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Dryer Not Drying

We tend to expect a lot out of the appliances in our home but for our dryer, we really just want it to dry our clothes. If your dryer isn’t drying, it’s a big problem.

A common reason why a dryer isn’t drying properly is due to the settings. On newer dryers, there is a timed dry and an auto dry setting. Auto dry uses sensors to determine if the load has dried appropriately. You may need to switch to timed drying to completely dry the clothes in some cases.

White dryer behind the table

If the auto dry is not working, then it is likely a problem with one of the sensors. It should work properly and it is better to use auto dry if at all possible.

Auto dry keeps the clothes from being on the dry cycle too long. This can make your clothing last longer and it saves energy. If your clothes are not drying because of auto dry not working, have it repaired.

Dryer Not Drying

Obviously, a problem with the settings is not going to work for everyone. In some cases, there may not even be an auto dry setting on the dryer.

That is why it is good to look into the following issues to see if one of them is the problem.

Circuit Breaker – If the circuit breaker to the dryer trips, it will not work at all. The thing is, there are two circuit breakers for your dryer so if one of them is not working, it may not be heating properly.

Check the circuit breakers and make sure that one of them has not tripped. If you have fuses instead of circuit breakers, make sure that one of them is not blown.

If, after resetting the circuit breaker or replacing the fuse, the issue continues to occur, you may need to contact an electrician. A circuit breaker should not continually trip, especially if it does not have an obvious reason why it is doing so.

Control Board – The control board is like the brain of the dryer. It operates all of the little parts, as well as the big parts.

If there is a problem with the control board, the dryer may not be operating as expected. This could keep the clothes from drying properly as it may be shutting off the cycle before it is complete.

Of course, there are a wide variety of issues that may be associated with a faulty control board. These can include things such as the heating element not working, the dryer not tumbling, or a variety of other issues.

You can’t test the control board but you can inspect it to see if there are any areas of burnt circuitry. If you detect any problems with a visual inspection of the control board, it should be replaced.

Thermal Fuse – This fuse works by detecting the heat in the dryer and turning the dryer off if it gets too hot. If it is faulty, it may lead to a variety of problems.

A faulty thermal fuse could stop the dryer from working altogether. It might also stop the heating element from working, or it could allow the heating element to work but the dryer not to tumble.

You can check the thermal fuse with a multimeter. If it doesn’t check out for continuity, it should be replaced.

Door Switch – Although a door switch is a relatively simple device, it is one that can cause problems. The door switch may be signaling the control panel that the door is open, even if it is closed.

As a result, the cycle may continue but the faulty door switch keeps the control panel from turning on the tumbler or the heat. It could lead to extensive dry times.

Lint Trap – If the lint trap is clogged or full, then it may not allow the dryer to work. It will just continue to circulate the moist air inside of the dryer continually.

Air Vent – If the air vent is clogged or if the vent hose is pinched, it will not allow the moist air to escape. This can also lead to longer dry times.

Dryer Belt – If the dryer belt is stretched or broken, the drum will not spin. You can test the dryer belt by spinning the drum by hand and if it does not meet with any resistance, you should inspect the belt.

There may also be times when your dryer is not drying but it gives additional symptoms. Here are a few to consider:

Dryer Getting Hot But Not Drying

Woman putting clothes in dryer

Is your dryer getting hot but the clothes are not getting dry? This is a problem that should be corrected ASAP.

The most common reason why a dryer isn’t drying properly is that the lint trap is clogged. With a clogged lint trap, the moist air continues to circulate inside of the dryer. It may still be getting hot, but the clothes will stay wet.

Something similar may also be happening with the air vent. If it has become damaged or clogged, it needs to be cleared out and repaired.

A clogged air vent is more than an inconvenience, it is a fire hazard.

Dryer Not Drying No Heat/Not Heating

frustrated woman sitting on the floor

A dryer needs to get hot in order to dry the clothes properly. If it is not heating, it may be an issue with a fuse.

A bad thermal fuse will keep a dryer from heating, although it may allow the dryer to operate otherwise. The thermal fuse detects high temperatures and shuts off the heating coil to keep the dryer from getting too hot. If the thermal fuse is malfunctioning, it needs to be replaced.

Sometimes, one of the two circuit breakers associated with the dryer can trip but the other one is still sending power. This can be a problem that keeps the dryer from heating but does not stop it from tumbling.

You can reset the circuit breaker by turning it off and back on again. If it continues to be a problem, an electrician may need to come out and replace the circuit breaker.

Dryer Not Drying Vent Clear

Woman putting clothes in dryer

One of the first things we check when a dryer is not working is if the vent is clear. If the vent is clear but it is still not drying, what is the problem?

Modern-day dryers have settings that allow the clothes to be dried automatically. The auto dry setting detects when the clothes are dry and shuts off the dryer at that time. If the auto dry setting is not working properly, you may need to set things on a timed dry cycle to finish drying the clothes.

Auto dry works by using sensors to determine if the moisture is sufficiently gone from the clothing. If those sensors have gone bad, they should be replaced.

You can always operate a dryer on a timed dry setting but your clothes will not last as long and it will likely use more power. Auto dry is always a better option.

Dryer Not Drying All The Way

Woman putting clothes in dryer

Do your clothes always seem to come out of the dryer wet? If they aren’t drying completely, it may be a problem with loading.

We tend to overload the dryer because we want to get as much done in as little time as possible. The dryers manufactured for home use are not made to handle extra-large loads consistently. Although it seems as if you are saving time, you are actually taking more time in the process. Reduce the size of your loads and they will dry properly.

Another issue that can keep your clothes from drying completely is if the lint screen is dirty. The lint screen should be cleaned every time you use the dryer, otherwise, it will just recirculate moist air.

Something similar can happen if the dryer vent is clogged. Make sure that you are cleaning the dryer vent and inspecting the hoses at least once a year.

Dryer Not Drying On First Cycle

Woman putting clothes in dryer

Is your dryer going through multiple cycles before the clothes are dry? There are a number of issues that could lead to this problem.

If your dryer is not drying, check the lint screen. If you don’t clean it after every use, then you will simply be recirculating moist air inside of the dryer. Generally speaking, you can use your fingers to pull off the lint but occasionally, you can wash it with soap and warm water.

Another issue is overloading the dryer. This can keep the clothes from drying on the first cycle but it may also damage the machine, including stretching out the dryer belt.

Is your dryer level? This can have an effect on how quickly the clothing gets dry. It can also affect how long the clothes dryer lasts before it needs to be repaired.

Dryer Not Drying Feet Not Level

Woman smelling the clothes

Are you having a problem with your dryer? It may be that the dryer is not level.

A dryer has leveling feet for a reason. It needs to be level for the dryer to work properly and to get the clothes dry consistently. If you are using a dryer that is out of level, it is putting a strain on all of the inner working parts and will likely not operate as expected.

Fortunately, most dryers are easy to level. They have feet that screw in and out using a wrench.

For the most part, you can level a dryer by adjusting the front feet that you have easy access to. In some cases, you may need to pull the dryer out and adjust the back feet as well.

If your dryer is not drying, it is likely due to a setting. If you are using auto dry, try using a timed dry setting instead. Auto dry is always preferable but if the sensors are going bad or if you are overloading the dryer, you may need to time the dry cycle instead.

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