How To Repair A Dryer That's Not Drying

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Lint Filter

Simple but true: the problem may be a dirty lint filter. Since lint or a fabric softener buildup will cut down on the flow of air through the filter, your dryer cycle will take longer if your filter needs cleaning. Try scrubbing the filter with hot water and soap, or replacing it if torn or worn. And get in the habit of cleaning the lint off the filter before you turn on the dryer.

Blower Wheel

The blower wheel is meant to move air on its journey through your dryer: from the heating chamber through the drum and then to its exit through the exhaust vent. If it is not blowing air efficiently, the high limit thermostat may detect excessive standing heat and shut off the heat. Generally, you’ll find the blower wheel either threaded or clamped to the end of the motor shaft. Make sure it hasn’t gotten loose. A loose blower wheel can make a rattling sound when you start the dryer. Check the blower wheel housing to see if any debris is interfering with the movement of the wheel. Check for wear at the hub of the wheel, at the junction to the shaft, to see if you’ll need to replace the blower wheel.


If your dryer uses gas, you have a set of safety coils, or solenoids, on the gas valve. When these begin to malfunction, they can stop operating part way through the dryer cycle, leaving the dryer cold. If your dryer only heats for the first portion of the cycle, one or more of the coils may be at fault. These can be difficult to check because once they cool down they may start acting normal again.

Felt Drum Seal

Another possible reason for the clothes taking too long to dry is a tear in a felt drum seal. These seals are there to keep too much cool air from coming into the drum. But if the felt-type material of the seal gets holes in it from age and use, cool air comes in and will slow down the drying process. A sure sign of problems with the felt drum seal comes when clothes get stuck in the holes while the drum turns, making noises that sound like thumps and scrapes. Sometimes the clothes will rip or have black marks when you take them out.

Door Seal

Just like a fridge door, a dryer door may have a rubber or vinyl gasket around it to help maintain the air temperature inside. If your clothes are taking too long to dry, you could have a cracked, inflexible, or worn-out door seal that lets in cool air. It is not a complicated part to replace if it’s damaged.

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