How to replace the moisture sensors in a dryer?

Depending on the model and type of your dryer, the replacement of moisture sensors can be done in different ways.

One way to do this is by detaching a few panels of the dryer, and the other way is by directly accessing it from the door. 

To get to the moisture sensor bars, all you have to do is find the lint trap and its mounting bracket and take them off. It is typically located behind or near the lint trap inside the dryer drum. Now, carefully remove the wires that are connected and unsnap the two bars at each end to replace them with new ones.

Key takeaways

  • Clothes dryers rely on moisture sensors to keep track of the moisture levels within the appliance while it’s in use.
  • They send signals to the dryer’s control panel through the interconnected wires between them.
  • A faulty moisture sensor can leave the control panel puzzled and your dryer will unnecessarily keep running for longer.
  • Replacing a faulty moisture sensor can be done at home using basic hardware tools.
  • Before performing any troubleshooting check if your dryer is still under warranty.
  • Make use of the user manual to locate the moisture sensor in your dryer.

What is a moisture sensor in a dryer?

A moisture sensor is a device that is used to measure the moisture level inside the dryer. With the help of a moisture sensor, the dryer is able to adjust the drying time and control the drying cycle.

The moisture sensor works by creating a quick electrical current that passes through the bars.

As the clothes dry and lose moisture, this current gets weaker, which tells the dryer to turn off.

Most clothes dryers have two metal bars that run parallel to each other to measure how much moisture is in the drum.

You will find a couple of wires connected to these sensors that run through the control panel of your dryer.

How does the moisture sensor work?

The sensor consists of two metal bars that are separated by a thin film of moisture-sensitive material and are placed inside the drum.

As the clothes in the dryer dry and lose moisture, the current passing through the sensor’s plates weakens, and this will signal the dryer to turn off when the resistance reaches a certain level.

In other words, this little device is what tells the dryer when your clothes are dry. It simply helps to regulate the drying cycle.

If your moisture sensor isn’t working properly, your dryer will either take longer to dry your clothes or it will not turn off at all.

A faulty moisture sensor can also cause the dryer to overheat, which can damage your clothes.

Where is the moisture sensor located in a dryer?

The moisture sensor is located inside the drum of the dryer, near the door. It is a small metal rod that protrudes from the side of the drum and is usually fixed near the lint trap or to its mounting bracket.

The sensor is connected to the control panel by a small wire.

Some dryers may require you to completely detach the top, front, and control panels to access and remove the moisture sensors.

However, a few dryer models can ease your task as they can be accessed from the front door.

Moreover, you can unscrew the lint trap’s mounting bracket to remove it and locate the moisture sensors on it.

How does the moisture sensor wear out?

Over time, lint, fabric fibers, and other things can get stuck on the moisture sensor.

This can cause the sensor to become less accurate, and it may take longer for the dryer to shut off.

Also, the moisture-sensitive film can lose its sensitivity, which could cause the dryer to get too hot and potentially damage your clothes.

Using dryer sheets often can also leave a residue on the sensor, which makes it even less sensitive.

It is very important to check the clothes before putting them in the dryer so that no foreign objects get inside.

They can break down the sensor placed inside the drum, and if the sensor bars become cracked or damaged, they will need to be replaced.

If you notice your dryer isn’t shutting off when it should, or if your clothing is coming out excessively hot or damaged, it’s likely time to replace the moisture sensor.

How to know if your moisture sensor is faulty?

The moisture sensor is in charge of figuring out how wet the clothes are and adjusting the drying time to make sure the clothes don’t get damaged.

If your clothes are taking too long to dry or they’re coming out still wet, it could be a sign that your moisture sensor needs to be replaced. 

Here are a few other signs to look out for (indicators of a faulty moisture sensor).

  • Your clothes are coming out wrinkled or damp.
  • The dryer cycles turn on and off more frequently than usual.
  • The drying time is longer than it should be.
  • Your electricity bill has increased unexpectedly.
  • Your clothes are coming out excessively hot.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to replace your moisture sensor. 

How to test the moisture sensor in a dryer?

In order to test the moisture sensor, locate and remove the sensor.

Next, clean it using a soft piece of cloth. Once the sensor is clean, put it back on the dryer and turn it on to test it.

Then, place a wet towel or piece of clothing into the dryer and run it on the lowest setting.

The sensor should trigger the dryer to shut off when the towel or clothing has dried.

If the outcome is not as expected, it means there may be an issue with the sensor itself and you’ll need to replace it.

Moreover, if the clothing is dry and the dryer refuses to shut off, it could be due to faults in the sensing system.

How to replace the moisture sensors in a dryer?

Once you have figured out that your moisture sensor needs to be replaced, you can do it yourself or contact a professional to get this work done.

If you are doing it yourself, all you need are basic hardware tools such as a screwdriver and a new moisture sensor (which you can find at any hardware store).

Instructions to replace the moisture sensor in a dryer

Step 1: Disconnect the power to the dryer

First, unplug your dryer and disconnect the exhaust hose.

Disconnecting the power from the dryer is important for safety reasons.

Step 2: Locate the moisture sensor

Next, find the moisture sensor, which is usually in front of the dryer drum near the lint trap.

One way to access it is by simply removing the lint filter and its mounting bracket from the dryer drum.

Likewise, in some dryer types, you will have to detach the outer panels such as the front and top panels along with the control panel frame.

In order to locate the exact position of the moisture sensor, read your dryer’s user manual or contact the manufacturer’s helpline.

Step 3: Detach the lint trap

Pull and remove the lint trap, and now unscrew its mounting bracket to remove it.

Now you will be able to see the two metal bars (moisture sensor) mounted on the bracket, and once you’ve found it, disconnect the wires from the sensors.

Note: As the lint trap is detached along with its mounting bracket, simply clean them before reinstallation.

Step 4: Remove the faulty moisture sensors

Now you can remove the old moisture sensors from their mounting brackets and sensors after cleaning them, place a few damp items in the dryer and run a test cycle.

If it works, then you won’t need to replace them. If that doesn’t work, then simply move to the following steps.

Step 6: Fix the replacement part

Now it’s time to install the new ones by reversing the same steps.

You can simply align the new sensors in their place and gently press them to fix them over the mounting bracket.

Make sure it’s secured properly to the holding points before moving on.

Step 6: Reassemble the dryer

Connect the electrical wires to the sensors and reinstall the lint trap’s mounting bracket in its place.

Follow the steps above in reverse order to put the dryer panels back together if they were taken off.

Finally, reattach the exhaust hose and plug your dryer back in.

Step 7: Test the Dryer

After the installation is complete, you need to test whether the new moisture sensor is functioning properly or not.

To do this, simply place a wet towel or wet clothes in the dryer and run it on a low setting.

If the new moisture sensor is working fine, then the dryer should shut off automatically when the towel or clothes are dry.

If the dryer doesn’t shut off, then there might be an issue with the new sensor or its installation.

In that case, you either need to repeat the installation process or seek professional help.

Final Thoughts

Dryers are constantly exposed to high temperatures and tough working conditions.

Over time, the moisture sensor in your dryer may get damaged for several reasons, such as built-up lint, dirt, and debris.

Fortunately, replacing a moisture sensor is not a difficult task and can be easily done at home with a few tools.

In order to keep it working properly, make sure to clean your dryer regularly and vacuum around the dryer on a regular basis to remove any dust buildup.

Lastly, do not try to self-troubleshoot the issue if you are not confident or comfortable doing this, as it might make the situation worse. Instead, call a professional for help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you run a dryer without the moisture sensor?

Without a moisture sensor, it will be hard for the dryer to tell if the clothes are drying. This will result in undried garments, longer drying cycles, and unsatisfactory outcomes.

Why is my dryer sensor not working?

There can be several reasons why your dryer sensor is not working. The most common reasons are a build-up of waxy residue, dirt, and lint on the sensor bars. In order to deal with this, you can wipe the metal bars using a soft cloth dipped in soapy water.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)