Short answer: To fix a dryer not heating, check the heating element and thermostat for continuity; replace if faulty. Also, ensure proper ventilation to prevent overheating.

A malfunctioning dryer can quickly throw a wrench into your daily routine, especially when it stops producing heat. Whether your clothes are damp and cold after a cycle or you’re facing a pile of laundry that refuses to dry properly, understanding how to fix a dryer that’s not heating is a valuable skill that can save you time and money. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through the top causes behind a non-heating dryer and provide step-by-step solutions to get your appliance back in working order. From checking the heating element to diagnosing electrical issues, we’ve got you covered.

 Reasons Why Electric Dryer Not Heating?

Testing faulty dryer heating element
Testing dryer heating element with a multimeter

If your electric dryer won’t heat, here are the top five most probable causes:

  1. Thermal Fuse: The thermal fuse is a safety device designed to protect the dryer from overheating. It is normally located on the blower housing, although some dryer models have an additional fuse on the heating element. If the dryer overheats, the fuse will blow and cut off power to the heating element. You can use a multimeter to determine if there is a continuous electrical path present in the part. If not, the fuse has blown and will need to be replaced. Be aware that the failure of the thermal fuse is often caused by the venting system being clogged with lint. To improve airflow, we recommend cleaning out the vent at least once a year.
  2. Heating Element: The heating element warms the air before it enters the dryer drum. If the element is burned out or any part of the assembly is defective, the dryer will not heat properly. You can use a multimeter to test the heating element for continuity. If the meter indicates no continuity, then the element will need to be replaced.
  3. High-Limit Thermostat: Located on the heating element, this thermostat monitors the dryer temperature and will shut off the heating element if the dryer overheats.
  4. Cycling Thermostat: Normally located on the blower housing, the cycling thermostat cycles the heating element on and off to regulate the air temperature.
  5. Electrical Supply: To fully operate, most electric dryers require 240 volts of alternating current running through two legs of voltage, each carrying 120 volts. If one leg of voltage is shut off by a tripped breaker or blown fuse, the dryer may run but won’t heat. If you suspect the electrical outlet is not providing sufficient voltage, you can test the outlet using a voltage meter set to 240 volts AC. Be aware that readings can vary between 210 and 240 volts.
  6. Main Control Board: While not a common problem, a defective main control board can prevent the dryer from heating. Inspect it for signs of burning or a shorted-out component.

How To Fix The Dryer Not Heating?

Step 1: Safety Precautions Before starting any repair work on your electrical appliance, ensure it is unplugged from the mains for safety.

Step 2: Identify the Issue If your dryer is not producing heat and only blows cold air, it’s likely a heating element problem.

Step 3: Remove the Back Panel To access the heating element, you’ll need to remove the back panel. Be cautious, as the edges of the panel may be sharp.

Step 4: Disconnect the Heating Element After removing the back panel, you’ll see the heating element. Disconnect the plug and any cable ties securing it.

Step 5: Observe and Document Wiring Before removing any wires, take photos or notes to document the wiring connections for easy reassembly.

Step 6: Test the Heating Element Using a multimeter, check the heating element for continuity. A reading indicating continuity means the element is functional.

Step 7: Inspect the Thermistor and Thermostat Test the thermistor and thermostat for continuity using the multimeter. If they show continuity, they are likely in working condition.

Step 8: Straighten Heating Element Leads Flatten the metal tabs on the heating element leads so they can be easily pushed through during reassembly.

Step 9: Reassemble the Heating Element Carefully slide the new heating element into place, ensuring it lines up with the tabs.

Installing the heating element on dryer
Replacing the heating element

Step 10: Reconnect Wiring Reconnect the wires to the heating element as per your documentation from Step 5.

Step 11: Secure the Heating Element Tighten the screws to secure the heating element in place.

Step 12: Reattach the Back Panel Place the back panel back in position and secure it with screws.

Step 13: Reconnect Control Panel Reconnect any connectors to the control panel, ensuring they match the corresponding slots.

Step 14: Reattach the Front Panel Align the tabs on the front panel with their slots and secure it in place with screws.

Step 15: Plug In and Test Finally, plug the dryer back in, and test it to ensure it’s now heating up properly.

Step 16: Clean the Ventilation System To prevent future issues, clean the ventilation system, including the lint filter, vent tubing, and the outside vent opening. Ensure proper airflow to prevent overheating.

By following these steps, you should be able to repair your non-heating Samsung clothes dryer.


Why would a dryer spin but produce no heat?

If your dryer is spinning but not producing heat, it could be due to several reasons:

  • Faulty Heating Element: The heating element may be burned out or defective.
  • Thermal Fuse: A blown thermal fuse can cut off power to the heating element.
  • High-Limit Thermostat: If the dryer overheats, the high-limit thermostat can shut off the heating element.
  • Cycling Thermostat: A malfunctioning cycling thermostat may not regulate the air temperature properly.
  • Electrical Supply: Inadequate voltage supply, such as a tripped breaker or blown fuse, can cause the dryer to run without heating.

What is the reason why my dryer is heating but not spinning?

If your dryer is producing heat but not spinning, it might be due to a problem with the drive belt, motor, or other mechanical components. Common causes include a broken drive belt, a faulty motor, or issues with the idler pulley or drum rollers. You’ll need to inspect and possibly replace these components to resolve the issue.

Should you repair your old dryer or replace it?

The decision to repair or replace your dryer depends on factors like the age of the appliance, the cost of repairs, and your budget. Here are some guidelines:

  • Repair If: Your dryer is relatively new, the repair cost is reasonable, and it’s a minor issue.
  • Replace If: Your dryer is old, repairs are costly, it frequently breaks down, or you want an energy-efficient upgrade.
Reattaching front cover of dryer
reassembling dryer after heating element replacement

How do I know if my dryer vent is clogged?

A clogged dryer vent can cause various problems. Here’s how to identify if it’s clogged:

  • Long Drying Times: If your clothes take much longer to dry than usual, it’s a sign.
  • Hot Exterior: Touch the dryer’s exterior during operation; if it feels very hot, the vent might be blocked.
  • Lint Around the Dryer: Excessive lint buildup around the dryer or vent area is a clear indication.
  • Burning Smell: A burning smell when the dryer is running could be due to restricted airflow.

How can I keep my dryer working properly?

To maintain your dryer’s performance and extend its lifespan, follow these tips:

  • Clean the Lint Filter: After every load, remove lint from the filter.
  • Annual Vent Cleaning: Clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct annually.
  • Regular Inspections: Periodically check for loose or damaged parts.
  • Proper Loading: Don’t overload the dryer; it strains the motor.
  • Use Dryer Sheets Sparingly: Excessive use can clog the lint filter and vents.
  • Level the Dryer: Ensure it’s on a level surface to prevent vibrations.


Knowing how to fix a dryer that’s not heating is an essential skill for any homeowner. By understanding the common culprits behind this issue, such as a faulty heating element, blown thermal fuse, or electrical supply problems, you can quickly diagnose and resolve the problem. Regular maintenance, like cleaning the lint filter and vent, can also prevent heating issues from occurring in the first place. Whether you choose to tackle the repairs yourself or seek professional help, a properly functioning dryer ensures that your laundry chores are completed efficiently, saving you time and frustration in the long run.

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