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Dryer Keeps Running / Dryer Not Turning Off

There are certain things we expect out of our appliances. One of those is for the appliance to shut off when it is supposed to shut off.

A dryer that does not turn off and continues to run is linked to the mechanical timer. One of the contacts in the timer has failed but it can’t be repaired. It is necessary to replace the timer to fix the problem.

Two white dryer

There are going to be variations in what may be the problem if the dryer continues to run. Often, it is necessary to look closely at the specifics in order to properly diagnose the issue.

For the most part, when a dryer continues to run, it is more than just an inconvenience. There are times when it can be a safety issue that needs to be addressed.

Before you work on a dryer, it is important to understand how much energy is flowing through it. Dryers are typically on their own circuit with two breakers running 220.

Make sure that the power is fully shut off to the dryer before you work on it. That would include making sure that both of the breakers or fuses are completely off.

As a secondary safety measure, make sure that the dryer is unplugged before you start working on it as well.

Dryer Keeps Running / Dryer Not Turning Off

Although the primary reason why a dryer continues to run is because of the timer, that is not always the issue. It may also be a problem with the door or even the control board.

As you look down through the following scenarios, you are likely to find one that is specific to your needs. You can then address the situation without having to go through a laundry list of possible solutions.

Perhaps one of the first steps to consider is looking for any errors that may be taking place. On newer dryers, error codes may show up in the control panel and they alert you to specific problems that may be occurring.

Each manufacturer has its own list of error codes. You will be able to find a list of those error codes in the user guide.

If you didn’t save the user manual when you purchased the dryer, you can typically find it online on the manufacturer’s website. Just make sure that you are looking at the user manual that is attached to your dryer model number. Otherwise, you may not get the answer you need.

Dryer Keeps Running When Door Is Open

Woman checking the clothes out in the dryer

It can be both annoying and dangerous if a dryer continues to run when the door is open. Typically, however, the repair is straightforward and easy.

A dryer will continue to run when the door is open when the door switch has failed. In most cases, it is not possible to fix the door switch unless a wire has come loose. You will have to remove the door switch and replace it. Make sure that you unplug the dryer before working on the door switch.

Although it may be necessary, at times, to replace the door switch, doing so is not always going to be the best option. At times, it may be necessary simply to put the door switch back into place.

Like many of the smaller parts, the door switch is a relatively simple machine. It is generally made out of plastic and is stuck in place, but it serves a very useful purpose.

If the door is opened during the time that the dryer is running, the door switch will signal the control panel to shut down the appliance. Otherwise, the dryer will continue to run and spin, creating a potential safety hazard.

The door switch is also a relatively weak link when it comes to the overall operation of the dryer. Slamming the door shut continually will often cause the switch to either come out of place or break.

If the door switch has failed, you can unplug the dryer, remove the wires from the switch and replace it with a new one.

Dryer Keeps Running No Heat

frustrated woman sitting on the floor

A dryer relies on heat in order to dry our clothing. Without the heat, it will take a long time to work.

A dryer that is running but not heating up is typically associated with a power issue. There are two breakers associated with the dryer and if one of them has tripped (or if the fuse has blown) it may run but it will not heat. Check the circuit breakers or fuses to ensure that they are still in the on position.

A variety of other issues may also cause the dryer to start heating. Here are a few to consider:

Clogged Vent – It is important to clear out the vent on a regular basis. This would include cleaning the lint screen. Your dryer may stop heating if it does not have the proper airflow. It will detect a high temperature in the dryer consistently and stop the heating element from working.

Thermal Fuse – The thermal fuse measures the temperature in the dryer and shuts things down if it detects a high temperature. If the thermal fuse is failing or has failed, it may continue to allow the dryer to run but it will keep the heating element from heating.

Heating Element – The heating element is what creates the heat in the dryer. If it is broken or has failed in any way, then the dryer will not likely heat.

Both the thermal fuse and heating element can be checked with a multimeter for continuity. They are also relatively easy to replace.

Dryer Keeps Running Clothes Are Dry

frustrated woman sitting on the floor

Modern-day dryers are designed to stop running when the clothing is dry. If yours isn’t stopping, it’s an issue that must be addressed.

A defective thermostat is the most common reason why an electric dryer is not stopping the auto dry cycle. If the thermostat is faulty, it will not relay the proper temperature to the control board and the control board may continue to run the dryer as a result.

Another thermostat that is in modern-day dryers is the cooldown thermostat. This is the thermostat that allows your dryer to continue to operate and fluff the clothing to keep it from wrinkling.

Generally speaking, the cooldown thermostat sends power to the drive motor to allow the dryer to continue to operate until the cycle is fully complete. If it has failed, the drum may turn continually.

You might also want to check the settings to ensure that you don’t have it set to continue to run. Many dryers have this setting to keep clothes from getting wrinkled until you can take them from the dryer.

Dryer Keeps Running At The End Of The Cycle

frustrated woman sitting on the floor

Is your dryer continuing to run after the cycle is complete? This may not be an issue.

Dryers have settings to allow the cycle to continue, even after the clothing is dry. If your dryer is set to fluff the clothing or stop the clothing from getting wrinkles, the drum will continue to turn. This gives you time to get to the dryer and remove the clothing instead of having it sit in the dryer and get wrinkled.

There may also be various issues that could lead to a dryer continuing to run at the end of the cycle. One of the issues may be a bad timer.

You can check the timer with a multi-meter and replace it if necessary. Just be aware that timers are often replaced unnecessarily, so the issue may be elsewhere.

One other problem that can lead to a dryer running at the end of the cycle is an issue with the control panel. It is very difficult to test a control panel but you can visually inspect the circuitry for any burned areas or damage.

In addition, you cannot repair the control panel. It is possible to purchase a new control panel and put it in place.

Dryer Keeps Running On And Off

Adjusting the dryer

Is your dryer turning on and off continually? It is frustrating but it is also easy to fix.

The thermal overload switch or thermal fuse is the culprit if your dryer turns on and off continually. The thermal overload switch determines if the dryer is too hot and will shut it down to keep it from overheating. If the switch or fuse has failed, it will not send the proper signals to the control board.

You may also have a problem with a clogged vent or lint screen. The dryer requires a flow of air, so make sure that you have proper ventilation. This can also be a fire hazard, so make sure it is checked and cleaned on a regular basis.

If your dryer continues to run, the typical problem is with the mechanical timer. A timer works by timing the load and stopping the appliance when the cycle is complete. If it is failing, it may not reach that point in the cycle. A timer can be replaced but it is not typically possible to fix it.

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