If your dryer keeps shutting off after only a few minutes during a cycle, it can be frustrating and disrupt your laundry routine. However, this comprehensive guide will help you identify the potential causes behind this issue and guide you through step-by-step instructions on how to address them.
By diagnosing and resolving the problem, you can ensure your dryer operates smoothly and efficiently.
1. Faulty Power Supply
The best place to start is to make sure a faulty circuit breaker isn’t causing the problem. If the circuit breaker is faulty, it might turn your dryer off while it’s operating.
To rule out the circuit breaker as the cause of the problem, ensure it hasn’t tripped and you have a dedicated circuit for your dryer since it uses so much energy. If required, you will need to get an electrician to repair your home’s electricity setup. If the circuit breaker isn’t the cause of the problem, you will need to check the drum belt (see below).
2. Faulty Drum Belt
A broken or faulty drive belt is another common reason a dryer shuts off prematurely. The drive belt helps the dryer drum rotate with the idler and motor pulley. If the belt is damaged, the dryer won’t function correctly.
To inspect and repair the drive belt, follow these steps:
- Disconnect the power to the dryer.
- Gently pull the dryer out from the wall so you can safely dismantle it.
- Remove the top panel by unscrewing the holding screws and gently unclipping it.
- Take off the front panel by unthreading its screws, allowing access to the drive belt and pulleys.
- Examine the drive belt for signs of wear or breakage. If damaged or broken, it will need to be replaced. If the belt has moved out of position, you can attempt to adjust it, but if that doesn’t work, you will need to replace it.
- Next, check the idler pulley and motor pulleys for wear and tear. If damaged, they will need to be replaced along with the belt. If the belt and pulleys are not damaged or broken, you will need to investigate further the cause of your dryer shutting off.
Here’s how to replace the drum belt and the pulleys:
- Release the drum bearing by pulling the belt up.
- Remove the front guide from the dryer and slide the drum slightly to reach the back of the drum. You should then be able to remove the old drive belt.
- Install the new drive belt, ensuring the groove side is against the drum.
- Reattach the drive belt. Ensure it’s positioned like the old one, including through the pulleys.
- Adjust the tension on the idler pulley to ensure the belt is securely placed.
- Reassemble the dryer and test it to confirm if the problem is resolved. If your dryer still shuts off after a few minutes, you must investigate the cause further.
3. Faulty Dryer Motor
If the dryer motor overheats, it can lead to automatic shut-off after a few minutes. An overheating motor might eventually fail, and you may hear buzzing noises coming from it.
To test and, if necessary, replace the motor, follow these steps:
- Disconnect the power and move the dryer away from the wall.
- If applicable, remove the lower access panel to access the motor.
- Take off the lint filter and unscrew the two screws beneath it.
- Remove the top panel of the dryer.
- Disconnect the door switch wire harness and remove the door switch from the dryer.
- Unthread the belt from the idler pulley and remove the idler pulley from its mounting bracket.
- Extract the drum from the dryer cabinet, leaving the drive belt in place.
- Disconnect the wires from the motor and loosen the blower wheel.
- Test the motor with a multimeter for continuity. If defective, you must purchase and install a new motor. If the motor is working correctly, you will need to investigate the cause of the problem further.
- You can install the new motor by removing the faulty one from the dryer and then securely attaching a new one.
- Reassemble the dryer and test if the issue is resolved. If your dryer still shuts off after a few minutes, you must investigate the cause further.
4. Faulty Door Latch
A worn-out door latch can cause the dryer door to open during operation, leading to automatic shut-off. The latch must be replaced if your door opens while the dryer is operating. Thankfully, replacing the door latch is a simple repair you should be able to do yourself as long as you can find the correct replacement part. Check the moisture sensor if your door latch isn’t faulty (see instructions below).
To replace the door latch, follow these steps:
- Ensure the dryer is turned off.
- Remove the hinges and all screws from the door to disassemble it.
- Use pliers to remove the old door latch.
- Install the new door latch and reassemble the door.
- Reattach the door to the dryer and plug it in to test if the issue is resolved. Reassemble the dryer and test if the issue is resolved. If your dryer still shuts off after a few minutes, you must investigate the cause further.
5. Faulty Moisture Sensor
The moisture sensor monitors the dryer’s moisture levels and communicates with the control board. If it becomes faulty, it may incorrectly signal the dryer to shut off, thinking the laundry is dry.
To check and replace the moisture sensor, follow these steps:
- Disconnect the power and pull the dryer away from the wall.
- Remove the top panel and unplug the wiring harness from the control board.
- Remove the control panel.
- Remove the screws holding the lint screen housing onto the front panel and close the door.
- Use pliers to dislodge the locking tab on the front panel, remove the screws, unplug the wiring harness on the door, and remove the front panel.
- Remove the wiring harness attached to the moisture sensor.
- Remove the mounting plate with pliers and take out the moisture sensor.
- Test the moisture sensor with a multimeter for continuity. If defective, replace the sensor. If it passes the test, you will need to get a technician to come and inspect your dryer.
- Install the new moisture sensor and reassemble the dryer.
- Plug in the dryer and test if the problem has been resolved. If your dryer still shuts off after a few minutes, you will need to get a technician to inspect your dryer.