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How to repair a dryer that won't stop running

If your dryer won’t stop or your cycle is going way too long, it can be a frustrating experience. But don’t panic. We can help.  

Asurion Experts are trained in and have experience with all major appliance repairs, so they know how to fix a dryer that won’t stop running or is running too long. Here’s their guide to repairing both problems. 

My dryer won't stop running—what's going on?

There are a number of potential causes for a dryer that won't stop running or is running too long. You can resolve some of these issues on your own, but for others, you may need to reach out to an appliance repair pro for help.  

Here are a few of the most common causes for a dryer that runs continuously: 

Broken door switch

The door switch prevents the dryer from running unless the door is completely latched. If your dryer doesn't stop running when you open the door, this component may be the problem.   

First, inspect the door switch for any physical damage. If it appears broken, it will need to be replaced. If no damage is apparent, the problem could also be electrical. If you have experience working with a multimeter, you can unplug the dryer and then test the door switch for a complete electrical circuit. If not, we recommend reaching out to a dryer repair technician for help with the testing and the replacement, as there are many steps involved and it's important you have the right parts.

Timer malfunction

If something goes wrong with the timer, your dryer won't turn off by itself. The timer is normally located on an electronic main control board, or your dryer may have a mechanical timer. Either way, you will likely need to reach out to an appliance repair technician to address the problem.

Broken thermostat

Two thermostats, the cycling thermostat and the cool-down thermostat, both determine how long a dryer runs. A problem with either can result in a machine that won’t stop.

Cycling thermostat

A dryer running constantly may result from issues with the cycling thermostat, especially during the auto-dry cycle. This thermostat adjusts the temperature and time that the dryer runs by sensing the dampness of the laundry. If it isn't working correctly, the timer may not move into the off position, causing the dryer to run continuously.  

To test the cycling thermostat, contact a professional for help.

Cool-down thermostat

The cool-down thermostat is responsible for continuing to tumble clothes when the dry cycle is over to avoid wrinkles. If the cool-down thermostat fails, the dryer may run too long or the dryer won’t turn off unless you open the door. Where the cool-down thermostat is located will depend on your dryer’s make and model—refer to the owner’s manual or check the manufacturer’s website for more information. 

You can check the cool-down thermostat by unplugging your dryer and using a multimeter to check to see if the circuit is working, or contact a dryer repair expert for help. 

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