My dryer no longer heats up!
February 1, 2007 12:58 AM   Subscribe

My dryer is broken! It still makes its usual hollering racket, but it no longer heats up! Our clothes were all damp this morning. :( Help me before I have to string clothes across the house and turn all the storage heaters on!

It's an Indesit ISL70C. It's worked like a champ since we got it about a year ago (no it's not under warranty) and all the buttons still work, but it no longer heats up whatsoever. I'm looking for troubleshooting routines we can do with basic tools at home to see if we can fix it before calling in the experts (or buying a new one). Online repair forums etc would be helpful too.

We've cleaned out all the filters and drained the water, etc.
posted by By The Grace of God to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
From Googling the brand name, it sounds like you're in the U.K.... The only trouble-shooting sites I could find all said that you probably need to replace the heating element... If I were you, I'd call either the manufacturer or the store from which you bought it (since you state that it's only about a year old)... They will tell you where you can find a replacement part, and if you're assertive enough they might even give you a replacement for free, or at a substantial discount.
posted by amyms at 1:37 AM on February 1, 2007

Is it possible that the vent that leads from the dryer to outside is clogged? Ours got horribly clogged and that stopped the clothes from drying.
posted by saffry at 4:25 AM on February 1, 2007

Electric or Gas ? Assuming it's an electric dryer, it's likely the heating element , as amyms noted. I've done this repair on my own dryer once. The element was a long coiled wire similar to some space heaters , looking like a stretched out spring. Original element has probably broken at some point sue to debris or jewelry falling through the holes in the rotating bin. Replacement required taking the outer shell off the appliance and re-threading the coiled heating element through the insulating connectors. You'll be rewarded by finding lost earings, bracelets , and paper clips that made it through the wash cycle.
posted by Agamenticus at 5:04 AM on February 1, 2007

It may be the humidistat.
posted by electroboy at 6:48 AM on February 1, 2007

We once had this problem because there was a little safety switch that cuts the heat if the dryer gets unsafely hot. The switch broke, so it wouldn't heat at all. Maybe you can call the manufacturer and get a manual for the dryer that will help you troubleshoot.
posted by muddgirl at 7:02 AM on February 1, 2007

Look here for help. It could be the heating element, but is more likely the thermal fuse, which once it goes must be replaced. It's an easy and cheap repair which you can do yourself if you can get the part.
posted by caddis at 7:42 AM on February 1, 2007

I have had this same problem several times. I'm assuming electric dryer.
  1. Make sure you didn't accidentally move the mode over to "air fluff" or something similar that doesn't turn on the heating element.
  2. Check the fuse/breaker that controls the heating element. Your dryer is may still run the drum, but the heating element won't work if the breaker is off.
  3. If it's neither of those things, you probably have a bad heating element. Take your model/serial numbers and search for a parts catalog online. That will give you some idea what to expect.

posted by cosmicbandito at 7:48 AM on February 1, 2007

Is it possible that the vent that leads from the dryer to outside is clogged?

That flexible vent hose can easily get squashed, too.
posted by LordSludge at 7:58 AM on February 1, 2007

This appears to be a condensing dryer. I'm not sure how these are functionaly different from a regular dryer. My advice to check your breakers first stands though.
posted by cosmicbandito at 8:13 AM on February 1, 2007

It's a condenser dryer - no hose to the outside. That may also mean no thermal fuse; I don't know. Using the Repair Clinic site I posted above, and a multimeter you should be able to test all of the potentially offending parts and identify the bad one. You can buy parts online, but then you have to wait for shipping. If you have kids this may not be an option. You might find parts locally either through your dealer who sells these machines or an appliance parts store.
posted by caddis at 8:18 AM on February 1, 2007

This has happened to my dryer twice - it was the heating element both times. YMMV. The part was @ 100US, and installation was @ 75. If you are very handy, you might be able to do it yourself. I couldn't; the 2nd time, I replaced the dryer, as it was not worth the repair.
posted by theora55 at 8:37 AM on February 1, 2007

It's likely the vent hose is clogged, bent or squished. Everytime this has happened to me it's from someone (cough cough) pushing the dryer up against the wall and squishing the hose.
posted by jesirose at 9:52 PM on February 1, 2007

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