A dryer’s job is to dry your clothes. If your dryer shutting off after a few minutes, it’s not doing its job. This is a common problem that can have several causes. The good news is that with a little troubleshooting, you can find the cause of this problem and fix it.
Clothes dryers are a must-have appliance in every home, and for good reason: they’re one of the most powerful tools you can use to get your clothes clean and ready to wear. However, every piece of machinery is bound to encounter problems eventually — and when your clothes dryer breaks down, it can be a big inconvenience.
Dryer Shutting Off After A Few Minutes – Troubleshoot and Diagnosis
There are many possible reasons for a dryer to suddenly shut down, so here are the top reasons why it happens. If you experience any of these issues when your dryer suddenly shuts off after a few minutes, read on to find out what the problem might be.
1. Burnt Out Thermal Fuse
Dryers that do not stop running or heat up too hot can be dangerous because the excess heat and continuous operation can cause a fire. Dryers with no temperature control function may cause fires even when they are operated properly; those with malfunctions such as broken thermostats, worn brushes, and failure to stop operating because of a faulty switch or other components may cause fires even if they are properly designed and maintained. Thermal Fuse is a safety device that helps prevent these issues before it happens.
If your dryer stops mid-cycle and won’t turn on, you may have a faulty thermal fuse. The thermal fuse is essentially a circuit breaker that prevents your dryer from overheating and causing a fire risk. To check, look for the fuse box in your laundry room; it’ll be somewhere near the dryer and may be underneath or behind it.
When your dryer reaches a certain temperature, the thermal fuse will cut off the electricity to your dryer. The thermal fuse is a safety device that prevents the dryer from overheating and catching on fire. If your dryer stops mid-cycle due to a faulty thermal fuse, you should replace it immediately.
To troubleshoot the thermal fuse in your dryer, you should start with these steps:
- Open the dryer. To open the dryer, simply remove the back metal panel with a screwdriver.
- Open the dryer door and remove this piece. Usually, this just slides off.
- Test the thermal fuse for continuity.
- Testing continuity can be done by using a multimeter to test for continuity between the two prongs.
- If the prongs do not have continuity, then the fuse is damaged and must be replaced.
2. Faulty Drive Motor
A faulty dryer motor is usually what’s behind all of these symptoms, and the need to stop and start over again. When it goes bad, the machine can’t pick up as much speed as it used to — as a result, the dryer cycle will be short and incomplete. If your dryer is having any difficulty getting up to speed, repair specialists suggest checking your dryer’s drive motor first.
To troubleshoot the dryer, start by checking the drum. You’ll know it’s time to check when you begin hearing a clicking sound near the end of the cycle. This is the drive motor shutting off and stopping the cycle. Check inside the drum for lint buildup and clean if necessary. If your problem persists, check below for more possible fixes!
The dryer motor is designed to use kinetic energy to turn the drum and the belt that pulls the clothes into the tumbling action. Unfortunately, this kind of motor is prone to collecting dirt and dust, which can clog up the moving parts and inhibit its function.
When you’re working on your dryer, always unplug it before getting started. Opening the dryer’s back panel is fairly easy, but you’ll need a screwdriver to remove it. If you haven’t done this before, you’ll want to wear rubber gloves — just in case there’s some broken glass or sharp edges inside of the panel.
The drive motor is responsible for moving the dryer drum. This motor connects to the belt looped around the drum to turn it. It’s located at the base of the machine, near the loop.
If multimeter reading appears to be infinity, there might be some kind of short circuit, or the driver might be burnt out. If the multimeter reading is normal, check the air intake for dust and debris.
When a dryer’s motor is clogged with lint, it will slow down the drying process. To troubleshoot this issue, clean out any visible dust from the venting exhaust port on the back outside of the machine. Keep in mind that the maximum temperature settings on a dryer don’t work if there’s a clog in the venting ducts preventing hot or cool air from flowing through them.
3. Defective Timer
The timer on a dryer is a crucial component that helps determine the dryness of clothing. Sometimes a timer will malfunction and not detect heat from the heating element. Other times, the heat from the heating element may short out the timer. In either case, there is a small circuit board that will need to be replaced so that the dryer can continue to work properly.
When the timer fails on a dryer, it can cause the machine to short out mid-cycle.
A faulty dryer timer can cause dryers to run too short or too long, and there can be other complications as well — your clothes may not dry completely, the dryer may hum and shake, and your clothes may smell sour. A misbehaving timer can also lead to problems like lint buildup and fires
A damaged dryer timer can lead to a variety of issues with your dryer, like:
- Restarting and stopping in the middle of a cycle
- Taking significantly longer than normal to complete cycles (up to 30 minutes)
The most common cause of these problems is a broken or damaged timer. The timer inside a dryer controls power to the unit in a couple of ways. To achieve a certain drying time, it’s possible that the control connections could have been damaged. If wires break, the timer would no longer work properly, if at all. The timers uses a series of switches that open and close as the timer runs throughout the drying cycle. Each switch has a plastic contact that moves to make electrical contact with the next connection when it opens. Replace the defective timer with a new one.
4. Faulty Door Latch
To ensure that your garments dry quickly and safely, you need to ensure the door is correctly closed. If you are certain that it’s shut, but have lost power to the dryer for some reason, the cycle will be paused until power is restored. The detergent may build up with repeated use in an improperly closed dryer door.
The dryer will automatically turn off if a user opens the door before a cycle has finished. Whether it’s a homeowner, a renter, or a person who doesn’t want to wait for their clothes to be completely dry before putting them away, all will appreciate this safety feature. It also helps prevent damage from accidentally opening the dryer door while it’s still spinning.
If the dryer door isn’t closing properly, there are a few things you can try. First, check the latch to make sure it’s snug and secure in its track — if not, tighten the screw in the center of the latch. If you notice any damage to the latch itself (it might be loose or bent), replace it immediately. You can test a dryer door latch with a multimeter to make sure it is still fully functional.
5. Blocked Vent
A dryer vent, which can typically be found on the back or side of a dryer unit, is designed to release hot air out of the dryer. Lint sometimes gets in the way of this process, however, and in some cases it can cause the heat in the dryer to build up. This poses a fire hazard.
A clogged vent tube can make your dryer overheat, which could trigger the built-in thermal fuse to shut down your dryer until it cools down. More expensive electrical components are protected, too, by the thermal fuse.
If you have a clothes dryer that isn’t venting properly, it can cause your clothes to dry too slowly. To check your exhaust pipe, just follow the tube from the back of your machine for about 3′. You should see an exit port, which is covered by a plastic or metal shield. Remove the shield with a screwdriver to allow access to the inside of the tube.
6. Blower Wheel Obstruction
If you’re having loud noises coming from the rear of your dryer, chances are it’s the blower wheel. The blower wheel pushes air through the dryer drum and out the venting at the rear. When the blower wheel starts to disintegrate, it can make a lot of noise, but it can also lead to problems with your dryer overheating and then shutting off after few minutes.
If your dryer isn’t turning, there are a few simple ways to tell. First, you should check for any obstructions or lint in the housing. You can do this by opening the door and trying to turn the drum. If you are unable to move it, consider removing the screws on the front of the dryer and pulling out the drum entirely. Once you’ve done this, check inside to see if lint is blocking the fan blades.
7. Faulty Home Wiring
If your dryer won’t turn back on after a power outage, you can troubleshoot the problem by checking the power cord. First, check the outlet. If it seems to be working fine, inspect the cord for wear and tear. If the cord’s insulation looks damaged or frayed, call a professional to replace it.
If you live in an older home and run into issues with your dryer, call a professional electrician to inspect the electrical wiring. If the dryer’s outlet and terminal block need to be replaced due to burns or breaks, as well as its power cord, the issue might be that the insulation of the wires has deteriorated as they’ve gotten older. Replacing these parts will prevent electrical problems from arising again.