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Question DetailsAsked on 6/26/2015

Electrical clothes dryer not drying. Drum turns. Lights work. Routine repair?

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1 Answer


If you can get to the outlet of the dryer vent duct, feel if there is a decent flow of air coming out - if not, duct is probably clogged with lint, because the dryer blower rarely goes out if the motor is still turning the drum OK. Try to see with flashlight, if a fairly straight shot.

Feel on the top and side of the dryer (usually left rear) or by opening door after a minute or so of run with it on several different cycles - gentle, permanent press, etc, If getting warm on one or more cycles but not some other, then probably a switch issue on that particular cycle. If getting warm on all but hot on none, then likely one of the two (on some models) heating elements burned out, or one of the temperature sensors has gone bad - there are typically 2-4 of them for different cycles and overheat protection. Could be they are bad, or could just be lint-packed so reading wrong.

If not getting warm or hot on any setting, probably a burned out heating element - typically last 10+ years to as much as 30 or more - usually depends on whether they get lint on them that cuases a hot spot that burns through the element.

You can also commonly visually see if the element is heating - run a minute on highest (Hot or Permanent Press) setting - then open door and (watching out for initial blast of hot air coming out) look at the grillage or area with a bunch of holes punched in it in the back top wall of the dryer - if element is working, it will still glow red for a few seconds after it shuts down. Look first to see where that perforated or grilled area is so you know where to look, then run dryer a minute or so, then pop door open and look in quickly to see if element is glowing red - if not, likely a burned out element.

Repair cost varies of course - burned out element typically about $150-200 total repair cost, ditto to bad sensor - bad control switch can run from that to about double that depending on brand - usually higher end on electronic units, which sounds like you have because of "lights". If lights are not flashing or showing an error code (read in manual about error indications) then not likely to be major failure - more likely burned out heating element, which is a quick, simple fix. Appliance Repair - Large is your search the List category for a repair tech.

If dryer vent is blocked - very low or no airflow coming out: DIY or call a Dryer Vent Cleaning company to clean it and see if that solves the problem. For DIY check, if air is not coming out of duct outlet well, pull dryer out from wall enough to disconnect the duct at the back of dryer (be sure to not pull plug out of wall), and run for just a few seconds to see if good airflow comes out of the back of the dryer. If yes - then fan is good, if no airflow to speak of then fan is plugged or gone bad. If hot (probably about 120-140 degrees, will not be scorching hot) air comes out (on a hot setting) then problem is plugged dryer vent. If does not heat up, then could be sensors or element overheated because of the blockage and failed too, so mioght need dryer repair PLUS vent cleaning.

One other thing - if very humid conditions, can take up to twice as long to dry a load, especially wet jeans or towels or bathmats or similar heavy fabric.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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