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Dryer Won’t Start – (Electric Dryer With Mechanical Timer)

Let’s get to the bottom of why your electric dryer won’t start

Start with the easy stuff first. Is the electrical receptacle supplying the correct amount of voltage for the dryer to start?  An electric dryer uses two separate electrical connections. One to operate the dryer’s heater and one to power the dryer’s motor. So if one of the two breakers supplying power to the dryer plug, tripped or is  open  the dryer won’t start.  Locate the two breaker switches that protect the dryer power outlet and flip them both off and back on again. Try to start the dryer. Did the dryer turn on?

YES: Congratulations your dryer is fixed! Please remember to like ApplianceAssistant on Facebook and post a comment!

NO: Let’s check a few more easy things to discover why your dryer won’t start.

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, but there will be a switch on the dryer somewhere that must actuate when you close the door for the dryer to turn on.  When you find it try pressing it manually, you should hear or feel a strong 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’s clicking well and feels solid it’s probably not the dryer’s problem.) Was the door switch the reason your dryer won’t start? Congratulations you figured it out! Please remember to tell your friends about ApplianceAssistant on Facebook and post a comment! Find a new door switch

The Dryer Timer: Let’s take a look at the dryer’s timer for clues. 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! Okay, break time’s over. Did the dryer timer move? 

YES: If you intend to go beyond this point with troubleshooting why your dryer won’t start, 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 keep going with troubleshooting your dryer, check these articles out first. How to Use a Multimeter. And 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

NO: The dryer timer is not moving.

Let’s check the dryer’s timer knob. It sounds strange; cracked timer knobs are 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 that would keep the knob 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 side of the dryer timer shaft pointing to an OFF position or a RUN position?  If the timer shaft is directed towards an OFF position, carefully use pliers to turn the shaft to a cycle position and start the dryer.

Did you figure it out?

YES: Congratulations you figured out why your dryer wouldn’t start! 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 start, 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 keep troubleshooting your dryer, check these articles out first. How to Use a Multimeter. And 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

Dryer Won’t Start – Electronic Control

Is your dryer gas or electric?

My dryer has a gas line and heats with a flame.

My Dryer is Electric, and the plug looks something like this

Dryer Won’t Start – (Gas Dryer Electronic Control)

Now let’s get to the bottom of why your gas dryer won’t start.

Start with the easy stuff first. Is the electricity needed for your dryer to start present at the dryer’s power receptacle  Because your dryer is gas you should have an ordinary 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, obviously the dryer won’t start. And that 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 (Troubleshooting home electrical problems)

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

Unfortunately, with electronically controlled dryers, the other simple stuff is very unlikely. Most electronically controlled dryers have drum lights and will power up even if the door switch is bad. So if you have no signs of power and there is power at the dryer’s plug, and you intend to go beyond this point with troubleshooting why your dryer won’t start 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 keep going with troubleshooting your dryer, check these articles out first. How to Use a Multimeter. And 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

Dryer Won’t Start – (Electric Dryer Electronic Control)

Let’s get to the bottom of why your electric dryer won’t start.

Start with the easy stuff first. Is electricity at the dryer’s power outlet. An electric dryer uses two separate electrical connections, one to operate the dryer’s heater and one to power the dryer’s motor. So if one of the two breaker switches supplying power to the dryer plug is tripped or open  the dryer won’t start.  Locate the two breaker switches that protect the dryer power outlet and flip them both off and back on again. Try to start the dryer. Did the dryer turn on?

YES: Congratulations your dryer is fixed! Please remember to like ApplianceAssistant on Facebook and post a comment!

NO: Unfortunately with electronically controlled dryers, the other easy stuff like door switches are very unlikely. Most electronic dryers have drum lights and will power up even if the door switch is bad. So if you have no signs of power and you intend to go beyond this point with troubleshooting why your dryer won’t start, 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 keep going with troubleshooting your dryer, check these articles out first. How to Use a Multimeter. And How to Read Wire Diagrams Because from here forward I will be talking like you know how to use a multimeter and also can follow a wiring diagram.

Once you have a handle on that continue reading Dryer won’t start – Advanced Troubleshooting

Dryer Won’t Start – Advanced Troubleshooting

Like I said before dryers are fairly basic machines. However, there are quite a few different ways that dryers are constructed and come apart so you can access the electrical components for testing. I cannot describe every type in this article… So I will tell you what to check in order of likelihood, and you will need to figure out how to get to the part we are talking about.  Here are some resources to help you in your quest.

Dryer Repair Videos

  • Whirlpool Dryer Repair Videos
  • Samsung Dryer Repair Videos
  • Frigidaire Dryer Repair Videos
  • GE Dryer Repair Videos
  • LG Dryer Repair Videos

Dryer Service Manuals

  • Whirlpool Dryer Service Manuals
  • Samsung Dryer Service Manuals
  • Frigidaire Dryer Service Manuals
  • GE Dryer Service Manuals
  • LG Dryer Service Manuals

Possible Electrical Part Reasons Why Your Dryer Won’t Start

Step 1. For your dryer to start it needs the proper amount of electricity. For gas dryers, the appropriate voltage is approximately 120 Volts AC, and for electric dryers, correct voltage is about 240 volts AC. If you have not been able to verify that your wall plug is working start by testing for voltage.

Step 2. (You have power at the dryer’s wall plug) Unplug the dryer and follow the wires into the dryer by opening any panels necessary. Look at the connections for any signs of a problem like burning or discoloration. Check the cord for continuity or if you’re comfortable with electricity, (Safety Note) check the internal connections for the proper voltage.

Step 3. Open the dryer top and see the condition of the belt. Is it broken? That’s likely your dryers major problem.

Step 4. Check for 120 volts AC Into and out of the dryers timer or control board. To find these test points, you will need to refer to either the wiring diagram, hopefully on the dryer, of finding the dryer repair manual for your dryer. If this is not available skip it and check the other options first.

Step 5. With the unplugged dryer check the dryer door switch for continuity.

Step 6. Locate and test the thermal fuse. The thermal fuse could be in several different places depending on your dryer style. Thermal Fuse Locations

Step 7. Call a pro. If you have not discovered the source of the problem, it’s probably a good time to call in some reinforcements. Make sure to locate someone with a good reputation, because there are lots of appliance repair people that are no good.

Thermal Fuse (also referred to as hi-limit thermostat or operating thermostat)is open. Blown fuses are caused by the dryer overheating, many times due to dryer vent restrictions. So if your dryer has been taking longer to dry recently, this safety control fuse is a strong possibility for why your dryer won’t start. Bad thermal fuses causing a dryer not to start is more common in electric dryers than gas dryers. Most gas dryers will turn on and run with no heat. A dryer will have at least two thermal fuses, the one you’re interested in, to keep the dryer from starting is typically located on an air duct after the dryer blower.

Belt Switch Is open. This is a common one with Samsung Dryers, GE Dryers, LG dryers, and some Whirlpool dryers. If this is the cause, you will almost certainly have noticed some noise leading up to the dryer not turning on. This is because dryer belts don’t just randomly break unless the dryer is timeworn. It is almost always caused by a bad belt pulley that locked up and burned the belt.  If you can find a wiring diagram for your model in the console area, you can look for the belt switch without needing to open the dryer and take a look.

Timer Most timers are very reliable. However, timers are a common failure on newer Whirlpool dryer models with a timer

Control Board Tip: Control boards are sensitive to electrostatic discharge so make sure to sound yourself and any tools before touching a control board. (Safety Note) All you are interested when troubleshooting why your dryer won’t start is this: Is electricity coming into the power board? Also, is it leaving the control to the motor circuit?

Motor Motors do fail, but it’s very rare. The most common dryer motors to fail in my experience are Samsung dryer motors. With the wiring diagram, you can test the motor windings for continuity. If any of the motor windings test as open you know why your dryer won’t start. But the first thing you want to look for is burned or bicolored wire contacts at the dryer motor plug.

I hope that helped out! There is no magic fix obviously but So may times a dryer that won’t start can be easily solved by the things I walked you through in this article. Hopefully, it worked for you and saved you some money!

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