Like all home appliances, dryers occasionally run into issues with their normal operation. This is a problem that can be very disruptive, especially if you have a large or active family that goes through a lot of laundry. While dryers do occasionally have problems that require the services of a professional repair person, it may be possible to troubleshoot the dryer problems yourself. Make sure you assess the situation carefully and heed the manufacturer's warnings on the machine; even if it's unplugged, there are elements inside the machine that can still be dangerous.
Why does my dryer's motor run, but the tub doesn't spin?
Just like your car or vacuum cleaner, the dryer spins using a large belt. Unless your dryer is hard-wired to your home's power supply, changing the belt is a relatively simple task to accomplish on your own. Please note that while you can change the belt on a gas dryer, you should never disconnect the gas line; if you're not sure, call in a professional, as gas can be extremely dangerous if it's not dealt with properly. Check for any visible obstructions around the drum. Make sure that the roller support, idler pulley and tension spring are all in good shape and functioning properly.
What causes a dryer to run but not put out heat?
The simplest thing to check if your dryer is not putting out any heat is the fuse. Just like in cars, dryers use fuses that can wear out or burn out, and they may need replaced from time to time. If this is not the problem, then you may need access to a volt-ohm meter to check the heating coils, centrifugal switch, timer and thermostat. Check your user's manual or online support for instructions on how to locate these parts and what readings you should see.
Why isn't my dryer running at all?
As silly as it sounds, first always check that the cord is plugged into the wall. If the dryer stopped suddenly, let it sit for at least 15 minutes while it's turned off in order to reset the motor overload protector. While you wait, check to make sure that the relevant circuit breaker didn't trip. If you have something else you can plug into the same outlet, test to make sure that there is still power. Using a volt-ohm meter, you can also check the switches that operate the timer, door, thermostat and start button on your dryer to ensure that they're still operable.
What if my dryer isn't running as well as it used to?
Just like anything that gets used a lot, your dryer does need routine maintenance to keep running as efficiently as possible. If it runs but doesn't dry clothes as quickly as it once did, then it may be time to do a maintenance check. First, make sure that the lint trap and exhaust vent are completely clean of debris. Check to make sure that the blower is in good repair and seated properly. Examine the seal inside the dryer door, checking for cracks or loose areas that may allow air exchange during operation. Finally, dust and dirt frequently accumulate on the heating coils, and they need to be cleaned at least once or twice a year.