Troubleshooting Condenser Tumble Dryer Problems (try these)

Most of the time your condenser tumble dryer will work without any problems at all. However if you do spot a problem, you should consult the manual for your appliance. If you don’t have a manual search online for a PDF of your particular machine’s manual.

It will be helpful if you have the model number handy when you look for your manual online. The model number is usually found on the side of the appliance.

As most condenser tumble dryers work in a similar way, this article applies to all of the major appliance manufacturers condenser tumble dryers including;

  • Beko Condenser Dryers
  • Hotpoint Condenser Dryers
  • Miele Condenser Dryers
  • Candy Condenser Dryers
  • Hoover Condenser Dryers
  • Indesit Condenser Dryers
  • Bush Condenser Dryers
  • Logik Condenser Dryers
  • AEG Condenser Dryers
  • Bosch Condenser Dryers
  • Whirlpool Condenser Dryers
  • Hisense Dryers
  • Montpellier Dryers
  • Sharp Dryers
  • And more

How Do Condenser Tumble Dryers Work?

Before we can explain some of the problems often associated with condenser tumble dryers, you need to have a basic understanding of how they work.

Vented Tumble Dryers

The first type of tumble dryers ever invented were vented models. These work by blowing warm air into the drum and through the clothes to evaporate moisture from those clothes. That moisture is then pushed out of the machine via the hose or vent to the outside of the building.

Condenser Tumble Dryers

Condenser tumble dryers dry your clothes in the same way, the warm air is blown through the drum and through the clothes to evaporate moisture from those clothes. It’s what happens next that gives condenser tumble dryers their name.

The moist air isn’t pushed outside, it is pushed onto a condensing plate inside the machine which turns that moist air into water. That water is then pumped into a water tank and stored inside the dryer. The water tank needs to be emptied frequently as the machine will not operate if the sensor detects the water tank is full.

As you know the main advantage of the condenser tumble dryer is the fact it can be placed almost anywhere in your home (within reason). Plus they are easy to install as you need no vent or outside wall for them to operate. The only stipulation is a constant air flow from the back of the machine which is heated to then pass through the drum and clothes and so on.

Common Condenser Tumble Dryer Problems

Tumble Dryer

Below are the most common problems reported by condenser tumble dryer users. 

Always disconnect your appliance from the electricity supply before removing any panels etc.

Why Can I Smell A Burning Smell?

If you smell burning when operating your condenser tumble dryer, it is probably caused by a buildup of lint in the filter. To check the filter, start with the filter located in the door recess of your machine. Remove any lint, fluff or other material found in the filter.

Then move onto the condenser which can be found by removing the lower cover (near the bottom of the machine), open the clips which hold the condenser in place and remove the condenser. Remove any visible dirt, fluff or debris from the condenser by using a shower or other suitable means of providing a relatively fast stream of water. 

You’ll know when the condenser is fully free from dirt when the water runs clear. Refit the condenser and operate the machine as normal. The smell could take a few minutes to disappear completely.

Why Won’t The Machine’s Cycle Start?

If you’ve loaded the dryer and it won’t start it could be a number of things. Check the following;

  • Demo Mode
    If your machine has a demo mode it is possible this has accidentally been selected. Deselect demo mode (consult your manual for more information).
  • Water Tank Full
    If the water tank is full the machine will not operate. Empty the water tank and try again.
  • Power Supply Interrupted
    Your tumble dryer needs electricity to run. If the power supply has been interrupted either by a power outage or strike or, and this is most likely the mains plug has been disconnected or turned off.
  • Ambient Temperature Is Too Cold
    Your tumble dryer dryer has been designed to operate within your home. If the temperature has dropped below a certain level, the sensors within the machine will cause it to shut down. You will need to raise the room’s temperature before the machine will operate.

Why Are The Control Buttons Not Working?

If the control buttons are unresponsive it’s likely that demo mode has been activated. Consult your handbook for instructions to remove demo mode from your model.

Why Does The Dryer Switch Off After A Few Minutes Of Starting?

If your tumble dryer switches off after just a few minutes, it’s likely to be a problem with the load you are drying. Modern tumble dryers have load sensors which prevent the machine from being damaged due to overloading or underloading.

If you try to put too many clothes into the tumble dryer it will start to operate and then the sensors register the overloading and shut the machine off for safety reasons. Alternatively, if you try to dry too few items, the sensors register this and do the same as they will for an overloaded drum. This is because too few items have the tendency to stay in one part of the drum which means the drum will spin off balance which applies too much pressure to one area and can cause damage.

Why Is The Filter Warning Light Flashing?

If you see the filter warning light it means the filter needs to be cleared of lint and other debris. Start by cleaning the lint filter located within the door area and then clean the condenser. To clean the condenser it will need removing from the dryer.

To do this remove the lower cover on the front of the machine and then unlock the latches or undo the clips holding the condenser in place. Then wash the condenser using something with a relatively high power, like a shower head or hose. Once the condenser is clean, replace it into the dryer.

Why Are My Clothes Not Drying?


If your clothes are not drying in the tumble dryer, the first place to check is the lint filter in the door recess. If that doesn’t solve the problem it could be that the condenser needs cleaning or the water tank needs emptying. On some tumble dryers, drying a single item is impossible because the internal sensors detect a very small load. 

They sense that one item will stick to one side of the drum and cause an imbalance which could damage the machine. So the machine will turn off after a short period of time.

Why Is My Tumble Dryer Not Heating Up?

If your condenser tumble dryer is not heating up it is probably because the lint filter is blocked. The lint filter is usually located inside the door recess. On most tumble dryers the lint filter can be lifted out to be cleaned. Remove the filter and clean all of the lint and fluff from it then replace it.

If this does not solve the problem, it could be the dryer’s thermostat. As this requires the removal of the panels of the machine, we would advise you to contact the manufacturer if your machine is still under warranty. But before you do, check the back of the machine as some thermostats are located on the back of the machine and can be reset. If your thermostat has a red button on it, this is the reset button.

Other possible causes are the heating element could be faulty or there is a fault with the drainage system. Once again, these are issues best left to an expert.

Why Is My Condenser Tumble Dryer Making A Rumbling Noise?

If your tumble dryer is new or relatively new and hasn’t been used for a while, you might hear a slight rumbling sound for the first couple of minutes it is operating. This is normal in most cases as the wheels inside are self lubricating. However, if this rumbling sound continues for longer than five minutes, turn the appliance off and contact the manufacturer.

Why Is My Condenser Tumble Dryer Taking Longer To Dry Clothes Than Usual?

The most common reason for a tumble dryer to take longer than normal to dry clothes is because the lint filter is blocked. If this is not the problem, it is probably either a full water tank or the condenser needs cleaning.

Why Is The Room Steaming Up When The Tumble Dryer Is Working?

For the condenser tumble dryer to operate correctly, it needs a constant supply of cool air. 

If it has been installed in a confined space like a cupboard or small room, the walls could become damp and the windows could steam up. To get the best from your tumble dryer, it needs to be in a well ventilated room.

Why Won’t My Condenser Tumble Dryer Start Its Program?

If your tumble dryer fails to start its program, it’s more than likely because the demo mode has been activated. Consult your manual for more information. 

Another reason the tumble dryer might not start its program is if the door is not fully closed. Or you might have accidentally pressed the pause button, or the delayed start button (if applicable).

Why Is My Tumble Dryer Not Turning?

If your tumble dryer lights up but the drum doesn’t spin, it could be a number of things. Either the drive belt has snapped,  or it has stretched and does not engage with the motor any more. If it’s not the belt, it could be the start capacitor or the actual motor itself. All of these issues need expert help and if your machine is under warranty should be covered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why isn’t my condenser dryer drying my clothes?

The most common reason for your condenser dryer not drying your clothes is the condenser itself is blocked. Remove the condenser from the machine and give it a clean. In most cases this will solve the problem.

Why does my condenser dryer keep stopping?

The most common cause for a condenser dryer to keep stopping during a drying cycle is the water tank is full. The moisture extracted from the clothes has nowhere to go. The machine’s sensors pick up on this and stop the dryer before any damage can be done.

Why is my condenser dryer not drying?

If your condenser dryer is not drying it is probably because the lint filter is blocked. Or the condenser needs cleaning or the water tank is full.

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