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Why Is My Dryer Not Getting Hot? Here’s What to Check

wet clothes hanging in front of broken dryer
Wondering why your dryer isn't heating? Read our article on what to check to find the problem. Learn whether you can fix it or you need a repair technician.

 A clothes dryer that is not getting hot is, unfortunately, a problem that eventually occurs for everyone. Frequently there are two issues to consider when a dryer is not heating. 1) A part failure and 2) A possible underlying cause that, if not corrected, will ruin the brand-new part the first time you try to use your dryer.

Underlying Causes for a Cool Dryer:

1. Incoming Power Problem

Electric Dryers require a 240-volt supply to operate. If your dryer is plugged into an outlet that provides less than 240 volts, it will deliver inadequate power to your unit.

What To Do:

Make certain the dryer’s circuit breakers have not been tripped by unplugging your dryer and resetting both circuit breakers before plugging your dryer back in again.

Ensure your wall outlet has at least a 240-volt power supply. Because this involves testing for voltage at both the outlet and breaker or fuse box, we recommend having a qualified electrician or appliance service technician perform an inspection.

Gas Dryers receive their gas supply through a valve in the gas pipe nearby the dryer. The handle for this valve is typically red and is in the Open position when it is turned parallel to the gas pipe. If the valve is closed, the drum of the dryer will still turn, but the dryer will not heat.

What to Do:

Make sure the gas valve is in the on position as described above.

Refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions on ensuring power is flowing to your appliance, or have your unit inspected by a qualified professional.  

2.  Air Volume Reduction

A clothes dryer relies on a specific volume of air flowing into the machine. When airflow is restricted, a dryer’s performance is negatively affected, usually causing the machine to operate at higher temperatures which can lead to premature part failure. 

The four most common causes of reduced airflow include:

  1. Lint accumulation inside the dryer’s lint trap housing
  2. Lint accumulation inside the dryer vent system
  3. A squashed, compromised, or non-compliant aluminum flexible transition vent that connects the dryer to the wall
  4. A compromised outside exhaust outlet

What to Do?

Your dryer maintenance plan should include periodic cleaning of your clothes dryer and the complete vent system. Dryer Doctors are experts and can assist in getting the job done right.

9 Dryer Parts Failures for Dryers Not Heating

Parts failures are common in aging dryers. Your dryer manual, along with the list below, should help in determining the part that has failed and allow you to get back to your regular schedule sooner than later.

Caution:  If you attempt to repair the machine yourself, you should avoid electrical shock and cuts by unplugging the cord and wearing safety gloves when working on the machine.

Time Required:  Most repairs require 45 minutes to 2.5 hours, depending on your experience level, the part that needs replacing, dryer brand. Certain clothes dryers may require 6 to 10 screws removed to prep the dryer for disassembly, while others may have up to 20 screws. In addition, it may require disconnecting electrical components to gain access to the part that needs replacing. A multimeter will be necessary to determine which part needs to be replaced.

Want It Fixed Quickly? Our Dryer Doctors have repaired this exact problem numerous times. You may call or request service online, and we will respond quickly. Please read this page thoroughly before attempting to correct the problem yourself.


1 – Blown Thermal Fuse

The thermal fuse is a safety device that protects the dryer from overheating. The fuse is located on the blower housing or at the dryer’s heat source, such as the heating element on electric dryers or the burner on gas models. The fuse should be closed for continuity, meaning it has a continuous electrical path.

If overheated, the fuse will have no continuity meaning the electrical path is broken. The fuse needs to be replaced. You can use a multimeter to test it for continuity.

As mentioned earlier, a blown thermal fuse is a likely indication of a restricted exhaust vent from the dryer to the outside. A dryer requires adequate air to “breathe” so it can run at a proper temperature. Failure to restore airflow may result in the fuse failing again. You should check the dryer and vent system for lint accumulation, which may be causing the reduced airflow.

2 – Gas Valve Solenoid Failure

Gas dryers have two or more gas valve solenoid coils. The gas valve solenoids open the gas valve ports to allow gas to flow into the burner assembly. If a gas valve solenoid fails, the dryer will not heat.

Check the igniter to determine if one or more of the gas valve solenoids has failed. If the igniter glows and goes out but does not ignite the gas, the gas valve solenoid is defective. If one or more of the gas valve coils are defective, replacing them as a set is best.

3 – Burnt Out Igniter

The igniter uses heat to ignite the gas in the burner assembly. If the igniter is not working, the gas will not ignite, preventing the dryer from heating. To determine if the igniter has burned out, use a multimeter to test the igniter for continuity. If the igniter does not have continuity, replace it.

4 – Burnt Out Heating Element Assembly

The heating element assembly on an electric dryer warms the air before it enters the dryer drum. Over time, the heating element can burn out, causing the dryer not to heat. To determine if the heating element assembly has burned out, use a multimeter to test it for continuity. If the heating element assembly does not have continuity, replace it.

5 – Defective Flame Sensor

On a gas dryer, the flame sensor detects the heat emitted by the flame. If the flame sensor isn’t working, the dryer won’t heat. Before checking the flame sensor, ensure the igniter and thermal fuse are not at fault.

To determine if the flame sensor is defective, use a multimeter to test the sensor for continuity at room temperature. If the flame sensor does not have continuity at room temperature, replace it.

6 – Malfunctioning High Limit Thermostat

The high-limit thermostat monitors the dryer temperature and shuts off the burner if the dryer overheats. If the high-limit thermostat is malfunctioning, it may shut off the burner even if the dryer is not overheating. However, this is rarely the case. Before replacing the high-limit thermostat:

  1. Check all the more commonly defective parts.
  2. If you have determined that all other components are working correctly, test the thermostat using a multimeter to test for continuity.
  3. If the thermostat does not have continuity, replace it.

7 – Defective Cycling Thermostat

The cycling thermostat cycles the heat on and off to regulate the air temperature. If the cycling thermostat is defective, the dryer will not heat. However, this is rarely the case. Before replacing the cycling thermostat:

  1. Check all the more commonly defective parts.
  2. If you have determined that all other components are working correctly, test the thermostat using a multimeter to test for continuity.
  3. If the thermostat does not have continuity, replace it.

8 – Main Control Board Failure

The main control board rarely causes your dryer not to heat. Before replacing it, check all of the previously listed parts. If you have determined that all other components are working correctly, consider replacing the main control board. However, note that you most likely cannot return a control board once installed.

9 – Defective Timer

Another rare cause is a defective timer. If the other components above work correctly, test the timer using a multimeter and consult the wiring diagram. If the timer is faulty, replace it.

We Have You Covered!

We have seen each of these dryer problems numerous times and would be happy to diagnose and repair your unit. Our online scheduling is simple and efficient and will quickly walk you through the process. You may also speak to one of our friendly office staff by phone. 

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