My Dryer Isn't Drying

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Clothes dryers are fundamental parts of many home laundry rooms, so if yours should stop working, you may find it hard to keep on top of your laundry pile, especially in winter or during wet weather. Instead of immediately calling for potentially expensive repairs, however, you can follow some simple troubleshooting steps to try to correct your dryer's heating problem yourself. Even better, the steps are straightforward and take only about 10 minutes to attempt.

  • Check the simple things first. Make sure that the dryer is plugged in, the door is firmly closed and a cycle is selected. Some dryers have a power button as well as a start button; make sure both are pressed before starting your cycle.

  • Examine your household fuses. Most dryers use two time-delay fuses; if one or both are blown, the dryer may spin without ever heating up. Reset the fuses and try your load again. Contact an electrician if you are not confident changing fuses.

  • Ensure that the gas shutoff valve is open at the back of the dryer and at the point of entry into your home, if necessary. Gas dryers must be able to draw gas from the pipes in order to work properly. If the shutoff valves are closed, the dryer may spin without heating up.

  • Make sure that the dryer is connected to the correct power supply. Most dryers require a 240-volt electricity supply in order to operate properly. Standard North American outlets only provide 120 volts of electricity via an outlet. Contact an electrician to ensure that your dryer is connected to a 240-volt outlet.

  • Check the lint screen and water tank, if fitted. Most lint screens are located inside a slot in the dryer's doorframe and need to be emptied after each cycle. If the lint screen is clogged, the dryer may not work as efficiently or at all. If the dryer's water tank is full, it may prevent the dryer from starting and drying properly.

  • Reduce the amount of laundry in the dryer. Large loads take longer to dry and give the impression that the dryer is faulty. Break down loads into smaller groups and try again.

  • Contact the manufacturer if these steps fail to resolve the problem. You may be entitled to free repair or service if your dryer is within its manufacturer's warranty period.

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