Dryers are essential household appliances that effectively dry clothes by using heat by blowing hot air through a rotating drum. However, they sometimes encounter issues preventing them from functioning properly, such as blown thermal fuses.
A thermal fuse is a used safety device or component that shuts off the dryer if it overheats to prevent a fire hazard. A blown thermal fuse can cause your dryer to malfunction, and identifying the issue can be tricky, especially if you’re unaware of the warning signs.
In this article, we’ll discuss the following:
- Visible signs that tell your thermal fuse is blown
- Guide on how to test your thermal fuse
- How to replace your thermal fuse
Read on to learn all of these!
Visible Signs to Tell Your Thermal Fuse Is Blown
If you suspect that your appliance’s thermal fuse is blown, here are some of most common cause visible signs to look out for:
In the event of a short circuit, the thermal fuse may blow to protect other components in the circuit. You may notice a sudden loss of power. Typically, electrical faults happen when the electrical current strays from its intended path, creating an overload in nearby wires. This occurs due to insufficient resistance from things like insulation or circuit breakers.
A ground fault can also cause the thermal fuse to blow. Check for unplugged or damaged appliances that may have caused a ground fault. If there’s a ground or overheating fault, it’s important to avoid touching any surrounding outlets or devices as they could shock you. Instead, you should avoid the affected area and seek help from a local emergency electrician.
Damaged Electrical Outlets
If your electrical outlets are damaged or faulty, it can cause a thermal fuse to blow. You should inspect your outlets and replace any damaged or worn-out ones. A damaged outlet may have burn marks, melting, chips, cracks, or feel warm. If you think your outlet is damaged, it’s best to have a professional inspect it.
Frayed or damaged wires can also cause a thermal fuse to blow. Check for damages in the wiring and replace them if necessary. Check for dimming lights, discoloration, or smoke, and feel for warmth or vibration on your wall outlets.
An overloaded circuit can put excessive heat and pressure on the thermal fuse and cause it to blow. If you have too many devices connected to one circuit, try disconnecting some of them and see if that makes a difference.
Wrong Fuse Type
An overloaded circuit can put excessive pressure on the thermal fuse and cause it to blow. If you have too many appliances connected to one circuit, try to disconnect some of them and see if that makes a difference.
Old Electrical System
If your device is connected to an old or outdated electrical system, it can strain the thermal fuse more. You may want to consider upgrading your electrical system to avoid this heating issue.
Step-by-Step Guide on Testing Your Thermal Fuse
Although some blown thermal fuses have visible cracks and grey metallic ash inside, others may appear perfectly fine. Furthermore, as many fuses are opaque, you cannot see the inside without examining them closely.
Here’s a way to test your thermal fuse and see if it’s blown.
Step 1: Unplug the appliance
To prevent fires and ensure safety, switch off the power supply to the circuit box from the main breaker. Moreover, wear rubber gloves and stand on a rubber mat before removing the thermal fuses as an additional safety measure.
Step 2: Remove the back panel and Access the switch
Most clothes dryers have their thermal overload switch behind the back panels or bottom toe, where you should look to locate it. To remove the back panel, remove the mounting screw.
It’s important to note that small metal clips secure certain appliance panels. You may use a putty knife or flathead screw to detach the back panel to apply pressure to these clips.
Step 3: Locate a thin strip with two wires and disconnect it
Identify the thermal reset and overload switch as a slender white plastic strip with two attached wires. Gently tug on the two wires to separate them from the thermal overload switch.
Step 4: Turn on your multimeter
Activate your digital temperature multimeter and configure it to the Rx1 resistance reading mode. A digital multimeter can help assess the continuity and detect faults in your thermal overload switch.
Step 5: Touch the leads on your multimeter
Touch the leads and observe the digital multimeter display’s needle to determine whether a replacement thermal overload switch is required. The needle will indicate “0” if the switch is operational. However, if the thermal overload switch is defective, the needle on the digital multimeter will not move at all.
Step-by-Step Guide To Replace Your Thermal Fuse
Replacing a blown thermal fuse is an easy task that a do-it-yourself enthusiast can do with just a few tools. This will not only save valuable money which would have been spent on a service call but also give you the satisfaction of fixing it yourself.
Here is a detailed set of instructions on how to replace a thermal fuse in your dryer.
- Nut driver
- Needle nose pliers
- Ensure that the power supply is disconnected before starting any replacement work.
- Wear safety glasses and gloves to protect your hands and eyes from injury.
- Allow the appliance to cool before commencing any work.
Step 1: Remove the Back Panel
If you choose to have the thermal fuse replaced, gently pull your dryer out, as all work will be done from the back. Next, use a nut driver to unscrew and remove all screws securing the dryer back panel.
Step 2: Locate the Thermal Fuse
The thermal fuse is close to the dryer’s blower housing and is noticeable by two attached leads. To disconnect the thermal fuse, firmly grasp the female end of jumper wire and the stake-on connector on each wire and pull it towards you with care.
Step 3: Remove the Old Thermal Fuse
To remove the thermal fuse screw, disconnect the leads and use a nut driver. Remember, most thermal fuses have a tab on one end of exhaust tube that requires a pivoting motion to be wiggled out.
Step 4: Install the New Thermal Fuse
When installing the new fuse, slide the open end with the notch, reattach the wire terminals, and finally, put the screw back in place.
Step 5: Reattach the Back Panel
Reattach the panel using the nine-quarter-inch screws before testing your repair.
Step 6: Try Testing Your Clothes Dryer
After pushing the dryer into the approximate one meter of space from the wall, plug it in and turn it on to ensure it is operational.
Ask for an Appliance Repair Expert
When your household appliances break down, it’s important to seek help from a qualified appliance repair expert. Attempting to repair an appliance on your own can be dangerous and may result in further damage to the appliance or even cause harm to yourself.
By asking for the help of an expert, you can be assured that the repair will be done correctly and safely. Plus, having a well-functioning appliance can save you money in the long run by avoiding costly repairs or early replacements. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted appliance repair expert for any appliance-related issues.