Dryer Won’t Start? Common Reasons And Solutions

Ocean Appliance
March 14, 2023
Dryer Repair

We’ve all been there – loading up the dryer, pressing the start button, and… nothing happens. A dryer that won’t start can be a major headache, but don’t worry just yet. In this article, we’ll take you through the most common reasons why dryers fail to start and provide practical solutions to get your machine up and running again. 

From basic troubleshooting to checking internal components, we’ve got you covered with simple, easy-to-follow instructions. Read on to find out where to start!

Please note: a lot of the troubleshooting in this guide requires the use of a multimeter. If you don’t have one, they can be purchased from your local hardware store or online. 

Power supply issues

Before you move on to more complicated fixes, don’t discount the simplest solution — check if the dryer is connected to power. There are a few reasons why a dryer might not have power, including:

  • Damaged or loose power plug: ensure that the plug is firmly fixed in the socket and is not loose, and that there is no visible damage to the plug or powerpoint.
  • Tripped circuit breaker: sometimes if there has been a power surge, one of the circuit breakers can trip and mean that even though your dryer is plugged in and everything looks fine, it isn’t getting any power. Check the circuit board for any tripped breakers. If the circuit breaker has tripped, reset it and try to start the dryer again.

Door switch failure 

Most dryers have a door switch that prevents the dryer from starting when the door is open. If the door switch is broken or faulty in some way, your dryer’s control board may be detecting that the door is open even if it isn’t, meaning that the dryer won’t run. You can test if your dryer door switch is faulty using these steps:

  • Unplug the dryer from the power.
  • Locate the door switch. It is usually located around the door opening and may be a push-button or a lever-style switch.
  • Remove the switch from the dryer or lift the lever on the switch, depending on the type of switch.
  • Set your multimeter to the continuity or ohms setting.
  • Connect one end of the multimeter to one of the switch terminals and the other end of the multimeter to the other terminal.
  • With the door open, the switch should have no continuity, meaning the multimeter should read infinite ohms. This is because the switch is open when the door is open.
  • With the door closed, the switch should have continuity, meaning the multimeter should read zero ohms. This is because the switch is closed when the door is closed.
  • If the switch does not have continuity when the door is closed or has continuity when the door is open, the switch is faulty and needs to be replaced. You can purchase a replacement switch from your dryer manufacturer or online. 

If the door switch is working correctly, move on to the next step in our guide. 

Thermal fuse failure

A thermal fuse is a safety device that shuts off power to the dryer if it overheats. If the thermal fuse has blown, the dryer may not start at all.  You can test the thermal fuse with a multimeter to see if it’s functioning properly, using the same process as described above. The location of the thermal fuse will vary depending on the make and model of your dryer, but it is usually found on the blower housing or near the dryer’s heating element.

Start switch failure 

The start switch is responsible for sending power to the motor and other components when you press the start button. If the start switch is faulty, the dryer won’t be able to start. You can also test the start switch using a multimeter using the process described above. 

The start switch in a dryer is typically located on the control panel of the machine. You’ll need to take off the dryer’s control panel cover in order to find the start switch. In order to do this, unplug the dryer from the outlet and take off the screws or clips holding the panel to the machine’s top. The start switch and the wiring connecting it to the other parts of the dryer should be visible once you have removed the control panel cover.

Motor failure

To test if your dryer’s motor is functioning, you will need to test with live power and we recommend contacting a professional near you to test a motor.

Control board failure

The control board is responsible for sending power to various components in the dryer.  You can test with a multimeter using the method outlined above to see if it is functioning. If the control board is faulty, it is possible to replace it with a new or secondhand part, but you might want to consider the age of the machine before spending the money, as in many cases it is more cost-effective to simply purchase a new appliance.

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