When it comes to your dryer, one of the main things that you should pay attention to is the thermal cut-off. Also called the thermal limiter, it’s basically a heat sensitive fuse that’s attached to either the blower or heat element of the dryer.
As you can tell, this is a safety feature that can save lives.
So if the thermal cut-off fuse shows any signs of problems, it should be in your best interest to address the problem immediately. Don’t worry because as per usual, we have another great guide for you.
If you’re replacing the thermal cut-off fuse in an electric dryer, it’s important that you do it right. We have the instructions below.
Why Replace the Thermal Cut-Off Fuse?
The thermal cut-off fuse is the safety device that’s responsible for shutting down the dryer’s heat element once it reaches a certain temperature – this is to prevent the machine from overheating. The dryer will severely overheat if the thermostat doesn’t shut down the machine.
This could result in a lethal fire.
In 2010-2014, according to the National Fire Protection Association, an estimated average of 15,970 house fires are caused by dryers and washing machines. 92% of these fires are from dryers.
The thermal limiter is made from heat sensitive material that melts if the temperature inside the dryer goes beyond its limit. A blown thermal cut-off fuse might also be an indication of excessive dust and lint. So make sure that you also regularly clean your dryer’s exhaust vent and lint filter.
Unfortunately, there is no way to reset the dryer’s thermal cut-off switch or fuse. A replacement should be in order, and you need to do it sooner rather than later.
Steps for Replacing Thermal Cut-Off Fuse in Electric Dryer
WARNING: Fixing your dryer is a very dangerous task. So we highly urge you to use the right tools and safety equipment for following all the instructions below. Please read the guide in its entirety and only proceed once you have a good understanding of the steps and you’re confident that you can perform them properly. While these steps are easy, they need to be done right. Otherwise, you should leave it to a qualified technician.
Things You’ll Need:
- Slot screwdriver
- 1/4-inch nut driver
- Shop vac or vacuum cleaner
- Safety gloves
- New thermal cut-off fuse kit (contains thermal cut-off fuse and high-limit thermostat)
1. Disconnect the dryer from the wall outlet.
2. Pull out the dryer so you will have ample space to work on. Use your 1/4-inch nut driver to remove the screws from the unit’s back panel. Take out the back panel and put it somewhere safe. Note: While you’re at it, you can vacuum any lint or dust from the cabinet.
3. The thermal cut-off fuse should be located just above the heater box. On the other hand, the thermostat is found at the bottom of the heater box.
4. Take off the wires that are connected to the thermal cut-off fuse. Remove all the screws that secure the fuse and take it out of the heater box.
5. Now, it’s time to install the thermal cut-off fuse. Position the new fuse properly and snap it into the heater box. Reconnect all the wires to the new fuse.
6. Disconnect all the wires that are attached to the high-limit thermostat. Take it out of from the heater box.
7. Reinstall the thermostat but this time, it’s the new one. Make sure that it’s properly mounted to the heater box. Reconnect all the wires that you took out earlier.
8. Replace the back panel. Make sure that you position the cover and line up the screws properly. Tighten the screws but be careful not to over-tighten.
9. Plug the dryer and return it to its original position.
Thermal Cut-Off Fuse to the Rescue
As you might have realized, the thermal cut-off fuse is a very important component of your dryer.
Checking this part should be a part of your regular dryer maintenance. If there are signs that it’s not working properly, replacing the thermal cut-off fuse in an electric dryer should be your first priority instead of having a “one more load” moment.
Fortunately, a thermal cut-off fuse can be easily bought from your local home store or from online marketplaces like Amazon. But if you wish to make sure that you’re getting the right kit, take note of your machine’s brand and model and head to your local home and appliance store. You can take a photo of the fuse for good measure.
If you have any questions about this guide, please don’t hesitate to ask through the comments section.