Q:

What causes a clothes dryer to overheat?

A:

Quick Answer

Restricted airflow, a malfunctioning cycling thermostat or a misaligned heating element can cause a clothes dryer to overheat. Regular cleaning of the filter and vent is necessary to prevent overheating caused by restricted airflow.

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Full Answer

To determine whether the dryer is properly ventilated, remove and empty the air filter, clean the slot that houses the filter with a vacuum hose attachment, and examine the exhaust duct that vents the dryer into the outdoors. Turn the dryer on, and check the air flow from the dryer by examining the outdoor duct opening. If the air flow is reduced, remove and clean the exhaust tubing. The tubing should be cleaned regularly to prevent overheating.

The cycling thermostat is located inside the dryer, near the heating element. If the cycling thermostat is not working properly, the heating element can overheat. To test the cycling thermostat, remove the connections between the thermostat and the heating element, and use a multimeter to test the cycling thermostat. If the results of the multimeter reading are not zero, or close to zero, replace the cycling thermostat.

When the heating element is moved from its original position, the temperature inside the dryer can change significantly. For instance, if the heating element is too close to the drum, the temperature inside the dryer increases. Do not allow the heating element to touch any other components inside the dryer to prevent overheating or other issues.

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