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The Top 5 Reasons Your Dryer Is Not Heating

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The dryer is one of the most quintessential appliances in practically every single household. And when your dryer breaks, everything effectively stops in the laundry room. Not being able to heat up is possibly one of the worst issues that you may have to deal with. This is due to the fact that there are quite a few possible underlying causes, many of which are fairly expensive to fix and would require the help of a professional dryer repair technician.

However, diagnosing these issues yourself and potentially taking care of some of the preliminary steps may save you quite a bit of time and money. In this article, we’ll go over the top five issues that can cause your dryer to stop heating. We’ll give you all of the knowledge and steps you need to be able to diagnose them as well as tell you what you can do to start addressing them right away.

Let’s Dive Right In!

Top 5 Problems That Will Lead To Your Dryer Not Heating:

Issue # 1 – The Thermal Fuse

Every single dryer in today’s day and age has a thermal fuse. If your exhaust vent gets clogged or if there is restricted airflow, your dryer will gradually start to overheat and take on higher temperatures. The thermal fuse is used to shut off your appliance should it overheat as well as protect it from any sort of damage in case it does. Typically you can find the thermal fuse attached to a part of the blower housing.

Most issues to do with the thermal fuse occur for one of two reasons!

The first of which is that there’s simply a blockage restricting the airflow inside of your dryer. You should check the lint screen to make sure that there is no debris build-up such as lint as well as other small particles that come off of your clothing. Another potential culprit can also be some form of clog inside of the flexible vent hose that you can find at the back of your dryer. And lastly, you should check the exhaust duct to make sure that it’s not being blocked by anything and allows the air to escape freely.

If you find that there is no blockage restricting the airflow inside of your appliance – it likely means that the thermal fuse itself has gone bad and will need to be replaced. While this isn’t the most difficult issue to fix, we still strongly recommend you to hire a professional appliance repair technician to do this job.


Issue # 2 – The Gas Valve Solenoid

Dryers that operate on gas typically use several solenoid coils to open the gas valve ports inside of the dryer. This allows gas to get into the burner assembly and light the igniter, which produces the heat your dryer uses to dry your clothes. One potential issue that can lead to your dryer not heating up is that the igniter simply fails to ignite the gas. And in most cases, a broken gas valve solenoid is the likely culprit.

Unfortunately, there is very little that you can do to diagnose this issue at home, at least without having the right and proper training in handling gas appliances. So if you think that you’re facing an issue with your gas valve solenoid, make sure to contact appliance repair company near you to diagnose and resolve this failure.

A healthy gas valve solenoid instealled in an Amana dryer.
Here's what a healthy and functional gas valve solenoid looks like!

Issue # 3 – The Heating Element

In an electric dryer, the current typically flows through a coil of wire called the heating element. These coils are entirely responsible for heating up the air that is being pulled through the heating chamber and then blowing it into the drum to dry your clothes. When the coil will not heat up its deemed to be defective and needs to be replaced.

In most dryers, you can find the heating element just behind the lower front panel. This panel is normally located on the right side of the appliance. To figure out whether or not the element is indeed defective, you’ll need to test it for continuity. If you do find it to be defective, it’s time to call in the cavalry. Unfortunately, due to the fact that you’re dealing with an electrical component, unless you have proper training, we recommend that you turn to an appliance technician to diagnose and replace this part.

Issue #4 – The Flame Sensor

The flame sensor (otherwise known as the radiant sensor) is responsible for detecting the heat coming from an igniter or burner flame in dryers that run on gas. When it does detect heat, it opens the gas valve and makes sure to keep it open while the flame is burning. However, if for any given reason the flame dies out or it can’t detect the heat, it will shut the gas valve closed.

The easiest way to diagnose this issue is to see whether or not the ignitor glows and whether or not the gas valve opens during operation. If you find that the igniter glows, but the gas valve stays closed – the electrical contacts inside of the flame sensor may be damaged.

Fixing this particular issue is yet another fairly complex procedure and is not something that you can do at home by yourself. You should contact an appliance repair company or a trained and certified technician who has their gas c ticket to come by, diagnose, and replace the sensor if it’s found to be defective.

Issue # 5 – Insufficient Power

One of the less common issues behind your dryer not being able to heat up has to do with insufficient power going to your appliance. Most electric dryers rely on a total of 240 volts to run properly. If the voltage is not high enough, or if several electric components are damaged inside of the appliance itself – your dryer simply will not be able to maintain the necessary level of heat. In more drastic situations, you’ll even find that it won’t be able to turn on altogether.

The very first thing you should do when diagnosing this particular issue is to take a look at the circuit box. You’ll need to figure out how much voltage your dryer is actually getting. If you find that you’re not getting enough voltage, you will need to get in touch with a professional electrician to help you run new lines to the appliance.

However, if you find that your dryer is getting the necessary voltage, the issue likely has to do with a broken electrical component inside of the appliance. Since replacing and repairing electrical components can be fairly dangerous, we don’t recommend that you try and fix this problem on your own, either. Get in touch with a certified and licensed technician in your area to make sure everything is fixed in a safe, efficient and correct manner.

So, What Should You Do If Your Dryer Isn’t Heating Up?

Not being able to heat up is definitely one of the more significant issues that can occur with your dryer. And getting a solid handle on what’s causing it and what needs to be replaced can be a pretty complicated task. We hope that this article was able to shed some light on the most typical causes behind this problem. And hopefully, we were able to give you some inspiration in terms of what you can do to potentially start addressing the problem without the help or involvement of an appliance repair technician.

Due to the fact that most underlying issues have to do with either an electrical or gas component inside of your dryer, trying to repair yourself without having the right and proper training can be a pretty dangerous decision. This is why we always recommend that you reach out to speak with a professional and trained appliance repair technician if you have any questions or require a service visit.

If you live in the Burnaby area and you need some help with fixing a dryer that’s not heating, you can always call Top Appliance Repair Burnaby. We work seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Give us a call at 778-655-4689 to speak directly with a professional appliance repair technician in your area.

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