Dryer: Clothes not drying

It's not unusual for heavier items like jeans or towels to have a few damp patches when the drying cycle ends, especially in a mixed load of light and heavy fabrics. But if the whole load is still sodden, you need to figure out why. Try this simple fix first: Clean lint and debris from the vent tube and exterior damper using a lint brush; lint decreases dryer performance and is a fire hazard. If your clothes are still coming out wet, consider the repairs listed below, most of which have to do with the dryer not heating properly or shutting off too soon.

For help figuring out why your dryer won’t heat, check out our troubleshooting videos.

These repairs may help solve your Dryer problem:

Regular dryer preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance kit

Preventive maintenance for a dryer includes cleaning lint from the vent tube that runs from the dryer to the outdoors. Trapped lint can clog the tube, which creates a fire hazard and can increase drying times. To get out crayon, ink or fabric-dye stains, spray the marks with a non-flammable household cleaner, dampen a clean rag with water and wipe the inside of the drum, and then put clean, old, dry towels in the dryer and run it on Air Dry for 10 minutes to remove residue. To remove gum, let the dryer tumble on the hot setting for 10 minutes. When it stops, soak a dryer sheet in a clothing stain remover and wipe the gum with the dryer sheet.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the dryer gas valve coils

Gas valve coil kit

The gas burner assembly uses solenoid coils in a circuit with the flame sensor to safely ignite the burner. When the dryer starts a heated cycle, the circuit through those components is energized. The igniter glows until it reaches the proper temperature to ignite the gas, at which point the flame sensor trips open and the current flowing through that circuit is diverted to the gas valve coils so the gas valves open, and the burner lights and continues to burn. If the solenoid coils on the gas valves fail, the gas valves won't open for ignition. If the gas valve coils are weak, the burner lights during the initial ignition sequence from a cold start but it fails to light the burner on subsequent ignition attempts. In this situation, replace the valve coils.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the dryer heating element

Heating element

The heating element generates the heat needed to dry garments. If the dryer is not heating, check the element for visible damage and replace the heating element if it's broken. Almost all electric heating elements require 240 volts to function correctly; if the heating element won't heat even though it's getting the 240-volt power, replace it even if it doesn't look broken.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Repair or replace the dryer electronic control board

Electronic control board

The electronic control board governs the timing and execution of dryer functions. The wiring connections on the control board can be repaired, but the control board itself cannot. Replace the electronic control board if it's receiving voltage but isn't transmitting it to the dryer components, causing the dryer to not work. It can be difficult to determine if the electronic control board is the problem (unless you see burn marks on it) and it's an expensive part that can't be returned once installed; for that reason, have a trained service technician perform advanced diagnostics on control board before you replace it.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the dryer thermal cut-off fuse

Thermal cut-off fuse

The thermal cut-off fuse is a safety device that shuts down the burner if the dryer severely overheats. The dryer severely overheats if the high-limit thermostat didn't shut off the dryer when the heating element began overheating. You can't reset the thermal cut-off fuse—you must replace it, as well as the failed high-limit thermostat. The thermal cut-off fuse kit contains both components.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the dryer timer

Timer

The timer on the control panel lets you set the drying time by turning the timer's control knob. A small motor on the back of the timer advances the timer during the cycle. The timer's internal cams open and close switches or contacts to operate the various electro-mechanical components in the dryer (mainly the drive motor and the heating element). Replace the timer if the contacts aren't working, the dryer won't start, heat or the timer won't advance.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the flame sensor

Flame Sensor

The flame sensor detects when the igniter is hot enough to light the gas burner and trips to begin the ignition process in a gas dryer. If the flame sensor doesn't trip, then the burner won't light and the dryer won't heat. Replace the flame sensor if it doesn't trip when the igniter heats to ignition temperature.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the dryer igniter

Igniter

The igniter glows white hot at the start of the burner ignition sequence. When it's hot enough to ignite gas, the flame sensor detects the temperature and opens electrically to divert current flow to the gas valve coils. The gas valves open, and the burner lights. If the igniter doesn't get hot enough to trigger the rest of the chain of events, replace the igniter.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the dryer operating thermostat

Operating thermostat

The operating thermostat—also called the cycling thermostat—senses the air temperature inside the dryer drum. It controls the heating element in an electric dryer and the burner in a gas dryer, turning that heat source on and off to maintain the temperature at about 150 degrees Fahrenheit for the Normal setting. If the thermostat fails, it won't control the heat source, in which case the dryer might not heat at all or it could overheat. If the operating thermostat is not regulating the dryer heat properly, replace it.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the dryer thermistor

Thermistor

The thermistor is the dryer's temperature sensor, which is usually mounted on the blower housing. If it doesn't detect temperature properly, replace it. If it has a catastrophic failure and ceases working at all, the dryer usually displays a fault code.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace a dryer heater relay

Heater relay

Some dryers have a heater relay that the electronic control board controls. The heater relay controls the heating element in an electric dryer and the gas burner assembly in a gas dryer. If the heater relay fails, the dryer runs but doesn't heat up.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

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