Electric Dryer Repair: Dryer Tumbles with No Heat

A man looks at a dryer.
What You'll Need
Needle-nose pliers
Extra wiring
Vent hoses
Repair manual

Electric dryer repair may be simple enough to do on your own. If your dryer tumbles without creating heat, read below for steps you can use to complete your electric dryer repair.

Step 1 - Check Vents and Hoses

Before you undertake any electric dryer repair, first check the ventilation. Dryers need proper ventilation to keep the air flowing. A clog in the vents or hoses can cause your dryer to underperform or quit heating altogether. Allowing the vents to stay kinked or clogged can eventually lead to the circuits overheating and failing completely.

Step 2 - Check the Thermostats and Fuse

Another common culprit behind lost heat is a faulty thermostat. An electric dryer will have a few thermostats. You should find one for each temperature setting on the dryer. A router is used based on the setting you have chosen, and the appropriate thermostat is engaged.

To test this process, unplug the dryer and ensure no power can reach it. Check the thermal fuse first to make sure it hasn't blown. If it's intact, move on to testing the individual thermostats. You should find them under the lint trap, in the blower motor housing or inside the vent line. You may need a pair of needle-nose pliers to pry the housing open. Two wires will connect to each thermostat. Pull the connectors off the terminals and check for corrosion. Use an ohmmeter to test the amperage.

Step 3 - Inspect Wiring

The wiring going to the heating element could be to blame if your dryer will tumble but won't heat. It's not uncommon for the wiring to become brittle with the excessive temperatures it's subjected to. Brittle wires can break, corrode, and fall apart. Damaged wires will prevent the heating element from working. You should replace any faulty wiring as part of your electric dryer repair.

Step 4 - Check the Centrifugal Switch

The centrifugal switch is a safety device found on all dryers. The switch activates when the door is opened to stop the heat and tumbling inside the dryer. If the wiring starts to fail on this switch, tumbling can occur when the dryer is not producing heat, since this switch is also responsible for completing a connection with the heat element when the dryer is on.

To check the switch, set your ohmmeter at 150 volts A/C. Put one probe on the terminal for the switch (usually a red or blue terminal) and the other probe on the other terminal for the switch. You should get a reading between 110 to 125 volts with the motor running. If you don't get a reading, you should replace the switch when you complete your electric dryer repair.