Common Clothes Dryer Problem

A broken clothes dryer can devastate your laundry routine. But here are three common problems and how to fix them yourself.

A clothes dryer is no doubt one of the most used (and most power-hungry) appliances in your home. It’s also essential for making sure you have clean clothes for work or school. Who has time for hanging clothes out to dry anymore?

When your dryer stops working like it should, things can get ugly fast. Clothes pile up and soon you’re wearing the same shirt to work several days in a row.

Fortunately, dryers are relatively simple machines and some of the most common problems can be easily fixed. Below are three common problems and how to fix them yourself.

Clothes feel warm but don’t fully dry
You put a load in the dryer, start it and walk away. You return after the cycle finishes, only to find the clothes aren’t completely dry. Maybe you just overloaded it a bit, so you run a second, shorter cycle to finish the job.

This may be the worst problem of all: Everything seems like it’s working mostly as it should be, but the problem gradually gets worse over time until you realize the clothes are still sopping wet after a full cycle.

Cause
The culprit here could be a faulty heating element. If the heating element isn’t working properly, the dryer will still spin and the cycle will complete, but it won’t get hot enough to help dry the clothes.

Heating elements can naturally wear out over time, but overloading the dryer, not cleaning the lint screen and poor ventilation can all speed up that process.

Fix
Fortunately, replacing a heating element isn’t a terribly difficult job. You can usually find a replacement heating element at a local hardware store or online by searching for your dryer model number.

Once you have the part, unplug the dryer, remove the back panel, remove the connections and install the new one. Some heating elements may require you to remove the existing thermostat from the old heating element and install it on the new one. Reattach the back panel, reconnect power and run a test cycle to check for heat.