Dryer Diagnosis & Repair
Before we start with any diagnosis or any repair, we must give you an URGENT WARNING
Your dryer is hooked up to either a 240 volt(electric dryer) or a 120
volt(gas dryer) electric source. Either source can easily shock you and
you! Use extreme caution and make sure to unplug the appliance or remove the electrical power to the dryer!
Another thing to keep in mind. More and more appliances, including
dryers, are going to electronic controls with digital readouts. These
types of appliances usually have the capability of giving you an error
code. These error codes can then be looked up in either the owner's
manual, tech sheet(somewhere on or in your appliance) or on-line. This
error code can save you or the technician time in diagnosing the
problem with the unit.
One other thing to remember before calling for dryer repair,
is make sure the dryer is getting power. That it is plugged in and the
breaker is fully on. We hate charging for a service call when the
problem was a tripped breaker.
Dryer Won't Start
1st check to make sure your dryer is getting the proper voltage
by using a voltage meter or multi-meter. Electric dryers should have
220-240 volts while Gas dryers will have 110-120 volts. You can either
check the wall receptacle or at where the cord comes into the dryer.
This should be always your 1st test to diagnose a problem. If you do
not have the proper voltage, then your dryer will not start or possibly
just not heat.
For example, on a electric dryer you have either a 3 wire or 4
wire plug coming into the dryer. No mater what, the 2 outside spades
are your hot leads(the red wire & black wire), the other one or two
spades are your neutral/ground or your neutral & ground separated.
Take a voltage measurement across the black & red leads on the back
of the dryer and you should get 220-240 volts. Measure either the black
or red leads to the white or ground leads and you should get 110-120
back to the dryer itself, depending on the brand dryer, say a
Whirlpool, the black wire runs both the motor and the heat element, and
the red wire only runs the heat element. So, if your breaker to your
electric dryer is only partially tripped(1 of 2 breakers) you could see
your dryer either run with no heat, or it would not start at all. That
is why it is so important to check your voltage before starting any
Now unplug or remove the power to the dryer to check other
causes. Your door switch could be open, not completing the circuit.
This can be checked by a resitance/OHM test. Your Thermal Fuse could be
open which is usually located on the blower or heat element housings.
That again can be tested with an OHM tester. The Push-to-Start button
may not be closing, again test with OHM tester. Your timer may not be
sending the voltage out, this is a little more complicated test to do.
You have to be able to read the wiring diagram and test for voltage
coming out of the timer to the motor, use extreme
this test. The motor start switch or motor itself could be open, again
read the wiring diagram and perform an OHM test on the correct wires
with the unit unplugged. Lastly, check the obvious for any broken or
loose wires and/or connections.
Dryer runs, but does not turn
This problem is usually pretty easy. If you here your dryer
motor running and the drum is not turning, most of the time you need a
new drum belt. Other causes could be a broken drum belt idler or
pulley, a stripped pulley on the motor, or something jammed between the
drum and dryer cabinet keeping ot from spinning.
Dryer runs, but timer does not move
Another fairly easy one. Most of the time, you have a stripped
timer, especially if you are using it on the timed drying cycle. Other
causes could be a thermostat problem in the auto-dry cycle or the
sensors inside the drum are not reading properly.
Dryer runs, but does not turn off
These causes are just like the last topic, but most likely is in your timer.
Dryer door does not close or keeps popping open
This is a simple latch problem. It is usually in the receiver part
of the latch, but replace both sides when you get the kit. Also on
matching front load washers and dryers wher you have 2 latches, it is
extremely important you put the right latch in either the top or
bottom. The Whirlpool latch kit specifies which color(strenth of hold)
latch receiver either goes in the top or bottom.
Dryer runs, but produces no heat(non vent problem)
Most of the time, this is caused by either an open heat element,
hi-limit cut-off switch, or operating thermostat. Occasionally your
timer or control can be the cause, and also don't forget to check for
those loose, broken wires or connectors.
Dryer runs, but seems to be cycling too often(non vent problem)
This problem is not to common if your dryer vent is good. The
main cause of this is usually an operating thermostat or your
timer/control reading the info it gets wrong. Usually when a thermostat
goes, it just opens and no heat is produced.
Dryer runs, but gets too hot, never cycles off(non vent problem)
This problem usually means you have a short somewher in your
dryer. Most likely the heat element. A lot of times, when this problem
occurs, your dryer can even heat up when it is off. The element has
either broken off and welded itself to the element side or something
has gotten into the element. We have seen metal underwires from bra goe
through the holes in the back of the drum and lodge themselves inside
the element. This creates a dead short and always heat situation.
Dryer runs, but sounds like tennis shoes inside or scraping noise
Let us state this first, Whirlpool and Maytag dryers use roller
supports in the back and either rollers or a slide/seal for support in
the front. One noise you will always get with these type of dryers is a
constant "thump" noise. This noise is caused by the seam of the drum
going over the roller support. Nothing you can do about this thumping
noise, and depending on how smooth this seam is, depends on the sound
level of the noise. Whirlpool and Maytags also use felt drum seals that
are attached to their drums.
GE and Frigidaire drums have a center support in the back of
the drum and a system of slides or felts in front to support the drum.
No seals are actually attached to the drum itself. Now back to the
The tennis shoe noise is usually associated with a bad roller
support and will be more common on the Whirlpool and Maytag brand
dryers. When replacing the Whirlpool back support rollers, make sure
the support axle is coming out straight from the back bulkhead. A bent
axle will cause premature failure of these rollers. A lint buildup will
also cause premature failure of the bearing part of all rollers. These
rollers are held on by either a triangular plastic clip or a spring
The scraping noise may be caused by either something getting
stuck in either a dryer seal, felt or slide, or the noise can be from
worn drum seals, worn front felt/slides, or a worn center back support.
To fix any of these problems, you must know how to get into the front
of your dryer and disassemble the drum. Inspect all rollers, seals,
felts, slides, or supports. Replace the defective part.
Dryer repair is not rocket science.
It can be done by many, if
you think you can do it and need some more help, just drop us a line
and we will do what we can. We will also be offering DIY Manuals
shortly. If dryer repair is not for you, and you would like to schedule
service, just click here and fill out the request form and we will get
back to you as soon as we can.
If you would like some maintenance tips to prevent dryer repair, click
here or go to our dryer vent issue page. The dryer vent is the life
blood of your dryer. please comment on these solution by voting or rating on how helpful