Why Is the Dryer Shutting Off After a Few Minutes?

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Having a dryer is becoming more and more common as lives get busier. The ability to have clothes washed and dried in a day has become the norm, even in winters, thanks to dryers. So when your dryer is starting only to stop a few minutes later, it can be incredibly frustrating. 

This guide will cover the most common reasons for a dryer to stop a few minutes after it has started. 

Overheating dryer motor 

The most common reason for a dryer to start and then stop a few minutes later is an overheating dryer motor. If you don’t know when your dryer motor was last replaced or are hearing a loud buzzing noise coming from inside the motor, then this is probably your issue.

The first thing you will need to check is if your dryer is overheating or if there is a bigger root cause. Start by turning your dryer on and beginning a cycle as you usually would. After your dryer stops, wait at least ten minutes and then check if it starts back up again. If it does, then you have an overheating motor on your hands. If not, then move onto a faulty fan belt. 

If your motor is overheating, check it isn’t being caused by a full lint trap or being overfilled. If not, then you will need to replace the motor. 

  1. Before you begin work, ensure the power is turned off.
  2. Start by removing the lower access panel or panels. 
  3. Find the lint filter and carefully remove it from the dryer. 
  4. Remove the two screws that are underneath where the lint filter was located. 
  5. Next, you will need to remove the top panel from the dryer. You will need to disconnect the door switch before you can take it off fully. 
  6. Locate the dryer drive belt and remove it from the idler pulley. 
  7. Carefully take the idler pulley off from its mounting bracket.
  8. Now you will be able to remove the dryer drum from the dryer cabinet.
  9. Locate the motor and take a photo of how the wires are connected. 
  10. Remove the old motor and replace it with the new motor using the image if needed to help connect the wires. 
  11. Put your dryer back together again and then turn it on. 

You should check to see if the problem has been fixed, if not, move on to the next step. 

Faulty drive belt

The next most common cause is a faulty drive belt. In a dryer, the drive belt goes around the drum and helps it to rotate. If they are damaged or faulty then the dryer will not be able to operate. 

Checking the drive belt is an easy DIY task. 

  1. Ensure your dryer is unplugged from its power source.
  2. Start by removing the lower access panel or panels. 
  3. Find the lint filter and carefully remove it from the dryer. 
  4. Remove the two screws that are underneath where the lint filter was located. 
  5. Next, you will need to remove the top panel from the dryer. You will need to disconnect the door switch before you can take it off fully. 
  6. Locate the dryer’s drive belt. 
  7. Check the drive belt for any signs of wear and tear or damage. 
  8. If there is damage or it has snapped, it will need to be replaced. If not, move on to checking for a faulty door latch. 
  9. If you are replacing the drive belt, start by removing the old one from the dryer. 
  10. You will need to release the bearing by pulling the belt up and disconnecting it from the pulleys before you can remove it.
  11. Remove the front guide and maneuver the drum so you have enough room to remove the old belt.
  12. Install the new belt place, ensuring that the groove side of the belt is against the drum. 
  13. Attach the drum and then adjust the idler pulley to ensure the belt is on tight (but not too tight).

Put the dryer back together again and do a check to see if your problem has been fixed. If not, move on to reason number three.

Faulty door latch

The door latch is essential because it ensures your dryer door remains closed while operating. If it gets damaged or stops functioning, it will need to be replaced. It is easy to check if it is functioning correctly; just close your dryer door and check if the door is firmly closed. If not, then the door latch should be replaced. If the door latch is working as it should, you can move straight on to reason number four below. 

To replace the door latch:

  1. Ensure your dryer is disconnected from its power source.
  2. Remove the door hinges and take off the door.
  3. Access the latch and replace the old latch with the new latch. 
  4. Replace the door back onto the dryer.
  5. Turn on the power and check if your dryer is working correctly. 

Faulty moisture sensor

The fourth most common reason is a faulty moisture sensor. The moisture sensor is important because it monitors how much moisture is in the dyer and shuts it down if the level gets too high. 

Here’s how to check the moisture sensor to see if it’s faulty:

  1. Ensure your dyer is disconnected from its power source. 
  2. Partially remove the top panel so you are able to access the wire harnesses that are connected to the control panel.
  3. Disconnect the wire harness. 
  4. Fully remove the top panel and then unscrew the control panel and take it off. 
  5. Find the screws holding the lint screen housing onto the front panel of the dryer door. 
  6. Unscrew them and close the dryer door.
  7. Find the locking tab on the front panel and disconnect the wire harness that is connected to the door.
  8. Remove the front panel.
  9. Find the moisture sensor and disconnect any attached wires.  
  10. Once you have removed the mounting plate, the lint screen, and the grill, you should be able to replace the old moisture sensor with a new one. 
  11. Put the dryer back together again. 

If you are still having issues, it is time to call a qualified technician.

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