How to Troubleshoot and Fix Dryer Issues

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Dirty laundry can be a headache, especially if you haven't washed your clothes in a couple of weeks. What's worse, though, is when you finally wash them, put them in the dryer and they just won't dry correctly. A broken dryer may seem like the end of the world, but in 30 minutes or less you can troubleshoot and fix your dryer issues. Make sure you allow yourself five minutes of frustrated yelling, and then get to work.

How to Troubleshoot and Fix Dryer Issues
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Your Dryer Is Heating Up, But Your Clothes Aren't Drying

If your dryer is/isn't heating up, you most likely have a faulty thermal fuse. This is due to blocked ventilation in your dryer, clogged lint screens or you overfilled your machine. If your thermal fuse broke, you need to repair it. Most dryers have a thermal fuse, which is in the exhaust duct in the back panel of the dryer. If the dryer gets too hot, the thermal fuse will trip. You can't reset a fuse, so if this is the problem, replace it immediately with a new one.

Before you need to replace your thermal fuse, check to see if your dryer's vents have lint buildup. Although you're putting in the effort to wash your clothes, even the best of us forget to clean the vent. If the vent isn't cleaned, the fuse will blow again.

Making Noises

Dryers can be a bit loud, but your dryer shouldn't be squeaking, squealing, humming or thumping. If your dryer sounds like you're at a stadium, then it's crying for help. There are four reasons your dryer may not be working: the glides need to be replaced, the blower wheel needs to be cleaned, the drum is showing wear and tear or the main belt is wrapped around the drum. If your main belt wraps around the drum, it will begin to wear out. That is what's causing the thumping noise. All you have to do is unwrap the belt.

Burning Smell

If your dryer is getting too hot, you need to check the vent immediately. When a dryer is operating at high temperatures, this can be very dangerous. Before you check the parts in your dryer, give your dryer time to cool off before handling. If you can smell the burning, the parts of the dryer are equally as hot. To clean the vent, remove and clean the lint trap. If there's excessive lint buildup, this is causing your problem. Make sure after you clean the vent to clean it periodically every load or at least every several loads. Cleaning the vent regularly will ensure that it doesn't clog again.

Help your dryer work harder and live longer with basic dryer maintenance and by avoiding the three ways people abuse their dryers most: overloading the machine (oversized loads also take longer to dry and use more energy), letting the lint screen get clogged and not cleaning the vent. Empty the lint screen after each load and give it a deep clean every three months by washing it with a bit of detergent and rinsing thoroughly.


Allanah Dykes is a freelance writer and her work has been featured on Elite Daily, Levo League, Popsugar, Complex, Gurl, The Kitchn, HelloGiggles, Revelist, and Food 52.

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