7 Reasons Your Dryer Keeps Shutting Off | How To Fix It

It’s extremely frustrating when your dryer keeps shutting off in the middle of a cycle. Just when you start to think it’s working properly, it suddenly shuts off again and it seems like you can’t fix the problem. To prevent this from happening again, you should take the time to identify exactly what the reason for this issue is. Read on to find out what might be causing your dryer to shut off in the middle of a cycle.

The Reason Your Dryer is Shutting Off Mid Cycle

Determining why your dryer is ceasing in the middle of a cycle can be daunting, but with some time and the right tools, you will be able to identify what’s causing it! Gather up a screwdriver and a multimeter for your investigation; these are essential if you want to get down to business. With an hour or two as well as patience and persistence, there’s no reason why you won’t manage this issue successfully.

Why Your Dryer Keeps Shutting Off

1. Problem with Your Power Source

Prior to attempting to diagnose the problem with your dryer, you should first inspect the source of power. If there is an issue with a power outlet, it is likely that a circuit breaker tripped. Additionally, if the wiring has caused a small electrical fire and there appears to be visible damage on your power outlet – this indicates that it may have burned out due to an excessive current flow. Thus, in order for everything to run smoothly again – ensure you get any faulty outlets fixed without delay!

2. Dryer Overheating: Safety Shut-Off

One potential reason why your dryer keeps shutting off is that it is overheating. The overheating of this appliance is usually caused by a buildup of lint. That’s why you should clean the lint filter as soon as possible. Make sure you also continue to clean the filter after each use to prevent this from happening again.

Locating the Thermal Fuse

When your dryer starts overheating, it will trigger a response from the safety shut-off feature known as the thermal fuse. This is a small component found next to the exhaust vent on the dryer. You can reach the thermal fuse by removing the front panel on the appliance. It’s a small component that is only two inches in length and is connected to two wires. If you notice a burning smell coming from the thermal fuse, it means that it’s blown and should be replaced.

You can additionally test this component for continuity with a multimeter to see whether it’s in good condition. To find out how to do this test on a thermal fuse, you should watch the video below.

How To Test A Dryer Thermal Fuse For Continuity

3. Condensation Reservoir Needs Emptying

Some dryers don’t require an exhaust vent because they have a condensation reservoir. In these dryers, the air recirculates between a  water-cooled condensing coil, an electric heater, and an air-cooled condensing coil. In case you have a condensing dryer and it keeps shutting off mid-cycle, it might be a sign that you need to empty the reservoir.

How to Empty the Condensation Reservoir?

It’s essential to remember that the condensation reservoir needs to be emptied after every cycle. It is likely the cause of your dryer ceasing its operations if it hasn’t been cleared out following earlier cycles. The tank should reside near the upper part of your dryer and can easily be removed with a manual action for emptying purposes; simply pour all water into either your toilet or sink before replacing it inside the machine, then start another session!

Watch the video below for a visual guide on how to empty the condensation reservoir in a dryer.

How Do I Empty The Condensation Unit of My Tumble Dryer

4. Faulty Door Switch or Latch

The door switch inside your dryer functions like a safety mechanism. It prevents the dryer from running unless the door is completely shut and the switch registers that. Thanks to the door switch, you can’t get harmed when putting your hand inside a running dryer. If the switch becomes defective, it might not be able to register whether the door is closed or not and may cause your dryer to shut off repeatedly. To check whether the door switch is working, you should test it with a multimeter.

How to Test a Dryer Door Switch

Apart from a multimeter, you should also have a screwdriver handy when you want to test a door switch. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to conduct the test.

  1. Begin by unplugging your appliance from the power source.
  2. Grab a screwdriver and use it to remove all the screws that hold the top panel.
  3. Remove the top panel.
  4. You will now notice a small plastic box in the corner that’s attached to a wiring harness. This is the dryer door switch.
  5. Remove the component from the dryer.
  6. Take your multimeter and set it to the lowest ohm setting.
  7. Connect its leads to the terminals of the door switch.
  8. In case you get a reading of an extremely high number or infinity, it means that the switch needs to be replaced.

Watch the video below to find out more information on how to test a dryer door switch for continuity.

Dryer Not Starting - How to Test the Door Switch

5. Faulty Moisture Sensor

As the name implies, this sensor is designed to detect the moisture level of your clothes. Upon detecting that they are dry, it will end the cycle – yet if faulty, you won’t get such a prompt ending! This component can usually be found near the lint trap or on the back wall of your drum; its distinguishable shape appears as two metal strips side by side. With just a glance at this key element, you’ll have an idea of whether or not it’s malfunctioning.

Watch the video below to find out how to replace the moisture sensor in your dryer.

Samsung Dryer Moisture Sensor Replacement #DC61-02627A

6. Dryer Motor Overheating

Lint buildup is a primary trigger for overheating not only the entire dryer unit but also its individual parts, most notably the drive motor. You should inspect both your vent and motor for any lint stuck within them to confirm that this is indeed what’s causing your issue. If it isn’t, there could be something wrong with the motor itself which requires professional replacement in order to get everything up and running again.

You can check the motor to see if it’s hot after the dryer stops spinning. To do this, you’ll need to remove the front panel, top panel, and drum. The motor is located underneath the drum. In case you have a defective motor, I recommend you call a repair technician to fix or replace it since doing it yourself can be quite complicated.

7. Broken Drive Belt

Struggling with a dryer that keeps shutting off? This could indicate that the drive belt inside your appliance has been compromised. To verify this in no more than sixty seconds, simply open the dryer door and attempt to rotate the drum by hand. If it moves freely without any resistance, then you’ll know for sure that replacing the broken belt is in order! Fortunately, finding a good quality replacement won’t require much of an investment – typically only $25. Take action today so you can get back to doing laundry stress-free as soon as possible!

Replacing a Drive Belt

Although you can call a repair technician to replace the drive belt for you, this is an easy fix that won’t take up too much of your time. You also don’t need experience with fixing appliances to replace a drive belt. Follow the guide below to replace this component in less than 30 minutes:

  1. Grab a screwdriver and use it to remove all the screws that hold the front and top panels on your appliances.
  2. After you unscrew the screws, you should carefully remove the two panels.
  3. You will now see the drive belt. It is wrapped around the dryer drum.
  4. Remove the belt with your hands.
  5. Install the new belt in place of the original.
  6. Reassemble the appliance and check whether the issue has been fixed.

Dryer Brands Covered In This Article

If your dryer keeps shutting off, you can use the methods described above to fix the problem in all models made by popular dryer brands. The brands covered in this article include Kenmore, LG, Whirlpool, Samsung, Maytag, Bosch, and more.

FAQs Dryer Keeps Stopping Mid Cycle

Appliance Service Technician | Website | + posts

Andy has over 8 years of experience working on residential household appliances, performing diagnostics, and repairs across most major brands. He graduated from the Denver Institute of Technology, is NASTeC certified, and has worked for Mr. Appliance. Andy has contributed to features on major publications including Better Home & Gardens, Family Handyman, and Yahoo.com.