Most of the time, a thermal fuse is close to the heating element, burner, blower housing, or exhaust vent. However, the location may vary depending on the model, size, and type of your dryer (electrical or gas).
To replace the thermal fuse:
- Disconnect the power, and exhaust vent supplies from the dryer.
- Move the dryer carefully away from the back wall so you can reach and remove the back panel.
- Disconnect the wire harness from the thermal fuse and take it off its mounting bracket.
- Next, place the new thermal fuse and reverse the steps to reassemble the dryer.
- The last step is to move the washer to its original location and reconnect all the supplies. Plug in the dryer to the power source and run a test cycle to make sure it is working like before.
- The thermal fuse can be found in gas as well as electric dryers.
- It’s a small tube-like component that prevents clothes dryers from overheating, which can cause fire hazards.
- A blown thermal fuse halts the heating element from generating heat in the machine. In some cases, it may halt the entire dryer.
- It’s important to check if the dryer is still under warranty before attempting to replace the thermal fuse.
- Before replacing the fuse, it’s always a good idea to test it first to confirm that it is blown.
- If you’re not comfortable replacing the thermal fuse on your own, always call a technician for assistance.
What is a thermal fuse in clothes dryers?
A thermal fuse is a small tube-like device that is used to protect clothes dryers from overheating.
It is a safety device that cuts off the power when the dryer becomes too hot.
Moreover, thermal fuses are one-time-use devices and must be replaced when they blow.
So, in a nutshell, a thermal fuse prevents the dryer from starting up again until it has cooled down, which protects your home from fire.
You will need to unplug the dryer and wait for it to cool down before you can restart it.
With that said, a blown fuse needs to be replaced.
Where is a thermal fuse located?
You can locate a thermal fuse at the back of the dryer.
Once you disassemble the back panel of your dryer, you may find it located near the heating element or near the exhaust vent.
That being said, the location of a thermal fuse may vary depending on the model and size of the dryer.
Most of the time, a thermal fuse is near the burner, on the housing of the blower or heating element, or near the exhaust vent.
If you aren’t sure where the fuse is located in your dryer, look in the user manual.
Symptoms of a damaged or blown thermal fuse
Here are some of the common and typical symptoms of a blown-out or damaged thermal fuse.
Dryer won’t start
This is a typical symptom of a blown thermal fuse. Once the fuse trips, it will cut off power to the heating element or entirely to the dryer. As a result, the dryer won’t start in the first place.
Dryer takes too long to dry clothes
In some cases, the dryer will give you the impression that it’s working but it will take forever to dry your clothes.
A problematic thermal fuse will not allow the dryer to run the dry cycle according to the settings selected by you.
Therefore it is common for your clothes to come out wet even after the dry cycle has finished.
Heating element won’t work
This is another common symptom of a blown or damaged thermal fuse. The dryer will run but not heat up, which means that the clothes will not dry.
Why does the thermal fuse blow?
When a thermal fuse blows, it means that the dryer has overheated.
This can be caused by a number of things, such as a blocked vent, overloading the dryer, poor maintenance, or a faulty heating element.
In fact, using your dryer for too long can also cause it to overheat, which can blow the fuse.
Furthermore, power surges are another factor that can lead to a blown thermal fuse in some cases.
How to test a thermal fuse in a dryer?
Once you have located the thermal fuse, you will need to test it for continuity.
In order to test the continuity of a thermal fuse, you will need a multimeter.
Simply touch the probes of the multimeter to the leads on the thermal fuse and check the reading.
If the reading shows 0 ohms of resistance, then the fuse is good.
If the needle in your multimeter does not move, then the thermal fuse is either blown or damaged.
Alternatively, you may validate a faulty thermal fuse by temporarily bypassing it.
In order to do this, you can remove its two wires and then connect it directly with a jumper wire.
If the dryer runs and heats as expected, it means all the components are working as expected except the thermal fuse.
How to replace a thermal fuse on a dryer?
Here are the step-by-step instructions to replace a damaged or blown thermal switch.
Step 1: Unplug the dryer
Start by unplugging the dryer and disconnecting the drain, and the exhaust vent.
Step 2: Disassemble the back panel
Move the dryer away from the back wall to gain better access to the back panel.
Now, unscrew the retaining screws to remove the back panel and keep it aside.
Step 3: Locate the thermal fuse
The location of the thermal fuse may vary depending on the type of dryer and model.
For example, if you are using an electric dryer, the location of the thermal fuse will be on the blower housing or near the heating element in most cases.
Likewise, the thermal fuse on gas dryers is usually located on the blower housing or near the burner.
So, once the panel is removed, look for a tiny, tube-like component that will appear burnt and blackened (if it is blown).
Step 4: Remove the old thermal fuse
First, remove the wires from the thermal fuse. Then, remove the mounting screw using a screwdriver
Next, remove the fuse from the blower housing and keep it aside.
Step 5: Test the Thermal Fuse
Before replacing a thermal fuse, it’s important that you test it first to be sure it’s actually the problem.
To test the thermal fuse, touch the probes of the multimeter to the leads of the thermal fuse and check the reading.
If there is resistance shown, it means the fuse is normal, and if the needle does not move, it means the fuse is faulty and requires replacement.
Step 6: Replace the thermal fuse
Now, take the new thermal fuse and place it in the blower housing.
Fix the replacement thermal fuse and connect the wires correctly.
Step 5: Reassemble the dryer
Reassemble the dryer by reversing the steps.
Then, move the washer back to its original place and run a test cycle to make sure it works like before.
A thermal fuse is a vital and mandatory component in any dryer.
It is a thin strip of metal that is located near the heating element, and its main purpose is to prevent any fire hazard by shutting down the power to the heating element as soon as it detects excess heat.
In most cases, the thermal fuse blows due to overheating, if the venting is restricted, or if the dryer isn’t operating properly.
While it is not a common occurrence, thermal fuses may blow occasionally.
When this happens, you can follow the steps above to replace it with a new one.
Replacing a thermal fuse can be done at home using basic hardware tools, or you can contact a professional appliance repairman for help.
If you are doing it yourself, just make sure to unplug the dryer before you start working on it and take all the necessary safety precautions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you repair a blown thermal fuse?
A blown thermal fuse cannot be repaired or reset, so if it has blown, you will need a replacement. Thermal fuses are inexpensive and easy to find at most hardware stores.
How to bypass a thermal fuse on a dryer?
You can bypass a thermal fuse by taping the two wires that go to the thermal fuse together for a temporary period. But this is not a good idea because it bypasses the safety feature of the dryer. So, it should be done for testing purposes only.
Do all dryers use the same thermal fuse?
The size and shape of the thermal fuse may vary depending on the model and the size of your dryer. However, the working principle is the same for all dryers.
How do I know if my dryer’s thermal fuse has blown?
First, look at the symptoms of a blown thermal fuse. In most cases, the dryer won’t start and it will have a hard time heating up. In fact, in some cases, it won’t start at all. If that’s the case, test the thermal fuse using a multimeter. If you don’t have one, you can bypass the fuse temporarily by taping the two wires together.
Can I replace a blown thermal fuse myself?
Ideally, a professional who has expertise in repairing home appliances should be consulted. You should only attempt to replace the thermal fuse if you are thorough with electrical stuff. Without proper care, attempting to do this yourself could result in serious injury.
How can I prevent my dryer’s thermal fuse from blowing?
Make sure that the venting system is transparent and not restricted. Furthermore, get your dryer serviced in a timely manner by a professional technician. This will help to ensure that the dryer is operating properly and that any potential problems are found and fixed before they cause the fuse to blow.
How much does a thermal fuse cost?
A thermal fuse for a clothes dryer may cost anywhere between $4 and $15. With that said, the cost may vary after including the labor charges for fixing it.
Where can you buy a replacement thermal fuse?
You can buy a replacement thermal fuse at most hardware stores or from online retailers that sell appliance parts. Be sure to get one that’s designed for your particular model of dryer.
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