Prioritizing Your Appliances

What To Do When Your Dryer Doesn't Heat

When your dryer doesn't heat, your clothes don't get dried. If you're dealing with this issue, there are a couple different things that could be causing the problem. Here, you'll find out how to test and diagnose the lack of heat in your clothes dryer.

Electrical Supply

If the dryer isn't getting enough electricity, it will not be able to produce the heat that it needs to dry the clothing. You'll need a voltmeter to test the wall outlet. If the outlet is providing less than 240 volts, there is an electrical issue, and you'll need to call an electrician to inspect the system and make repairs.

If the outlet is not a problem, check the pigtail plug on the dryer. Check for corrosion on the connection and damage to the cord. If you notice damage, replace it with an identical cord. Once you have the new cord in place, run a cycle and see if the heat has returned. If not, the problem probably lies within the dryer itself.

Heating Element Testing

If the dryer isn't getting any heat at all, chances are pretty good that the heating element has gone bad. Get your owner's manual for the dryer so that you can follow the diagrams to locate the heating element within your model.

If you don't have the owner's manual, you can usually find them online by performing a search with the make and model number. Print the manual out or save it to your phone or computer so that you'll have it for future reference.

Once you find the heating element, you'll need a multimeter tester to test it. You'll touch each end of the heating element with a tester probe. The display will provide you with a reading – if it reads infinity, you'll need to replace the heating element.

If you're replacing the heating element, take a few pictures before you disassemble anything. This way, you'll have the picture to refer to when it comes time to put things back together.

Replacing the heating element is somewhat easy – you'll just disconnect the screws holding the element in place and remove the element. You should be able to find a part number stamped onto the part. Then when you get the new one, just put it in the way you took the old one out.

Talk with your local appliance repair technician if you're unable to make this repair on your own.