Tumble Dryer That Won't Start
Hints & Tips
8 min. read

Why Your Tumble Dryer Won’t Turn On: Common Reasons And Troubleshooting

Perfect for those who live in rainy places or for those who don’t want to hang up clothes the old-fashioned way on the clothes line, tumble dryers are an ingenious home appliance that can save you a lot of time and hassles. But you’ve just loaded your machine, pressed the start button and your tumble dryer won’t start. There could be several reasons for this ranging from small issues you can fix by yourself to other more complex ones that will need the expertise of a trained tumble dryer technician. Let’s take a look at what they are.

Common causes of a tumble dryer that won’t turn on

There are a few common reasons why your tumble dryer may not start, and it’s crucial to identify the issue before seeking professional assistance.

Lint Buildup - dryer filter

  • Controls Locked:  Modern dryers often have “Controls Locked” or “Child Lock” features. Look for an indicator light or consult your manual if you suspect this is the culprit. Unlocking is usually straightforward, saving you time and frustration.
  • Lint Buildup: A clogged lint filter can impede airflow, preventing the dryer from heating up effectively. This can result in the dryer not starting at all. Regularly cleaning the lint filter is essential for preventing this issue.
  • Faulty Door Switch: The door switch safeguards the dryer from starting when the door is not securely closed. If the switch fails, the dryer won’t activate. Ensure the door is firmly shut and check the switch mechanism for any damage.
  • Circuit Breaker or Fuse Issues: A tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse can disrupt the power supply to the dryer, preventing it from starting. Check the circuit breaker panel and replace any blown fuses.
  • Timer Malfunction: The timer controls the drying cycle. If it malfunctions, the dryer may not start or may start but not run correctly.
  • Faulty Thermal Fuse: The thermal fuse acts as a safety mechanism to prevent overheating. If it trips, the dryer won’t start until the fuse is replaced.
  • Start Switch Defect: The start switch sends power to the motor, and if it malfunctions, the dryer won’t start.
  • Drive Motor or Drive Belt Failure: The drive motor and drive belt are responsible for rotating the dryer drum. If either component fails, the dryer won’t start.

If you’ve checked these common causes and your dryer still isn’t starting, it’s best to contact a qualified appliance repair technician for further diagnosis and assistance.

Common DIY fixes for a tumble dryer that won’t start

Tumble dryer troubleshooting can be something that you can do yourself. Although in the event that it’s a more serious problem, it’s best to call in the professionals. So, without further ado, here are some of the most common problems that you may face when your tumble dryer won’t turn on and what to do about it. 

Step1: Check the power connection

  • Make sure the dryer is plugged in and turned on.
  • Check the fuse or circuit breaker. If the fuse is blown, replace it with a 13 amp fuse. If the circuit breaker has tripped, reset it.

It may sound obvious but the first thing you should check for when troubleshooting a tumble dryer that won’t start is to check its connection to the power source. Sometimes all it takes is ensuring that the cord is plugged in properly. And a tip at this point is to ensure that you don’t use extension cords because these not only use up more energy but they can slow down the functioning of your machine due to not enough power being relayed to it.

Step 2: Ensure the door is locked securely

  • Make sure the door is closed properly.
  • If the door is closed but the dryer still won’t start, check the latch to make sure it is engaging properly.

Tumble dryers use up electricity, spin at fast rotation speeds, use up a lot of heat and generally are high energy consumption home appliances. Because of all the different functions they perform, there’s a special security feature on the door switch, which if not closed properly means that your tumble dryer won’t start. This is a precaution to ensure that no water or clothes start spraying out of your machine and lead to a dangerous situation.

Step 3: Clean the lint filter

  • Clean the lint filter.
  • If the lint filter is clogged, the dryer may not be able to start.

A clogged lint filter is a common culprit behind a non-starting tumble dryer. To address this issue, carefully remove the lint filter from the dryer and give it a thorough cleaning. A lint brush or vacuum cleaner is often effective in removing stubborn lint deposits. Remember to thoroughly dry the filter before reinstalling it. A clean lint filter will ensure proper airflow and prevent future dryer malfunctions.

Step 4: Check the thermal fuse, it might be blocked

The thermal fuse may be blocked due to built-up lint that clogs the dryer vent. The fastest way to address this problem is to remove the dryer vent and give it a quick clean by removing all lint that may block the proper flow or air and ventilation in your tumble dryer. The thermal fuse prevents the dryer from overheating. If the fuse is tripped, it will need to be replaced.

Step 5: Check the timer. You may have a broken timer

The purpose of a tumble dryer timer is to regulate the time for each spin cycle. However, this timer operates on its own mechanics which are connected to the main mechanics of the machine as a whole. A process of communication takes place between the timer and the tumble dryer and if the timer isn’t working or communicating properly, then your machine will not start.

Step 6: Check the start switch. A malfunctioning start switch

Although the start switch is expected to work hundreds of thousands of times in theory, it may be the culprit to your tumble dryer not starting. One way to check whether it’s your start switch that’s causing the problem is to press it. If you hear no sounds or a humming that exudes some noise but without properly starting, this could be it. It may be time to have your start switch repaired. 

Step 7: Check the drive motor or drive belt. It could be defective

The drive motor or drive belt are the mechanisms that ensure that the drum turns and spins when the tumble dryer is switched on and functioning properly. And if you’ve already checked for the above-mentioned potential issues that could be the cause of your tumble dryer not turning on, these two mechanical components could be the reason. Ideally, you’d want an experienced technician to take a look and repair the motor or replace the belt if necessary. 

Check for other issues…

  • If the problem persists, there may be another issue with the dryer.
  • Contact a professional tumble dryer repair company for further assistance.

As you can see, it can start getting a bit more complicated the further down the list you go. But it doesn’t end there. Your tumble dryer may not be starting for other reasons, too. These may include a damaged motor relay, which ultimately controls the power that’s sent from one part of the appliance to the next. Alternatively, you may be facing broken components on the main control board and just like most appliances have a “brain” or a computer that drives them, this could be a problem to look out for as well.

Additional Tips

  • If you are not comfortable troubleshooting the dryer yourself, contact a qualified technician.
  • Regularly clean the lint filter to prevent dryer problems.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using the dryer.

Domex tumble dryer repair in London, Epsom and the South East as far as Brighton

Tumble dryer troubleshooting can range from easy to difficult. If you managed to sort out the problem and get your appliance working by following some of the steps mentioned above, that’s great. However, if you believe your machine isn’t working as it should due to other more serious technical problems, it’s time to consult the professionals for your tumble dryer repair in London. At Domex, we offer a guarantee on spare parts used and labour committed to resolving your specific problem. Our technicians are fully qualified professionals who can come to the rescue no matter what tumble dryer make or model you may have. Don’t hesitate and get in touch with us today.

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