A dryer is one of your family’s most important appliances. Considering the cost of new dryers today, it would be wise for all dryer owners to learn how to troubleshoot their own dryers in order to avoid costly repairs or replacements when their dryer won't start. Even if you are not a handy person or trained in large appliances, you can learn the basics of how to troubleshoot your appliances and figure out why your dryer won’t start.

One of the most common problems that individuals deal with is when a dryer won't start. Because there can be several reasons behind this, you will want to troubleshoot the problem in order to pin point it.

Troubleshooting Your Dryer

Do not be scared by the term troubleshooting. This term is just a fancy way of saying problem solving. Basically, when you troubleshoot, you are going through a list of possible options as to why your dryer won't start. The best way to troubleshoot any problem, including a faulty dryer, is to list in detail the specifics of the problem. It helps to write it down.

Write it Down


Get near your dyer with a note pad and pencil. Write down the exact problem and when the problem started. It may also be helpful to include any special details that could have affected the dryer. For instance, had some clothing gotten hung up in the dryer recently? Was there a recent power outage or power surge during a storm? Was something dried in the dryer that should not have been in there? Details such as these will help you figure out possible culprits behind why your dryer won't start.

Write down these details and consider how each could have affected your dryer. You may also want to note how old the dryer is, and also do a Google search of any manufacturing problems your particular dryer might have had as reported by other owners.

Before You Start

cat climbing on dryer

Before beginning any repair on a major or minor appliance, be sure to cut off all power to the appliance. If your dryer is on a circuit alone, then turn off this circuit while you are working. Once the power has been turned off to that circuit, you will also want to unplug the dryer. You cannot be too safe when dealing with electricity.


photographer camera

While you are troubleshooting it is recommended that you take photos as you are removing panels. These photos can be indispensable later on. Photo the dyer inside as you remove the panel and photo the parts and the wiring. This can assist you when it is time to put your dryer back together.
In order to troubleshoot effectively, you will want a multimeter as well. This tool will help you evaluate the dryer more efficiently. A multimeter is an inexpensive little tool which can measure the electrical current coming through an outlet or an appliance.

Common Problems

There are some common problems that dryers often encounter which are considered easy fixes. Issues such as worn out belts in older dryers can be replaced in less than an hour. Make sure you obtain the correct size and type of belt for your dryer. Other common problems include bad power supply. The power cords which hook your dryer up to the power supply can become damaged. This can be easily repaired by replacing your old power cord with a new one.

In some cases, especially with older dryers, the heating element can go out. This will cause the dryer to lose heat while working. You will first notice the clothes not getting dry on a single cycle. This can escalate to the point where the dryer doesn’t work at all. The most frustrating type of problem with a dryer, though, is when mysteriously the dryer won't start.


Power Supply

Door Switch


Start Switch

Thermal Fuse


Troubleshooting your own dryer may feel a bit overwhelming at first. There are several things you can do to make this job easier. YouTube has a vast array of videos available to help you understand how to effectively troubleshoot your own home appliances. A home owner can save a lot of money over time by seeing to their own maintenance and repairs. Use these videos to increase your confidence when it comes to home appliance troubleshooting.

Once you have successfully accomplished a few troubleshooting jobs, you will feel more assured in the future when a problem pops up. It is important, however, to note that if you ever feel like you are in over your head, or if you are dealing with dangerous ground in which you do not feel confident, you should definitely seek the help of a professional. In many cases a call to your local building supply, appliance store or hardware store could provide just the answer you need.

These professionals have a wealth of knowledge and in most cases are very happy to share that knowledge with you. When you are in your local hardware or building supply to pick up supplies do not feel shy about asking an employee if they have any information or tips for the project you are about to embark on. The most important thing to remember is that your appliances do not have to be disposable. You can repair your home appliances and save money.

Last update on 2021-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API