Tumble Dryer Not Starting? (here’s why & how to fix)

If your tumble dryer won’t start once you’ve loaded your laundry into it, don’t panic. This is a fairly common problem and usually has an easy to fix solution.

Why Won’t My Tumble Dryer Start?

Below, we have listed 11 reasons why your tumble dryer might not start. We’ve listed them in order of how likely the problem is to be.

Power Supply Issues

This is the obvious place to start because if there’s no power getting to your tumble dryer, it can’t start.

Remove the plug from the socket, and wait for 60 seconds. While you’re waiting, plug something else into the same socket and see if it works, if it does, you know it’s not a faulty plug socket.

If the plug socket is OK, check the fuse in the plug, see if it looks like it’s blown, or if you can’t tell, replace it with another 13 amp fuse.

Then plug the dryer back in and turn it on then select a program. 

If you do have problems with your socket, we advise you to contact a fully qualified electrician, don’t try to tackle it yourself as you could cause serious injury or even death.

Dryer Door Not Closed Correctly

The tumble dryer will not start if the door is not shut correctly. Check for any stray items of laundry in the door or around the door catch.

Then look at the door catch itself, sometimes the catch can become slightly bent. You can often gently straighten the catch and this usually solves the problem.

You should also check the display screen, because often it will display a code or sometimes it will display “ERR” – This is commonly used as an indicator that there is a fault of some kind.

You’ll need to check your user manual for codes relating to your specific appliance.

Child Lock Activated

Many tumble dryers have child lock options which are handy for preventing children from playing with the appliance. 

The child lock often locks the programs, buttons and touchscreen, but not the ON/OFF button.

If this is the problem all you need to do is deactivate the child lock (consult your user manual for product specific instructions).

Delayed Start Option Selected

If you have selected a delayed start by accident, it won’t start until the countdown has completed. Some dryers have a countdown display and you’ll see the countdown on the screen.

Others that don’t have a display, will have a light that flashes next to a time symbol.

If the delayed start has been activated and you want to start your dryer immediately, you can disable the delayed start.

The easiest way is to turn the appliance off and remove the plug from the socket. If, for some reason this doesn’t work, consult your user manual for specific instructions.

SEE ALSO: Tumble Dryer Alternatives: How to dry clothes indoors without a Dryer

Full Water Tank (condenser dryers)

If you own a condenser tumble dryer and the water tank is full, the dryer will stop functioning. Check to see if the water tank full indicator is lit.

If it is, empty the water tank and restart the cycle.

Once the water tank is full, the dryer will stop automatically and the tank symbol will be present on the display.

Thermal Fuse Issue

All tumble dryers are required by law to have a thermal fuse which is a safety device designed to prevent it from overheating. If the tumble dryer starts to overheat, the thermal fuse cuts out. 

Which stops the dryer from starting and it will not start again until the thermal fuse has been replaced. 

All tumble dryers are different, some will run but not get hot at all. While others won’t start at all.

The thermal fuse is often located near the rear exhaust vent at the back of the appliance. You should always unplug the dryer before checking the thermal fuse. 

We would recommend calling an electrical engineer to check and replace a thermal fuse.

The most common reason for a thermal fuse to blow is due to clogged vents or lint filters. Keeping the lint filter and vents free from lint is the best way to prevent overheating.

Faulty Thermostat

The thermostat is designed to regulate the temperature of the tumble dryer. If the dryer gets too hot at any time during the drying cycle, the thermostat should turn the heat off until it cools to the set temperature.

If the thermostat develops a fault it could cause the dryer to overheat and blow the thermal fuse.  This is another issue best solved by an electrical technician.

Faulty Start Switch

It is uncommon to get problems with the start switch on a tumble dryer, but it’s not impossible. The easiest way to tell if the start switch is at fault is to try pressing the start switch and listening.

You should hear the machine start to hum which is an indication that the dryer is trying to start. If you can hear the humming sound then it’s not usually the switch which is faulty.

If, however, you can’t hear a humming sound, it could well be the switch at fault. We recommend calling in a professional to diagnose and repair/replace the start switch.

Defective Drive Belt

The drive belt connects the drive motor to the drum and is responsible for keeping the drum rotating. The belt could become stretched and too loose to turn the drum or the belt could break completely. 

It is possible to replace the drive belt yourself, but you will need to buy the correct drive belt for your dryer. You will also need to dismantle the body of the tumble dryer.

Unless you are a competent DIYer we would recommend calling in an engineer.

Faulty Drive Motor

The drive motor rotates the dryer’s drum. If the drive motor is faulty, the dryer will heat up but the drum won’t turn.

This is another issue best dealt with by a professional electrical engineer.

Electrical Faults

Like all appliances, tumble dryers have numerous electrical components, connections and wires all of which have the capacity for developing a fault. 

If you’ve ruled out all of the above faults, it’s likely that your tumble dryer has developed an electrical fault. This will need to be investigated by a fully qualified electrical engineer.

SEE ALSO: Different Types Of Tumble Dryers Explained – with our top recommendations for each

Frequently Asked Questions

When I press the start button on my dryer nothing happens?

If nothing happens when you press the start button and you can’t hear any humming at all, it’s likely to be an electrical problem. Check that the plug is connected properly and the power supply is switched on. Then check that the fuse hasn’t blown. If it’s none of the above, it could be the thermal fuse which can be checked using a continuity tester.

What will cause a dryer not to start?

There are several things that could cause a dryer to not start which include; Faulty door catch, blown thermal fuse, faulty drive motor, broken drive belt or faulty electrical circuitry.

Why won’t my dryer start but has power?

If your dryer has power but won’t start, it’s likely that the thermal fuse has blown.

Are dryers easy to fix?

Tumble dryers are relatively easy to fix if you have some DIY knowledge.

Is it worth repairing a tumble dryer?

The way to work out whether it is worth repairing a tumble dryer or not is to work out how old it is and how much the repair will cost. If the dryer is more than 10 years old, and the cost of a repair is more than 50% of the price you paid for it, you’ll probably be better off buying a new one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *