Help! My Dryer Won’t Start – Power Is On (Easy Fixes)

Your dryer will never break down at a convenient time.

You might be able to overlook some minor issues, but if your dryer refuses to start, rest assured you will be wearing wet clothes to work. 

The following is a step-by-step troubleshooting guide for what to do if your dryer won’t start but has power.

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Moreover, you will learn some easy fixes to get it running again.

The dryer won’t start but has power – 10 reasons

Why won't my dryer start all of a sudden?

Before looking for damaged parts, check to see if your dryer is plugged into the right outlet and if the circuit breaker has not tripped.

Plug something else into the electrical outlet to make sure it is operating. If it does not work, you have a faulty outlet.

1. Door Switch

A door switch is used to initiate and halt the tumbling process in every dryer. If your dryer does not turn on, it is possible that the door switch is broken.

Before troubleshooting, make sure your dryer is unplugged from the outlet or the circuit breaker is turned off.

The switch is situated behind the front panel. Two or three metal prongs or terminals will protrude from the switch. 

If any of the prongs that come in contact with the switch when the door is closed are twisted or damaged, try to straighten them out.

If this method does not get the job done, you can try using a multimeter tester to check the switch’s continuity.

Pop-out the door switch or remove the one screw that holds it in place if it is broken.

Two wires must be disconnected (and labeled so they can be reconnected later), and a new dryer switch must be installed. 

2. Thermal Fuse

A thermal fuse is used in most dryers to avoid overheating. It is heat-sensitive, and if the dryer gets too hot, it will cease to work.

The blower housing, heating element housing (electric dryer), or burner housing all have a thermal fuse (gas dryer).

Before testing the fuse, unplug the dryer. When examined with a multimeter, it will not have any continuity if damaged.

3. Start Switch

Your dryer’s start switch permits energy to activate the motor. The motor starts spinning after the initial start.

A centrifugal switch is activated, which expands to keep the dryer going. The dryer will not start if the start switch fails to send the initial spark.

The start switch at the top of your dryer transfers power to the drive motor when pressed. Before checking the start switch for continuity, unplug your dryer. 

To access the switch, remove the screws on either side of the control panel. 

Make a note of where the two or three wires going to the start switch should go when you reattach them to the new start switch.

4. Timer

The dryer timer, which is located on your machine’s control panel, employs a small motor to turn electric contacts on and off.

If the timer is broken, no electric spark will occur and your dryer will not start.

The timer on your dryer has a little motor that switches electrical contacts on and off using gears and cams. Your dryer will not start if this fails.

Check the timer’s continuity to see whether it is still working or needs to be replaced. Before you test this, unplug the dryer once more.

5. Thermostat

Top reasons why dryer won't start even with the power on

During the drying cycle, the thermostat monitors and controls the temperature within your dryer.

The thermostat will disconnect the electrical connection when the heat reaches a specific level, allowing the air to cool down. 

The machine can overheat and trigger the thermal fuse if the thermostat fails. The washer will not start if this happens.

Another problem that can prevent your dryer from starting is a faulty thermostat. The temperature for each dryer setting is normally controlled by many thermostats in your dryer.

To test these thermostats, you will need to open your dryer cabinet. For instructions on how to open the cabinet on your specific make and model, consult your handbook. 

Thermostats can be found on the blower wheel housing or within the exhaust system. Remember to turn off the power before performing any tests.

Remove the two screws that hold a faulty device in place and identify the two wires that lead to each thermostat for correct reinstallation. 

To install the replacement thermostat, reverse the procedure.

If none of these repairs work, you may be dealing with a more serious issue that requires the assistance of a professional dryer repair agency.

6. Terminal Block

The terminal block connects the power cord to the dryer’s main wiring. This is a crucial component that allows your device to run on electricity.

If the terminal block fails, not only will the dryer be unable to start, but it could also result in a fire and the machine’s destruction.

To avoid shock, detach the plug from the outlet before examining this part.

Remove the back access panel and check for damaged wires, melted insulation, or discolored connections in the terminal block.

These faults can cause your dryer to stop working, necessitating a replacement.

Note the direction of the front power lines and rear connectors, then use a screwdriver to detach the wires.

Remove the terminal block and cut the wires as close to the back as feasible.

Remove a part of the insulation from the lines before reinserting the new terminal block, rejoin cables, and crimp in place. 

Assemble the white wire and connect it to the silver terminal. With the silver terminal in the middle slot, snap terminals into the new block.

Before closing the access panel, reconnect the power wires and remount the block.

7. Drive Motor

The primary function of the drive motor is to rotate the belt that rotates the drum in the dryer.

The blower fan wheel rotates for a supplementary purpose, circulating heated air to dry the clothing. The dryer will not work if the motor is not working properly.

The drive motor turns the dryer’s drum and blower wheel. Check the drive motor if the dryer is buzzing but not running.

First, unplug the gadget from the power source.

Check for obstacles after removing the belt from the motor. Remove any obstructions from the blower wheel.

If nothing is obstructing the motor, it is most likely malfunctioning and should be replaced by a qualified appliance repair.

8. Drive Belt

In a dryer, the drive belt wraps around the drum and is attached to a driving pulley and the dryer motor. This is what turns the drum.

If the drive belt is broken, some dryers will not start.

Because the drive belt is looped onto a drive pulley, dryer motor shaft, idler pulley, and tensioner, replacing it is a little more complicated.

For this replacement, contact an appliance repair service.

9. Belt Switch

If the dryer’s belt is broken, a belt switch attached to a belt tension pulley is utilized to detect it. The dryer may stop in the middle of a dry cycle or not start at all if the belt breaks.

A belt switch is not found on all dryers. To be sure, consult your owner’s manual.

Your computer may start but only hum if it has this switch. 

Use your continuity tester to see whether it is malfunctioning or if there is no noise. A new switch will be required, but it may not be the primary cause of your dryer’s failure to start.

10. Main Control Board

Troubleshooting electric dryer that won't turn on

The main control board fails infrequently; thus, this is unlikely to be the cause of your dryer not starting. 

The main control board may need to be replaced if all of the above elements have been ruled out. A professional technician should handle this.

Because the main control board is in charge of all dryer functions, the signs and symptoms of a broken or malfunctioning board might vary. 

The appliance may randomly stop and start, it may not heat sufficiently or excessively, the cycles may not run as planned, or a variety of other weird issues may arise. 

The main control board may be the primary issue if your dryer has been damaged during a move, has gotten wet, or has experienced a large electrical surge.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does my dryer keep shutting down?

Check for a blocked vent; if hot air cannot escape, the dryer will be turned off to prevent a fire.

If the dryer engine overheats, the thermal overload switch will trip to avoid a fire. While it may restart once it cools down, the motor needs to be replaced.

The vibration of the dryer when it is on will push the door open and shut the dryer off if the door latch is not secure enough. The switch should be replaced.

Failure of the moisture sensor—this sensor normally turns the dryer off once the clothes are dry, but if the part fails, the dryer will turn off too soon.

Replace the sensor if necessary.

Why is there water present in my dryer vent?

Water collection can be caused by an array of factors, including vent blockage, cold temperatures, or a defective vent cover.

Inside your vent, warm, damp air accumulates especially during cold weather.

To lessen the temperature difference and moisture build-up, clean the pipe and wrap it in insulation.

Replace a damaged vent cover to prevent snow, rain, and debris from clogging the vent.

How can I keep my dryer in good working order for longer?

Maintaining your dryer regularly helps extend its life and saves you money on power bills.

After each cycle, empty the lint filter. A clogged filter/screen will increase drying time, raise power expenditures, and pose a fire risk.

Clean the lint trap where the filter is kept. Unplug the dryer, remove the filter, and vacuum within the lint trap every few months to remove lint and debris build-up. 

Clean the inside of your dryer once every month.

This will eliminate residue from dryer sheets and fabric softener, which can clog air holes and leave stains on clothes.

Once a year, clean the exhaust vent. This will also accumulate and may become clogged.

This can lower your dryer’s performance and perhaps result in a fire.

Final Thoughts

When you think about necessary home appliances, your dryer is rarely a priority. 

However, in the unfortunate case that your dryer stops working, you will realize how essential of an appliance it is. 

Nobody likes dealing with wet clothes, and who even has the time to air dry anymore? 

If your dryer is giving you a hard time by not starting, first try to diagnose the issue at hand and try your luck with one of these easy fixes.