Dryer Thermostat Test: A Step-by-Step Guide to Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting a Dryer Thermostat: A Step-by-Step Guide

A dryer thermostat is a crucial safety component that prevents your dryer from overheating. When it malfunctions, it can lead to several problems, including a dryer that won’t heat up, a dryer that takes too long to dry clothes, or even a fire hazard. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through how to test your dryer thermostat and troubleshoot common issues.

Understanding the Dryer Thermostat

The dryer thermostat is a temperature-sensitive device that controls the heating element in your dryer. It works by opening and closing an electrical circuit, allowing the heating element to turn on and off as needed to maintain the desired temperature. When the thermostat senses that the dryer has reached the set temperature, it breaks the circuit, turning off the heating element. As the dryer cools down, the thermostat closes the circuit again, allowing the heating element to turn back on.

Signs of a Faulty Dryer Thermostat

If your dryer thermostat is malfunctioning, you may notice some of the following symptoms:

  • Dryer not heating up: The most common symptom of a faulty dryer thermostat is that the dryer won’t heat up at all. This is because the thermostat is not allowing the heating element to turn on.
  • Dryer takes too long to dry clothes: If the thermostat is not working properly, it may not be turning the heating element off when it should. This can result in the dryer running for a longer period of time, which can lead to clothes being overheated and damaged.
  • Dryer smells like burning: A faulty thermostat can cause the dryer to overheat, which can lead to a burning smell. This is a serious safety hazard and should be addressed immediately.
  • Dryer tripping the circuit breaker: If the thermostat is constantly turning the heating element on and off, it can overload the electrical circuit, causing the circuit breaker to trip.

Testing Your Dryer Thermostat

Before you start testing your dryer thermostat, make sure to unplug the dryer from the electrical outlet. This will prevent any electrical shock hazards.

To test the dryer thermostat, you’ll need a multimeter. A multimeter is a tool that can measure voltage, current, and resistance. You can purchase a multimeter at most hardware stores.

Step 1: Locate the Dryer Thermostat

The dryer thermostat is usually located near the heating element. It’s typically a small, round device with two or three wires connected to it. Consult your dryer’s service manual for the exact location of the thermostat in your model.

Step 2: Disconnect the Wires

Carefully disconnect the wires from the dryer thermostat. Make sure to note the order in which you disconnect the wires so that you can reconnect them correctly later.

Step 3: Set the Multimeter to Resistance

Set the multimeter to the resistance setting. This will allow you to measure the resistance of the thermostat.

Step 4: Test the Thermostat

Touch the probes of the multimeter to the two terminals of the thermostat. The multimeter should show a reading of zero ohms if the thermostat is working properly. If the multimeter shows an infinite reading or a very high resistance, then the thermostat is faulty and needs to be replaced.

Replacing the Dryer Thermostat

If you’ve determined that your dryer thermostat is faulty, you can replace it yourself. However, if you’re not comfortable working with electrical appliances, it’s best to call a qualified appliance repair technician.

To replace the dryer thermostat, follow these steps:

  1. Disconnect the dryer from the electrical outlet.
  2. Remove the old thermostat. This may involve removing screws or clips that hold the thermostat in place.
  3. Install the new thermostat. Make sure to connect the wires in the same order that you disconnected them from the old thermostat.
  4. Secure the new thermostat. Use screws or clips to secure the new thermostat in place.
  5. Reconnect the dryer to the electrical outlet.
  6. Test the dryer. Run the dryer on a low heat setting to make sure that it’s working properly.

Safety Precautions

When working with electrical appliances, it’s important to take the following safety precautions:

  • Always disconnect the appliance from the electrical outlet before working on it.
  • Be careful not to touch any live wires.
  • If you’re not comfortable working with electrical appliances, call a qualified appliance repair technician.

By following these steps, you can test and replace your dryer thermostat yourself and save money on a service call. Remember to always prioritize safety and consult a professional if you’re unsure about any part of the process.