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Winter Check In: Dryer is Not Drying

Winter Check In: Dryer is Not Drying

After a crazy month, it looks like we might finally be emerging from a turbulent winter into what we hope to be a calm and breezy spring. That said, we’re not out of the woods yet. Here at Snap Supply, we’re still trying our best to stay as warm and cozy as possible this winter - and, as things warm up, and all the snow begins to melt, we’re also looking to stay dry! 

And if your dryer isn’t drying properly, you’re going to have a tough time staying dry. Luckily, checking in with your dryer is easy. There’s only a handful of parts that could be causing your dryer to be unable to dryer your clothes. What’s more, Snap Supply has got your back: all the parts that you’ll need are available for purchase on our online store. We’ll include links to the parts that you need to make it as easy as possible for you! 


How does a dryer dry your clothes?


The dryer works by generating airflow with a blower wheel, and that air is heated by a heating element inside the dryer. Gas dryers typically use an open flame burner as opposed to a heating element but many of the components are similar. The heated air is circulated through the dryer drum during operation. 

The clothes are dried primarily through exposure to the heated air. If the airflow is not being generated, or if the air is not being heated properly, then the dryer will have difficulty drying clothes. In some cases, the dryer will not dry at all. 

Gas and electric dryers use two kinds of thermostats to regulate the operation of the heating element. The cycling thermostat maintains the desired temperature in the heating element by turning it on or off when necessary. The high limit thermostat will shut the heating element off if the heating element becomes too hot. 

Gas dryers use igniters to heat the gas that the dryer uses to generate heat. Gas valve coils allow the gas to flow into the dryer. 


Troubleshooting a Dryer
Problem: Electric dryer is not drying at all.

If an electric dryer is not drying at all, then there are several parts which might be to blame. Check out the list below to see the parts that could be responsible for the dryer not heating at all. You’ll find helpful links to shop for the parts and kits that we have available. 


Heating Element

As its name suggests, the heating element is the part in an electric dryer that is responsible for heating up the appliance. Current flows through the metal coils on the part to create heat. 

You can also check out Snap Supply’s dryer heating element and thermostat kits. Because the heating element and thermostat work together to heat up the appliance, we typically recommend replacing both at the same time.


How to Troubleshoot a Dryer Heating Element:

Note: this process requires a multimeter

  1. Disconnect the dryer from its power source.
  2. Locate and remove the heating element - depending on your model, it will be located behind the dryer drum inside the dryer, or behind a panel at the back of the dryer. 
  3. If the element is visually burned or damaged, it must be replaced.
  4. If it is not visually damaged, you can test it with the multimeter in the RX1 setting by touching the probes to the element terminals.
  5. If the multimeter returns a reading of infinity, then the heating element must be replaced

Don’t forget: just because parts look the same does not mean that they are the same. Make sure to use cross reference information and model numbers to confirm compatibility with your dryer.



There are two kinds of thermostats in a dryer: a high limit thermostat and a cycling thermostat. The cycling thermostat tells the heating element when to turn on and when to turn off to maintain the desired temperature. The high limit thermostat turns the heating element off if it gets too hot. 

These parts can become damaged over time. If they are damaged, the dryer might have trouble reaching and maintaining the desired temperatures, or it may not heat up at all. 

You can also check out Snap Supply’s dryer heating element and thermostat kits. Because the heating element and thermostat work together to heat up the appliance, we typically recommend replacing both at the same time.


How to Troubleshoot Dryer Thermostats:

Note: this process requires a multimeter

  1. Disconnect the dryer from its power source.
  2. Find and remove the high limit thermostat - depending on the model, you can usually find it behind the dryer vent at the back of the dryer.
  3. Find and remove the cycling thermostat - depending on the model, you can usually find it behind the panel at the back of the dryer.
  4. If you are unsure where the thermostats are, consult your owner’s manual.
  5. Test the terminals of both thermostat using the multimeters RX1 setting. 
  6. If you do not receive a reading of zero or infinity, you must replace the thermostat.

Don’t forget: just because parts look the same does not mean that they are the same. Make sure to use cross reference information and model numbers to confirm compatibility with your dryer.


Find the right thermostat for your dryer here! 


Problem: Gas dryer is not drying at all


Gas dryers are very similar in construction and operation to electric dryers. There are certain parts that are exclusive to gas dryers. You’ll find these parts listed below, along with ways to troubleshoot the individual parts, and links to buy the parts from the Snap Supply store should you need them. 

 

Dryer Igniter 

 

Gas dryers use igniters to heat the gas and heat up the dryer. They use igniters where electric dryers use heating elements. The igniter heats up and ignites the gas from the gas valve. 

Because igniters work closely with the gas valve coils to heat up the dryer, Snap Supply offers dryer igniter and gas valve coil kits. When replacing one of these items, it is a good idea to replace both. It is difficult to tell which of them could be the problem, and replacing both at one time is a sure way to remedy igniter/gas valve problems. 


How to Troubleshoot an Igniter:

Note: this process requires a multimeter

  1. Disconnect the dryer from its power source.
  2. Find and the igniter. It is usually located inside the dryer cabinet.
  3. If you are unsure where your dryer igniter is located, consult your owner’s manual.
  4. Remove the igniter - be very careful when handling the igniter. They break very easily, so they must be handled gently. 
  5. Set the multimeter on the lowest setting.
  6. Test igniter’s terminals with the multimeter.
  7. If you receive a reading other than 50-400 ohms, you must replace your igniter. 

Don’t forget: just because parts look the same does not mean that they are the same. Make sure to use cross reference information and model numbers to confirm compatibility with your dryer.

 Find the right igniter for your dryer here! 


Gas Valve Coil

Gas dryers use valve coils to allow gas to flow into the dryer to generate heat. If these coils are not working as intended then the dryer will not be able to create the heat necessary to dry clothes during the dry cycle. In cases where the dryer’s gas valve coils are not functioning correctly, the dryer may begin to heat at first, but then the clothes in the dryer will still not be dried 

Because igniters work closely with the gas valve coils to heat up the dryer, Snap Supply offers dryer igniter and gas valve coil kits. When replacing one of these items, it is a good idea to replace both. It is difficult to tell which of them could be the problem, and replacing both at one time is a sure way to remedy igniter/gas valve problems. 


How to Troubleshoot Gas Valve Coils: 

Note: this process requires a multimeter

  1. Disconnect the dryer from its gas hose.
  2. Disconnect the dryer from its power source.
  3. Find the gas coil valves - they will most likely be located behind the lower access panel. 
  4. Remove the gas coil valves.
  5. Use the multimeter’s RX1 setting to test the coil’s terminals for continuity. 
  6. If you receive a reading aside from 1000-2000 ohms, you must replace your gas valve coils.

Don’t forget: just because parts look the same does not mean that they are the same. Make sure to use cross reference information and model numbers to confirm compatibility with your dryer.


Find the right gas valve coils for your dryer here!


Problem: Dryer is taking longer than usual to dry/clothes are still damp after a normal drying cycle

In cases where you have inspected/replaced these parts, and yet your dryer is still not functioning properly, the problem could be that your dryer is not getting adequate airflow, or that the exhaust is clogged. 

In order for the blower to function properly, it’s recommended that the dryer have some space between the blower in the back and the wall that it is placed up against. The dryer should NOT be flush with the wall. There should be space between the wall and the back of the dryer. 

The dryer exhaust duct can also become clogged, which can lead to complications with airflow. You can find dryer vent brushes here. You can use a dryer vent brush to unclog your dryer exhaust duct.  

Remember that just because parts look the same doesn’t mean that they are the same. Always use Snap Supply’s cross reference information and model numbers to confirm compatibility with your dryer. You can always Snap Supply’s Repair page for more information on how to troubleshoot and test individual parts in all major appliances.

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