Almost all dryers sold these days have a thermal fuse installed in them. The purpose of the thermal fuse is to prevent fires from developing by turning your dryer off when it overheats.
If your thermal fuse blows, it will need to be replaced. Thankfully, it is not a very expensive component, and if you have some knowledge of appliances, you can install a new one yourself. If your thermal fuse is blown, you should not use your dryer until a new one is installed, as it is an important safety device.
If your thermal fuse is blowing regularly, this is a good sign that something else is wrong with your dryer or you are not taking proper care of it. But before we discuss how to keep your thermal fuse from blowing in the future, let’s start by letting you know how you can check if your thermal fuse is blown and how to replace it if it is.
How to Test a Thermal Fuse
Testing the thermal fuse is quite a straightforward exercise. However, you should only attempt to test it if you have some knowledge of repairing appliances and you have and know how to operate a multimeter.
If so, you can test the thermal fuse by following these instructions:
- Ensure that the power to the dryer is turned off.
- Make sure that the gas is turned off to the dryer if it is a gas dryer.
- Locate the thermal fuse. It is one to two inches long and is located on the exhaust duct (consult your user manual if necessary). You will have to remove some of the dryer sides and/or top panels to access it.
- Once located, disconnect the thermal fuse from the wires that are plugged into it.
- Once the wires are removed, you can use your multimeter to test the thermal fuse for continuity.
- If the test shows that the thermal fuse has continuity, it means it is working correctly, and you can move on to checking the next component. However, if the test shows no continuity, this will confirm that your thermal fuse is faulty/blown and needs to be replaced (see below).
Dryer Thermal Fuse Replacement
Once you have confirmed that the thermal fuse has blown, the next thing to do is to purchase the correct replacement part. All of the major dryer manufacturers, such as Maytag, Samsung, Whirlpool, and LG, make and sell replacement thermal fuses and they thankfully don’t cost a lot of money.
To replace the thermal fuse, you need to:
- Make sure that the power supply to your dryer is turned off.
- If you haven’t already, you will need to remove the top and/or side panels of the dryer so you can access the thermal fuse.
- Once located, remove the thermal fuse by unthreading the mounting screws that hold it in place, and then disconnect the wires that are attached to it.
- Attach the wires into the new thermal fuse, and then attach it in place in the dryer. Thread the screws back in to ensure it stays in place.
- Put the dryer panels back on.
- Reconnect the dryer back up to the power.
- Turn your dryer on and test if it now works. Hopefully, at this point, the dryer is now working again. To ensure that the thermal fuse doesn’t blow again, please read our tips below.
How to Stop the Thermal Fuse from Blowing Again
The main reason that a thermal fuse will blow is a blocked exhaust vent. This is because when the exhaust vent is blocked hot air cannot properly get distributed out of the dryer and this causes it to overheat. So, if you give the exhaust vent a regular clean, it should stop the thermal fuse from blowing again. You can also keep your thermal fuse from blowing by regularly cleaning out the lint trap/filter.
To clean the vent out:
- Locate the dryer exhaust vent. You will need to pull the dryer out from the wall or its cabinet to be able to access it.
- Disconnect the vent from the dryer duct (it might have a clamp on it that you’ll need to loosen).
- Clean out the exhaust vent by vacuuming it out with your home vacuum cleaner. You can also use a long-handled brush if you don’t want to use your vacuum cleaner.
- Reconnect the vent to the dryer.
- Remember to clean the vent out regularly (how often depends on how often you use your dryer and what your user manual recommends).