3 common dryer problems and how to fix them

December 22, 2014

Dryer's not working properly? The first step to fixing it is identifying the source of the problem. Here are some hints to help you.

3 common dryer problems and how to fix them

Once you figure out the problem, only then can you decide if you can fix it yourself or if it's better to call a technician. So, what could be causing the problem? Here’s a breakdown of the three most common issues with dryers.

1. The outside is hot but the inside is humid

If your dryer heats up easily and the top feels burning hot, but everything inside stays damp and humid, something's amiss.

  • If you haven’t overloaded it with wet clothes, your dryer may not be venting properly.

Lint trap

  • This could be due to a number of things. Start by checking your lint trap to make sure the holes in the mesh aren’t blocked. You’ve probably been emptying it after every cycle (if not, then you should start), but it needs to be cleaned with dish soap and hot water every once in a while.


If the lint trap looks fine, check where the vent exits your home, probably at the rear of your house.

  • Is it blocked? If you have a screen, you may want to replace it with a flap instead, though if part of the flap breaks, birds may nest in there and block the vent.
  • Clear whatever is obstructing the vent and see if this solves your issue.

Vent hose

If the lint trap and the vent exit are clear, you may have a blockage somewhere in the vent hose.

  • To get your dryer properly working, you’ll need to unblock the vent exit.
  • If you can do it yourself, great. You’ll save the cost of hiring a technician.
  • If you can’t access it, you may need to hire a handy person.
  • If your hose is made of plastic, you may want to replace it with a metal one, which get blocked much less frequently.

Finally, if none of these are the answer to your problem, the blower motor may be broken, in which case you’ll need to have a replacement installed.

2. Your dryer never heats up

Is your problem that it doesn’t matter how long it's been on, your dryer just never gets hot?

  • Start by checking your breakers. Many dryers are connected to two fuses. Your dryer may turn on because one fuse is fine, but never heat up because the second fuse has popped.

If this isn't the problem, there may be an issue with your heat source.

  • Depending on the type of dryer you have, gas or electric, repairs will vary. If you’re not too savvy when it comes to fixing things, getting a repair person might be a good idea.

3. It won't turn on anymore

Start by checking all the plugs to make sure everything is connected as it should be.

  • There’s always a possibility that in moving things around your laundry room, someone may have accidentally unplugged the machine.
  • If that doesn’t work, check your breakers. Flip them to make sure everything works.

If neither of these solutions work, call a technician.

Safety precautions

Never do any work on an electric machine without unplugging it first or on a gas dryer without properly shutting off the gas supply.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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