If you own a Whirlpool dryer and are having issues with it overheating, you’re not alone. There are multiple reasons why dryers might overheat.
Many homeowners don’t realize that their dryer can be installed incorrectly or that their venting system is inadequate or clogged. However, there are some warning signs you can look out for to ensure that your dryer is operating correctly.
If your dryer isn’t drying your clothes effectively and efficiently, the problem could be any one of the parts that control its temperature. Cleaning them out is an easy way to fix your dryer, but in some cases you may need to replace the individual component entirely if it’s faulty.
Understanding why your dryer is overheating will help you locate the source of the problem and eliminate it. With that in mind, here are some common causes of Whirlpool dryer overheating.
Whirlpool Dryer Overheating – Troubleshoot And Diagnosis
If your dryer is overheating, you should stop using it immediately and pay attention to these steps for troubleshooting the problem. Running a dryer that’s been damaged by an overload can lead to fire hazards, so always be on the lookout for signs of damage and take care of your dryer as if it’s valuable machinery.
It is important to know how to repair a dryer, especially since there are multiple moving parts that can stop working at any given time. Start by turning off the power: either flip a circuit breaker for your dryer, or unplug it from the wall outlet.
Put on safety goggles, coveralls, and gloves to protect yourself from potentially dangerous heat.
1. Clean Your Exhaust Vent
The function of the dryer exhaust vent is to release the moisture, heat, humidity and lint that is produced during the drying cycle of the machine. It is typically located on the back or side of the dryer.
Any dryer that uses gas or electricity is powered by a motor. This motor rotates a tumbler that forces the clothes through the dryer. At the same time, the dryer is heating. The air that is heated is forced through the clothes by the tumbler and into the exhaust vent. The exhaust vent helps to cool the dryer.
These vents are usually located on the top, back, or side of the dryer. They usually become dirty over time and then block all of the air from exiting the dryer, which can cause the dryer to overheat. Additionally, lint can build up inside the vent and prevent air from venting out of the dryer.
The dryer exhaust vent should be cleaned periodically to prevent the build-up of lint and other materials that can clog the vent and cause the dryer to overheat.
Any problems with the exhaust vent will affect how well the dryer does its job. An exhaust vent is something that any homeowner can replace if it ever breaks.
When the vent is clogged, air can’t circulate through it. As a result, the heat stays inside the dryer drum. You’ll know this is happening if you feel a lot more heat coming out of your dryer than normal.
If your dryer’s exhaust vent is blocked, the high limit thermostat will automatically turn off the heating element to prevent a fire.
A clogged dryer vent can also cause your dryer to take longer to dry clothes.
To clean your dryer exhaust vent, remove the vent from the back of your dryer and use a vacuum with a hose attachment to remove any lint that may be blocking the vent. If the vent is very clogged, you may need to use a wire brush to remove all of the lint. Once the vent is clear, reattach it to your dryer and test it out.
It’s a good idea to check your dryer vent cap for blockages as well.
If your dryer’s venting is clogged or partially clogged, the airflow will be compromised, causing the dryer to take much longer than usual to complete drying. To ensure proper dryer performance and air quality, homeowners should clean their dryers’ venting system at least once per year.
2. Airflow Problem
Airflow is the key to regulating dryer temperature.
When airflow is restricted or blocked, your dryer can’t do its job properly.
If you want to ensure your dryer works fast, efficiently, and consistently, it’s important to address certain aspects that could be the culprits behind the performance of your machine. These parts of the dryer are what actually manipulate airflow.
An exhaust vent is a key to making sure your dryer temperature remains regulated, but so are the ducts — which can block airflow and cause problems of their own — as well as the lint trap and air blower.
Your duct is what connects your dryer to the outdoors. When this component becomes clogged with lint, hot air isn’t able to circulate and you’ll receive error codes on your machine.
Your laundry isn’t safe until you clean the lint trap in your dryer. These traps collect any loose fabric fluff or fuzz from your clothes, preventing fires from forming and giving you a longer life for your dryer.
A clean dryer doesn’t just reduce the amount of lint buildup — it also helps your machine run more efficiently.
3. Heating Element Issue
A heating element in a dryer is used to generate heat to dry clothes. The element is typically made of a material that is resistant to high temperatures, such as nichrome.
When electricity is supplied to the element, it heats up and produces heat. The heat is then transferred to the clothes in the dryer, causing them to dry.
When a dryer heating element is shorted out, it will no longer be able to heat up. This can cause the dryer to take longer to dry clothes, or it may not be able to dry them at all.
Disconnect the dryer from the power source. Remove the back panel of the dryer to access the heating element. Test the heating element for continuity using a multimeter. If the heating element does not have continuity, it will need to be replaced.
4. Felt Seal
A felt seal on a dryer helps to create a seal between the door and the opening of the dryer. This seal helps to prevent air from escaping and keeps the dryer’s heat inside.
Most dryers have a felt seal located on the back of the drum. This seal is needed to maintain proper airflow through the drum and keep your drying clothes safe.
A dryer that gets too hot can be a serious fire hazard. Without a proper seal, heat will not be drawn through the drum and will instead build up inside the machine.
To ensure your dryer is functioning properly, check the drum seal to make sure it is creating a reliable seal.
5. Check High Limit Thermostat
The vent at the back of your dryer is where hot air enters and leaves the appliance, but it’s not as simple as that — with every use, lint and other debris collect in the exhaust vent.
The high limit thermostat in a dryer is responsible for shutting off the dryer when the internal temperature gets too high. This thermostat is usually located near the heating element.
Over time, lint and stray threads can build up in the dryer vent. This causes the dryer’s high limit thermostat to constantly trip off, which in turn can cause the appliance to malfunction or catch fire.
Dirty vents are a potential problem for all homeowners — but they’re especially dangerous for people with existing respiratory issues.
If a dryer’s exhaust vent isn’t cleaned regularly, the duct can build up with lint, especially around the high-limit thermostat. If that happens, the dryer can overheat and lead to permanent damage of the dryer.
In order to determine the cause of your dryer’s heating problems, we suggest you clear out your dryer duct or exhaust vent and then run another cycle — if your dryer is still over-heating, it might be a sign that you need to replace the high limit thermostat.
6. Broken Thermistor
A thermistor is a type of resistor whose resistance is dependent on temperature, more so than other types of resistors. Thermistors are widely used as temperature sensors.
A dryer thermistor is a temperature sensor that is used to regulate the temperature in a clothes dryer. The thermistor is a negative temperature coefficient (NTC) device, which means that it resistance decreases as the temperature increases.
The thermistor is usually located near the heating element in the dryer.
When the dryer is turned on, the heating element heats up and the thermistor senses the increase in temperature. The thermistor then sends a signal to the dryer control board, which regulates the amount of power that is sent to the heating element.
The control board uses the thermistor signal to maintain the desired temperature in the dryer.
If the dryer is overheating, it is most likely due to a broken or faulty thermistor. This component helps regulate temperature and prevents the dryer from overheating — so it’s important that this part is functioning properly.
The thermistor might be malfunctioning if the dryer is overheating. This could be due to dirt or damage preventing it from receiving clear signals from the control board.
If your dryer has a thermistor, you can test it with a multimeter. Set the multimeter to the ohms setting, and touch the probes to the thermistor terminals. The resistance should be between 10,000 and 100,000 ohms at room temperature.
If the resistance is not within this range, the thermistor is defective and needs to be replaced.
7. Check Cycling Thermostat
A cycling thermostat is a part of a dryer that regulates the temperature within the drying drum.
A faulty cycling thermostat can cause dangerously high temperatures, which will not only shorten the life span of your dryer but can also damage your clothing and lead to burns.
A cycling thermostat (also known as a thermal fuse or safety fuse) is used in dryers and other appliances to protect the unit from overheating.
During use, the device will occasionally trip and shut off power to the unit.
If a fault develops, there’s a chance that it could fail without tripping.
How Cycling Thermostat Works
The way that cycling thermostats work is that they can turn on and off your dryer’s electrical current by opening and closing like a valve.
When the temperature of your clothes begins to rise too high, the cycling thermostat opens up and stops electricity from flowing through the heating element of your dryer — for safety.
When the temperature drops, the cycling thermostat closes back up, allowing electricity to flow through once again and heat up your clothes for drying.
If your dryer seems to be heating too much, you may need to replace the thermostat. To determine if it’s faulty, you can clean it and attempt to reset the thermostat — but if it continues to overheat, you’ll likely have to get a professional involved.
For dryers with a cycling thermostat, a simple way to test it is to use a multimeter to check for continuity. If the thermostat is broken but all other components seem to be working correctly, replace the device.
Whirlpool Duet Dryer Overheating
The problem is most likely the heating element. The heating element is the part of the dryer that actually generates the heat that dries the clothes. In order for the element to generate the proper amount of heat, it must have proper electrical contact with the dryer.
If there is any buildup of lint or other debris on the heating element, it can prevent proper electrical contact. This can cause the element to overheat, which can damage the element and potentially start a fire.
To clean the heating element, first unplug the dryer from the wall outlet. Then remove the back panel of the dryer. The heating element is located near the bottom of the dryer.
Carefully remove any lint or debris from the element. You may need to use a brush or vacuum to remove all the debris. Once the element is clean, replace the back panel and plug the dryer back in.
When dryer heat is too high, it could cause overheating and even a fire in your home. This can be caused by several different pieces on the inside of your unit: the cycling thermostat, high limit thermostat, thermistor and exhaust vent all play a role in this process.
Also, airflow within the machine is critical to maintain safe temperatures as well. If you’re unable to control or regulate the temperatures inside of your dryer properly, you may risk starting a fire at home.