3 Fixes For An Electric Dryer That's Too Hot

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An electric dryer is designed to circulate hot air through wet laundry so as to evaporate moisture from them. If the temperature within the dryer gets too hot, it can damage fabric and cost you more in energy bills. Read on to learn what parts could result in an electric dryer that's too hot.

Obstructed exhaust vent

The most common cause of a dryer that gets too hot is an obstructed exhaust vent. Lint, soot or even clothing can obstruct the vent, cutting off airflow inside the dryer. This often results in temperatures rising above the required level, which can make the cabinet top feel too hot to the touch.

A clogged exhaust vent often causes the high limit thermostat to trip, resulting in very slow drying times. In some cases, the contacts inside the safety thermostat may actually fuse together, allowing for temperatures in the dryer to rise to unsafe levels. To fix this issue, remove whatever debris is clogging the exhaust vent and regularly clean it to improve airflow in the appliance.

Cycling thermostat

Another common culprit for a dryer that's too hot is a defective or obstructed cycling thermostat. This thermostat monitors the temperature in the blower house and cuts off power to the heating element when the air gets too hot.

If the cycling thermostat gets covered by lint, it can lose its ability to sense the correct temperature in the drum, causing the dryer to overheat. Simply remove any insulating debris from the thermostat and see if the problem stops. Next, check that the dryer has enough airflow by removing obstructions in the exhaust vent, drum seals and blower wheel, as limited air can cause the thermostat to cycle prematurely. If none of these fixes stop the dryer from overheating, then the thermostat may be defective and should be replaced.

Defective thermistor

Modern electric dryers are often fitted with a thermistor other than a cycling thermostat to regulate temperatures in the drum. This safety device varies in resistance depending on the temperature, so it can effectively relay the temperature in the dryer drum to an electronic control board which then turns off the heating element at the right temperature.

If damaged or insulated by lint, the thermistor won't register the proper resistance, causing the element to stay on for longer than it should. Clean it and test it for continuity to determine whether it needs replacement. 

If you are unable to fix the problem with the tips provided above, call in an electrician to troubleshoot what may be causing your dryer or thermador appliances to overheat.