How Do I Know If My Dryer Fuse Is Blown?

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What is a thermal fuse?

Most of the modern appliances necessarily have a thermal fuse. The Federal Law mandates that all the manufacturers of dryers comply with the safety and prevention standards and include this fuse.

A thermal fuse typically prevents the devices from heating up quickly, which in turn prevents fire hazards. 

Your dryer – and all other heating or cooling appliances – has a set maximum temperature. After reaching that temperature, the device has to stop, to prevent overheating and burning. A thermal fuse maintains this temperature. 

Given the critical and inevitable role of a thermal fuse, it cannot be stressed enough that the thermal fuse should always be in proper working condition.

If you feel that your device is not heating up or is overheating, avoid using it altogether until the thermal fuse is checked and replaced. 

Symptoms – some key indicators

Very few people check the thermal fuse of their dryers periodically. We all should know how to pick up certain indications when the thermal fuse needs to be checked and replaced. 

The symptoms indicating a burnt fuse vary according to the model of dryer. For example, the indication of a Whirlpool dryer not working would be that it will completely stop running. However, the dryer of some other brand might still run but won’t dry clothes because the heat is not generated due to burnt fuse.  

When your clothes are constantly coming out wet or damp, and the drum is still rotating, it means that the heating has stopped due to problems in the thermal fuse. 

What to do? 

  • The first and the foremost step for checking whether the thermal fuse has blown out is to unplug the appliance. Ensure that the appliance is not connected to any electrical outlet before you explore anything further. 
  • Also, do not mess around with your appliance if it is still on the warranty – no matter how minor the fault is. Attempting to repair any appliance under warranty goes against the rules of a warranted appliance. In such cases, it is better to contact the manufacturer and let them have a look. 
  • Different models of dryers have different placement of thermal fuse. So, you would have to look for it and then access it. 

Accessing the Thermal Fuse on your dryer 

Mostly, you can find the thermal fuse on the rear of the appliance near the exhaust duct. It means that the back panel has to be removed to access the thermal fuse.

These fuses are roughly about an inch of white plastic and have two wires attached to them. Before you can examine a thermal fuse, you will have to disconnect both the wires 

How to check if the fuse is blown?

Bypass Method 

It might be one of the simplest methods of checking if the thermal fuse is burnt out or not. It is called the bypass method because it requires you to bypass the function of thermal fuse and see if the appliance is still working.

You will have to take out the thermal fuse and then run the dryer. If the appliance heats up fine, it means that the thermal fuse has blown out.

Nevertheless, it is also important to state that this method can be dangerous. One might forget about the burnt-out fuse and continue using the dryer until it results in the appliance breaking down completely or in a fire hazard.

Using a Multimeter 

This method, to check whether a thermal fuse is in working condition or not, is the safest and quickest.

It requires an electric multimeter. You have to remove the wires attached to the fuse and setup the multimeter nearby and touch the two terminals to the corresponding sides of the fuse.

Place the left terminal on the left of the fuse and right one on the right side. Check the reading on your digital multimeter. For the thermal fuse to be in good working condition, the needle on the reader should move and indicate reading to infinity. 

If the needle on the dial does not move, it means that the thermal fuse is burnt out and needs replacement.

How to Troubleshoot 

Troubleshooting a burnt-out fuse is not a big deal. You have to get the same model of fuse and replace it. The important point is to check why the fuse blew out because without fixing the root cause, you might end up with another burnt fuse. 

Replace the fuse and check the exhaust duct for any dirt or residue obstructing the air and causing the thermal fuse to overwork.

Also, often the blower motor fans are the culprit. Failure in the proper functioning of the fans might also be the reason why the thermal fuse had to overwork to maintain the temperature of the appliance. If you are not comfortable with performing the testing above be sure to call a qualified electrician

Takeaway

Appliances need attention and care more than we think. A periodic checkup of all the critical parts of the machine is important for extending their life.

If you fail to get your dryers serviced and maintained, it might not only reduce its life span but also result in a dangerous incident.

If you know what you are doing, then it is best to handle the problems in your appliances by yourself, but if you are unsure about even a tiniest of the thing, then it is always safe to call in the professionals. 

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