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Troubleshooting For Tumble Dryer Problems

Is your tumble dryer not spinning? Have you seen that your dryer turns on but won’t spin? Read our troubleshooting guide to get to the root of the problem.


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On days when drying clothes outdoors isn’t an option, your tumble dryer is a god-send … provided it works! If you’ve got dryer problems then follow these troubleshooting tips to avoid costly call-out fees and get your clothes spinning again in no time.

Consult your user manual (most have a troubleshooting guide at the back) or search for video tutorials online – just make sure you match it to your model.

Dryer Problem #1: “Help – my dryer won’t spin!”

Been asking yourself “why won’t my dryer spin” and still not sure of the answer? Check these common fault errors:

  • Drive belt – if you can spin the drum freely and easily with your hands then the drive belt could be loose.

  • Drum – if the drum won’t budge when you try to spin it then the support shaft or rear bearing may have worn down, or the drive belt has got jammed.

  • Motor – if your drum spins normally but there is a low humming noise then your motor or capacitor may be causing the problem. Check by spinning the drum with your hands and shutting the machine door. If it keeps spinning, the motor is at fault.

Once you’ve identified the cause of why your dryer turns on but won’t spin, it’s time to fix it. Only attempt home repairs if you know what you’re doing – remember, most manufacturer warranties will become void if you tamper with the appliance yourself.

Dryer Problem #2: “Why won’t my dryer turn on?”

Don’t assume the worst if your dryer won’t switch on – it’s just as likely to be one of these simple fixes as not!

  • Power socket – make sure the machine is plugged in and try switching to a different power socket in case the problem is with your home’s power supply.

  • Plug fuse – all electrical appliances are fitted with a fuse in the plug. If you can access it, try changing it for one of the same amperage to see if it has blown.

  • Thermal fuse and switches – Unplug your dryer before commencing any electrical work. Isolate the fuse and/or switches from the unit and check their operation with a multimeter.

Dryer Problem #3: “My dryer turns on but no heat comes out”

One of the most frustrating dryer problems, this could all be down to the thermal switch or heating element.  Remember to unplug your dryer before testing.

  • Thermal switch –check with a multimeter to see if there is a problem with the connection

  • Heating element – you can also use a multimeter to check the heating element.

  • Vent hose – blockages here could prevent your dryer from heating correctly.

Looking after your tumble dryer

As well as troubleshooting faults for common dryer problems you also want to make sure you do what you can to look after the appliance. That way, you’ll be less likely to find yourself asking “why won’t my dryer turn on”!

Keep it clean

Wipe down the outside and empty the lint filter regularly. You can wipe the inside with a cloth dampened with water and a little white vinegar.

Keep it cool

Make sure the vents on your dryer aren’t blocked and pull the appliance away from any walls. Ventilate the room during use to avoid condensation.

Don’t overload

As with your washing machine, make sure you don’t overload your dryer. Putting too many clothes in could be the cause of a dryer not spinning.

Use sparingly

Dryers use energy and contribute to your carbon footprint so only use them when necessary. Overuse can also cause parts to wear out more quickly.

  • Tumble dryer not spinning? Try turning it manually to work out if there is a blockage

  • Make sure your dryer is plugged in and try using a different plug socket in case the problem isn’t with the appliance at all

  • Listen for abnormal noises – a low humming could indicate a faulty motor

Originally published