Dryer: Why won't my dryer shut off?

The load is dry, yet the dryer keeps running and running. Before that unnecessary heat damages your clothing and drives up your utility bill, you may need to replace the timer or the electronic control board that isn't ending the cycle. If your dryer uses a mechanical timer and doesn't stop when the dial reaches the off position, then a failed contact in the timer is likely causing the dryer to continue running and you'll need to replace the timer. If your dryer uses an electronic control, a stuck motor relay on the electronic control board can cause the dryer to run constantly with the dryer door closed. If the dryer stops only when you open the door, you'll likely need to replace the electronic control board.

If the dryer won't turn off when you open the dryer door, the dryer door switch likely failed. Replace the door switch if it doesn't accurately detect the door being open or closed.

These tips can help you figure out what's wrong when your Kenmore or Kenmore Elite dryer spins when off. You can also use this repair help to fix your Whirlpool, Frigidaire, Samsung or LG dryer that runs when the control is in the off position.

dryer

These repairs may help solve your dryer problem

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
 15 minutes or less
Read more
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.

How to replace an electronic control board in a gas dryer

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 dryer 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
Read more
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
 15 minutes or less
Read more

Symptoms common to all dryers

Choose a symptom to see related dryer repairs.

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
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

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 drum support roller

If your dryer thumps or squeals, replace the drum support roller to restore quiet to your home.

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

The thermistor senses the air temperature in the dryer. If your dryer overheats or doesn't heat at all, the thermistor could be the problem.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
August 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dryer idler pulley

The idler pulley exerts pressure keeps the drive belt tight so it can rotate the drum. A worn idler pulley squeals or squeaks when the dryer is running. Follow these instructions to replace it.

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.

January 4, 2022

How to replace a Maytag dryer heating element

By Lyle Weischwill

Learn how to replace a Maytag dryer heating element

August 18, 2021

Wiring schematic symbols explained video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn some of the most common symbols found in a wiring diagram and what they mean.

April 26, 2016

Gas dryer won't start troubleshooting video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Check these three things if your gas dryer won't start or run.