How to replace the Thermostat in a Dryer? (In-depth guide)

A thermostat can be accessed from the back of the dryer.

In order to replace the thermostat:

  • Disconnect the power and other supplies, then remove the back panel.
  • You should now see a small black box (thermostat) near the heating element connected with wires running to it.
  • Unscrew the thermostat from its housing and then remove the connected wires.
  • Replace it with the new one.
  • Now reverse the steps to disassemble everything back and run a test cycle.

Key Takeaways

  • Thermostats are temperature-measuring tools equipped in most dryers to prevent them from overheating.
  • The function of a Thermostat is to simply cut off (or switch off) the power supply to the heating element as the temperature rises above the set level. Likewise, it resumes the power supply back to the heating element when cooled or as required.
  • In most cases, thermostats are located on the blower wheel housing, inside the exhaust system, or somewhere along the air path leaving the drum.
  • A thermostat is usually attached to a dryer by two screws. So, you will need to unscrew the faulty thermostat, remove it and then put a new thermostat in place. Next, secure it with two screws to complete the installation process.
  • Read the dryer’s user manual carefully before performing any troubleshooting.
  • Always check if the dryer is still covered under warranty as self-troubleshooting may void the warranty.

What is a thermostat in a dryer?

A thermostat is a small device that is responsible for monitoring and controlling the temperature of your dryer while it is in use.

So, in layman’s terms, a thermostat in a dryer is like a temperature-measuring tool.

If the temperature gets too high, the thermostat will turn the power off to the heating element.

Likewise, when the temperature comes under control or as per the set command, the thermostat will then automatically switch on the power to the heating element.

Your clothes may not dry properly if you have a faulty thermostat.

In a worst-case scenario, it can also lead to damage to your clothing due to excess heat or even cause a fire.

This is because a faulty thermostat will not be able to regulate or measure the temperature of the hot air flowing inside the dryer.

Types of thermostats used in clothes dryers

There are two types of thermostats in a dryer, i.e., cycling thermostats and high-limit thermostats.

Let’s take a quick look into both types of thermostats in detail.

Cycling Thermostat

The heating element is turned on and off by a cycling thermostat so that the temperature stays within the limit.

This prevents your clothes from getting too hot and being damaged.

Thermal Overload Cut-out

This type of thermostat works by breaking the heating circuit automatically when the dryer overheats. Furthermore, they do not automatically reset themselves.

The main thing with this type of thermostat is that, even if it breaks the circuit, the dryer will continue to tumble, but it will not heat.

How does the thermostat wear out?

There are several reasons why a thermostat can wear out or be damaged, including normal wear and tear, wiring issues, short circuits, dust accumulation, and accidental damage.

The thermostat can also break if it is exposed to extreme temperatures or if there is any physical impact.

If the thermostat is not working correctly, it is important to have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your dryer.

How to replace a dryer’s thermostat?

Here’s how to replace a dryer’s thermostat.

Step 1: Disconnect power and other supplies

Unplug the dryer from the power outlet and disconnect other supplies to move the washer aside.

This will allow you to gain better access to its back panel.

Step 2: Detach the dryer’s panel

Simply unscrew the back panel to separate it from the dryer.

In some cases, you may have to remove the control panel as well as the upper panel.

This is usually applicable to a few top-load dryers.

Step 3: Locate and remove the thermostat

Depending on the type of dryer you have, you can find the thermostat by looking in the user manual.

You should see a black box, i.e., the thermostat near the heating element with wires running to it.

There are metal slip-on connectors used to connect the thermostat wires. So, you will need to unscrew the thermostat from its housing and then remove the connected wires.

Step 4: Test the thermostat before replacing

To be sure if the thermostat is faulty, simply test it before the replacement.

The continuity can be tested with a multimeter.

How to test a thermostat in a dryer?

There are a few different ways that you can test your dryer thermostat.

Step 1: Run a test cycle

Without detaching the dryer’s parts, one way to test the thermostat is to simply turn on your dryer and let it run on a regular cycle.

Now, feel the outside of the dryer drum. The temperature should be warm, but not too hot.

After the cycle is complete, check if the clothes have dried evenly.

If you notice that the dryer is working as usual but unable to generate heat, it means either the thermostat has gone bad or the thermal fuse has gone bad.

Step 2: Test for continuity with a multimeter

Simply locate the two terminals on the thermostat. In most cases, they will be labeled “L” and “T.”

The next step is to use a multimeter to test for continuity between the two terminals.

If there is continuity, i.e., if the reading shows as either zero or infinity, then the thermostat is working properly.

You will need a new thermostat if there is no continuity.

Step 5: Replace the faulty thermostat

Remove the faulty thermostat and install the replacement in its housing.

Correctly connect the wires to the new thermostat, and then put the dryer’s back panel back on.

Step 6: Run a test cycle

Reconnect the duct supplies to the dryer, and turn on the power supply.

Load a few washed and damp garments into the dryer’s tub.

Now, start a test cycle and feel the warmth near the dryer’s area as the first point of inspection.

Once the cycle is complete, check if the clothes have come out dry like before.

replace thermostat in dryer

Final Thoughts

The dryer’s temperature is controlled by the thermostat.

If the thermostat isn’t working right, the dryer won’t heat up, so the clothes won’t dry as usual.

A broken thermostat may not stop your dryer from running, but it will definitely stop the clothes from drying.

If you want to replace the thermostat, it’s best to test it first because it’s possible that the thermostat itself is fine but that other parts, like an internal wire, are broken.

Always look in the user manual for your type of dryer to find out where the thermostats are and how to find a good replacement if one breaks.

If you are unsure of anything during the replacement process, do not proceed just for the sake of trying out something new. Instead, call a repairman or a professional service person to help you do the job.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose a replacement thermostat?

There are a few things to consider when choosing a replacement thermostat for your dryer. You’ll need to know the model number of your dryer, and this information can usually be found on the back of the dryer or in the owner’s manual. Once you have the model number, you can either check online to find the right and compatible thermostat with that model or simply call the manufacturer’s helpline.

What is the cost of a dryer thermostat?

To be sure, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to dryer thermostats. The price of a thermostat will depend on the model and brand of dryer that you buy. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $50 in some cases, and for a more high-end model, you may end up paying closer to $100.

Do all dryers use the same type of thermostat?

Dryers come in different capacities and types. So, not all dryers use the same type of thermostat.

How long does the thermostat last?

The dryer’s thermostat can last for up to ten years or longer, depending on the frequency of its use. To keep your dryer working well, it’s a good idea to have it serviced on a regular basis. 

How do I know if the thermostat is faulty?

You will need a multimeter to test the thermostat and figure out if it is working or not. Start by setting the multimeter to read ohms. Then, place the probes on the wire terminals and monitor the outcome. If the needle in the multimeter does not move, it means the thermostat is faulty. On the other hand, if the needle moves and reads either zero or infinity, it means the thermostat is working and the fault may be with something else.

Do I have to remove the thermostat for inspection?

You might not need to take the thermostat off of your dryer, but you do need to take off the back panel. This will give you access to the thermostat, so you can test it with the multimeter.

What does a thermostat look like?

After you detach the back panel of your dryer, you will see a small metal box (black in color) near the heating element with two or more wires running through it.

What is the difference between a thermostat and a thermal fuse?

A dryer thermostat is a switch that cuts off power to the dryer when the drum gets too hot. A thermal fuse is a safety device that blows itself if the air flowing through the dryer gets too hot. If your dryer has a thermal fuse, it will cut off power to the dryer when the air temperature gets too high.

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)