Dryer Won’t Turn Off Unless Door Is Open? How to Fix It

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Usually, when your dryer won’t turn off unless you open the door, there is a problem with one or multiple components that will need to be fixed. If your dryer doesn’t turn off even when the door is open, then you should unplug it immediately and cease using it until it is fixed.

In this article, we will explain the most common causes of the problem and how you can fix them.

Check the Door Switch

The first possible cause of the problem to check is a faulty door switch. The door switch is located in the door of your dryer and will activate when the door is closed or opened. The door switch on most makes and models of dryers will “click” when you open or close the door.

Here’s how to check the door switch:

  1. The first step is to open and close the door and listen to see if you can hear a click sound when the door closes. If you can, this is a good sign it is not defective.
  2. If you can’t hear a “click” sound or you just want to make sure it’s working correctly, you will need to test the door switch for continuity by using a multimeter. To test the door switch, you first need to remove the door switch from the door (you just need to unscrew it).
  3. Once you’ve removed the door switch, test the switch for continuity with your multimeter.
  4. If the switch has continuity, it is working fine, and you can then put it back into the dryer door and then move on to checking the next component. However, if it doesn’t have continuity, it will need to be replaced.
  5. Once you’ve replaced the door switch, check if the dryer is now working properly. If not, you will need to check the next component.

Check the Cool-Down Thermostat

Most dryers have a couple of different thermostats to help the dryer to operate correctly. The first one you need to check is the cool-down thermostat. This thermostat tells your dryer’s control board when to go into the cool-down phase of the dryer cycle. When it becomes faulty, your dryer might not turn off unless you open the door.

Here’s how to check the cool-down thermostat:

  1. Turn the power off to the dryer.
  2. Pull the dryer out from the wall so you can work on it.
  3. Remove the panels of the dryer so you can access the inside of it. For most dryers, this will just involve removing a few screws and then unclipping the cabinet panels.
  4. Locate the cycling thermostat (check your manual if necessary).
  5. Use a multimeter to check the cool-down thermostat.
  6. If the thermostat has continuity, it is working correctly, and you can move on to checking the next component. If it doesn’t have continuity, this means it is faulty and needs to be replaced.
  7. Once replaced, test if the dryer is now working correctly. If not, move on to checking the next component.

Check the Cycling Thermostat

The second thermostat to check is the cycling thermostat. The purpose of this thermostat is to turn the heat on and off so that the air in your dryer is regulated. If it becomes faulty, your dryer might not turn off unless the door is open.

Here’s how to check the cycling thermostat:

  1. Ensure that the power is still turned off to the dryer.
  2. Pull the dryer out from the wall, and remove the cabinet panels (if you haven’t already).
  3. Locate the cycling thermostat in your dryer (check your manual if necessary).
  4. Use a multimeter to test the cycling thermostat.
  5. If the cycling thermostat has continuity, it is working correctly, and if not, it needs to be replaced.
  6. Once replaced, check if the dryer is now working correctly. If not, move on to checking the next component.

Check the Timer

The next component to check is the timer. The timer helps your dryer to operate correctly during a cycle, and when it fails, your dryer might not turn off unless the door is open. The timer very rarely breaks down, but it can happen. Only check the timer after you have checked all of the other components listed above.

Here’s how to check the timer:

  1. Make sure that the power to the dryer is still turned off.
  2. Locate the timer unit (check your manual if necessary).
  3. Use a multimeter to check the timer. If it has continuity, it is working correctly, so move on to checking the next component. However, if it fails the test, you will need to replace it.
  4. Once replaced, check if the problem has been solved. If not, move on to checking the next component.

Replace the Main Control Board

Your last option is to replace the main control board. The main control board doesn’t break down very often, but it can happen. The control board is very difficult to test, so you have to make a decision on whether to replace it and hope it solves the problem or just buy a new dryer. Your decision will properly depend largely on how old your existing dryer is and how much it will cost to replace compared to the cost of a control board.

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