If your dryer suddenly shut off mid-cycle and now will not turn on again, or turns on but does not produce heat, you may be looking at a blown thermal fuse. While a dryer that won’t start or won’t produce heat can be caused by a myriad of different issues, the key factor in a blown fuse is that it stopped mid-cycle.
The thermal fuse became mandatory in dryers as a safety mechanism. The fuse is designed so that if the dryer gets too hot, the fuse will trip and shut off dryers. In most, this ceases all function. However, in some dryers, this may only cut the heating element. Like many fuses, the thermal fuse in your dryer is a one-time use. Once tripped, it needs to be replaced to restore function.
Thankfully, a thermal fuse is really rather easy to replace. Before making the repair, however, you will need to look up what type of thermal fuse your particular model of dryer uses. Thermal fuses are not one size fits all, and you need to have the specific fuse that your model of dryer uses.
Once a replacement has been retrieved, start by unplugging your dryer and removing the back panel. The thermal fuse will be located somewhere by the exhaust vent on your dryer. You will be able to visually identify it by the two wires connecting to it. Removing the front of the dryer and removing the drum might be easier to access the fuse’s location.
Once located, gently wiggle the two wire connectors free and unscrew the thermal fuse. Without the wires or screw attached, the fuse should come out easily. Now position your replacement fuse and secure it with the screw. After connecting the two wires, you can reassemble your dryer and do a test run.
Understand that something caused the fuse to open up, so check your dryer vent and keep it as clean and as short as possible to the outside. Other components may be ready to fail as well so take the time to clean out your dryer and inspect the condition of everything inside.
While replacing a thermal fuse is pretty quick, always remember that it was tripped for a reason. You may want to contact a repair technician to quickly get down to the root cause of a blown thermal fuse in your dryer.