Clothes Dryer Troubleshooting

Lots of problems can arise requiring you to get involved in a bit of clothes dryer trouble shooting. However, the good news is that clothes dryer problems don’t automatically mean that you need get your tool kit out or call the repairman. So, as with any troubleshooting procedure we’ll start off by checking that it’s not something quite simple you can do to resolve the problem.

It’s a simple fact that quite often folk will call for a repairman to fix a fault only to feel really foolish when the repairman simply turns on the power switch! If you think that couldn’t possibly happen - you’re wrong and it frequently does. Just because you always leave the main power socket switch on, doesn’t mean to say that someone else won’t turn it off.

So, if you have a problem always check that: the dryer is plugged in, the dryer is turned on, the door is shut properly, check that the timer has been set, for some models - does the filter clogged button need re-setting and finally that there are no kinks in the vent hose if your model has one.

Warm Damp Air in the Laundry Room

If you’ve got a condensing clothes dryer, sensing some warm and damp air in the room is rather unavoidable. However, if you have one with a vent hose this should not be an issue. Check for any kinks in the hose, that it is attached to the dryer and is venting to the outside of your property.

Finally check the hose for any splits or damage, from which water vapor could escape. If all of those things are OK, you might need to consider a new seal on the dryer door.

Tangled Loads

Tangled loads can be a nuisance as they don’t dry properly or simply need longer in the dryer. Static electricity can cause the washing to become tangled and simply using an anti-static sheet could solve the problem. Another reason for tangled loads can be the drum not rotating properly. Try reducing the load to see if that helps. If not the drums drive belt could be slipping and require replacing.

Load Unusually Damp

First of all check that you selected the correct heat setting and an appropriate length of time for the load. A common cause of this problem is simply over-loading the dryer - so try splitting the load in two. If you constantly get this problem it could be you’re putting the washing into the dryer whilst it’s too wet - check that your wash-tub is spin drying the washing properly, before putting it into the dryer.

Another problem here could be that the hot air isn’t circulating properly inside the dryer drum. Check that the air intake at the back of the dryer hasn’t become blocked and that the filter doesn’t need clearing of the fluff that accumulates in it - you should do this last job every few loads anyway. Finally check that the vent system and hose isn’t damaged, kinked or blocked. Other faults here requiring you to get the toolkit out or call the repairman are: a loose fan, a faulty thermostat or a faulty heating element.


If you are a DIY/home enthusiast and decide that you want to investigate a fault internally or that you can tackle an internal repair to your clothes dryer - before you do anything else, make sure that the machine is turned off and unplugged/disconnected from the mains supply.

Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt, Creative Commons Attribution License