Why Is My Dryer Not Starting: Testing the Start Switch Solution

Ever had that moment when you toss in a load of laundry, press the start button on your dryer, and… nothing happens? Frustrating, right? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s a common scenario that can leave you scratching your head. But fear not, we’re here to help you troubleshoot and get that dryer up and running again in no time.

Check the Power Source

If your dryer isn’t turning on, the first step is to Check the Power Source. Here are some things to consider:

  • Plug: Ensure the dryer is securely plugged into the outlet.
  • Power Outlet: Verify that the outlet is functioning by testing it with another device.

If the plug is secure and the outlet is working, but your dryer still won’t turn on, move on to the next troubleshooting steps.

Inspect the Door Switch

When your dryer doesn’t turn on, it could be due to a faulty door switch. This safety feature is designed to prevent the dryer from running if the door is open. Here’s how to inspect it:

  • Locate the door switch: It is usually found along the door frame. When the door is shut, the switch should be pressed in.
  • Check the alignment: Sometimes the door may not fully engage the switch, causing it to malfunction. Make sure the door is closing properly.
  • Test the switch: Use a multimeter to check if the switch is working. If it shows no continuity when the door is shut, it may need to be replaced.
  • Replace if necessary: If the door switch is indeed faulty, it’s essential to replace it to ensure the dryer operates safely.

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Keeping the door switch in good condition is crucial for the proper functioning of your dryer. By inspecting and maintaining this component, you can resolve issues that prevent your dryer from turning on.

Examine the Thermal Fuse

When your dryer won’t turn on, a faulty thermal fuse could be the culprit. This safety device helps prevent overheating, shutting off the appliance if it detects high temperatures. Here’s how to examine it:

  • Locate the thermal fuse, typically found near the exhaust duct inside the back cover of the dryer.
  • Check for continuity using a multimeter to test if electrical current can pass through it.
  • If the multimeter shows no continuity, replace the thermal fuse with a new one compatible with your dryer model.

Ensuring the thermal fuse is in good condition is vital for the proper functioning of your dryer. It’s a simple part that plays a crucial role in keeping your appliance safe from overheating issues.

Test the Start Switch

To troubleshoot why your dryer isn’t turning on, testing the start switch is a crucial step in diagnosing the issue.

  • Start Switch Function: The start switch is responsible for signaling the dryer to begin its cycle when you push the button. If this switch is faulty, it can prevent the dryer from turning on.
  • Testing Procedure: Follow these steps to test the start switch:
  • Unplug the Dryer: Safety first! Always start by unplugging the dryer before any inspection.
  • Access the Start Switch: Depending on your model, you may need to remove the control panel to reach the start switch.
  • Use a Multimeter: Set your multimeter to the Rx1 setting and test for continuity by touching the probes to the terminals on the switch. If there is no continuity, it indicates a faulty switch that needs replacement.
  • Replacing the Start Switch: If the start switch is faulty, you can replace it with a new one following the manufacturer’s instructions. This can often be a simple and inexpensive fix to get your dryer up and running again.
  • Professional Help: If you’re uncomfortable with testing or replacing electrical components, it’s best to seek help from a qualified technician to ensure safety and proper repairs.
  • Next Steps: Once you’ve tested or replaced the start switch, plug in the dryer and check if it turns on. If the issue persists, there might be another component causing the problem.

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Testing the start switch is a valuable diagnostic step in addressing why your dryer won’t turn on. It’s a practical way to pinpoint issues and get your appliance back to its fully functional state.


Testing the start switch is a key step in troubleshooting why your dryer isn’t turning on. By following the outlined process, you can pinpoint potential issues and take the necessary steps to fix them. Remember, if you’re unsure about working with electrical components, it’s best to seek professional assistance. Properly diagnosing and addressing the start switch can help restore your dryer to its normal functionality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is testing the start switch important in diagnosing a dryer that won’t turn on?

Testing the start switch is essential because it is responsible for initiating the dryer’s cycle when activated. By testing the start switch, you can determine if it is working correctly and address any issues that may be causing the dryer not to turn on.

How do you test the start switch of a dryer?

To test the start switch of a dryer, you can use a multimeter to check for continuity. Start by unplugging the dryer and locating the start switch. Then, set your multimeter to the continuity setting and test the switch by checking for continuity when the switch is pressed. If there is no continuity, the start switch may be faulty and needs to be replaced.

When should you seek professional help for testing the start switch of a dryer?

If you are uncomfortable working with electrical components or unsure about how to proceed with testing the start switch, it is recommended to seek professional help. Electric dryers involve high voltage and specialized knowledge, so it’s best to consult a qualified technician to ensure safety and proper diagnosis and repair.

Charlie Thomson is Appliance Mastery's expert on laundry appliances. With a degree in mechanical engineering and over 8 years of experience in the appliance repair industry, Charlie is a go-to resource for homeowners who want to tackle common issues with their washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.

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