A tumble dryer is an essential piece of kit for busy households and anyone with allergies, but if yours doesn’t seem to be working, then it could bring everything to a halt.
Before calling out an expensive technician or engineer to diagnose any problems you are having with your tumble dryer, you may want to conduct some checks to see if you can repair the issue yourself.
The good news is that they are a lot easier to repair than most of the other white goods in your kitchen, such as your washing machine. The method and mechanisms they use are often pretty basic, and require only a few simple checks to diagnose a fault.
How To Fix Your Tumble Dryer
First of all, bear in mind that every make and model of tumble dryer works in different ways, and certain compartments may be situated in different places. Always read through your user manual and instructions before you start to diagnose the issue yourself.
Be aware of the dangers of carrying out DIY checks, too. They often use twice as much voltage as other household appliances to generate enough heat and movement to dry clothes. Switch off the circuit breaker and unplug the machine before attempting repairs.
Tumble Dryer Not Drying?
You may think that it must mean there is no heat if your clothes aren’t drying, but it is worth checking if there could be a restriction with the airflow first.
It is just as important as the heat aspect and may even lead to no heat being produced if completely blocked. It is the most simple of the checks you can conduct to rule any problems out.
Check the filter –
You should check this before every use. If there is a build-up of lint or dust, this stops the filter doing its job, so remove this before replacing.
If you have a condenser dryer –
The condenser compartment may have lint in too. Because this gets damp, it tends to stick more. Leave the drawer to soak for a few minutes in water, and then flush out any remaining dust with a powerful burst of water, such as from a shower head or jugs of water. Also look behind the drawer at the general condenser assembly area, in case any has got trapped.
If your tumble dryer is vented –
Check the hose. There could be dust trapped inside this, which needs removing. There is also a chance that the vent is blocked if it is connected externally. Once all areas are cleared, check the airflow coming out of the hose. It should feel like a powerful hair dryer, both regarding temperature and air flow. There could still be a blockage if it doesn’t feel right, or a further problem.
Still No Heat At All?
The filter and vent are all clear, but still no luck. This could signal a problem with the actual heaters in the appliance. Checking these is often a bigger job, and may require removing the panels of the tumble dryer. Look at your user manual for their location.
Check for a reset button –
There is a good chance your thermostat has a reset button. This could be on the outer casing, or above the element under the heater cover panel. You will need to remove this first.
Press it, and if it clicks while pressing, it could indicate that the thermostat had tripped. Resetting the thermostat could do the job, but if not, there may be a chance there is instead a further underlying problem.
Check the element –
This will require you check the power levels using a multimeter. Turn to a low resistance setting, and place the probes on to the terminals in the plug.
You should get a reading between 20 and 50 ohms. If widely out, this may indicate a fault, so replace the element before you next use the tumble dryer.
Still no luck? –
There is a possibility that you go through these checks and still have no results. Before you start contacting engineers, if you have a condenser appliance, there could be a problem with the drainage and water reservoir.
Check it has been emptied (which should be done after every use). If it fills up, a flow switch is activated which stops heat being produced, and therefore moisture as a by-product.
If this is emptied and you still have no luck, the internal pump which removes the water from the main drying compartment and to the reservoir could be blocked. This will need clearing or replacing.
Any problems beyond these simple diagnostics may require professional assistance, so check your user manual for any further instructions.
If it is irreparable and will cost too much to fix, you may want to consider purchasing a new, more modern model. Take a look at our reviews of the best tumble dryers available here.