25 Reasons your Dryer isn’t getting hot (& what to do)

One of the main reasons to invent a dryer was to avoid dealing with wet laundry. But if you’re having to do this despite having a dryer, we can understand your irritation. In this article, you can expect to find 25 reasons your dryer isn’t getting hot and what to do to get it to work again.

cat in the dryer

Perhaps seeing the cat enjoy a bit of heat is a familiar sight that you’re longing for! Here are 25 reasons your dryer isn’t getting hot, and what you can do about it!

How does an electric dryer work?

An electric dryer works by using an electric current to generate heat in coils through resistance. The electrons generate heat that is transferred into the surroundings. The heat is transferred to the clothes by an in-built blower or fan which helps the clothes dry.

What is a gas dryer? Does it run without electricity?

Both electric and gas dryers require electric current to run, but a gas one mainly uses natural gas or propane to fuel the heat. Electricity is needed to fuel the other controls like a fan, blower, lights, buttons, etc.

Both electric and gas types can stop working due to different reasons. Let’s go over the main causes and fixes of both.

Reasons an electric dryer won’t work

Gas and electric machines function in very different ways. Let’s review the top reasons an electric dryer won’t heat up or spin.

1. The electric cord or plug is damaged

If you notice your dryer simply isn’t starting up, this could be attributed to the plug or electric cord. If you notice that the cord is loose or damaged, it may be time to replace it. This isn’t too much of a hassle since it involves the replacement of a very common part. Some can do it at home themselves.

2. The door switch is faulty

It will not start until the door is completely shut. To identify this, you’ll find that the door switch will click shut if it’s working. If you’re shutting the door but aren’t hearing the click sound, chances are high that the door switch isn’t working. Get it checked and replaced and you’ll find it works again.

3. Power issues

Sometimes it’s not the machine at fault at all, but rather the electric outlet or main circuit breaker. You can check this by unplugging the dryer and testing another device in the same outlet. If you find the device isn’t turning on, it’s time to get the circuit breaker checked to see whether it has tripped during a voltage fluctuation. In the meantime, you could use it and plug it in in a part of the house where the electricity is working.

4. A clogged duct

Over time you might find that the drying cycle takes longer to get the job done or it doesn’t perform the job well at all. This may be because the duct gets accumulated with lint and other substances over time. This clogged vent needs to be cleaned out every six months to deliver optimal performance. If you’ve got the knack for this sort of stuff, you can do it yourself with the help of a tutorial. These services are also available through professional agencies that can do it on a contract basis. You can also order a fluff filter like this one from Bosch that keeps the lint at bay.

Fluff filter
1,039 Reviews
Fluff filter
A genuine Bosch product that will fit a variety of models.

5. The belt is worn out

The most obvious way to identify the belt has worn out is when you see the machine is on but the drum isn’t spinning. That means the belt that makes the spinning possible is at fault. Check out your nearest hardware store for a replacement belt and if this is not possible, order one online like this LG belt. You can do the replacement yourself or call in a professional.

Drive belt
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Drive belt
Compatible with various LG models, make sure it'll fit with yours too!

6. Thermal fuse

If you find the dryer is spinning but not heating up and drying clothes, this may be due to the thermal fuse being blown out. This fuse is put in place to stop the device from further damage in case of overloading, overheating, or other problems. You’ll find that they are only blown when the machine goes well out of its depth and reaches higher temperatures than usual.

You can easily replace this if you’re familiar with the back panel. You’ll find the old fuse near the exhaust duct. Reach out and unscrew the old fuse and replace it with the new one. The fuse should be bought keeping in mind the specific model number.

7. The pulley has malfunctioned

If you find that the machine is making intolerable noises as it spins, this may be due to the pulley which operates the assembly belt. The job of the idler pulley is to maintain the friction of the belt as it moves the drum. Over time, this may rust, malfunction, or wear out and need replacing. Since this is a tricky task, it’s best left to a professional.

    1. 8. Obstructions in the blower wheel

The blower is the part through which heat generated is evenly distributed through the clothes. If there is any obstruction like lint and other substances in the blower, this can lead to insufficient heat being generated the dryer not performing at its best. This makes regular maintenance even more necessary.

9. Inconsistent loading

You’ve loaded the dryer and you start the cycle finally breathing a sigh of relief that your work is done for the week. But an hour later you come and check and find that some of the clothes are still wet. Nothing beats this disappointment, especially since you’ll need to waste more time and electricity on another round. The reason for this could be the fact that you load it without checking which type of clothes fit best. For instance, duvet covers and towels cannot be loaded together as it will stop the cycle when it senses the sheets are ready. The towels will be left damp and you will need to run the cycle again.

10. The red herring

Perhaps the dryer was never to blame, the real culprit was the washer. Sometimes the washer isn’t functioning and does not wring out the water out of clothes properly. In that case, the dryer’s job becomes even more difficult. It incapacitates the dryer to do its job properly and also makes it difficult to identify the real culprit. A true red herring! The solution is to get the washer checked and make sure all faulty parts are replaced or repaired. You can buy this washer replacement kit compatible with Whirlpool’s top-selling Cabrio model.

Washer Bearing Kit
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Washer Bearing Kit
If you've got a Cabrio or any of the compatible Whirlpool models, here's what you need.

11. The high-limit thermostat is not working

If none of the above seems to be correct, then check out the high-limit thermostat next. This is the part that keeps it from overheating. Once the highest limit of heat temperature is achieved, it prevents any more current from flowing to the heating element. If this essential part isn’t working, the symptoms are overheating  or not drying enough as other parts have stopped functioning due to overheating too.

12. Heating element not working

The heating element is the protagonist of the drying process. If this part isn’t working, the dryer is useless. Unfortunately, other malfunctions likely cause your heating element to fuse. In this case, you can buy a new one. This Samsung heating element is a good choice that is compatible with Samsung, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Sears, and Roper models. Order it online and call a professional to install it to save up on money and time.

Samsung heating element
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Samsung heating element
Made of premium parts, this heating element will get your machine going again!

Reasons a gas one won’t work

Now that we’ve gone over the several problems an electric dryer might be going through, here’s a couple of pointers for a gas unit.

13. Power Failure

Even in a gas dryer, electricity is required to run the show. A modern one with a LED screen will show the words PF which indicate Power failure while the drying round was in progress. To restart the cycle, press start or Pause/ cancel. If the power failure is due to a loose cord, this can be avoided if you just replace the plug, socket, or cord.

14. No gas inlet

If the dryer is spinning but not heating, there could be another likely reason. Since the heating fuel is the gas in this case, the lack of propane or natural gas will keep it from working. If you haven’t paid the gas bill on time the supply could be cut off. Or perhaps the gas line could be smaller than the appropriate size of 3/4”. Check the supply line and order a new one like this Gasline72 flexible stainless steel line.

Flexible Stainless Steel Gas Line
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Flexible Stainless Steel Gas Line
At a great price tag, here's the flexible gas line you need.

15. Broken motor or pulley

If you find the machine not spinning but making the usual sounds of doing its job, the problem could be the belt, pulley, or motor. The broken belt means a lack of assembly line for the dryer to spin on. Order this new belt and motor online by BlueStar that’s compatible with most brands like Maytag, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Admiral, Amana, and more.

Ultra durable drum belt
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Ultra durable drum belt
This isn't just any drum belt. This one will last you a long time!

16. Overheating by lint or improper airflow

If your dryer feels hot to the touch and doesn’t seem to be working at its best, it could be a problem of improper airflow. When the blower isn’t able to distribute the heat generated evenly, it could mean the airways are obstructed by some substance like lint. This leads the machine to overheat and cause delays in drying too. That’s why it’s important to do routine maintenance every couple of months. Professional services can be hired for this purpose or you can simply order a repair kit like this one for the GE top loader.

Bearing Repair Kit
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Bearing Repair Kit
Great bearing repair kit that includes everything you may need.

17. The igniter is faulty

The gas that feeds the hot air into the dryer must be ignited to set the whole process into motion. Turn the power off, disconnect the electric cord from the socket and remove the igniter. Keep a multimeter handy and test the igniter. The igniter with continuity problems will tell you that it is the root cause of the machine’s malfunction and needs to be replaced.

18. Gas valve coils are damaged

It’s only when the coils open up to release the gas that the heat is generated. But if the coils become rusty or defective, there would be no inlet of fuel and hence no heat. The machine would be useless until the coils are fixed. Here’s an affordable and highly rated Solenoid Coil Kit Replacement by BlueStar that works with most of the top brands like LG, Samsung, Whirlpool, Speed Queen, Inglis, Jenn-air, Hoover, and more.

Valve Ignition Solenoid Coil Kit Replacement Part
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Valve Ignition Solenoid Coil Kit Replacement Part
Fits in a variety of models, including Whirlpool and Kenmore.

19. The flame sensor is out of order

The sensor in the gas dryer has the job of detecting the igniter’s temperature. When the igniter is hot enough to light the burner, the sensor detects this and shuts it off. The gas valves open up and the burner ignites and provides heat for it to do its job. Therefore, if the sensor is out of order the whole series of processes to follow will not take place either and thus the machine will not operate.

Common Problems

Here are some issues that might be the reason for your electric or gas dryer’s out-of-order status.

20. A loose line or wire

All of the parts described above are incredibly important and thus must be interconnected. If a loose wire causes the machine to stop working, you’ll need a professional to get a good look at it and repair the broken wires.

21. Parts are rusting or damaged

If you see clothes getting stained and the source is unknown, the cause likely is one of the parts rusting. It could be the drum or the air duct being damaged and its particles leaving stains on the clothes. For this, you’ll have to clean the rust off using a rust remover. Unplug the machine and use a sander to wipe the rusty parts clean. You can also use items in your kitchen like vinegar or lemon juice to do this.

22. Baffles are defective

The baffles are parts that are designed to reduce tangling in the load and they help distribute the load better in the machine. Hence, a baffle dry system indicates that the load is geometrically arranged better. This means that your pants won’t get tangled with your towels. The baffle can crack, loosen, or get damaged over time. To tackle this, you can buy a compatible baffle online like this one. Pro tip: always look up the model number before purchasing spare parts online.

Drum Baffle Replacement
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Drum Baffle Replacement
A great 4 inch tall drum baffle.
dog looking into the dryer

This dog is just hoping that his dog bed will be heated once again!

23. Worn out glides

Glides are parts on the front left and right side of the drum that make the drum’s spinning less noisy. These are spic and span on a new dry but when worn out, it’s obvious where the noise is coming from. Glides are either made of Teflon, plastic, nylon, felt, or even cork to help reduce the noise level as the drum spins. Here’s an ultra-durable front glide replacement kit that’s so easy to install, you’ll have time left over for an extra Netflix episode.

BlueStars Tumbler Front Glide Bearing Kit
209 Reviews
BlueStars Tumbler Front Glide Bearing Kit
Don't let the front glide bearing stop you from getting those warm clothes you love!

24. Moisture sensor is faulty

If you find your cycle isn’t stopping automatically like it used to, it’s most likely the sensors at fault. The timing motor could be damaged and hence the preconceived time isn’t being recorded. The moisture sensor could also be off and hence isn’t able to detect whether the clothes have dried properly or not. As mentioned previously, the high-limit thermostat might also need to be looked at in this scenario.

25. Drum bearings are off

If the dryer’s motor bearings are at fault, this will reflect first in the machine’s sound. If you hear an unbearable squealing noise when the drum is spinning, this could be the bearing calling for a repair session. It usually costs anywhere between $75 to $160 to replace the bearings. You can order a bearing online like this one by and for Speed Queen dryers.

Roller bearing
If your machine's making a lot of noise, this may be what you need.

Samsung Dryer won’t heat

We’ve reviewed several machines and can categorize the major problems that customers and service professionals come across with different brands. Here are the most common issues when it comes to a Samsung machine:

  • Clogged vents due to lint buildup.
  • Faulty element of heating
  • Thermal fuse blown

Whirlpool drying machine won’t work

Whirlpools released plenty of top-notch models in the last few years, one of the best selling and best known is the Cabrio machine. Let’s take a look at what customers have commonly complained of in the past with this brand:

  • Drum driver is obstructed
  • The drum rollers are defective
  • Motor or pulley failure
dryer and washer

Kenmore dryer malfunctioned

Kenmore has plenty of loyal customers but still has a few unhappy ones. Here is what they faced:

  • A small or faulty electrical cord
  • Overheating
  • Faulty moisture sensor

Common LG dryer problems

Here is what LG customers reported faulty in their reviews:

  • Clogged air vents
  • The thermal fuse burns out
  • The main control board motor relay remains on even when off
woman doing laundry
Why isn’t my dryer getting hot?

The most common reason a dryer isn’t getting hot is that the electric cord is damaged. It sucks if your brand new drying isn’t heating or getting hot. A clogged duct could also be to blame if you’ve had it for a long time. Check out the 25 reasons we found that could explain why you’re experiencing this issue.

How do I fix a dryer that is not heating?

You will first need to figure out what is causing it. You might have to clean a clogged duct.

Why is my dryer running but not heating, but just blowing cold air?

It’s probably your heating element that is no longer working.

Time needed: 10 minutes.

How can you tell if a dryer heating element is bad?

  1. Disconnect the unit’s power.

    Pull the vent off after having removed the band clamp.

  2. Place the dryer on top of a blanket, which will give you the access you need to inspect the heating element.

  3. The sheet metal screw located on the back will be removed at this point.

    When they’re loose, removing the back should be easy.

  4. Access the heating element by first removing the sheet-metal screws on the large canister.

    It will have several wires going to it.

  5. Breaks in the wire going to the dryer element will signal trouble.

    A good component should have no signs of damaged wires. A break will be an indication that the part needs to be replaced.

That’s it, folks!

Now that you know all that can go wrong in the process of drying, you can fix it up yourself or call a professional to replace parts that you bought at a lower rate online. We hope this article helped you save some extra bucks and gain some valuable knowledge!

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