Troubleshooting a Dryer That Won’t Start

43306710_m.jpgDo you have a dryer that won’t start even after you checked if the door was fully closed? Here we have listed the most common parts and conditions that contribute to the problem.

Start Switch

The start switch is located on the main control board.  If the dryer will not start when the start switch is pushed or turned, it could be faulty and may need to be replaced.  Remove the start switch and check it for continuity.


Drive Belt

A broken drive belt is one of the most common causes of a dryer to not start. The drive belt is a long brand that connects the drive motor pulley to the transmission drive pulley. The belt is connected to the motor and makes the drum tumble and spin. The motor moves the belt to turn the transmission pulley for the agitation and spin cycles. If the belt becomes loose on the pulleys, it would make it difficult for the tub to spin and may even snap. If you have a broken or worn out belt, you can find a replacement here.


Main Control Board

The main control board controls the dryer’s electrical components and houses the circuit board. If the control board has burn marks or parts on the circuit board appear to be shorted out, the board is likely defective and probably cannot be repaired; only replaced.


Drive Motor and Bearings

Each dryer brand has different wiring for the motor. You will need to refer to the wiring diagram of your dryer for the specific terminal locations. In order to check for resistance between the run winding and common (a neutral), you will need to use a volt/ohm meter. If there is no resistance, the motor is defective and will need to be replaced. A dryer with bad motor bearings can sometimes be started by hand and it will run.  However, when the motor gets hot, the bearings begin to seize and the motor will stop. In this condition, you must also replace the motor.


Thermal Fuse

The thermal fuse is a safety device that protects your dryer from overheating.  It is temperature sensitive and will open if the dryer gets too hot which will stop the motor. The thermal fuse is located in different locations according to the model and brand of dryer. Check the thermal fuse for continuity with a volt/ohm meter.



The timer is the source of power to the motor and if the timer contacts are defective, no power will get to the motor. Since the wiring is different between brands and models, you will need to refer to your wiring diagram for terminal locations. Once you have located the correct terminal for the motor operation, you will need to turn on the dryer and check for 110v from the timer terminal for motor operation. If you have no voltage which is indicating that the timer is defective and must be replaced.


Door Switch

The door switch must be operative for the dryer to start and tumble. Ensure that it is properly actuating the latch and if it is, check the switch for continuity with an ohmmeter for proper operation.

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