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Why Your Dryer Is Not Longer Heating?

By:  Shaun Kaushal     |     Last Updated: April 25th, 2020

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Lets See Why Your Dryer Is Dying On You

Its interesting, we used to hang our clothes outside to get our clothes to dry, but then came along the creation of a dryer. Saving us so much headache with letting our clothes dry by waiting for a sunny day, and hoping bugs or animals don't stick to our clothes.


The dryer is a definite must in all households but sometimes it can cause you problems that you never expected. Having to run a cycle for 1 hour and you clothes are still wet is a pain in the butt, and dryer's are not cheap either. Purchasing one that is energy efficient is expensive and even then can be costly if you are someone who cleans their clothes regularly.


Today we will run through some common issues we've seen for why dryers no longer heat, and how you can fix it at home with a few tools, instructions and sometimes appliance parts.


If your dryer has failed to spin, generate heat, have a faulty touch pad, cause noises, this all can lead to a dryers in ability to generate heat. Lets take a look at a few reasons together.

Reasons For A Dryer Not Being Able To Heat

Reason #1: Your Ventilation system is clogged

A clogged ventilation system is one common reason for why your dryer may no longer by heating. If the ventilation system is clogged with dust collected from clothing fabrics or just dust in general, this starts to buildup and eventually affect your dryers ability to circulate heat efficiently. 


The way to determine if this is the issue is through a few tests. The first test is if you live in a residential home, is to go outside and locate the duct pipe exit and see if their is heat being generated from it. The second step is to remove the duct pipe directly from the dryer, as well as the basement and see if you notice any clogging.


If you live in a apartment or condo this is a step you will only be able to see at the dryer level, I would reach out to your landlord or concierge about this issue to see if its causing problems to other units in your building as well.


If you notice a lack of heat being generated and or a clogged pipe, move onto the repair phase of this article, cleaning the clogged ventilation system.


Reason #2: your dryers Heating Element is Faulty

The heating element is the most important dryer part that is responsible for generating heat which is then air circulated throughout the dryer. A faulty one can be the main culprit and might require some level of professionalism to repair. However if you are up for the task, I have listed some instructions here in the replacing the heating element section of this article.


But before you begin reading that section, lets go over some ways to determine if the heating element is actually faulty. You will want to open up your dryer and locate the heating element. If your element looks broken or is a black/brown color, its time to get it replaced. If you are unable to locate it, a simple test is to run a small run and when you open the dryer, do you feel heat? If not, the heating element might be the issue.

How To Repair Your Broken Dryer That Isn't Heating?

Repair #1: Cleaning The Clogged Venting 

If your vent or duct pipe is clogged in anyway this is due to the buildup of fabric that is collected every time your dry your clothes. This also goes for your lint trap as well, the dryer is build to minimize the amount of buildup so it doesn't affect your dryers ability to function and to prevent fires from building up. At the right temperature the lint can catch fire which is the last thing we want happening.


Now lets take a look at some steps to clean and prevent future clogging.

  1. Once you have determined that your vents or duct pipes are clogged, the next step is to unplug your dryer.
  2. Visit your basement and remove the pipes by removing them and using a vacuum cleaner to clean out any lint.
  3. If your pipes are too long, you can cut them into small pieces knowing that you will have to wrap them again using aluminum foil. Cutting them is not recommended but if necessary then its an alternative.
  4. You can also purchase new pipes from retail stores like Home Depot if it makes things easier.
  5. Once you have vacuumed everything, reassemble everything using aluminum foil around the edges which were removed.
  6. Test out your new working dryer, and if you still notice problems either you haven't cleaned everything or you might need to purchase new pipes because it might have a crack letting out any heat.


Repair #2: Replacing The Heating Element 

As I mentioned above, if you want to replace your heating element this might require a professional, however it can still be done with the right tools and by following the step-by-step instructions below. 


  1. The first step is to unplug your dryer and remove all clothes and lint in the lint trap. 
  2. Take our your dryer so you can unscrew the back panel. You might need to remove the duct pipe to get a closer reach.
  3. Your heating element will look like a spring spread into a zig-zag formation. 
  4. Remove everything connected to the heating element, and be careful not to break any of these wires as you might need to replace it with a new one. The best thing is to take a picture using your phone of where the cords are supposed to go.
  5. If you heating element is damaged, rusty or black, this is a sign that it is worn out and will need to be replaced.
  6. Reinstall the heating element accordingly and using your picture to help guide you.
  7. Screw everything back, and place your back panel and duct pipe back in place.
  8. Run a small test to see if heat is being generated without any clothes in it. If you open up the lid and heat is there, you have successfully solved the issue!

Which dryer parts Would You Need To Repair This?

Shaun Kaushal / General Manager & Blogger

Shaun Kaushal, a home service blogger with experience and knowledge in appliances, home renovation, and home design. With a passion for educating homeowners on the industry, Shaun decided to create a blog dedicated to teaching homeowners appliance repair tips, strategies and ways they can save more money. 

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