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It’s common knowledge a dryer has to get hot to dry clothes. However, on this day, my Kenmore dryer getting too hot worried me. I’ve heard before of dryer-related house fires. Was I right to be worried? Yes, after some research, I learned that the dryer heating element getting too hot can ignite fabrics and lint in a tinder-like manner.
So, what are the common reasons a dryer is getting too hot? The main reason for a dryer getting too hot is a clogged system. When the lint screen and the vent systems are blocked, there is restricted airflow. This, in turn, creates heat accumulation making the dryer too hot. Remember, heat needs to circulate evenly and escape through the exhaust. Other causes include a faulty thermostat and a bad heating element.
Let’s dive in and see what to do If The Dryer Gets Too Hot in detail.
Common Reasons Why A Dryer Getting Too Hot & Step-By-Step Solutions
A whirlpool dryer getting too hot or just any dryer model overheating is due to four major reasons.
- Restricted airflow
- Defective heating element
- Faulty cycling thermostat
- Malfunctioning blower wheel
1. Restricted airflow
Restricted airflow is the single most reason dryers get too hot. As I learned later, it was the reason for my dryer getting overheat. Typically, any blockage in the dryer creates a potential fire hazard. Hot air gets trapped inside, making the dryer too hot. To have a clear understanding of hot air getting trapped, let’s understand how dryers work.
For dryer models, fresh air gets into the dryer and is heated by the heating element. The hot air then moves to the drum, where it dries your clothes. Lastly, hot and damp air is then expelled through the dryer vent. So, happens when there is an obstruction preventing the flow of hot air? The dryer becomes too hot.
The main blockages occur in the vent system and lint screen. Continuous accumulation of lint and fabrics in the dryer’s ductwork might lead to blockage. Apart from lint, dust, dirt, and debris might accumulate on the lint screen over a while and cause blockage.
If a Ge dryer getting too hot is due to restricted airflow, you need to check your lint screen and vent system. Use your dryer manual and locate the dryer lint screen and ductwork. You need to make sure there are no blockages on the lint screen and ductwork. Turn off the dryer and disconnect it from power.
Remove the panel access and remove the lint screen. Clean it thoroughly and ensure there are no dirt, debris, and lint. In addition, shine some light on the lint screen slot to check for debris and dirt. If there is dirt inside, use a vacuum cleaner to remove it. This helps prevent the lint screen from blocking again too soon.
If the lint screen is excessively dirt and damaged, consider replacing it with a new one. Next, you need to check the ductwork and ensure there are no blockages on the vent system. You can turn the dryer on and listen to see if the air is blowing out of the exhaust vents. In case of blockages, there is little-to-no airflow.
An Amana dryer getting too hot wrinkles clothes and can be a safety hazard. You can also use a vacuum to clean the ductwork and prevent overheating. If the ductwork is bent, consider getting a replacement.
- For Brand: Lint filter for dryer models made by lg, kenmore and sears.
- Partial Note: ADQ56656401 is diffferent from 5231EL1003B, please refer to the 2nd comparison picture to ensure that you are ordering the correct filter.
- You May Have Problems: The dryer vent plugs the lint filter to tear or lose. If you installed the new screen. 1. It might be something inside the trap tht might be preventing it. 2. There is a screw for the lint trap housing to loosen it up.
2. Defective Heating Element/Burner
For electric dryers, heat comes from a heating element. On the other hand, burners provide heat for gas dryers. A dryer overheating with a burning smell can happen when any of these components are defective.
An LG dryer getting too hot can happen when the heating element is dying. In most cases, the dryer gets extra hot on several occasions before going cold. If your dryer is too old, maybe the heating element is nearing its lifespan.
Is your tumble dryer getting too hot? A heating element in a tumble dryer might shift or warp with age and contact the drum. When this happens, the drum area heats faster and gets too hot than normal. So, how do you go about fixing a defective heating element?
The first to fix a defective heating element is testing it using a multimeter. Start by disconnecting the dryer for safety purposes. Make sure the multimeter is well-calibrated. Next, connect the multimeter at both ends of the dryer and check the readings. The heating element ought to read between 20- 50 ohms. If the readings are not within that range, the heating element is defective and needs replacing.
You can also visibly observe the heating elements for signs of cracks. Are there any foreign materials in contact? Most heating elements are sensitive to foreign particles in contact and might heat more than normal. In some cases, a simple short in the heating element might make it continue heating even when the controls are set to cool.
Get a new heating element that matches your dryer model and install it. You can follow the steps in the dryer manual to remove the damaged heater and replace it with a new one. The same applies to gas dryers that are overheating. If your gas Frigidaire dryer is getting too hot, then consider checking the burner. A defective burner on a gas dryer can be replaced with a new one.
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3. Faulty Cycling Thermostat
A third major reason for a Samsung dryer getting too hot can be a faulty thermostat. You need to understand the crucial thermostat function in dryers. A cycling thermostat helps regulate the temperature in dryers.
It is a crucial component that prevents a condenser tumble dryer from getting too hot. A thermostat is found in all dryer models. A damaged thermostat leads to a Maytag dryer getting too hot since the temperature is not under check.
For most dryers, a thermostat is a small metallic component found on the rear end. A dryer too hot leads to wrinkled clothes. So, how do you fix a defective cycling thermostat?
If you suspect a defective thermostat, the first thing is to test it and be sure. As always, disconnect power and access the thermostat. The thermostat is found at the rear end of the panel. Open the top and front panels of the dryer. You can then see the thermostat next to the blower casing. Using a multimeter, connect both ends of the thermostat and check it for continuity.
If the thermostat indicates a zero or a near-zero reading, then it is working. However, if it suggests an infinity reading, then consider replacing it. Unlike other dryer components, a thermostat is relatively cheap and one of the easiest to fix. You don’t want to spend several hundreds of dollars on a new dryer if the issue is a defective thermostat.
Buy a new thermostat that matches your dryer model. Open the dryer panels and remove the defective thermostat along with the connecting wires. Install the new thermostat and connect the cables back in place. You can then work your steps backward and close the panels. Once everything is in place, connect the power and start the dryer.
4. Malfunctioning blower wheel
A whirlpool duet dryer getting too hot can also be due to a bad blower wheel. The blower plays a crucial role in ensuring excellent hot air movement. If the blower is broken, proper airflow is hindered, leading to a dryer overheatting.
Make sure you inspect the blower and ensure it’s not the cause of the dryer getting hot. If the blower cannot circulate air fast and evenly, there are high chances of the dryer being too hot. So, how do you fix a defective blower wheel?
Disconnect the dryer by unplugging it. Open the top and front of the dryer to access the blower wheel. Separate the dryer drum from the drum bearing. This will provide access to the dryer motor. Here, you’ll find the blower wheel attached to the motor
Physically examine the blower wheel for any breaks. You also need to check for any debris or dirt that might prevent the blower wheel from spinning. Is the blower wheel broken? If yes, it needs replacing.
Check your dryer manual model number and purchase the suitable blower replacement. Remove the damaged blower wheel and install the new one. Return the drum and drum bearings in place. Close the dryer control panels and connect it.
5. Other Minor Causes
There are several other minor causes why a dryer might be getting too hot. You can even find a dryer getting hot when off. This usually happens because of a grounded heating element. Over a period of time, part of the heating element might break and come into contact with other metal parts in the dryer.
In such cases, the dryer gets hot even when off. There are also a few instances where dryers get hot because of a twisted or knotted power cord. Make sure you take time and untie knotted power cords into a straight line.
Lastly, dryers can get too hot due to overuse. Make sure you use the dryers for a maximum of 40-50 minutes and not more in a cycle. Take breaks of at least an hour when heating huge loads of laundry. Some people even tend to use dryers as a source of heat during the cold winter months! This can increase the dryer’s risk of fire hazards.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Do I Fix My Dryer From Overheating?
You can fix your dryer that is overheating by replacing the defective component making it overheat. This can be done by cleaning the lint screen and the vent system to prevent restricted airflow. You can also fix the issue by replacing the defective cycling thermostat and heating elements. Dryer overheating problems are easy to identify and fix.
2. How Do You Know If Your Dryer Is Overheating?
You can know if your dryer is overheating by experiencing extremely abnormal exterior temperatures. In addition, most dryers tend to shut off automatically when they get too hot. You can also check the dryer error codes to show an indication of overheating. Common heating errors include HC, He HC4 & 1HC on a Samsung dryer. You can also know through a burning odor.
3. Will A Dryer Shut Off If It Gets Too Hot?
A dryer will shut off if it gets too hot for safety reasons. The dryer thermal fuse usually trips, shutting off the dryer automatically. However, replacing the fuse or broken thermostat will get the dryer working again.
4. Why Does My Dryer Overheat And Shut Off?
Your dryer overheats and shuts off because of a defective heating element, thermostat, or clogged vents. It shuts off as a precaution due to the high temperatures to prevent accidental fires. An overheat shutoff is a safety feature that prevents fire hazards.
5. What Would Cause A Clothes Dryer To Overheat?
A dryer would overheat due to restricted airflow. A blockage in the ductwork and lint traps hot air leading to excessive heat. This can also happen when the heating element and cycling thermostat are defective.
6. Why Does My Dryer Keep Burning Up Heating Elements?
Your dryer might keep burning heating elements due to sudden power surges. The dryer heating element works on the same principle as a coil. A sudden increase in voltage can burn the heating element.
Well, that’s the end! Was that easy? Fixing a dryer overheating can be easy and complicated at the same time. Personally, it appeared a huge task until I did my research. Now you can easily diagnose an overheating dryer and solve the problem without an expert. Dryer overheating causes are few and easy to diagnose. I hope you now know the common reasons why a dryer is getting too hot.
Carefully analyze the major causes and narrow them down to know why your dryer is overheating. Clean the vent and lint screens of any blockage. Check the heating element and thermostat for any defects and replace them if necessary.