Condenser Tumble Dryer Not Heating Up? Here’s why & what to do

A tumble dryer makes life easier especially during those cold, wet, winter months. If you have a condenser dryer the worst possible thing that can happen is that you open the door and the laundry is still wet and cold after running a full cycle.

If you own a condenser tumble dryer and the washing is coming out cold and wet after running a cycle, keep reading. In this article we identify all of the possible reasons why your dryer isn’t drying your laundry and show you easy fixes wherever possible.

Error Codes

Before we look into the probable causes of your condenser dryer not heating up, a quick word about error codes. On many dryers when a fault develops, there is a series of letters and/or numbers displayed on the LED screen. 

This is an error code signifying a particular fault. If your dryer is displaying an error code it will make fixing it so much easier. All you need to do is consult the user manual that came with your appliance and see what that particular code signifies. If you don’t have the user manual, you can search our website for the code as we’ve probably written a guide on how to fix it in the past.

Even if the fault is something you can’t fix yourself, the technician will know what parts/tools to bring to solve this problem for you if you have an error code.

Why Is My Condenser Tumble Dryer Not Heating Up?

There are several reasons why a condenser dryer might not be heating up which include;

Possible CauseBest Solution
Door opened Before The Cycle Has CompletedKeep The Door Closed Until The End Of The Cycle
Too Much Laundry Crammed Into The DrumStick To The Maximum Weight Allowance
Dirty/Clogged FilterClean The Filter
Blocked CondenserClean The Condenser
Incorrect Ambient Operating TemperatureEnsure The Room Temperature Is between The Recommended parameters
Defective Heating ElementReplace The Heating Element
Blown Thermal FuseReplace The Thermal Fuse

Let’s look into each of these possible causes in more detail.

Door Opened Before The End Of The Cycle

If you have opened the door to check on the temperature inside, you can actually cause the heating process to be delayed. This is particularly true if you’ve opened the door within the first 10 minutes of the dryer starting a cycle.

This could lead to the drum not reaching the correct heat by the time the cycle has finished. Which could mean you’d need to restart the cycle to get the dryer to heat up and dry your laundry.

Overloading The Drum

Tumble dryers have a maximum weight limit on how much laundry can be placed in the drum. We know it can be tempting to cram as much into the drum as possible. The problem is overloading the drum will prevent the laundry from drying.

Check your user manual for how much weight is acceptable in each cycle and stick to this limit to ensure your laundry dries correctly and the appliance doesn’t get damaged.

Clogged/Dirty Filter

Tumble dryers have filters which are designed to trap lint and fluff that sheds from your laundry as it spins in the drum. If these filters become clogged (which is entirely possible as they fill with fluff pretty fast), the hot air is unable to flow through the laundry.

This prevents the laundry from drying, and can cause many tumble dryers to stop operating completely if the filter is clogged. You need to check these filters regularly and even if they look clear, they could still be blocked.

You should remove the filter and rinse it under running water. If the water doesn’t flow freely, it indicates that the filter is still blocked and needs cleaning properly. If you’re sure that the filter is clean, yet water still doesn’t flow through it freely, you’ll need to replace the filter.

Tumble Dryer

Blocked Condenser

If the condenser becomes blocked with lint and fluff, it can prevent the tumble dryer from working as it should. You will need to remove the condenser, empty it of water and give it a good rinse to remove any lint or fluff that’s caught in it.

If the condenser becomes too clogged, it will prevent the appliance from working at all to prevent any damage being caused.

Incorrect Ambient Operating Temperature

Condenser dryers need to be operated in temperatures between 5 C to 30 C. If the ambient room temperature is above or below these parameters, the appliance might not heat up or in extreme cases,will not operate at all.

This is often a problem encountered if your condenser tumble dryer is in a garage, especially through the cold winter months. You have 2 choices here, you can either warm the room up to within the recommended parameters or move the dryer to a warmer room.

Defective Heating Element

Your condenser tumble dryer, just like all other tumble dryers, will have a heating element that heats the air to dry your laundry. If the heating element develops a fault, it will prevent the appliance from heating up.

If it is the heating element that’s defective, we recommend calling in a technician. This is because you will need to pretty much dismantle the entire appliance to access the heater element and connecting wires. If your appliance is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer to organise a technician if not you’ll need to find your own.

Blown Thermal Fuse

The thermal fuse is  a safety device fitted into all tumble dryers. It is designed to blow if the appliance gets too hot. The idea is the thermal fuse blows cutting power to the unit preventing any of the internal components from becoming damaged.

If the thermal fuse does blow, there’s a strong possibility that the appliance will not operate at all.

If you are DIY minded, it is possible to replace the thermal fuse yourself, but as it involves dismantling your dryer, we recommend contacting a technician to solve this issue.

So there you have it, all of the possible causes and solutions for a condenser tumble dryer failing to heat up. We hope this article has answered all of your questions, if not, feel free to ask them below.

SEE ALSO: Does Putting An Ice Cube In The Tumble Dryer Take Out Wrinkles?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my dryer running but not heating?

If your tumble dryer is running but fails to heat up, it could be caused by a blown thermal fuse, a defective heating element, an overloaded drum, a clogged filter, a blocked condenser or the room temperature is above or below ambient operating parameters.

Should a condenser tumble dryer get hot?

Condenser tumble dryers should reach a temperature of 70 to 75 C. This is around 50% hotter than a comparable heat pump dryer.

What is the life expectancy of a dryer heating element?

The average life expectancy of a tumble dryer heating element is around 15 years. Assuming the appliance has been well maintained. If the heating element on your dryer has packed up, it is usually caused by the filter being constantly clogged.

How long do condenser tumble dryers last?

Condenser tumble dryers should last anywhere between 10 to 15 years if regularly maintained.

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