Short answer: Fixing a malfunctioning dryer start button is manageable. Troubleshoot for debris, clean, or replace the button for a quick DIY repair.

A malfunctioning start button on your dryer can be a frustrating issue to deal with. When your dryer refuses to start, it can disrupt your daily routine and leave you with a pile of wet laundry to contend with. Fortunately, many dryer start button problems can be resolved with some simple troubleshooting and repair techniques. In this guide, I will explore common issues that can cause a dryer start button to stop working and provide step-by-step instructions on how to fix it. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or someone looking to save on repair costs, understanding how to diagnose and repair a dryer start button can be a valuable skill to have. So, let’s get started and learn how to get your dryer up and running again.

What Is a Dryer Start Button?

The dryer start button is a component of a clothes dryer that, when pressed, initiates the drying cycle. It’s typically located on the front panel of the dryer, often near the control knob or digital display. The start button serves as the user interface for activating the dryer, and it’s a critical part of the appliance’s operation.

Common Cause Of A Dryer Start Button Malfunction

Fixing wires of start button
Fixing wires on dryer

A malfunctioning start button on your dryer can be frustrating, but fear not, as it’s often caused by common issues that can be resolved with some simple troubleshooting. Here are some of the common causes of a dryer start button malfunction:

  1. Door Switch Problems: Many dryers have a safety feature that prevents them from starting unless the door is securely closed. If the door switch is faulty or not making proper contact, the dryer won’t start. You can check this by listening for a clicking sound when you press the switch with the door closed.
  2. Thermal Fuse Failure: The thermal fuse is a safety device that prevents the dryer from overheating. If it blows, it can interrupt the power supply to the start button, rendering it non-functional. A blown thermal fuse is often an indication of an overheating issue within the dryer.
  3. Start Switch Issues: The start switch is an electrical component that may wear out over time or become faulty. If it fails to complete the circuit when you press it, the dryer won’t start. Fortunately, this switch is relatively easy to replace.
  4. Button Jamming: Sometimes, the start button can get jammed or stuck due to dirt, debris, or wear and tear. If the button doesn’t fully depress when pressed, it won’t activate the dryer. Cleaning or replacing the button may be necessary.
  5. Wiring Problems: Loose or damaged wiring connections between the start button and other electrical components can disrupt the circuit, preventing the dryer from starting. Inspect the wires for any signs of damage or disconnection.
  6. Control Board Issues: In some cases, the problem may lie within the dryer’s control board, which is responsible for sending signals to various components, including the start button. Control board problems are less common but can cause start button malfunctions.
  7. Timer Malfunction: The timer on your dryer controls the cycle duration and may also play a role in the start button’s operation. If the timer is faulty, it can prevent the dryer from starting or advancing through its cycle properly.

How To Fix A Dryer Start Button?

Diagnosing the Problem

Before we dive into the repair process, it’s crucial to identify the root cause of the issue. Here’s what you should check:

Step 1: Ensure Safety

Step 2: Inspect the Door Switch

  • Door Switch Check: Open the dryer door and examine the door switch. There should be a switch on the frame that engages when the door is closed. Press it, and you should hear a click. If not, the door switch might be faulty and needs replacement.

Step 3: Examine the Start Button

  • Start Button Inspection: Remove the dryer’s back panel by unscrewing it. You’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver for this task. Once you have access, inspect the start button.
  • Start Button Function: When you push the start button, it should engage properly, making a solid connection. If it doesn’t, and you notice that the button isn’t returning to its original position, it indicates a problem with the spring or switch.

Step 4: Access the Start Button

  • Removing the Start Button: To reach the start button, you may need to pop it out by squeezing the three catches that secure it. A pair of needle-nose pliers can be useful for this. Ensure the button is in good condition; if it’s damaged, consider replacing it.

Step 5: Replacing the Start Button

Start button replacement
Installing the dryer’s new start button
  • Procure a New Button: If the start button is damaged or not functioning correctly, purchase a replacement button that matches the original.
  • Transfer Contacts: Carefully detach the wires from the old button and attach them to the new one in the same configuration.
  • Reassembly: Place the new button back into its housing, ensuring it clicks into position securely.

Step 6: Reassembling the Dryer

  • Reassembling the Dryer: Once you’ve resolved the start button issue, put the dryer back together by following the reverse steps of disassembly. Tighten the screws securely but avoid over-tightening.
Attaching dryer back part
Reattaching the dryer back cover

Step 7: Testing

  • Plug It In: Before using the dryer, make sure to plug it back into the electrical outlet.
  • Test Run: Turn on the dryer and press the start button. If it engages and the dryer starts running, you’ve successfully fixed the problem.


Can I continue to use my dryer if the start button is temporarily malfunctioning?

If the start button is stuck in the “on” position and won’t release, it’s not safe to use the dryer. Unplug it and address the issue promptly to avoid potential hazards.

Where can I find replacement start buttons for my dryer?

Replacement dryer start buttons can often be found at appliance parts stores or online retailers. Make sure to purchase the correct button model that matches your dryer’s make and model.

What if cleaning and inspecting the start button doesn’t resolve the issue?

If cleaning and inspection don’t fix the problem, you may need to replace the start button or associated components. This typically involves disconnecting wires, removing the old button, and installing a new one.

Do I need special tools to fix the start button?

Common tools like a Phillips head screwdriver and needle-nose pliers are usually sufficient for this repair.

Can I repair the start button myself?

Yes, you can repair the start button yourself by following the steps outlined in this guide. However, if you’re uncomfortable with the process, consider hiring a professional appliance technician.


Fixing a dryer start button involves a systematic approach, beginning with safety precautions and diagnosis of the problem. Whether it requires button replacement, wire tightening, or switch repair, a careful and informed DIY effort can often resolve the issue. However, it’s essential to exercise caution when dealing with electrical appliances, and if uncertain, seek professional assistance. Ultimately, proper maintenance and repair can prolong the life of your dryer and save you the expense of a replacement.

Key Takeaways

  • Unplug your dryer before attempting any repairs to ensure safety.
  • Check the door switch and start button for proper functionality.
  • Replace the start button if it’s damaged or not engaging correctly.
  • Reassemble the dryer and test it to confirm that the problem is resolved.

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