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Few things are more frustrating than when it’s laundry day, and your dryer is acting up. While some things can go wrong with Maytag dryers, the most common issue is when it doesn’t heat up. Heat is the quintessential component of drying clothing and other objects, which means that if your dryer isn’t heating up, it will not work.
Although your dryer fulfills a single simple function of drying clothing, several things can cause it not to heat up. To determine why your Maytag dryer isn’t heating up, you’ll have to use a process of elimination. A lack of heat can result from a blown thermal fuse, insufficient electricity or gas, or many other things.
Before you get overwhelmed at the idea of fixing your Maytag dryer on your own, you should take a deep breath and read Maytag Dryer Not Heating Troubleshooting Guide. We’ll go over everything that can cause a Maytag dryer not to produce heat and what to do about them.
What Could Cause My Maytag Dryer Not to Heat Up?
Anytime your Maytag dryer isn’t producing heat, it’s because something is going wrong with its internal or external components. Dryers exist for the sole purpose of creating enough heat to dry your clothing quickly and efficiently.
However, your dryer won’t produce heat if there’s an issue with the thermal fuse, the thermostat, the power source, or the heating assembly. Instead, it will simply tumble your clothing around with cool or lukewarm air blowing on them, which won’t be effective.
The only way to get your dryer working the way it should is to fix or replace the failed component.
12 Things That Can Cause a Lack of Heat With Maytag Dryers
There are dozens of different Maytag dryer models, many of which have gone out of circulation. However, no matter how old your Maytag dryer is or the model number, 12 possible things could cause it not to produce heat.
We’ll start our list of possible heat production problems with the most common one – the thermal fuse. Ironically enough, the thermal fuse is a safety device that dryers implement to keep them from overheating. If your dryer is producing dangerously high amounts of heat, it will trigger the thermal fuse and turn your dryer off.
How to Fix:
When the thermal fuse blows, it will do one of two things. First, it will cause your dryer to run while overheating, damaging your clothing and a fire hazard. The other option is that it will turn off your dryer altogether or cause it to run without producing heat at all. Here’s how to check the thermal fuse on your dryer.
- Make sure your dryer is turned off.
- Access the thermal fuse by removing the top panels of the dryer. The thermal fuse is a small fuse with several wires attached to it, and it should be located near the blower housing or heating element.
- You’ll need a multimeter to check the thermal fuse for power and continuity.
- If the fuse doesn’t have power running to it, even with the dryer turned off, it’s blown, and you have to replace it.
- To replace the fuse, simply disconnect the wires and remove the fuse.
- Install your new fuse and reconnect the wires.
Pro tip: You should also know that thermal fuses blow mainly because of a blocked dryer vent. Therefore, whenever you check your thermal fuse, you should check your dryer vent for blockages. Otherwise, the problem will persist, and you’ll go through fuse after fuse.
Gas Valve Solenoid
The gas valve solenoid is the second-most prevalent reason for a dryer not producing heat. Remember that only gas dryers have a gas valve solenoid, so if you have an electric Maytag dryer, you can skip this section.
The purpose of the gas valve on a gas dryer is to start and stop the gas flow during ignition. If the valve or the solenoid gets damaged, your dryer won’t be able to ignite the heating source, which means a long tumble of cool air.
How to Fix:
Here’s what you need to do to check the gas valve and solenoid for problems.
- Locate the igniter and solenoid valve at the bottom and backside of the dryer.
- Attempt to start your dryer while paying close attention to the igniter.
- If you see the igniter glow with fire but fail to ignite fully, there’s a problem with the solenoid valve or coils.
- You’ll have to replace the coils to get your dryer working again.
As with the gas valve solenoid, igniter problems are only a factor if you have a gas dryer. The igniter has the job of providing the spark that’s necessary to light your coils and provide heat to the dryer. So, when there’s an issue with either the solenoid or the igniter, your dryer won’t be able to create the heat necessary to dry your clothing.
How to Fix:
When the igniter glows but fails to spark the solenoid coils to life, it means there’s a problem with the coils rather than the igniter itself. However, if you turn the gas on and attempt to start the dryer, but the igniter doesn’t glow at all, there’s an issue with the igniter.
To resolve the issue of a faulty igniter, you’ll have to repair or replace it. There’s a chance that the igniter has a defective wire attached to it or that it’s dirty and needs to be cleaned. To test these components, use a multimeter to check for continuity. If you see that the igniter is dirty or rusty, attempt to clean it with a soft-scrub brush.
However, if the igniter has continuity and it isn’t dirty, it has gone bad and needs to get replaced. Disconnect the wires from the igniter, remove the igniter, and install a new one. If you reattach the wires correctly, your dryer will be as good as new.
Wrong Dryer Setting
While your dryer may have a mechanical failure, it’s just as likely that human failure is the cause of your drying troubles. Maytag dryers are complicated machines with multiple drying settings. It’s possible that you chose the wrong setting when you started the dryer.
For example, if you have the dryer on the “Air Dry,” “Wrinkle Prevent,” or “Fluff Air” settings, it won’t produce heat. Instead, it will circulate room temperature air through your dryer as it tumbles and rotates your clothing.
How to Fix:
Fixing this problem is extremely easy. Turn the dryer off and adjust the setting to one of the other options. If it still doesn’t produce heat when it’s not on one of the settings listed above, you have a mechanical problem.
While ignitor and gas solenoid valve issues are common with gas dryers, power insufficiencies are common with electric dryers. Gas dryers are powerful and demanding appliances, and they’ll only produce heat and operate if they have enough electricity flowing to them.
In general, most Maytag dryers require a minimum of 240 volts of electricity running to them. This means they’ll have two separate 120 legs with individual wires running to them. If something happens to one of these wires or the fuses they’re powering, but the second leg remains intact, the dryer can operate without the benefit of heat.
How to Fix:
If you think insufficient power is the problem behind your dryer’s lack of heat, here’s what you need to do.
- Locate the main panel box that powers all the electricity in your home.
- Open the panel box and find the circuit breaker labeled “Dryer.”
- Remove the cover from the front of the panel to access the physical circuit breaker behind it.
- Use a multimeter to check the voltage flow to both of the screws or legs connected to the dryer wires.
- The reading should say 120 for each leg, reaching a total of 240 volts.
If the reading is far less than 120, one of the fuses on your circuit breaker is blown, and you’ll have to replace the whole breaker. It’s important to note that working with live electricity is extremely dangerous, and you run the risk of electrical shock. As such, you should hire an electrician to work on this repair unless you have previous electrical experience.
Let’s head back to problems specific to gas dryers – issues with the flame sensor. As the name indicates, the flame sensor is responsible for detecting when the ignitor is emitting heat and how hot it is. Unfortunately, if the flame sensor isn’t working correctly, it will result in your dryer not being able to heat up.
How to Fix:
Before getting carried away and jumping straight to the flame sensor as the culprit, you should first check the ignitor and the gas valve solenoid. Each of those two things is more liable to cause issues before the flame sensor. However, if the ignitor and gas valve solenoid check out, here’s how to test the flame sensor.
- Use your Maytag dryer owner’s manual to find where the flame sensor is located on your specific model. This is one of the few things that vary greatly from model to model.
- Check the flame sensor’s temperature to ensure it isn’t hot to prevent burning yourself.
- Once you know the sensor is safe at room temperature, use a multimeter to check for continuity.
- If the sensor doesn’t have continuity running to it, it’s faulty, and you’ll have to replace it.
Blocked Exhaust Vent
As we said earlier, a blocked exhaust vent can lead to a number of other dryer problems. While a blocked duct on its own won’t prevent your dryer from heating up, it will cause the thermal fuse to blow. Once the thermal fuse blows, your dryer won’t heat up or possibly start at all.
How to Fix:
The exhaust vent is connected to the back or side of your Maytag dryer, at the bottom near its base. The vent consists of a solid or flexible pipe that inserts into the dryer and carries exhaust fumes, lint, and hot air out of the dryer to the outside of your home. However, the longer and more often you use your dryer, the more lint it will produce. Eventually, it’s possible for the exhaust pipes that take the lint to the outside can get clogged.
The odds of your exhaust pipe getting blocked increase depending on the length of the pipe. The longer it is, the more likely it is to clog. Additionally, your dryer vent is more likely to clog if there are several ups and downs in the line, known as traps.
To determine whether or not the vent is clogged, you’ll have to open it up and manually inspect the pipe. If you see a buildup of debris or lint, it means your vent is clogged, and you’ll have to remove the blockage to continue.
Defective Heating Element or Element Assembly
If you have an electric dryer, it will have a heating element and the adjoined element assembly. The heating element acts in place of the gas coils on a gas dryer and is responsible for heating air before it passes into your dryer. If the heating element or attached assembly aren’t working properly, they won’t heat up, so lukewarm air will pass into your dryer.
How to Fix:
Let’s first look at how to check the heating element itself.
- Use your Maytag dryer owner’s manual to determine the location of your heating element.
- Remove whatever covers are necessary to gain access.
- Ensure that the dryer is turned off.
- Use a multimeter to check the heating element for continuity.
- If there isn’t continuity, the heating element is defective and must get replaced.
You can follow the same steps to check the heating element assembly. It should have constant continuity, even when the dryer is turned off. If it doesn’t have continuity when you test it with your multimeter, you’ll have to replace it.
High Limit Thermostat
As with the flame sensor, the job of the high-limit thermostat in your dryer is to monitor the temperature. If it senses the temperature is too hot, it will kill power to the dryer burner or heating element and turn it off.
However, if the high-limit thermostat isn’t working correctly, it may kill power to the burner or heating element even when the dryer isn’t overheating. However, if you haven’t noticed by now, we’re going through the list of possible problems in order of likeliness. The high-limit thermostat is rarely the source of heating problems, so you should check everything else first.
How to Fix:
As with most of the issues we’ve looked at thus far, you can check the functionality of the high-limit thermostat with a multimeter. Ensure power is turned off to the dryer, and check for continuity. If the thermostat doesn’t have continuity running through it, it’s busted, and you’ll have to replace it.
Main Control Board
The main control board on your dryer is like the motherboard on a computer. It’s responsible for the overall regulation and functioning of the many different components of your dryer. If it isn’t working correctly, there are many problems your dryer will experience, including a lack of heat.
How to Fix:
Unfortunately, unless you’re an experienced Maytag or appliance specialist, you’ll have difficulty testing the main control board. You can check the board’s surface for signs of burning or damage, but other than that, there’s not a lot you can do.
It’s also worth noting that the main control board is rarely the source of your dryer heating problems. Many other things tend to go bad before the control board. The main control board is also the most expensive component on your dryer to replace. As such, you should check it as a last resort and only replace it if you have a professional examine the board and determine that it’s faulty.
As with the high-limit thermostat, the cycling thermostat is responsible for helping to regulate the heat inside your dryer. As the heat increases, the cycling thermostat becomes satisfied and kills heat to the dryer. When the heat drops too low, the cycling thermostat gets triggered and tells the heating element that more heat is necessary.
How to Fix:
Just as the high-limit thermostat is rarely the problem with Maytag dryers not producing heat, so is the cycling thermostat. However, if you check everything else and your dryer still isn’t producing heat, here’s how to check the cycling thermostat.
- Ensure that power is turned off to the dryer to avoid electrocution.
- Find the cycling thermostat inside your dryer.
- Use a multimeter to check for continuity.
- If there isn’t continuity, you’ll have to replace the cycling thermostat because it’s defective.
The timer on your dryer is responsible for moving the dryer through its various heating cycles. If the timer isn’t working properly, it can get stuck on a low or no heat section of the cycle. The result is that it will feel as if your dryer isn’t producing any heat.
How to Fix:
As with the other problems at the bottom of this list, the timer is rarely the issue regarding a lack of dryer heat. However, it is possible for the timer to experience issues and get stuck on the wrong setting. Here’s what you need to do to test the timer for malfunctions.
- Turn the power off to the dryer.
- Locate the timer motor and test it for continuity.
- If the timer motor doesn’t have continuity, it’s busted, and you’ll have to replace it.
- If it is working correctly, something else is causing your dryer not to produce heat.
Question: What is the most common cause of a dryer not heating?
Answer: The most common cause for a Maytag dryer that fails to heat up is the thermal fuse. It’s common for dryer vents to get blocked over time, which leads to a blown thermal fuse. The second-most common reason for a dryer that isn’t heating up is because of a tripped breaker or blown breaker fuse.
Question: How can I tell if I have a bad heating element on my Maytag dryer?
Answer: The only surefire way to tell if you have a bad heating element is to use a multimeter and test it for continuity.
Question: How do you fix a dryer that isn’t blowing hot air?
Answer: To fix a dryer that isn’t blowing hot air, you first have to discover the underlying issue that’s causing it not to blow hot air. Once you find the underlying issue, you can fix or replace it, and your dryer should be as good as new.
Maytag Dryer Not Heating Troubleshooting Guide: Final Thoughts
Maytag dryers are durable, long-lasting, and reliable appliances. However, like all man-made things, Maytag dryers aren’t meant to last forever and are prone to a number of problems, including the inability to produce heat. By checking each of the things in this list, one at a time, you can use a process of elimination to determine why your dryer isn’t producing heat.
If you check everything and nothing seems to be an issue, it may be time to contact a professional repairman. Professionals will have the necessary tools and experience to diagnose your dryer’s issues quickly. They will also be able to notify you if your dryer is on the fritz and it’s time to replace it.