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Dryer Not Starting

Having a clothes dryer is one of the most convenient appliances. We likely use it every week but when it’s not starting, it can be a real inconvenience. At times, it may be necessary to restart your dryer. Doing so can fix many of the most common issues.

To reset a dryer, you need to cycle the power. This is done by either unplugging the dryer or turning the circuit breaker off. The dryer will likely maintain some of the electrical charge so you need to leave the power off for up to five minutes. After reestablishing the power, it will be reset.

man fixing the dryer

One of the benefits of having a dryer as an appliance is the fact that it is a simple machine. There are a few working parts, but in most cases, a restart is all that is needed to get it working again.

Of course, there are some things that may not be fixed with a simple restart. These can include issues with the control board or if the timer has broken.

Dryer Not Starting

There are many reasons why your dryer may not start. In some cases, it is an easy fix but in other cases, it may require more work on your part.

Electrical Issues – These problems can fall into a number of different categories. Some of them can be fixed within a matter of seconds and others may require some extensive repair work. Here are a few to consider.

1. Circuit breaker – If the circuit breaker has tripped, you will need to reset it. Go to the breaker panel and see if one of the breakers is out of line.

Keep in mind that a dryer runs on two separate circuit breakers or fuses. More than likely, they are connected to each other in the breaker panel.

In some homes, the circuits may be separated from each other. The drum may still turn if one of the circuit breakers has blown but it will not operate properly. For example, it may not heat.

2. Power Cord – The power cord may be bad in some cases. It is commonly referred to as a pigtail on a dryer.

The pigtail should be replaced each time you get a new dryer with a brand-new pigtail. You should not use the pigtail from an old dryer on a new dryer.

You can inspect the power cord for any damage. This would include any burnt areas around the plug. If you open the panel to look at the connectors for the pigtail, make sure that you turn the circuit breaker off first.

3. Receptacle – A clothes dryer uses a specific type of receptacle. You will not be able to plug something else into it to test it. You can, however, test the receptacle with an electrical tester to see if it is properly powered.

4. Power Surge – If you have a power surge at your home, it can damage the dryer or the electrical components that operate it. It is difficult to know if you have had a power surge but if the dryer is not working, it may be a possibility.

Faulty Control Board – If the control board has become faulty, it can cause the dryer to stop operating. It may completely stop working or certain parts of it may not work any longer.

It is very difficult to test a control board with a multimeter. What you can do, however, is visually inspect the control board for any damage, such as a burnt area or a crack.

You may find it beneficial to inspect the control board using a magnifying glass. Doing so will give you a better view.

Thermal Fuse – This is one of the more common issues that occur with a dryer. The thermal fuse is a device that measures the temperature in the dryer and stops it from working if it has become too hot.

One of the issues that can result in the thermal fuse stopping the machine from working is if the vent is clogged. The vent allows the hot, moist air to escape from the dryer and if it is clogged, it will overheat.

You can test the thermal fuse for continuity with a multimeter. If the thermal fuse has gone bad and it doesn’t have continuity, it will need to be replaced.

Door Switch – The door switch is a part of the dryer that is often overlooked. It is a simple device, but if it is broken, then the dryer will not work.

If you are using a top load dryer, the door switch is commonly broken because people allow the lid to slam shut. On a front load dryer, the door switch may sometimes break or get out of line.

Since a dryer is designed not to operate if the door is open, a faulty door switch will keep the dryer from operating. It sends the signal that the door is open, even when it is closed.

Start Switch – If the start switch is not working, the dryer will not operate. You can test the start switch with a multimeter for continuity. At times, you may hear a humming sound when you push the start button on the dryer but it will not work. The start switch is fine if you hear the humming sound.

Drive Belt – If your dryer is not turning but the drive motor is on, then the drive belt is the likely culprit. There are also some dryers that operate using a switch and if it is broken, it will not work.

Timer – If you have someone come to your home to fix the dryer, they may automatically say it is the timer. In reality, the timer is not often the problem. It’s not easily tested so if you suspect that it is the timer, it may need to be replaced.

Your dryer may also give you certain signals that there is something specific wrong. If it isn’t starting but it has other symptoms, it may be letting you know what is wrong so you can fix it.

Dryer Buzzing Not Starting

frustrated woman sitting on the floor

Is your dryer buzzing but not starting? This is a common issue and one that may be relatively easy to fix.

The buzzing sound you hear when your dryer is not starting is the motor. Before you replace the motor, take it out and use an air hose to blow the motor clean. Pay particular attention to the area around the bearings. You can then lubricate the bearings and reinstall the motor. More than likely, this easy fix will get your dryer starting again.

Although you may be able to save a considerable amount of time and money by cleaning the motor, there may also be times when the motor does go bad. It may be possible to repair the motor but in some cases, it is easier to replace.

Sometimes, you may hear the humming or buzzing sound when you push the start button on the dryer and it will work. Over time, however, the sound may get louder and the dryer will eventually stop working.

One thing you can do is to open the door of the dryer and rotate the drum manually in a counterclockwise direction. After turning the drum several times, close the door and see if the dryer will start again.

If the dryer does not start, you may be able to test it further by holding the door switch in and rotating the drum manually while somebody else presses the start button.

In either case, you may have to remove the motor and test it with a multimeter. If you find that the motor is bad, it will have to be replaced.

Dryer Not Starting Clicking Sound

Adjusting the dryer

Your dryer may make a clicking sound if it is not operating properly. If you find that is true in your case, there are a few things you can check.

When a dryer does not start and is making a clicking sound, it is probably a problem with a switch. One of the first things to check is the door switch, which signals the control board that the door is shut and the dryer can operate. If the door switch has gone bad or is out of line, it will not allow the machine to operate in the clicking noise may be your signal that it needs fixed.

There may also be other reasons why you hear the clicking sound but the dryer is not operating. Here are a few different things to check before you call a technician.

Thermal Fuse – The thermal fuse is a relatively simple device but it can cause problems if it is not operating properly. It is a fuse that checks the temperature of the dryer and breaks continuity if the dryer gets too hot.

If the thermal fuse has gone bad, then it will not allow the dryer to operate. The clicking noise may just be a signal in the background that the fuse has gone bad.

You can check the thermal fuse for continuity using a multimeter. It is relatively easy to replace.

Start Switch – The start switch is also another simple device that sometimes goes bad in a dryer. You can check the start switch with a multi-meter and replace it if necessary.

Dryer Belt – If the dryer belt has stretched or is broken, then the drum will not turn. The dryer may make a clicking noise as it tries to operate, but it may not start if the dryer belt has gone bad.

Location – This may sound strange, but it can indicate a problem that could cause the dryer not to start but it will still make a clicking sound.

If you have recently moved your dryer to a new location in the home, try going back to the old location and see if it works.

This is not always going to be easy, because you can’t plug most dryers into any receptacle. If you do have the outlets in more than one location, however, it could indicate a problem with the house wiring that needs attention.

Dryer Turning On But Not Starting

Frustrated woman behind the dryer

Are you getting power to your dryer but it is not starting? This can be due to a number of different issues.

A faulty door switch is a likely culprit if your dryer is turning on but not starting. The door switch signals the control panel that the door is shut but if it is broken or out of line, it will tell the control panel that the door is open. Since a dryer, particularly a frontload dryer does not operate with the door open, it will have power but not start.

You can check the door switch with a multimeter for continuity. If you find that it does not have continuity, it will need to be replaced.

If the door switch is working fine but the dryer is still not starting, then the door may be out of line. If it is not properly engaging the door switch, you will have the same results.

There may also be other issues that can lead to the dryer not starting, even though it has power. Here are a few to consider:

Thermal Fuse – The thermal fuse regulates the heat in a dryer by breaking continuity and stopping the dryer from operating if it gets too hot. If your thermal fuse is going bad, it may not allow the dryer to start in the first place.

A thermal fuse can be checked for continuity using a multi-meter and they are easy to replace.

Control Board – When the control board goes bad, many parts of the dryer may not function as expected. This could include the dryer turning on but not starting when you push the start button.

It is difficult to test the control board because there are so many different components associated with it. What you can do is visually inspect the board for any damage, including burnt areas or cracks.

It is not possible to repair a control board but you can replace it.

Dryer Timer – This is probably one of the most commonly replaced components of a dryer but it is also the least likely to be a problem. If the dryer timer has gone bad, however, it is easy to replace.

Dryer Motor Not Starting

frustrated woman sitting on the floor

One of the problems that can occur with a dryer is for it to get power but not start. This may sometimes be an issue with the dryer motor.

If the thermal fuse has gone bad it can stop the dryer motor from operating. The thermal fuse breaks continuity if it measures a temperature that is too high inside of the dryer. When a thermal fuse goes bad, it breaks continuity permanently so the dryer will not start.

Although it is a relatively easy thing to test and replace the thermal fuse, there may be other repairs necessary to keep it from happening again.

One thing that you may need to do is check the exhaust vent. If it is clogged, then the dryer will get hot very quickly and the thermal fuse will blow.

You might also want to check the dial timer if you are using a dryer that has one. If the switch that you push to start the dryer has broken, then the motor will not operate when you try to start it.

Dryer Not Starting And Door Not Closing

Man opening the dryer

Dryers will not operate properly if the door has not closed. In some cases, a door not closing will stop the dryer from starting in the first place.

The most common reason why a dryer will not start and the door will not close is that the door switch has gone bad. The door switch can hold the door shut but it also can signal the control panel that the door is shut and it is okay to operate. If the door switch has gone bad, the door may open on its own and the machine will stop.

Along with a problem with the door switch, you may also have an issue with a broken door latch. This is a particular problem in a front load dryer.

In most cases, a door latch is made of plastic or very cheap metal. If you constantly slam the door of the dryer, it will eventually break the latch and cause this problem.

Something similar can also happen in a top load dryer. Slamming the lid shut will often break the latch or the switch and the dryer will not fully operate as expected.

Dryer Not Starting Burnt Smell

Woman smelling the clothes

If your dryer is not operating and it is putting off a burning smell, it is something that needs to be repaired right away.

A common reason why you get a burning smell from the dryer when it is not working is because of a buildup of lint. This can either be in the lint trap or in the exhaust vent. This is more than an issue that causes the dryer not to operate, it can also be a fire hazard and your dryer will not operate efficiently if it does run in the first place.

If you do not have a problem with a clogged vent or lint buildup, there may be other issues that can lead to a burning smell when the dryer is not working.

If the drive belt has gone bad, it can smell like burning rubber while the clothes are being dried. Eventually, the dryer will not operate.

If the thermal fuse has blown or is going bad, it may also lead to a burning smell from the dryer.

When a dryer is not starting, it may need to be reset. You can unplug the dryer from the power or turn off the circuit breaker for a few minutes to allow the power to dissipate. After reestablishing the power, wait a few minutes and then try operating the dryer as normal.

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