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Why Is My Whirlpool Dryer Not Turning On?

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If you’ve ever been faced with a load of damp laundry and a Whirlpool dryer that won’t turn on, you know the level of frustration this situation can bring. Understanding why this happens can be the first step towards solving the problem. This comprehensive guide will walk you through some common reasons why your Whirlpool dryer might not be turning on and how to troubleshoot these issues.


Your Whirlpool dryer might not be turning on due to a variety of reasons such as power supply issues, the dryer door not being properly closed, a faulty start switch, a blown thermal fuse, or a defective main control board. Start troubleshooting by checking if the dryer is properly plugged in, the door is fully closed, and the start switch is functioning. If these steps don’t resolve the issue, you may need to test and replace other components like the thermal fuse or control board.

Power Supply Issues

One of the most common reasons why a Whirlpool dryer might not turn on is due to power supply issues. Ensure the dryer is correctly plugged into the proper electrical outlet and check for any tripped breakers or blown fuses in your home’s electrical panel.

It’s also worth noting that using an extension cord may not safely transmit the required electricity, leading to power supply issues.

Door Not Properly Closed

Safety features in modern appliances are designed to prevent accidents. One such feature in your Whirlpool dryer is a mechanism that prevents it from running if the door isn’t properly closed. Make sure the door is fully closed and latched before trying to start the dryer.

Faulty Start Switch

If the dryer doesn’t make any noise or motion when pressing the start button, it’s possible that the start switch could be faulty. The start button needs to be held down for about 2-5 seconds to initiate the cycle on most Whirlpool dryer models.

Thermal Fuse Failure

A blown thermal fuse can prevent the dryer from starting. This fuse is a protective feature that blows if the dryer is in danger of overheating. If it fails multimeter testing with a lack of continuity, the fuse has blown and requires replacement.

Defective Main Control Board

If all other parts of your dryer are in good shape but your dryer isn’t starting, the problem may lie with the control board. The control board is the brain of your dryer, controlling the timing, temperature, and function by sending power to the motor and all other components.

Troubleshooting and Repairs

You can start the troubleshooting process by checking the power supply and ensuring the door is properly closed. If these steps don’t resolve the issue, you may need to test and replace the door switch or thermal fuse.

For electrical issues, you might need to check the heating element, thermostats, thermal cutoff fuse, and timer. A multimeter can be a handy tool for these tests.

Remember, always ensure the dryer is disconnected from the power supply before starting any repair work. If you’re not comfortable working with electrical components, consider consulting a professional appliance repair technician.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance can help prevent these issues in the first place. This includes cleaning the lint trap after every load, checking and cleaning the venting system regularly, and ensuring the dryer is placed in a well-ventilated area.


While it’s frustrating when your Whirlpool dryer won’t turn on, understanding the potential causes can help you troubleshoot and address the issue. Whether the problem lies with the power supply, door switch, thermal fuse, or control board, this guide provides a starting point for diagnosing and fixing the issue. Always prioritize safety and don’t hesitate to call a professional if needed. Happy troubleshooting!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a multimeter, and why do I need it for troubleshooting my dryer?

A multimeter is an electronic tool used to measure voltage, current, and resistance across several ranges of values. It’s necessary for troubleshooting your dryer because it can help detect if there’s a continuity problem with certain components like the thermal fuse, start switch, or control board.

How do I know if my dryer’s control board is defective?

A defective control board might not show any physical signs of damage. However, if your dryer isn’t starting even when all other components are working properly, the control board could be the problem. It’s best to have a professional diagnose this issue, as replacing a control board can be complex and costly.

How often should I clean the venting system of my dryer?

It’s recommended to clean the venting system of your dryer at least once a year. However, if you notice that your dryer is taking longer than usual to dry clothes, it might be a sign that the vent needs cleaning sooner.

What should I do if my dryer’s door isn’t closing properly?

If your dryer’s door isn’t closing properly, check for any obstructions or damage to the door latch. If the latch is damaged, it may need to be replaced. If the door itself is warped or damaged, you may need to replace the entire door.

Can I replace the thermal fuse or start switch myself?

Yes, with the right tools and some basic understanding of the dryer’s components, you can replace the thermal fuse or start switch yourself. However, if you’re not comfortable working with electrical appliances, it’s always safer to hire a professional.

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