Troubleshooting: Gas Dryer Not Heating

When your dryer does not work correctly, it makes it difficult to finish the washing and drying of your clothing. This leaves you with wet clothing you’ll either need to air dry or take to a local laundry mat. If you have a gas dryer that isn’t heating up there are a number of issues at stake. While you can contact a professional to come out and look at your appliance, it is less expensive to troubleshoot the dryer on your own and determine what is causing the problem. By doing this, you’ll discover what is causing the gas dryer not heating up problem.

Gas Dryer Not Heating: Common Causes

a washing machine and a gas dryer

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When you run into a gas dryer not heating up problem there is usually one of two problems going on. There are different culprits behind each of these problems, but if you can eliminate one cause, you’ll make identifying the actual cause easier (and you’ll save on your troubleshooting time).

Electrical Problem or Gas Problem

With a gas dryer, the problem is going to be your dryer is not receiving an electrical current, or there is a problem with the gas running into the dryer. So you’ll want to determine whether the gas dryer not heating up problem is due to not receiving any electricity. This is easy enough to do. If you have a new dryer, there will be digital display elements and lights.

Should any of the display elements or lights turn on, it means you’re still receiving electricity. Likewise, if it makes any kind of noise you know you’re receiving electricity, so the problem with the dryer in that case is likely not anything electrical.

Now, some dryers may not have any light up or digital display elements. The dryer may also not make any noise outside of the spinning of the dryer and the buzz at the end of a cycle. In these cases you’ll still need to check to see if there is an electrical problem with the dryer. Thankfully, it’s still possible to perform basic troubleshooting on the dryer to determine what is causing the gas dryer not heating up problem.

Gas Problem 

Often when you run into a gas dryer not heating problem it is because there is some issue with the dryer accepting the gas line. This doesn’t mean there’s a leak. Chances are the problem is because the dryer is dirty, and the gas coil within the dryer is not allowing the gas to flow in order to prevent overheating. There is also potentially a problem with the burner assembly. If you know the problem isn’t with electrical components, the issue is likely with these areas of the dryer.

Determining Why Your Dryer Is Not Heating 

If the problem with the dryer is electrical, you’ll want to first check to make sure the dryer remains connected to the power outlet. If the dryer shook and bounced around from an uneven load (such as if you’re trying to dry heavy towels or a rug) it may have detached your dryer from the power outlet. If this is not the cause, then you’ll need to continue on with the troubleshooting.

Clean the Lint Trap and Air Vent 

One culprit behind your dryer not heating up is if it is dirty. When the air vent begins to close off because it is dirt,y the dryer has safety features enabled that are designed to prevent the dryer from overheating. If air flow is reduced, the thermal fuse within the dryer may blow, preventing the dryer from running. So you will need to clean out the lint trap (you should be doing this after every dryer cycle), remove any build up within the trap, then remove the air vent tubing and clean this out. If the tubing is behind cleaning (or it is damaged) you’ll want to replace it.

Check the Thermal Fuse 

For many of the elements causing your gas dryer not heating up issue, you’ll need to disconnect the air vent tubing running from the rear of the appliance and take off the back panel. This can be done with a screwdriver (usually a Philips, although it may vary depending on the make and model of your dryer).

The thermal fuse is a small, one- to two-inch attachment on the metal wall inside the dryer. Two wires plug into the fuse, so you should be able to follow the wire harness within the dryer to where it connects. If this fuse is brown, cracked or damaged you need to replace it. If not, you should use a multimeter on it to check whether an electrical current running through it.

The thermal fuse is blown if there is a dirty air vent, which is why you need to make sure you keep the lint trap clean and the air vent free of blockage.

Gas Valve Solenoid 

One possible culprit of the gas dryer not heating up problem is the gas valve solenoid. This is within the burner assembly and allows gas to flow into the burner. Should this solenoid fail, the entire dryer will stop working. You will want to test the igniter on the dryer to see if there is an issue here.

The igniter will ignite if it is working correctly. If it isn’t, the igniter will glow but no flame will come from it. When this happens it means the gas valve solenoid is damaged and needs to be replaced. Additionally, there might be a problem with an individual coil. While you can replace one coil at a time, it is better to replace the entire set. When one coil fails, the others are usually not far behind, which means if you replace one you run the risk of needing to perform the repair all over again sooner rather than later.

Igniter 

When checking the solenoid you should check the igniter. If the igniter fails to not only ignite, but doesn’t glow either, it means the problem is with the igniter and you’ll need to replace it. However, just to be sure you should use a multimeter to test out the part to make sure there is an electrical current flowing through it. If there isn’t a current, you know the problem is with the igniter.

Flame Sensor 

Repair: Tools, Tips, & More

a person holding a philips screwdriver to repair a gas dryer not heating

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Conclusion 

When it comes to a gas dryer not heating up problem, chances are you’ll be able to troubleshoot the issue on your own. However, should these troubleshooting steps fail, you may need to bring in a professional to look over the appliance, diagnose the situation, and then inform you what it might cost (and whether it’s better to repair or replace).

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