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GE Dryer Won’t Stay On (How To Fix)

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GE dryers are known for being high quality but what can you do if it shuts off constantly?

If the door switch is not properly engaged on your GE dryer, then it will not stay on. There is a sensor on the switch that recognizes when the door is open and it is a safety mechanism that shuts things down to help protect you.

Unfortunately, if the vibration of the laundry is keeping the door opening, even slightly, you may have a problem with the GE dryer shutting off constantly. You can test this by holding the door shut with your hand. If it stays on, replace the door latch and sensor.

Reasons Why A GE Dryer Won’t Stay On

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Most of us tend to use our dryers on a regular basis and some of us may even use them daily. If you have a dryer that won’t turn on, it’s an inconvenience but there is usually an easily identifiable fix.

A dryer will shut off if the thermal sensors detect high internal temperatures. The vibration of the internal parts moving when you operate the dryer, including the belt and drum, generates heat. As the dryer ages, the heat will become more pronounced, resulting in the power disconnecting for safety reasons.

Quite honestly, there are so many different factors and problems associated with the dryer not turning on it is difficult to put them all in a single article. In this troubleshooting guide, however, we will covered some of the bigger factors that can lead to this problem, including electrical problems and internal problems.

You also need to consider carefully the matter of safety. This is especially true, considering that you will be working in and around electrical components.

Unless you are a trained electrician, you should never work on anything that is not de-energized. Even electricians would do their best to think twice before working on live electrical.

I strongly recommend that you always disconnect the power completely before working on the dryer. Unplugging it is best but if necessary, you can also turn off the circuit breakers.

If you do turn off the circuit breakers, make sure you lock them in some way so that they can’t get turned on accidentally. This happens more often than you probably think, so it is best to err on the side of caution.

You will also be working around mechanical parts and if you aren’t careful, they can also injure you severely. This includes the dryer drum, which could do significant damage to your arm or other body members that gets inside as it is turning.

Never put your fingers where you can’t see them and wear gloves appropriate to the job, because you will be working with sharp metal objects.

Finally, wear safety glasses. A good pair of safety glasses will fit well and you won’t even know you have them on after you wear them for a while.

This may seem extensive, but it’s important to follow. A little safety goes a long way in helping you to be injury free.

Ways to Fix A GE Dryer That Won’t Stay On

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There are a number of reasons why a dryer might not stay on. Some of these are easy to detect and others will take a little testing. Here are the top 5 reasons why a dryer won’t stay on.

Power Failure

The most obvious reason why a dryer won’t stay on is because it is losing power. In order to turn on, it will have to have power but if it does stay on, there may be a power issue.

In all my years as a maintenance man, this was the issue that happened more often than not. The problem is, there are a number of factors that could make a power failure possible. Here are some to consider.

Power Cord – It is possible for a power cord to fail. Typically, this is due to the electrical cord getting stuck behind the dryer and pinched.

Inspect the power cord carefully for any signs of damage, including cuts, pinched areas, or exposed wires. You should also inspect the plug for signs of burning or cracking.

If you see problems with the power cord, it should be replaced. Do not attempt to repair this item.

Receptacle – Although it is unusual for a receptacle to fail, it is possible. You can test the receptacle using a lamp or another appliance. Remember, it is possible for half the receptacle to fail. Replace the receptacle if it is faulty.

Circuit Breaker – One other issue that can occur is for the circuit breaker to trip. Open the circuit breaker panel and look at the breakers for any sign that one is out of line with the others or has a line of red next to it.

If a circuit breaker has tripped, turn it off completely and back on again. That should solve the problem.

When you have a problem with a circuit breaker constantly tripping, it could be due to having additional appliances running on the same circuit or it may be another problem.

Call an electrician if a circuit breaker constantly trips or if you smell smoke or a rotten egg smell. The circuit breaker will need to be replaced.

Door Switch

The door switch has a sensor that automatically shuts the power off to the dryer if it detects that the dryer is open.

If the door switch is faulty, it may allow the door to open just far enough to trigger the sensor. Otherwise, a faulty door sensor may just send inappropriate signals to the control board.

Thermal Fuse

There is a small internal fuse in many appliances known as the thermal fuse. The thermal fuse monitors the temperature inside the dryer and if it gets too hot, it will disconnect the power.

If the thermal fuse is completely blown, you will not get any power to the dryer and it will not turn on. If it starts running and stops, it may be a problem with a faulty or loose thermal fuse.

Control Board

Although it is more likely for other issues to be causing this problem, it may also be a problem with the control board. If the control board is faulty or damaged, various problems can occur.

After disconnecting the power, you can remove the control board to inspect it. You will likely not be able to test the control board but you can check it for signs of burning or damaged circuitry.

You can also carefully look at the wiring and if you notice any damaged wires or if any are loose and disconnected, they should be replaced.

A faulty control board cannot be fixed but it can be replaced.

Overheating Due To Clogged Ventilation System

The final issue is for the dryer to overheat, which would trigger the safety features and cause the dryer to shut off.

Overheating may occur when the ventilation is clogged. This could include the ventilation pipe or it may be the lint trap. Regularly clean lint from the dryer and the dryer hose.

A problem with an overheating dryer due to a clogged ventilation system is more than a nuisance, it causes many fires every year.

Considerations When Fixing GE Dryer

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As you can tell from the issues noted above, there are numerous reasons why a dryer won’t stay on. There are also some things you can do to get beyond discovering why the issue is happening and actually doing something about it.

The following three solutions tend to work in most cases when a dryer won’t stay on. It doesn’t take long to address the issue in these ways, so it’s good to try them first.

Reset the Circuit Breaker

Since power troubles are behind most of the issues with dryers not staying on, it’s good to check the circuit breaker panel before you do anything else.

A dryer is a high-energy unit, so it typically has one of the higher breakers in the breaker box. In addition, most dryers use a double breaker and they are on the circuit alone.

A tripped breaker is easy to identify. It will not line up perfectly with the other breakers, although a tripped breaker does not completely close and flip to the other side.

Additionally, there is red on the breaker to the side of the switch, and you will be able to see some of the red in most cases when the breaker has tripped.

You can reset the circuit breaker by flipping it to the off position and flipping it back to the on position again. When you turn it off, it may feel soft, almost as if it won’t click.

Once you continue to turn the breaker off, it will feel normal and when you turn it back on, it will feel normal.

If a breaker continues to trip repeatedly, it is something that should be addressed by an electrician. It may be a problem in line between the breaker and the dryer or it could be a bad breaker.

Replacing the Thermal Fuse

As we discussed earlier, the thermal fuse is a safety feature built into most appliances. When high temperatures are detected, the thermal fuse will disconnect.

Just like a regular fuse that has blown, a thermal fuse is a one-way device. Once it has blown, you will not be able to repair it.

Fortunately, replacing a thermal fuse is an easy process and they are relatively inexpensive. Turn off the power, remove the panel, and locate the thermal fuse.

Remove the thermal fuse from the dryer and use a multimeter to test the continuity of the item. If it doesn’t check for continuity, that means that it has served its purpose and is no longer usable.

Do not attempt to repair the fuse. It must be replaced with a new fuse.

Replace a Faulty Door Switch

When you open the door to the dryer while it is operating, the dryer drum will stop turning. This is a safety feature that is built into the dryers to keep it from operating with the door open.

If a door switch is failing, it may allow the door to open far enough to trigger the safety mechanism. This can happen once the dryer starts working and the pressure and vibration of the spinning drum cause the door to push open.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on July 17, 2023.

It is noteworthy that the door will not open completely. It will just open far enough that the switch will trigger, and in most cases, you will not be able to detect the door is open. Otherwise, the switch could just be bad and would trigger the dryer to shut off randomly.

After removing the door switch, you can check it for continuity after activating the switch. If you don’t have continuity, the switch is bad and should be replaced.

Like a thermal fuse, a door switch and sensor cannot be repaired. It is a relatively simple and inexpensive item but you will have to replace it.

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GE Dryer Won’t Turn Off (How To Fix)