How to Troubleshoot Clothes Dryer Problems


Clothes dryers are available in many styles from a variety of manufacturers and in gas or electric models. Dryers should be installed by professional technicians and should only be operated by adults. Children should not be allowed to play in or near the clothes dryer, as this is a safety hazard. It is best to clean the lint screen in the dryer after every use to keep the dryer functioning well. Other problems may be fixed through troubleshooting efforts before the assistance of a service professional is necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Power supply
  • Gas supply
  • Check the power supply if the dryer does not work and look at the circuit breaker or fuse if necessary. Ensure the door switch is working properly, as the dryer will not work if the door switch is faulty.

  • Ensure the dryer is not set on an "Air Only" cycle, if the dryer does not heat. Locate the heating element, a long coil of wire, and test it for continuity with an ohm meter, available at most hardware or home repair stores. If there is no continuity, the heating element will need to be repaired.

  • Examine the vent duct for obstructions or excessive lint if the dryer takes too long to dry. Clean the lint screen after every use. Once the lint screen is removed, look inside with a flashlight to see if the duct seems extremely clogged, and use a vacuum to suction out as much debris as possible.

  • Locate the igniter on a gas dryer, typically housed near the bottom in the front in a cone-like metal tube. Watch the igniter, which should glow blue when lit. If it glows orange and then shuts off, contact an authorized service repair technician.

  • Contact an authorized service technician if the above steps do not resolve the problem or assistance is needed.

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  • Photo Credit laundromat image by Scott Patterson from
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