My dryer won’t start! How to replace a dryer door switch

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Sometimes the easiest of household repairs can end up costing ridiculous amounts when the repair is hired out. Especially with appliances. Just about everything on an electric dryer is easy to replace.

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So you’ve set your dryer to the appropriate setting. Press the start button and nothing is happening. After verifying that the breaker for the dryer has not tripped the first thing to check is the door switch. I’ve repaired many dryers in the past and the vast majority of the time when this problem exists it’s the door switch.

The purpose of the dryer door switch is to turn the dryer off if the door opens during the cycle. It also prevents the dryer from starting if the door is open. If the dryer is running with the door open you are just wasting energy by warming the room and not drying the clothes. When a dryer door switch breaks is most often obvious when you move it by hand. There should be some resistance in the switch and often times you will hear a click as the internal parts of the switch are working. If your dryer won’t start with the door shut and the switch feels like it is just dangling there than your door switch has broken in the Door-Open position thus causing the dryer to not start. The example I show here is on a Roper dryer which is manufactured by the Whirlpool company. The exact steps may be different for other manufacturers but the process is pretty much the same. To get started, open the dryer door and remove the two screws holding the door switch in place.

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Remove the lint screen and unscrew the two screws securing the lint screen holder to the top of the dryer.

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The top of the dryer lifts up in the front but is held in place by two plastic clips. Use a putty knife or a flat head screwdriver to release these clips.

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Position the dryer so that the lid will can be held up on its own and won’t fall on you while working.

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Start removing the old door switch and release any wire clips that my be in the way. Disconnect the old door switch from the wire connector and install the new switch to the wire connector.

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On my repair the new door switch had much shorter wires. This meant I could not use the stock wire clip that was used with the original. Before proceeding it is important that you make sure the wires are not able to come in contact with any moving parts causing them to ground out.

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Reinstall the screws holding the door switch in place.

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Shut the lid making sure that both clips engage with the lid.

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Secure the lint screen holder to the top of the lid.

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And finally test the new door switch. Shut the door, turn the dryer on, and open the door again. The dryer should turn off when the door is opened. This is an incredibly simple repair that anyone can do with a pair of screwdrivers. Good luck!

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3 COMMENTS

  1. US wiring standards will never pass code in Europe. If anyone in a 230V country follows your instructions and the house burns down, their insurance won´t cover.

    Just a note!

    • By Europe standard, people dont fix stuffs but buying new one, so this instruction is useless in Europe.
      A safety tip, disconnect the power source (unplug the power cord) and verify that (turn on the dryer, it should not be on) before doing anything.

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