Why Won’t My Dryer Turn On?

Is there anything worse than doing a full load of laundry just to find out your dryer isn’t working? Then you have to decide whether to leave the load in the washer and run the risk of growing mildew, hang your clothes in random areas around the house, or drive to the nearest laundromat. The correct choice is none of the above. What you should do is call Appliance Doctors’ 24/7 appliance repair team to run the proper diagnostics and repair the problem.

Has Your Dryer Stopped Working? Here Are Some Common Causes

With over two decades in the industry, we’ve seen our fair share of dryers that won’t turn on. The most common causes a dryer would stop working include:

  • Power/circuit breaker issues
  • Blown thermal fuse
  • Malfunctioning start switch
  • Faulty door switch
  • Failed drive motor
  • Broken drive belt

Let’s take a closer look into each one, how to tell if it’s the reason your dryer won’t turn on, and some potential solutions. 

Power/Circuit Breaker Issues

Sometimes, the simplest solution is the correct one, so it’s best to start there. Check to see that your dryer is plugged in securely. An electric dryer won’t operate on lower volts than it was designed to, so check your box to make sure the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. 

  • How to Diagnose It: Try unplugging the dryer and plug something else into the outlet; if that device doesn’t work, your dryer not turning on could be due to a blown fuse or faulty/tripped circuit breaker.
  • The Solution: If the power cord has significant wear and tear, you might need to replace your cable so that the appliance is correctly and safely connected to the power source. If the circuit breaker or fuse is still functioning correctly, a multimeter can be used to test the outlet and measure voltage. If there is no current, that could indicate a problem with the wiring. 

Blown Thermal Fuse

Thermal fuses are put in place as a safety measure in case the dryer gets too hot. It shuts the machine off by cutting off the main power supply, helping to prevent overheating and house fires. If the fuse is blown, the dryer will not turn on. 

  • How to Diagnose It: Thermal fuses are a little tricky to check as they are located on the back panel. They can be tested in the same manner as the door and start switches — with a multimeter. 
  • The Solution: Replacing the thermal fuse will do the trick here; however, it’s important to note that this can be a symptom of a larger issue, so make sure you find out what caused your dryer to overheat in the first place before using it again.

Malfunctioning Start Switch

The start switch lets the dryer know that it’s ready to operate. Over time, regular use and everyday wear and tear can cause these switches to wear out. If broken, they cannot engage the circuit, the motor will never receive this signal, and the dryer will not turn on. 

  • How to Diagnose It: The start switch can be checked using a multimeter to test for continuity; just remember to unplug the dryer first.
  • The Solution: One of our team’s technicians can diagnose and replace a malfunctioning start switch.

Faulty Door Switch

The dryer won’t turn on unless the dryer door is fully shut, which signals the motor to run. This is all thanks to the door switch. However, regular use can cause it to get worn out until it can’t engage; this can be causing your dryer to not turn on.  

  • How to Diagnose It: If you try to begin a drying cycle and don’t hear a clicking sound when the door is closed, your door switch could be at fault. 
  • The Solution: After testing this component with a multimeter, our technician can replace it with a new door switch.

Failed Drive Motor

The drive motor turns your dryer’s drum and allows the blower wheel to operate properly, exhausting air from the unit. If your blower wheel is obstructed, it can put a strain on the drive motor, causing it to fail.  

  • How to Diagnose It: A humming noise is a tell-tale sign that your drive motor has failed and could be the cause of your dryer not turning on. 
  • The Solution: A technician will remove the drive belt and check the blower wheel for obstructions. If it’s clear, then the drive motor will probably need to be replaced. 

Broken Drive Belt

Powered by the drive motor, the drive belt turns the basket when the dryer is operating. 

  • How to Diagnose It: If the motor turns on but the drum doesn’t turn, then it could be due to a broken drive belt. Additionally, some models have a switch that prevents them from turning on if the drive belt isn’t working correctly.
  • The Solution: Exchanging the faulty drive belt with a new one can get your dryer in proper operating condition. 

If you don’t know what to look for, it’s best not to tinker around your dryer’s panels, power supply, or other components, because you could cause a much bigger problem, and it may even be unsafe. Instead, rely on the team of pros at Appliance Doctors! Whether you need dryer repairs or emergency services, we’re standing by, waiting for your call. Contact us today for more information!