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Why Dryers Will Not Dry Clothes or Produce Heat


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Find Out Why Dryers Will Not Dry Clothes or Produce Heat: Why is my clothes dryer is turning but not heating and not drying the clothes?


Clothes Dryer Problems

Electrical Question: Why is my clothes dryer is turning but not heating and not drying the clothes?

  • I have had a certified dryer tech check the dryer and all is well.
  • I have had an electrician check the dryer plug which is getting 220 volts to the plug.
  • The electrician checked the dryer while running and it is getting 220 volts to it while running.
  • I also tried another known good dryer, but still no heat.
  • I had the electrical box connections checked and there is a new breaker connected for the spot in the box for the dryer.
  • What should we check next?

This electrical wiring question came from: Keith, a Homeowner from Wood River, Illinois

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Keith.

The Cause of Dryers that Do Not Heat or Dry Clothes

clothes-dryer-wiring

Common Dryer Problems that Prevent a Dryer From Heating and How to Fix Them

  • Blocked or Clogged Air Ducts
    • If you are absolutely sure that the dryer is getting the required 220/240 volts then the next item to check would be the air duct to make sure it is not blocked or obstructed.
  • Air Flow Switches and Safety Switches
    • All dryers have built in sensors that will prevent the unit from heating or over-heating if there is not enough adequate air flow.
  • Inspect the Dryer Vent and Vent Cover
    • The average dryer vent system should be inspected or cleaned at least once a year due to the amount of lint that can collect and get trapped.
    • The cover over the end of the dryer vent typically located on the outside wall of the home should be inspected and cleaned to remove any build up of lint.
  • Lint Buildup Problems and Potential Fire Hazards
    • A collection or build up of lint can cause be a potential fire hazard, but even a partially blocked dryer vent system can prevent the dryer from working efficiently which can definitely cost more to operate, causing higher energy or electricity bills.

More about Electric Clothes Dryers

How to Wiring a Dryer

  • Wiring a Dryer
  • See an electric dryer installation with a typical 220 Volt electric power cord wiring system.
  • You may find yourself with either a 3-wire or 4-wire electric dryer, or a 3-wire or 4-wire outlet.
  • Lets look a how the electric dryer is wired and what to do if your cord does not match the plug.

2-pole-circuit-breaker

  • Electrical Wiring and Circuit Protection using Circuit Breakers
  • A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.



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Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electrical Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
Troubleshooting and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
Electrical Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
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» Click here to learn more about Home Electrical Wiring «
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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

4 Responses to “Why Dryers Will Not Dry Clothes or Produce Heat”
  1. floyd says:

    I have a roper by whirlpool. I’ve had it about a year and a half. I went to start it and it wouldn’t start, so I moved the dial to another setting that did not require heat and it started. It will work when it’s on heat. When you put it on a heat setting the dryer will not come on at all.
    Thank you for your time, Floyd

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Floyd,
      Cycle Timer Problem for a Clothes Dryer
      The control cycle timer may need to be replaced because of a possible bad contact. An inspection of the timer components may provide further indication of the condition of the cycle timer control for this specific Whirlpool washer dryer unit.
      I hope this helps,
      Dave

  2. james lovett says:

    I have just recently put a new dryer in our laundry room ,however the room is not attached to the house,so we ran a 220/240 #10 from the laundry room to the house breaker panel which was approx,150ft of wire the dryer runs but now the dryer does not heat. Could it be that the wiring is to long a distance from the main panel to the dryer? Everything else works on it.

    • Dave Rongey says:

      James,
      Troubleshooting an Electric Dryer Problem
      The first thing I would check is the connections to make sure they are correct, because it may be that you do not have both hot legs configured correctly which will prevent the heating elements from working. Yes, the distance may very well be a factor which will also affect the heating elements as well. With a detached laundry room project such as this you may consider installing a sub panel which is sized for the distance and any additional electrical circuits.
      I should point out that because this installation is at a detached building you may be required to install a separate ground rod at the detached building. Consult your local building authority for clarification.
      Dave


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