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Dryer Won’t Turn On

It’s laundry day, your heart overflows with joy. Until you press the start button only to discover the deafening sound of silence. The dryer won’t turn on. Really?! Darkness falls heavy upon your laundry room.

  Good news!  First of all clothes dryers are relatively simple machines. You can check a few things to figure out what’s wrong with your dryer hopefully.  At the very least you will likely have a good idea why your dryer won’t turn on by the end of this article. First, let’s outline the possible causes why your dryer won’t turn on.

  Dryer won’t turn on – possible causes in order of likelihood

  1. Because it has no electricity, the dryer won’t turn on. 
  2. The dryer won’t turn on because the dryer door is open or the dryer door switch is not working.
  3. The dryer belt broke so that the dryer won’t turn on. (Some dryer models have a belt switch)
  4. Your dryer won’t turn on because some safety component like a thermal fuse inside the dryer is Open.
  5. The dryer won’t turn on because the dryer’s control board or timer isn’t sending power to the motor.
  6. Your dryer won’t turn on because the start button is faulty.
  7. The dryer won’t turn on because the motor has a problem.

That’s about it, regardless of if your dryer is gas powered or fully electric your dryer won’t turn on for one of these seven reasons.  How Dryers Work
On that note let’s clarify your dryer symptoms. A dryer won’t turn on VS.  A dryer won’t start.

A Dryer Won’t Turn On

(There is no sign of power. No drum light, no control lights, no sounds from the timer of any kind.)
VS.

Your Dryer Won’t Start

(There are signs of power, but the dryer won’t start.) If your dryer has power and won’t start, you can skip past all the plug testing stuff and get down to the dryer timer, belt switch, door switch, and thermal limiter testing section. Dryer Won’t Start – Advanced Troubleshooting

So we have established that your dryer appears to have no power and your dryer won’t turn on.
To discover why your dryer won’t turn on as quickly as possible and save you a bunch of troubleshooting time and frustration. I’m going to ask a few questions and jump you along this dryer troubleshooting guide with links.

Your dryer has a timer knob that you turn to select your dryer’s cycle?

Or

Your dryer has a control panel with buttons that you press to choose the dry cycle and start the dryer?

Dryer Won’t Turn On – Mechanical Timer

QUESTION: Is your dryer gas or electric?

My Dryer has a Gas line and heats with a flame.

My Dryer is Electric; it has a large plug supplying power.

Dryer Won’t Turn On – (Gas Dryer With Mechanical Timer)

Now let’s get to the bottom of why your gas dryer won’t turn on

Start with the easy stuff first. Is electricity present at the dryer’s power outlet?  Because your dryer is gas, you should have a regular wall plug that you can plug a light into for a test.

Did the light work?

NO: I do not have power at the dryer’s wall plug.

Try resetting the home breaker switch for the dryer outlet and try again.  If your wall socket does not have power, the dryer won’t turn on. The receptacle needs to be your focus. You could have a bad home outlet, a bad wire connection in the wall or at the socket, or a bad house breaker switch. It sounds like a home issue. Try this link for more troubleshooting help (Troubleshooting home electrical problems)

YES: I have power at the dryer’s wall plug.

Let’s check a few more easy things to discover why your dryer won’t turn on.

The Dryer Door Switch:   Open the dryer door and look for a button or switch lever. Depending on your dryer brand and style there are several options for door switch style and placement, the dryer door switch must actuate when you close the door for the dryer to turn on.  When you locate it try pressing it manually, you should feel a firm click. (The only way to eliminate the door switch as a cause of your dryer not turning on is to check it with a multimeter for continuity. However, in general, if it feels solid it’s probably not your dryer’s problem.)

Was the door switch the reason your dryer wouldn’t turn on? Congratulations you figured out why your dryer wouldn’t start! Please remember to like ApplianceAssistant on Facebook and post a comment!  Find your dryer door switch

The Dryer Timer: Turn the dryer’s timer knob to a cycle where the dryer would usually turn on, and put your ear down my the timer. Do you hear anything?  If you do, then we can assume that the timer is getting power and is advancing. Let’s do one more quick test. Set the dryer’s timer knob where it’s on a number or position marked on the dryer console, and take a break for 10 to 15 minutes. You’re working hard, and it’s break time! Break time is over. Did the dryer timer move?

YES: The dryer timer is moving.

We have gone through the primary reasons why your dryer won’t turn on.  We know that your dryer has electricity, we also know that the door switch is working and that the dryer’s timer is moving forward in the cycle time. The next most likely reasons for your dryer to not start is a broken belt or bad thermal safety fuse. However, it could also be a bad dryer timer or motor. If you intend to go beyond this point, troubleshooting why your dryer won’t turn on you will need some basic tools, a multimeter and some idea of how to test for continuity. If you don’t know how to use a multimeter and want to continue troubleshooting your dryer, read How to Use a Multimeter  If your good with that click here Dryer Won’t Start – Advanced Troubleshooting

NO: The dryer timer is not moving.

Let’s check the dryer’s timer knob. A broken timer knob is a common reason why your dryer won’t turn on, especially on GE dryers! Pull the knob of the dryer’s timer shaft and look for a crack or some weak point on the dryer knob that would keep it from being able to turn the timer shaft.  On most dryers, the flat side of the dryer’s timer shaft should point to the same place as the knob indicator line. Is the flat D side of the dryer timer shaft directed to an OFF position or a RUN position?  If the timer is in an is in the OFF position, carefully use pliers to turn the timer shaft to a start position. You don’t want to damage the timer shaft more. Now hold your breath and give it a whirl. Did that fix it?

YES: Congratulations you figured it out! Please remember to like ApplianceAssistant on Facebook and post a comment! Find Your Dryer Knob

NO: If you intend to go beyond this point with troubleshooting why your dryer won’t turn on you will need some basic tools, a multimeter and some idea of how to test for continuity and voltage. If you don’t know how to use a multimeter and want to continue troubleshooting your dryer, read these articles first. How to Use a Multimeter also How to Read Wire Diagrams Because from here forward I will be talking like you know how to use a multimeter and also follow a wiring diagram.

Once you have a handle on that jump here, Dryer Won’t Start – Advanced Troubleshooting

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