How to Test Dryer Timer

How to Test Dryer Timer (Step by Step Process)

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A few days back, I put my clothes in the dryer to dry them. After a few minutes, when I came back, I saw my dryer timer not working. It’s stuck and not advancing. So, I tried to find out how to tell if the dryer timer is bad because I had no clue. Well, after researching I got the answer and I tested the dryer timer to finally call it ‘bad’. I’m pretty sure some of you also want to know about it. 

So, how to test dryer timer? When your dryer timer doesn’t work you need to test the timer to confirm. To test the timer, you need to do the following things:

  1. Unplug your dryer and remove the control panel
  2. Locate the dryer timer on the front or back panel
  3. Finally, run a continuity test with a multimeter to confirm

Trust me, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’m going to tell you the step-by-step process in detail. So, without any delay, let’s jump in. Shall we? 

Tools Required To Test Dryer Timer

Before I start, I want to tell you that the dryer timer doesn’t go bad frequently. So when your dryer doesn’t work you need to test the timer. It’s an easy process, all you need is the following tools to run the test-

Step by Step Process of How To Test Dryer Timer

Test The Dryer Timer

Hopefully, you’re already set with the tools. Next, let’s test the dryer timer. If you’re working with the dryer’s component for the first time, I’d tell you to be extra careful. Also, follow the procedures carefully and run the test a couple of times. 

Step 1: Turning off the Power Supply

Turn off the power supply to your dryer. Just unplug the dryer or turn off the circuit breaker. 

Step 2: Locate the Timer

After turning off the power, your job is to look at the control panel of your dryer to locate the timer. You’ll find the timer either at the top or rear (depending on the model) control panel of the dryer. Generally, the timer has the largest dial with a numerical number. Also, it may have an optimal dry option.  

Step 3: Remove the Control Panel

Once you find the location of the timer, it’s time to remove the control panel. Before that, you need to put a towel at the base of the control panel. The towel will help to avoid scratches. Now find the mounting screws at the back or top panel of the dryer. Unthread the mounting screws with a screwdriver to remove the control panel. Open up the control panel and leave it on the towel

Step 4: Access to the Timer Motor

By now the control panel is exposed in front of you. Now find the timer motor of your dryer. The timer motor might have several wires attached to it (depending on the model). Your task is to remove the 2 wires that deliver power. Generally, those 2 wires are larger than the others. Grab needle-nose pliers to remove one of those power leads. After that, pull the connector off and obviously not the wire. It’ll help to prevent the damage. 

Step 5: Knowing the Ideal

You’re just a step behind to examine the timer. Before examining the timer you need to know the ideal Ohm range. You’ll find a circuit diagram either in the back or inside the cabinet. Sometimes it’s located in the control panel too. The circuit diagram lets you know the right Ohm range and details about the contacts (which should be opened or closed). The ideal reading is 2000 to 3000 ohms or the range mentioned in the diagram. Anyway, let’s conduct the test.

Step 6: Testing with a Multimeter

Testing With A Multimeter

So, you’re already set to test your dryer timer. Now lift the control panel and set the timer to ‘Normal Dry’. Grab a multimeter. If your multimeter has an adapter with an alligator clip probe, it’ll be convenient for you. So, put them on. If the multimeter doesn’t have this feature, it’s not a problem at all. Now set the multimeter to RX1 or R1 by attaching the 2 probes. Also, set the dial 0 on the multimeter to read.

Attach one probe of the multimeter to the terminal from which the wire was detached. Attach another probe to the other terminal. Now, look at the reading. The multimeter is supposed to show readings from 2000 to 3000 Ohms or the range suggested by the diagram. However, your dryer timer is faulty if you find one of the following issues:

  1. According to the diagram, the contacts are opened when they should be closed and vice-versa
  2. Closed contacts are supposed to show 0 reading and for open contacts, it should read Open Loop (OL). If you spot any wrong reading, your dryer timer might be faulty and you need to replace that with a new timer

This step is crucial because based on this step you’ll decide whether the timer is fine or gone bad. However, the procedure that I show here to test the timer is compatible with any other brands available in the market.

If you don’t have a multimeter, try to bypass the dryer timer switch. After bypassing the dryer timer contacts, see whether the dryer works or not. If it works, then the dryer timer switch is faulty. Replace the timer as soon as you can. However, don’t use your dryer after bypassing as it’s only for testing purposes.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I know if my dryer timer is bad?

When your dryer timer is not advancing or stuck, you can assume that your dryer timer is gone bad. You can confirm it by conducting a continuity test with a multimeter (I’ve already mentioned the procedure above)

2. How do you reset the timer on the dryer?

Depending on the models, many dryers have reset buttons on their control panels. If you don’t know how to reset the dryer, let me show you. It’s effortless. When the motor doesn’t run, allow the dryer to get cool and wait for 10 minutes. Then press the reset button. Your dryer will restart itself if the motor is doing fine.

3. What causes the dryer timer to go bad?

When the dryer’s timer motor or timer’s electrical contacts become faulty, it causes the dryer timer to go bad. Usually, the timer contacts control the dryer motor and the timer motor. So, when one of these components goes bad, the timer won’t work. You should replace the timer.

4. How do you check a timer to see if it is good?

The best way to check a timer is to run a continuity test. ‘how to test Whirlpool dryer timer’ or ‘how to test GE dryer timer’ is a common query. It’s an easy process. Just go through the steps that I mentioned above and you can find out whether the timer is good or faulty.

5. Can a bad timer cause the dryer not to heat?

Yes, GE dryer bad timer can cause a dryer not to heat. When the dryer timer is malfunctioning, you can assume that the faulty timer is responsible for not heating the dryer.


In this post, I’ve tried to show you how to test if the dryer timer is bad. Here I’ve shown the detailed process step by step. I’m pretty confident that if you go through this post properly you’ll find the entire procedure easy. Moreover, when you test the timer on your own, you can save a few bucks.

Anyway, I’ve seen a misconception among people. When something doesn’t work, they assume it’s defective. Not really! You need to move one step more to confirm that. And this is why you need to test the dryer timer. To conclude, I’d say, before attempting any test don’t forget to turn off the power supply of your dryer.

Also, read the manual, follow the circuit diagram and take the necessary safety precautions. In this case, you’ll deal with the electric wires. So, be careful. If you’re confused or unable to conduct the test, don’t forget to call a technician.

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