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Five Common Clothes Dryer Problems and How to Fix Them

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Let’s face it, a malfunctioning clothes dryer is inconvenient and frustrating. Before you toss in the towel (no pun intended!), here’s a troubleshooting guide for common dryer woes. We’ll discuss issues, solutions, and when to call in reinforcements.

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Dryer Not Heating Up One chilly morning you grab your favorite sweatshirt, expecting warmth, only to find it cold as ice. No heat usually hints at a problem with the heating element, thermal fuse, or your dryer's thermostat.

Dryer Takes Too Long to Dry Clothes Do laundry cycles feel eternal? An excessively long drying time often links to restricted airflow. It's time to investigate your lint filter, dryer vent, and any built-up lint inside the dryer cabinet.

Dryer Makes Strange Noises Screeching, squeaking, or thumping could signal worn-out rollers, a damaged drum belt, or even an object trapped in the dryer drum. Time to break out the detective goggles!

Dryer Not Turning On Check the basics before despairing. A tripped breaker, faulty outlet, or broken door switch could prevent your dryer from starting.

Dryer Overheating An overheating dryer poses a fire risk. Immediately stop the drying cycle and investigate clogged vents, a failing thermostat, or lint buildup.

Dryer Not Tumbling If your clothes aren't tumbling, inspect the drive belt. A broken belt stops drum rotation, halting the drying process.

Dryer Leaving Clothes Damp Damp clothes could indicate inefficient airflow (see those culprits above!) or a failing moisture sensor that incorrectly assesses dryness levels.

Before tackling repairs, get comfy with these basic troubleshooting steps:

  • Check the Power Supply: Is the cord plugged in? Has a circuit breaker tripped?
  • Clean the Lint Filter and Vent: Proper airflow is vital for smooth dryer operation and safety. Clean the lint filter after every cycle and give your vent a regular cleanout.
  • Inspect and Replace the Heating Element: A continuity test with a multimeter will let you know if the heating element has given up the ghost.


  • Check and Adjust the Dryer Settings Using the wrong cycle or overfilling your machine can contribute to drying delays.
  • Clear any Obstructions in the Drum: Foreign objects or tangled clothes can hamper the dryer's spinning action.
  • Test and Replace the Drive Belt: Check the drive belt for cracks and breakage. Worn-out belts need replacement.
  • Check the Moisture Sensor: If your dryer has one, test the sensor's accuracy or consider a replacement.

There are times when you should throw in that towel and admit defeat. Here's when to call an appliance technician:

  • Unexplained Issues: When in doubt, always rely on the experts.
  • Gas Dryer Problems: Handling gas connections is not a DIY job.
  • Complex Repairs: Replacing internal components can be intricate and might require special tools.

Regular maintenance is the key to avoiding dryer-induced despair. Follow these tips for healthy equipment:

  • Clean the lint filter after every load.
  • Schedule regular dryer vent cleanings.
  • Avoid overloading the dryer.
  • Refer to your appliance's instruction manual.

While a dryer breakdown seems like a major crisis, many issues are solvable with a bit of know-how and patience. Keep this guide handy for future hiccups. With your new troubleshooting skills and preventive habits, you'll conquer laundry chaos and be the master of your drying domain!

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