dryer won't start

Top 5 Reasons Your Dryer Won’t Start and How to Fix It

You throw a wet load of laundry into the dryer, select a cycle and press Start, but nothing happens. If your dryer won’t start all of a sudden, you need to act fast and figure out why before the piles of dirty clothes start mounting up.

Why Your Dryer Won’t Start

The bad news is that it’s not uncommon to find that your dryer won’t turn on. The good news though is that we’ve seen countless it times and know exactly what to look for when it happens:

#1 – Blown Thermal Fuse

What it is: Any appliance that involves heat needs to be safe, which is why dryers use a thermal fuse. It’s designed to protect the unit from overheating and causing house fires.

How it fails: There are a few different reasons why your dryer may overheat, but when it does, the fuse will blow. Once the fuse fails, the dryer will no longer turn on.

How to diagnose it: Unplug your dryer and access the thermal fuse. Use a multimeter to test it for continuity, and if you find it has none, replace the part.

dryer won't start
Image from Sears Parts Direct

#2 – Defective Start Switch

What it is: Most dryers use some sort of start button on the control panel to begin a cycle. Pressing the button engages a start switch that lets the control board know you want to run the cycle.

How it fails: Repetitive use over time can cause start switches to wear out and eventually stop engaging the circuit.

How to diagnose it: Just like with the thermal fuse, unplug power from the unit, use a multimeter to test the switch for continuity, and exchange the part if necessary.

dryer won't turn on
Image from Sears Parts Direct

#3 – Faulty Door Switch

What it is: If you open your dryer door while the unit is running, it will shut off immediately thanks to a switch that prevents it from running with the door open.

How it fails: Normal wear and tear can slowly cause the switch to deteriorate until it no longer engages and makes the “click” sound that signals the dryer is ready.

How to diagnose it: Try starting a cycle and listen for the clicking sound when you close the door. If you don’t hear it, test the part with your multimeter and replace as needed.

dryer won't power on
Image from Sears Parts Direct

#4 – Broken Drive Motor

What it is: A less common reason why your dryer won’t start is a drive motor failure. It’s what turns the dryer drum and blower wheel which exhausts the air from the dryer.

How it fails: Sometimes blower wheels can become obstructed which puts a strain on the motor. After a while, the motor itself can break down.

How to diagnose it: If you hear a humming noise, remove the drive belt and inspect the blower wheel for obstructions. If you find nothing blocking it, you may need to replace the motor. Make sure to test the thermal fuse, start switch, and door switch first though.

why won't my dryer work
Image from Sears Parts Direct

#5 – Drive Belt

What it is: The drive belt runs off of the motor which then turns the basket while the unit is running.

How it fails: Most dryers will still run with a broken belt, but a few models have a switch that senses when the belt is broken and prevents the unit from starting.

How to diagnose it: Inspect the drive belt to make sure it’s in good condition. Swap out the belt if you find it damaged or broken.

how to fix a broken dryer
Image from Sears Parts Direct

If your dryer won’t turn on, you may want to avoid the headache of fixing it yourself. Instead, call the dryer repair experts at Sharper Service Solutions, and leave your repair to the pros.

$10 Off
Appliance Repair

sign up for your coupon

Sign up for our Newsletter to get our best recommendations on products, maintenance, and cleaning.

You’ll also get $10 off your first repair!

I need help with my...