Short answer: When your dryer won’t stop unless the door is open, it’s likely due to a malfunctioning door switch or control board. Safety and repair are crucial.

A malfunctioning dryer can be a frustrating household issue, and one perplexing scenario that some may encounter is when the dryer refuses to stop spinning unless the door is open. This unusual behavior not only disrupts the drying process but also raises safety concerns. While the root cause of this problem can vary, it often centers around issues related to the door switch, control board, or other vital components within the appliance. In this discussion, I will explore the possible reasons behind a dryer’s refusal to cease operation with the door closed, troubleshooting steps to diagnose the issue, and potential solutions to rectify it, ensuring both the dryer’s functionality and the safety of its operation.

Reasons Why Dryer Won’t Stop Spinning Unless The Door Is Open?

Dryer drum is not working
Inspecting dryer drum

If your dryer won’t stop spinning unless the door is open, it could be due to several reasons. Here are some common causes for this issue:

  • Faulty Door Switch: Most dryers have a door switch that prevents the dryer from operating when the door is open. If this switch is malfunctioning or damaged, the dryer may not receive the signal to stop spinning when the door is closed. You can test the door switch for continuity using a multimeter to determine if it needs replacement.
  • Broken Door Latch or Strike: The door latch and strike mechanism ensures that the door is securely closed during operation. If the latch or strike is damaged or misaligned, it may not engage properly, causing the dryer to continue spinning even when the door is closed.
  • Control Board or Timer Issues: The control board or timer controls the various functions of the dryer, including the motor that drives the drum. If there is a malfunction in the control board or timer, it can result in the dryer not receiving the signal to stop spinning when it should.
  • Wiring Problems: Loose or damaged wiring within the dryer can disrupt the electrical circuits responsible for controlling the motor and the door switch. Inspect the wiring for any visible damage or loose connections.
  • Stuck Relay: Some dryers use relays to control the motor’s operation. If a relay gets stuck in the closed position, it can keep the motor running even when it’s supposed to stop.
  • Moisture Sensor Issues: Some modern dryers have moisture sensors that detect the dryness of the clothes. If these sensors are malfunctioning, they may not accurately determine when the clothes are dry, leading to extended drying cycles.
  • Thermostat problem: Dryers have thermostats that regulate the temperature during drying cycles. If a thermostat is faulty, it may not signal the dryer to stop heating, which can result in continuous spinning.
  • Mechanical Drum Issues: Occasionally, mechanical problems with the drum or its support components can prevent it from coming to a stop when the cycle is complete. This could include a damaged or worn-out belt, roller, or pulley.
  • Wrinkle Prevent Is Enabled: When “Wrinkle Prevent” is enabled on your dryer, it typically means that the dryer will continue to tumble or rotate the drum intermittently after the drying cycle has completed. This feature is designed to help prevent wrinkles from setting in your clothes if you can’t immediately remove them from the dryer when the cycle ends.

Fixing Dryer Won’t Stop Spinning Unless The Door Is Open

Stuck Motor Relay:

Fixing a stuck motor relay in a dryer can be a complex task, and it’s essential to prioritize safety when working with electrical appliances. If you’re not comfortable or experienced with electrical repairs, it’s best to seek the assistance of a professional appliance technician. However, if you have the necessary skills and tools, here’s a general guideline on how to fix a stuck motor relay when your dryer won’t stop spinning unless the door is open:

Step 1: Access the Relay: Locate the dryer’s control panel or the area where the relays are situated. This can vary depending on your dryer’s make and model, so consult the user manual if needed. You may need to remove the dryer’s top or rear panel to access the control board and relay.

Step 2: Identify the Stuck Relay: Examine the control board and look for the relay responsible for controlling the motor. It should be labeled on the board. Test the relay by gently tapping it. Sometimes, a stuck relay can be temporarily freed by tapping, but this is not a permanent solution.

Step 3: Replace the Relay:

  • If tapping the relay doesn’t work or if it sticks again shortly after, it’s best to replace the relay.
  • Carefully desolder the old relay from the control board. Ensure you have the correct replacement relay that matches the specifications of the old one.
  • Solder the new relay onto the control board, following proper soldering techniques.
  • Be cautious when soldering, as excessive heat can damage the control board. Use a soldering iron with adjustable temperature settings and avoid overheating the board.

Step 4: Test the Dryer:ong>

Step 5: Safety Check: Once you’ve confirmed that the dryer is working correctly and stops spinning when the door is closed, conduct a safety check to ensure there are no exposed wires or loose connections. Inspect the dryer thoroughly to make sure it’s safe for regular use.

Fix Faulty Dryer Door Switch:

Step 1: Access the Dryer’s Door Switch: Open the dryer door to access the area around the door switch. The door switch is typically located near the door frame or on the dryer’s front panel, depending on the dryer’s make and model.

Step 2: Remove the Dryer’s Front Panel or Access Cover: The specific method for accessing the door switch may vary depending on your dryer’s design. In some dryers, you may need to remove the front panel. This often involves removing screws located around the door frame and at the top of the panel. In other dryers, there might be an access cover near the door switch that can be removed to access the switch.

Step 3: Locate and Disconnect the Door Switch: Once you have access to the door switch, identify it and note how it’s connected. In most cases, the door switch will have two or three wires connected to it. Carefully disconnect the wires from the switch. You may need to use a pair of pliers or a nut driver to remove wire nuts or connectors.

Step 4: Remove the Old Door Switch: After disconnecting the wires, remove the screws or clips that secure the door switch in place. Carefully pull the old door switch out of its mounting location.

remoivng start button from dryer
Start button removal

Step 5: Install the New Door Switch:

  • Position the new door switch in the same location where the old one was.
  • Secure the new switch with screws or clips.
  • Reconnect the wires to the corresponding terminals on the new switch. Make sure the wires are securely attached.

Step 6: Reassemble the Dryer: If you had to remove the front panel or an access cover, reattach it securely. Ensure all screws are tightened and that the dryer is properly reassembled.

Fix A Broken Door Latch:

Step 1: Turn Off Power: Ensure the dryer is unplugged from its power source or that the circuit breaker for the dryer is switched off. Safety is essential during any repair.

Step 2: Locate the Broken Latch or Strike: Open the dryer door and identify the broken or damaged latch or strike. The door latch is typically located on the door frame, and the strike is on the dryer’s main body. The strike is what the latch catches onto when the door is closed.

Step 3: Remove the Old Latch or Strike: Most latches and strikes are held in place with screws. Using the appropriate screwdriver, remove the screws that secure the old latch or strike. Keep the screws in a safe place for reassembly.

Step 4: Install the New Latch or Strike:

  • Position the new latch or strike in the same location as the old one.
  • Secure it with the screws you removed in the previous step.
  • Make sure it’s firmly attached.

Step 5: Adjust the Latch: In some cases, you might need to adjust the position of the latch or strike to ensure a proper fit. If the door doesn’t close securely, you can slightly adjust the position of the strike. Loosen the screws, reposition the strike, and tighten the screws again until the door closes properly.

Control Board or Timer Issues fixing:

Removing back cover of dryer
Checking dryer control board
If you suspect that your dryer’s control board or timer is malfunctioning, it can be a bit more complex to diagnose and fix. These components control the various functions and cycles of the dryer, and issues with them can manifest in various ways. Here’s a general guide on how to troubleshoot and potentially fix control board or timer problems:

Access the Control Board or Timer: Depending on your dryer’s make and model, the control board or timer may be located in different places. Refer to your dryer’s user manual for specific instructions on accessing these components.

Inspect for Visual Damage: Look for any obvious signs of damage, such as burnt areas, loose wires, or disconnected connectors on the control board or timer. If you notice any visual damage, this may be a clear indication of a problem.

Test for Electrical Continuity (Optional): If you have a multimeter and are comfortable using it, you can test the continuity of various connections on the control board. Follow the multimeter’s instructions to check for continuity across different terminals and wires.

Replace the Control Board or Timer: If you find visual damage or if the continuity tests indicate a problem, it’s time to replace the faulty component. Ensure you have a compatible replacement control board or timer for your dryer’s make and model.

Disconnect the Old Control Board or Timer: Carefully disconnect all wires and connectors from the old control board or timer. Keep track of the connections or take a photo to ensure you can reconnect everything correctly.

Install the New Control Board or Timer: Connect the wires and connectors to the new control board or timer in the same positions as on the old one. Secure the new component in place using the appropriate screws or clips.

Reassemble the Dryer: If you had to remove any panels or covers to access the control board or timer, reattach them securely. Make sure all screws are tightened.

Disable Wrinkle Prevent:

Enable Wrinkle Prevent:

  • Start a drying cycle as you normally would, selecting the desired drying time and heat settings.
  • Some dryers have a dedicated “Wrinkle Prevent” button or option that you can select to enable this feature.
  • In some cases, the “Wrinkle Prevent” feature may be automatically activated by default, and you won’t need to do anything to enable it.

Duration of Wrinkle Prevent: Depending on your dryer model, the duration of the “Wrinkle Prevent” feature may vary. It’s usually set to continue tumbling the clothes for a certain period, such as 30 minutes or so. Check your dryer’s user manual to find out the specific duration for your model.

Disabling Wrinkle Prevent: If you want to disable the “Wrinkle Prevent” feature and end the tumbling process before it’s complete, you can usually do so by simply opening the dryer door. When you open the door, the dryer should stop tumbling immediately, allowing you to remove your clothes.


How can I tell if the problem is with the door switch or another component?

To determine if the door switch is the culprit, you can try pressing it manually with the door open while the dryer is running. If pressing the switch stops the dryer, it’s likely a faulty door switch. If not, you may need to inspect other components like the control board or wiring.

Is it safe to use the dryer when it won’t stop spinning unless the door is open?

It’s not safe to use the dryer under these conditions. The door switch is a critical safety feature, and if it’s not functioning correctly, it can pose a safety hazard. It’s best to address the issue promptly to ensure safe dryer operation.

How can I find a replacement door switch for my dryer?

To find a replacement door switch, you can check with the manufacturer of your dryer or visit their official website. You may also find compatible replacement parts from reputable appliance parts suppliers or local appliance repair shops.

Can I disable the door switch altogether to avoid the issue?

It’s not recommended to disable the door switch, as it’s an essential safety feature. Disabling it can create a safety hazard, as the dryer may continue to operate even when the door is open. It’s best to fix the underlying issue instead.


When a dryer won’t stop spinning unless the door is open, it can be indicative of several potential issues, primarily centered around the malfunction of the door switch, control board, or related components. Addressing this problem is crucial for both the proper functioning of the dryer and the safety of its operation. While some troubleshooting and DIY repairs are possible, it’s important to exercise caution and prioritize safety. If you’re unsure about the diagnosis or repair process, it’s advisable to seek the assistance of a professional technician to ensure that the dryer is restored to its safe and functional state. Prompt attention to these issues can help maintain the reliability and longevity of your appliance.

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