Dryer: Won't work at all

If the dryer shows no signs of life (the digital display is dead or the drum light doesn't turn on when you open the door on a dryer with a dial timer), check the house circuit breaker and reset it if tripped. For a gas dryer, you can test the outlet by plugging a night light or small appliance into it.

If the dryer's electrical outlet works, then a bad power cord, failed timer or faulty electronic control board can prevent the dryer from working. These videos can help you figure out how to fix your dryer when it's completely dead.

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
 30 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.

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
Read more
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.

December 1, 2017
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.

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How to repair broken or damaged wires video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

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

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Quiz: Are you abusing your appliances?
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Take our quiz to see how well you treat your appliances. Then, find out what you can do to help them last longer.