Created on: March 07, 2013
Your clothes dryer is probably not an appliance you think about until something goes wrong. Some common dryer problems can be fixed easily; others require parts and a higher skill level. While you may not be able to make all of the repairs yourself, you can learn how to troubleshoot your clothes dryer. If you have an understanding of what the most likely problem is, you can make a better decision on repairs or replacement.
Remember to unplug the dryer from the receptacle before you begin any serious troubleshooting or remove any panels. Even gas dryers will have an electrical supply; the supply must be disconnected or shut off at the service panel. Your owner’s manual can help you locate parts and may provide additional troubleshooting information.
Voltmeter or multi-meter
Flat and Phillips head screwdrivers
Small nut drivers
How to troubleshoot a clothes dryer that will not start
Your first troubleshooting step is to ensure that the dryer is plugged in and receiving power. Check to make sure that a circuit breaker has not tripped. You can use a voltmeter to ensure that you have the correct voltage at the receptacle. Electric dryers normally operate on 220 to 240 volts.
Dryers do have a safety switch located in the door that prevents the drum from turning while the door is open. The switch may also prevent the motor from turning or allowing the heat to start. You should be able to check and replace this switch yourself.
You will need to gain acces to the switch. Using the resistance setting on your meter, place one lead on one switch connection and the other lead to the other side of the switch. When the switch is open, your meter should give a no connection, infinity, reading. When the switch is closed, your meter should show a zero reading.
You may need to check the ON - OFF switch for the dryer. This is a momentary switch, but it can also be checked with your meter. When the switch is pushed, the meter should indicate a zero reading, showing a connection.
How to troubleshoot a clothes dryer that will not turn
If the drum on your dryer does not turn, the most likely cause is a broken belt. You may be able to observe the condition of the belt by removing an access panel on the rear of the dryer. Remember to unplug the dryer first. Belt replacement is usually not difficult if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If the drum turns slowly or makes a squealing noise, the belt may be wearing out.
Check to see if any foreign objects are caught
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