Laundry Center: Dryer won't start

If the dryer doesn't start when you push the start button, make sure the door is shut completely. If the dryer still won't start, a failed door switch, faulty push-to-start switch, wiring failure, bad dryer drive motor, blown thermal limiter fuse, bad electronic control board or failed dryer timer could be preventing the motor from running.

First, unplug the laundry center and check the wires connected to the dryer door switch. Reconnect any loose wires and repair any broken wires.

If the door switch wires are okay, check for continuity through the dryer door switch using a multimeter. Replace the dryer door switch if you don't measure continuity through the switch with the dryer door closed.

If the dryer door switch is okay and your laundry center uses an electronic control board to manage dryer functions, check the wiring connections between the electronic control board and the dryer drive motor (with the dryer still unplugged). Reconnect any loose wires and repair any damaged wires. The dryer electronic control board typically signals an error code when the board detects a component problem and doesn't send current to the dryer drive motor. If you see an error code on the dryer display, look up the error code on the error code chart and troubleshoot the cause. The dryer drive motor will likely run again after you find and fix the cause of the error code.

If your laundry center uses a timer to control dryer functions, check the wiring connections between the timer, push-to-start switch and dryer drive motor (with the dryer still unplugged). Reconnect any loose wires and repair any broken wires.

If the timer wiring connections are okay, check for continuity through the push-to-start switch with the start button pushed in. Replace the push-to-start switch if you don't measure continuity through the switch while pushing the start button in.

If the push-to-start switch is okay, check for continuity through the dryer timer. Use the wiring diagram for the laundry center as a guide for checking continuity through the timer. You can typically find the wiring diagram stored in the console (also known as the control panel) of the laundry center or on the parts list diagram. Replace the timer if you don't measure continuity through the timer contacts that send current to the dryer drive motor.

Many electric dryers in laundry centers use a thermal limiter or thermal fuse to shut off the dryer motor if the laundry center overheats. With the dryer still unplugged, check for continuity through the thermal limiter or thermal fuse and replace that limiter or fuse if you don't measure continuity. A clog in the exhaust vent system for the laundry center often causes the thermal limiter or thermal fuse to blow, so check the dryer's exhaust system for a clog if the thermal limiter or thermal fuse is blown.

laundry center

These repairs may help solve your laundry center problem

Replace the laundry center door switch

Replace the laundry center 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. 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.

How to replace a laundry center dryer door switch

If your laundry center dryer won't start or the drum light won't come on when you open the door, the dryer door switch could be to blame. This repair guide and video show how to replace a laundry center dryer door switch in 6 quick steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the laundry center dryer timer

Replace the laundry center dryer timer

The timer controls the components in the dryer. Also called a cycle selector, the timer has a motor that advances the internal cams inside the timer body. The cams open and close electrical contacts to energize and de-energize components during the wash cycle. A control knob on the stem of the timer lets the user select cycles on the timer. If the timer motor doesn-t advance or the contacts are defective in the timer, replace the dryer timer.

Symptoms common to all laundry centers

Choose a symptom to see related laundry center repairs.

Main causes: blocked exhaust vent, clogged lint screen, bad timer, moisture sensing problems, weak gas valve coils, bad heating element
Main causes: control system failure, broken heating element, bad gas valve coils, gas supply failure, voltage supply problem, blown fuse
Main causes: bad lid switch or lid lock, drive motor failure, broken motor coupler, bad timer, faulty electronic control board
Main causes: broken lid switch or lid lock, faulty drive motor, drain system problem, broken drive system components
Main causes: door not fully shut, bad door switch, faulty push-to-start switch, wiring failure, bad drive motor, blown fuse, control failure
Main causes: unbalanced load, broken suspension springs or shocks, worn snubber ring
Main causes: clogged drain system, blocked drain hose, bad drain pump
Main causes: broken dryer drive belt, weak drive motor, binding drum seals
Main causes: lack of water supply, failed lid switch or lid lock, bad water level pressure switch, control system failure, bad water valve

Repair guides common to all laundry centers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your laundry center.

How to replace a laundry center washer drive motor

If the motor doesn’t run, you can replace it in less than an hour.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
How to replace a laundry center washer snubber ring

If the washer tub bangs the cabinet during the spin cycle even though the load is balanced, you might need to replace the snubber ring in the base of the washer.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to replace a laundry center washer lid lock switch

If the washer fills but won’t start the agitation cycle, the lid lock switch could be defective.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all laundry centers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your laundry center.

June 5, 2018

Displaying error codes on Kenmore and Frigidaire laundry centers

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Step-by-step directions for entering the diagnostic test mode.

October 26, 2016

How to repair broken or damaged wires video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

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

January 18, 2016

How to use a multimeter to test electrical parts video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to use a multimeter to check for wiring problems in an appliance that's not working