Why won’t my dryer turn off?

Posted by Alexandra Ulici on 3/21/2018 to Dryer
Why won’t my dryer turn off?

Repairing a dryer that won’t shut off may be discouraging, but fixing your own appliance is much easier than you may think! The hardest part of this process is figuring out what part of your dryer is causing the problem. We’ve created a list of the most common parts that would be causing your dryer to not shut off.

Door Switch

The dryer door switch prevents the dryer from running when the door is open. It is possible that your dryer will not tumble because the signal that the door is actually open is not being sent. For most dryer brands, the switch is located behind the front panel and near the dryer door frame. After locating the door switch, you can unplug the dryer and use a multi-meter to check for continuity. Test between the terminals marked “C” and “NO” and should read infinite ohms when the door is open, if it does not, you will need to replace the door switch.


Heating Element

The dryer heating element produces the heat necessary for the drying cycle. To check if this part is the problem, check for proper operating temperature from the heating system. If the dryer is set for the auto cycle, the temperature must reach the level of the operating thermostat in order for the timer motor to advance.



The dryer timer monitors the length of each dryer cycle and controls the electrical components of the dryer. A defective timer motor can cause the timer motor to fail and the timer will need to be replaced, or a defect in the timer’s electronic contacts. The contact can be checked again by using a multi-meter and checking for continuity.


Power Resistor / Thermostat

Timed Dry and Automatic are the two basic settings for a dryer timer. If your timer is advancing to the Timed Dry cycle but not the Automatic cycle selection, then the resistor or the thermostat may be the problem. The first setting, Timed Dry cycle uses a large power resistor that passes power to the timer at a given time which allows it to advance to the next cycle. If the resistor is not working then you need to replace it. The dryer thermostat performs the same way as the resistor and if it also fails, it will need to be replaced. You can figure out which design goes with your appliance but researching the model number. 

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