Tumble Dryer Won’t Dry ? Putting your clothes or sheets in the tumble dryer then finding them as wet at the end of the cycle as they were at the beginning is an unpleasant experience. If a tumble dryer operates and seems to be working but doesn’t actually dry, it must no longer be producing hot air. To work out what to do to remedy the problem, you first need to find out where it’s actually coming from. What follows is a list of the most common causes of this kind of malfunction.
Why Doesn’t Tumble Dryer Dry?
There is a problem with the electrical installation
It’s possible that there is simply no current reaching your electrical socket. It needs to be receiving 230 volts and absolutely must be properly earthed. If the socket is also being used by other appliances, the tumble dryer will struggle to dry your clothes and could break down and stop operating. Check that the socket is working by, for example, plugging a different appliance into it.
Quick reminder: you are strongly advised not to plug large domestic appliances into multi-socket extension leads.
The tumble dryer is not spinning enough
If your tumble dryer isn’t set to spin at a minimum of at least 800 rpm when drying or has a problem achieving the proper speed, it will take much longer to dry your clothes. It may even leave your clothes and linen still wet at the end of the cycle. To get your items as dry as possible, use a spin speed higher than 800 rpm.
The tumble dryer has been placed in a bad location
It is essential to choose a cool, well-aired location for your tumble dryer. Your appliance won’t be able work properly if the temperature of the room in which it’s placed is between 10°C and 35°C. Additionally, and because your tumble dryer draws in cool air from the front, under no circumstances should anything be placed in front of it.
The filter is clogged
If your dryer’s filter is clogged up, the appliance could trip into safety mode and refuse to operate as normal. Check that the filter warning light is not illuminated at all. If it lights up or begins blinking, this is a warning that the filter needs cleaning. A build-up of textile particles can increase your appliance’s power consumption and make the drying cycle take longer to complete. To extend the life of your appliance, clean the filter after each use. Important: never operate your tumble dryer without the filters in place. This could damage the appliance, or even cause it to catch fire due to the fluff and lint coming into contact with the heating element.
The condenser is blocked
Condensers are found only on condenser tumble dryers. They condense the hot, humid air produced by the drum and convert it into water. If the condenser is blocked by dirt or fibres, the air will no longer be able to circulate properly and the appliance will struggle to dry your clothes. We recommend you clean the condenser at least once or twice per month.
The selected programme is unsuitable
If the wrong programme has been selected, this will explain why your appliance is not drying properly. We recommend you choose the drying programme carefully. If you want your clothes very dry, select the ‘cupboard dry’ option and not the ‘iron dry’ or the ‘hanging dry’ options, which will leave your clothes slightly damp.
The drive belt has snapped
The drive belt enables the drum on your tumble dryer to turn. If the belt snaps but your appliance continues operating, it will take an extremely long time to finish drying. Your clothes will also still be damp at the end of the cycle. If the drum fails to turn when the dryer is operating, remove the appliance’s top cover and check the drive belt is properly mounted on the drum.
The heating element is faulty
The heating element heats the air that circulates inside your tumble dryer. Your appliance will likely have two heating element assemblies. If any of them fails, your tumble dryer will not be able to heat up sufficiently. This will cause it to take a long time to dry. You can check the condition of a heating element by verifying that the filaments (or coils) are not broken.
The bearing is worn
If your tumble dryer is equipped with a system that automatically calculates the drying time, a bearing that’s in bad condition could cause problems. The bearing supports the back of the drum. If it’s worn or has deposits of hardened grease on it, this will impede the electrical continuity required for moisture detection. When this happens, the drying cycle will end but your clothes will still be damp when you take them out of the machine. Check the condition of the bearing by removing the appliance’s back panel and examining it, Once you’ve done this, clean it with sandpaper to improve the continuity. If that doesn’t solve the problem, you will need to consider replacing the bearing.
The lambda sensor is dirty
Tumble dryers that automatically calculate the drying time are fitted with a lambda sensor. This takes the form of a metal rod that comes into contact with the clothes and is often located close to the filter at the front of the appliance. If the lambda sensor has become disconnected from the main circuit board (PCB) or has got covered in dirt, the programme may end before your clothes are completely dry. You can clean this sensor by using a piece of very fine sandpaper to remove impurities (such as fabric softener and detergent residues) from its surface.
The temperature sensor is faulty
The temperature sensor enables your tumble dryer to monitor and regulate its internal temperature. If the sensor is faulty, it will provide incorrect temperature information and the appliance will stop operating while your clothes are still damp. You can check this component using a multimeter in ohmmeter mode. To begin with, find where the sensor is located (it will normally be inside the front air duct). Next, disconnect all its connectors and place the meter’s two probes on its two terminals to check for continuity. The sensor needs to have open continuity. You can also check the temperature sensor located on the heating element, at the rear of your appliance.
The drain pump is blocked
On tumble dryers, the drain pump serves to evacuate the water produced through condensation. If it’s clogged or jammed, this will cause the safety float to trip. If this happens, the drain pump will try to evacuate the water, and if the appliance is unable to do this, it will prevent the drying programme from running. The items inside the appliance will therefore be left damp. The safety mechanism can also be triggered if the water tank gets too full, in which case you need to empty it. If the drain pump is faulty, you will have to replace it.
The main circuit board (PCB) is defective
The circuit board manages all your tumble dryer’s functions (i.e. motor, heating, etc.). If everything else detailed above has been checked, it may be that the circuit board needs replacing. You can either do this yourself or call on the services of a manufacturer-approved engineer.