Why Won’t My Dryer Heat?
Your dryer has one job — to dry your clothes. But for some reason, your clothes keep coming out damp or even still totally wet! So, what gives? Are you using the wrong setting? Is there a clog in your dryer? Can dryers get clogged? Fear not, fellow launderer. We’ve got a few potential answers as to why your dryer won’t heat.
How Does A Dryer Work?
The function of your dryer is to produce heat inside the drum and spin your clothes using a tumbler. As your dryer heats up, the water in your wet, tumbling clothes evaporates and is pushed out of the dryer’s exhaust vent. Stray fibers and lint are also trapped in the lint screen.
This process is simple in theory. But if one or both of those functions isn’t working, your clothes aren’t likely to dry anytime soon. Here are a few scenarios you can use to pinpoint and troubleshoot your dryer’s heating problem.
I moved my dryer, and now it won’t heat up.
A lot can go wrong during a move — especially when moving a heavy appliance. If your dryer isn’t working after a move, a few culprits may be to blame.
Check the power cord
Today’s dryers use a standardized 4-prong outlet — an upgrade from the older 3-prong outlet. Per the National Electric Code, houses must be built to accommodate the 4-prong dryer outlet.
However, older houses may still have the 3-prong wall outlet, forcing you or a professional to replace your dryer’s 4-prong power cable with a 3-prong. If this is the case, have a professional inspect the cable connections on your dryer to ensure the wires are correctly connected to the dryer’s terminal block.
Check your home’s breaker panel and wiring
If everything looks good on your dryer, it’s time to check the breaker. Your dryer uses a lot of energy to heat up, which means it requires its own breaker to send 240 volts to that special 3 or 4-prong outlet in your wall.
If the breaker or the wiring from the breaker to the outlet isn’t up to code, you may not be getting adequate voltage to run your dryer properly. Have a certified electrician test the voltage on your dryer’s outlet to ensure the breaker isn’t the issue.
Check the gas connection to your dryer
To heat the dryer drum in a gas dryer, a gas connection from your home to the dryer is required. If the gas isn’t connected properly, the dryer may not be getting enough energy to heat up. To troubleshoot this issue, ensure that the gas valve is tightly connected at the back of the dryer.
Something broke during the move
If your dryer was dropped or handled roughly during the move, it may have broken or knocked a part loose. Though a dryer’s function is pretty simple, how it works is pretty complex. If you have an electric dryer, the wiring or connections may have become disconnected. If you have a gas dryer, components such as the ignitor may have been broken, causing the dryer not to heat. If something in your dryer broke during a move, it’s best to call your dryer’s manufacturer for authorized repair services.
My dryer heats up but won’t spin.
There are a few potential reasons why your dryer heats up but won’t turn the drum.
The drive belt is broken
Your dryer’s drive belt turns the drum that tumbles your clothes as they dry. If the drive belt is broken or disconnected, there’s no mechanism to turn the drum. Have a professional check your dryer’s drive belt to ensure it is in good condition and is connecting the drum to the motor.
The dryer isn’t getting enough power
Just like a dryer that spins but won’t heat, a dryer that heats but won’t spin could be caused by insufficient power — either from the circuit breaker or within the actual dryer. Have an electrician perform a voltage test on the outlet to ensure that the dryer is receiving the appropriate 240 volts. If so, have a professional inspect your machine to ensure all the internal electrical connections are working as they should.
Upgrade Your Dryer at Rent-A-Center
Trying to figure out what’s wrong with your dryer can really burn you out. Instead, skip the hassle of repair and troubleshooting, and upgrade your dryer with a new brand-name unit from Rent-A-Center!