Appliance Repair: My Clothes Dryer Is Too Hot

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If you have a clothes dryer that seems to be heating up too much and causing your clothes to be reduced to doll-size garments, there could be a couple of reasons why. The most common is blocked duct work, with the cycling thermostat being another likely culprit. This not only wreaks havoc on your clothes; it is a potential fire hazard. To repair your clothes dryer, you only need a couple of tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Pliers
  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Air compressor
  • Ladder
  • Flashlight
  • Continuity tester
  • Turn your dryer off and unplug it from the electrical outlet. Turn off the breaker supplying power to your clothes dryer at the main electrical panel. When working with major appliances, even small fixes can be potential electrical shock inducers. Shutting power off to the unit is a necessary safety precaution.

  • Open the lint trap and clean it out completely. Tap the lint trap on a hard surface outside the garage or your home to remove all the lint. When lint builds up in the trap, the dryer cannot fully "breathe," and this causes excessive heat.

  • Remove all lint, dust and debris from the dryer vent lines. Find your dryer's vent line -- it will be located running from behind the appliance up into the ceiling or attic or to the outside of your home. Unfasten the line using a pair of pliers, screwdriver and/or wrench. Blow out the ventilation line with an air compressor. If the line is blocked or obstructed, your clothes dryer will overheat the internal system and your clothes.

  • Straighten the ventilation line. Remove any kinks or sharp bends on your dryer's vent line to promote unabated air flow. In addition, find the outside vent located on the exterior of your home and remove any lint buildup. You may need a ladder to reach the exterior vent.

  • Open the rear access panel and check the cycling thermostat. Turn your dryer around so you can see the rear. Unfasten the panel screws with a screwdriver and take the panel off.

  • Shine a flashlight into the unit and locate the cycling thermostat. This will be an orange-, yellow- or red-colored metal disk mounted to an oblong plate. Set a continuity tester to "RX1." Touch the continuity tester's probes to the thermostat's terminals. If it reads anything other than "Zero" or "0," the cycling thermostat is likely bad and needs to be replaced. Unfasten it with a screwdriver and put in a new one.

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