in the dryer doesn't get warm. If it's damaged, this repair guide will show you how to replace the heating element.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to replace a thermal fuse in an electric dryer

When the air in the dryer overheats—usually because the vent is clogged—the thermal fuse blows, stopping the dryer. You can't reset the fuse; you must replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to install a thermal cut-off fuse kit in a gas dryer

The thermal cut-off fuse shuts off the heat if the dryer overheats when the high-limit thermostat fails. The thermal cut-off fuse kit includes both parts.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 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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