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Appliance Repair Blog

How to Tell if Your Dryer’s Thermal Fuse is Blown

Posted on May 18, 2024

A malfunctioning dryer can be frustrating, especially if it’s due to a blown thermal fuse. This small but essential component prevents overheating and potential fires by cutting off power to the dryer if it gets too hot. Understanding how to identify and replace a blown thermal fuse can save you time and money. Here’s how you can determine if your thermal fuse is blown:

Symptoms of a Blown Thermal Fuse

  1. Dryer Won’t Start: The most common sign is the dryer not starting at all. If you press the start button and nothing happens, the thermal fuse might be the culprit.
  2. No Heat: If the dryer drum runs but there’s no heat, it could indicate that the thermal fuse has blown. This is because the fuse cuts off the heating element to prevent overheating.

Steps to Diagnose a Blown Thermal Fuse

  1. Locate the Thermal Fuse:
    • Consult your dryer’s manual to find the exact location of the thermal fuse. Typically, it’s located on the blower housing or near the heating element. You might need to remove the back panel of the dryer or open the front of the dryer access it.
    • We have multiple videos on our Youtube channel showing accessing the thermal fuses on different model dryers. You may find this example here or here helpful.
  2. Multimeter Test:
    • Use a multimeter to test for continuity.
      Set the multimeter to the lowest resistance setting or the continuity setting.
    • Touch the probes to the fuse terminals.
      If the fuse is good, the multimeter will emit a beep, indicating continuity.
    • Alternatively, you can use the ohm setting to measure resistance. A reading of zero or near zero ohms indicates continuity.
    • If there’s no beep or the resistance is infinite, the fuse is blown and needs replacing.
    • For a visual guide, check out our YouTube video on how to test the thermal fuse with a multimeter.
  3. Bypass Method (For Testing Purposes Only):
    • Safety First: Ensure the dryer is unplugged before attempting this test.
    • Temporarily bypass the fuse by connecting the two ends of the wires that connect to the fuse together. Alternately, use a jumper wire to connect the two wires together.
    • Plug in the dryer and see if it runs. If the dryer operates normally, the fuse is likely blown.
    • Remember, this is a temporary test and NOT a permanent solution. Bypassing the fuse removes a crucial safety feature and should only be done to confirm the diagnosis. After testing, immediately disconnect jumper wire or bypass until the thermal fuse is replaced with a new part.

Replacing the Thermal Fuse

  1. Safety First: Always unplug the dryer before beginning any repairs. Working with electrical components can be dangerous, so ensure there is no power supply.
  2. Remove the Old Fuse:
    • Carefully unscrew and remove the blown fuse. Note its orientation and how it’s connected to ensure you install the new one correctly.
  3. Install the New Fuse:
    • Secure the new fuse in place, reattach any wires or connectors, and ensure it’s firmly in position.
    • Reassemble your dryer, ensuring all panels and covers are securely in place.

Why Did the Thermal Fuse Blow?

When a thermal fuse is blown, it indicates that the dryer has overheated. This could be due to a few underlying issues:

  • Lint Build-Up: Check the dryer and exhaust venting for lint build-up or blockages. Clean the lint trap and ensure the ventilation system is clear.
  • Blocked Ventilation: Obstructed vents can cause overheating. Ensure there are no blockages in the ventilation ducts.
  • Heating Element Issues: Test the heating element for a short. A faulty heating element can cause the dryer to overheat and blow the thermal fuse. For detailed instructions, watch our video on how to test the heating element.

Additional Tips for Dryer Maintenance

  • Clean the Lint Trap: Regularly cleaning the lint trap can prevent overheating and reduce the risk of a blown fuse.
  • Check Ventilation: Ensure that the dryer’s ventilation system is clear and free of obstructions. Blocked vents can cause overheating and trigger the thermal fuse.
  • Regular Inspections: Periodically inspect your dryer for signs of wear or damage. Early detection of issues can prevent major problems down the line.

Having a working thermal fuse is crucial for the safety and functionality of your dryer. If you need a replacement thermal fuse or other dryer parts, visit Parts Dr for high-quality Genuine appliance parts and fast shipping. With the right parts and a bit of know-how, you can keep your dryer running smoothly and safely.

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