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How to Diagnose Tumble Dryer Drying and Heating Problems

In this video eSpares explain how to identify and resolve common causes of heating and drying problems with your tumble dryer.

Hopefully by watching this video you will be able to identify the issue that you might be experiencing with your tumble dryer.

What You Will Need:

Multimeter (digital or analogue) Screwdriver

Step 1 - Switch Off Your Appliance

Safety First! Please make sure that you have switched your appliance off at the mains before starting your repair.

What’s Wrong? - Clothes Are Not Being Dried Properly

If your clothes are not being dried correctly, and assuming that your tumble dryer is heating ok, it is usually caused by a restriction somewhere in the air flow - and the first place that you should be checking is the filter.

Cause 1: Lint Build Up On The Filter

Now the filter in this case is inside the door, and you should be checking the filter essentially every time you use the dryer, to make sure that it's clear of any lint or fluff.

Cause 2: Lint Build Up In The Condenser/Vent (Applies To Condenser Dryers Only)

If you have a condenser dryer it's also possible for lint to fall down into the condenser, where it gets wet and can then possibly stick in the condenser. Over time this can build up and cause the air to stop flowing through it. Take the condenser assembly out of the dryer and just have a look inside for any lint build-up. If there is any in it, the best way for you to get rid of it is to leave it to soak in some water for a few minutes - and then just flush the lint out with either a shower head or with and a couple of jugs of water. It's also worth having a look inside behind the condenser assembly for any more lint or fluff that mighty have got stuck in there as well.

Cause 3: Lint Build Up In The Hose (Applies To Vented Dryers Only)


If you have a vented tumble dryer it is possible for lint to build up in the hose. So just disconnect the hose from the back of the dryer and examine it for any lint or fluff that may have got caught in there. If the hose is connected to a wall vent, the lint can also build up in the vent itself, so make sure the vent in the wall is nice and clear. Now the airflow that comes out the back of the hose should feel like a powerful hair dryer. Just place your hand over the end and check to make sure it's at the right temperature, and that you've got the right amount to air flowing through it.

What’s Wrong? - The Dryer Is Not Producing Any Heat

Cause 1: Thermostat Has Tripped

If your dryer isn't producing any heat at all, it may well be caused by a faulty heater. In order to check it on this particular dryer we need to remove the top, the side, and the back panels of the appliance. Now before we have a look at the element, the first thing I can see after taking the back panel off is that the thermostat here is a resettable one. It has a little red button in the middle, and if I just press that you can hear a sort of click. This indicates that the thermostat has tripped, probably being caused by overheating and presings that button has reset it and that may resolve the problem.

Cause 2: A Faulty Element

If the thermostat has not tripped, turn the dryer to test the element on these connections to the element here. To do this you need to disconnect the plug and proceed to use a multimeter (that has been placed onto a low resistance setting) and place the probes of the meter onto the terminals inside the plug. For a working element you will be looking for a reading between 20 and 50 ohms, and in this case I'm getting about 25-26 ohms - so that shows that the element is okay. If when you do this test on your element the readings are dramatically different or outside that range of 20 to 50 ohms, then that could indicate the presence of a fault and you should replace the

element. Cause 3: Fault With The Drainage/Reservoir (Applies To Condenser Dryers Only)

Once you've checked that the element doesn't have a fault, if you have a condenser dryer then the fault could possibly be caused by a problem with the drainage into the reservoir. As water is extracted from the clothes it builds up in a reservoir at the bottom of the dryer. On this model the water is then pumped up into the container in the tray, where it's obviously then taken out and emptied. However if the tray isn't emptied out then the water is going to fill right up to the top - and as the water tries to fill it's going to overflow. The water then goes back into the tray and runs down through a pipe into the reservoir. As the reservoir gets more full, a float switch will activate and turn off the heater to prevent any more water being collected. The first thing to do is make sure that this container is always emptied before you start using your dryer. When you're happy that the container is empty a good way to check that the pump is working is just to remove the container and turn your dryer on and pour a glass of water into the tray here, it'll then drain down into the reservoir. If you then put the container back in the pump should be pumping the water through this point here into the back of the container. Just check that the water is coming back in and that'll establish whether the pump it's working correctly or not.

Need To Locate The Spares For Your Tumble Dryer?

Well hey, thanks for taking the time to look through this video. We hope you have found this video useful in helping you identify the issue with your tumble dryer - we offer a full range of Tumble Dryer spare parts on our website.

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