How do I Fix a Dryer That Takes Two Cycles to Dry Clothes & Cuts Off During the Cycle?


Clothes dryers use a tumbling action to expose all sides of clothing to air that is pumped inside the drum. It really is that simple and long drying times tend to mean that one or the other action is not working . You can improve tumbling by not over-filling the dryer. The most common causes of poor dryer performance are clogged ducting and inadequate ventilating. Fixing a clog is a manual process and replacing ducting is quick and fairly easy.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Wire coat hanger
  • Rigid or periscope duct
  • Vacuum
  • Check the lint trap on your dryer. It is important to clean it with every use. Even if it doesn't look bad, small lint particles can get sucked back into the machine and will build up and cause a clog. Most dryers have lint screens right inside the door which you can easily remove and clean.

  • Pull the dryer away from the wall and check the air ducts for crimps. If you find them, the air flow is not circulating and the clothes cannot dry. If it is a periscoping duct with graduated bending sites the fix is easy. Just bend the duct back out into proper shape creating plenty of room for air.

  • Unplug the dryer because if the problem is not a kink it is a clog in the air duct.

  • Unscrew the duct from the back of the dryer and the exterior exhaust hole. Straighten the coat hanger and use it with the hook in first, as a probing tool. The hanger should be able to hook out any blockages and you can pull them back up. Be careful not to force or you will puncture the ducting. Remove any large clogs and use the vacuum cleaner to finish clearing the duct and reinstall.

  • Install new ducting if the air duct is punctured or too bent to fix. A rigid duct or periscope model will keep the duct from crimping in the future. Vacuum the exhaust hole and the back of the dryer. Use the shortest length possible between the dryer and the exterior exhaust to prevent kinking. Depending on the type you chose, the duct will either twist and lock onto dryer and wall vent or you will have to screw it on.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never use white plastic ducting because of fire hazards.
  • The Consumer Product Safeties Commission estimates there are over 15,000 clothes dryer fires each year. It is extremely important to keep a well-maintained dryer.

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  • Photo Credit laundry dial image by Sirena Designs from
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