GE dryers are efficient and reliable. There may, however, come a time when you will experience your GE dryer not heating. It can be frustrating to find your clothes still soaking wet after their time in the dryer.
Long drying times are to be expected when you have dryer heating issues. Why is your GE dryer not heating? When your GE dryer stops heating, you may have to troubleshoot the issue so you can get it to heat up again.
There are many reasons for your GE dryer not heating. You will need to check some of the dryer’s components to determine the real cost of it not heating up.
Before going through the possible reasons and trying the recommended fixes, make sure you are not overloading your GE dryer. An overloaded dryer will take a long time to dry your clothes because it is not getting enough or any heat. Besides, an overloaded dryer will cause the drum to make a lot of noise.
The maximum load capacity of a GE dryer is typically about 11-20 pounds per cubic foot of clothing and water. You can check your owner’s manual to find out the exact capacity of your GE dryer.
Here are some of the possible reasons your GE dryer is not heating and not drying your laundry.
In this article:
Reasons why GE Electric/Gas Dryer not Heating and How to Fix It
There are various reasons your GE dryer is not heating. Here are some of the reasons and how you can probably fix them:
1. Clogged Dryer Vent
This is the most common reason your GE Dryer is not heating. If you have not cleaned the vent of your dryer in 6-12 months, chances are there is a blockage caused by debris and lint. A clogged vent means moist air cannot exit your dryer and cause your laundry to remain wet.
The vent of your GE dryer is at the back of the unit. The vent is used to deal with moisture formed during the drying cycle. Here is how to check the vent for clogging:
- Start the dryer on high heat.
- Check the exhaust vent by using your hand to check that the air coming out is warm and coming out properly.
- If there is minimal airflow, your vent needs to either be replaced or cleaned.
Here is how to clean a clogged vent:
- Move the dryer away from the wall and unplug it.
- Disconnect the vent from the wall and dryer.
- Use a vacuum with the narrow hose attachment.
- Turn on the vacuum and remove debris and lint from the hose.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 to clean the exterior vent.
- Replace the vent hose to the dryer and interior wall. Make sure there are no bends that can limit airflow.
- Plug the dryer and position it in its proper place.
The vent of your GE dryer can also be clogged when it becomes crimped or bent because of too much vent behind the dryer. This will allow dust and moisture to build up in the folds. If this is the case, make sure the vent is not compressed or is clear behind the dryer.
Make sure, too, the dryer is not pushed too far that will cause the crimping of the vent. Better yet, make sure, if possible, that the vent is less than 20 feet.
2. Faulty Cycling Thermostat
The cycling thermostat is responsible for monitoring the internal pressure of the dryer. It regulates the temperature inside the dyer and will turn on or off depending on how cold or hot during the drying cycle.
Running a faulty cycling thermostat can cause low heat or not allow the dryer to heat. This is so because a faulty cycling thermostat will be incapable of signaling the dryer’s control board for more heat or any heat. In certain circumstances, it may cause your dryer to overheat.
Here is how to check the cycling thermostat of your dryer:
- Unplug your dryer.
- Check the manual of your GE dryer to find the cycling thermostat.
- Unscrew the wires and remove the unit.
- Check the cycling thermostat with a multimeter. A continuous flow means it is working properly. If it does not have a continuous flow, you may need to repair or replace the cycling thermostat.
- Secure the unit to its housing and insert back the wires.
- Reassemble your dryer.
- Do a test cycle to check if your dryer is already heating.
3. Dirty Lint Screen
The lint screen of your GE dryer collects clothing lint so they do not clog the dryer vent. The lint screen also ejects moist air due to wet clothes drying. If the vent of your dryer is full of lint, moist air will be retained in the dryer causing longer drying times.
Frequent use of dryer sheets and fabric softener can make residue build up on the lint screen and bar airflow in the dryer.
To prevent the lint screen from being full, it is recommended that you clean the lint screen after every drying cycle, or at least every 4 months.
Here is how to clean the lint screen or filter of your dryer:
- Unplug your dryer.
- Grab the lint screen and pull it up.
- Use a vacuum with a hose attachment or an extendable lint brush to remove small bits of lint.
- Wash the lint screen with water and warm soap.
- Air-dry the lint screen.
- Clean with your vacuum the lint screen slot in the dryer.
- Replace the lint screen on the dryer when completely dry.
You can find the lint screen of your GE dryer (depending on the type and model) either at the top of the dryer, back of the dryer, or inside the front door (base of the tumbler). Check your owner’s manual to know where the lint screen is on your dryer.
4. Defective Heating Element
The heating element of your dryer is responsible for heating the air before it goes to the dryer drummer. Over time, the heating element may stop working or can get burnt out and may not properly heat or not generate heat at all.
The heating element may get burned if you are overloading the dryer and leaving it ON for a long time.
GE dryers come with two heating elements. So it may be possible to produce some heat in the tub even if one of the heating elements is burned out. You can test the heating elements with a multimeter.
Check your user’s manual because it is not easy to access the heating elements of your dryer.
- Unplug your dryer.
- Check your manual diagram on how to access the heating elements of your dryer.
- Inspect the heating element for any signs that it has burned or for any other damage.
- If you do not find any physical damage on the heating element, check each heating element with a multimeter.
- A continuous current between the terminals will be recorded if the heating elements are in good condition.
Replace the defective heating element and re-test it using your multimeter before re-assembling your dryer. Do a test cycle to endure everything is working well.
5. Broken High-Limit Thermostat
The high-limit thermostat of your GE dryer is a safety feature. The high-limit thermostat automatically shuts off the heating elements when they become too hot or may cut out heat to your GE dryer. This may also probably be caused by a clogged dryer vent.
A malfunctioning or broken high-limit thermostat may turn off the burner even if your dryer is not overheating. So, it is best to check all the components of your dryer that commonly get defective. Check the high-limit thermostat with a multimeter for continuity. Replace the high-limit thermostat if it does not show continuity.
To check the high-limit thermostat:
- Unplug your dryer.
- Check the owner’s manual on how to access the high-limit thermostat.
- Use a multimeter to check if the thermostat has continuity.
- Unplug the wires of the thermostat and check for the continuity of the two terminals.
The high-limit thermostat is the big thermostat that has two wires. It can typically be found outside the heater can.
6. Defective Thermal Fuse
The thermal fuse is also an important feature of your GE dryer to prevent your dryer from overheating. The thermal fuse can be found at the heat source of the dryer. It will shut the heat off when it gets too hot.
If you have a heating element or electric model, a defective thermal fuse can cause overheating and electric feedback which can cause all components of your dryer to burn beyond repair.
If you have a gas-powered dryer, not properly maintaining the heat source can cause a fire.
Defective fuses show that the vents of your dryer need some air before mold develops and causes a fire. You may also need to clean the entire dryer.
A defective thermal fuse can also cause your GE dryer not heating. Check the thermal fuse of your dryer for continuity with a multimeter.
- Touch one probe tip to the terminals of the plug connecting it to the dryer.
- Check for continuity between the terminals.
If no continuous electrical path is established, replace the wires in the section and reconnect them.
7. Problem with Incoming Power
Incoming power is another reason your GE dryer is not heating. To operate correctly your GE dryer needs two legs of 120 volts or a total of 240 volts.
Your GE dryer should have a dedicated 240-volt electrical outlet. While it may run with only a voltage of 120 volts, it will not heat up because it needs a 240 volts power supply. Your dryer will not also heat up if the circuit breaker has partially tripped off even if it does not look as though it has.
If this is the case, you should check the circuit breaker with a multimeter to measure the voltage. Here is what you can do.
- Find the circuit breaker in your hose and check the circuit breaker has tripped.
- Turn off the circuit breaker that is the power source of your dryer.
- Turn the circuit breaker back on.
- Check if your dryer is already heating properly.
- You can also check the voltage with a multimeter.
- If you find any problem with the circuit breakers you will need to fix them.
- When you have fixed or replaced the problematic fuses or circuit breakers, turn on your dryer to check if you have solved the problem.
You can also check on the power cord of your dryer. A broken, burned, or loose connection may cause your GE dryer not heating.
If you have a gas-powered dryer, you will need to check its gas valve solenoid. The gas valve of your dryer has one or two solenoids or coils. The solenoids open and close the valve to manage the flow of gas. If the coil or coils are defective, gas will not flow and there will be no heat in the dryer.
This is how to check the solenoids of your dryer.
- Turn off your dryer.
- Find the gas valve solenoids. Check your owner’s manual for reference.
- Check if the gas igniter glows and then goes off without igniting the gas. If this happens, it means you have a defective solenoid.
- Replace the whole set of the gas valve solenoid, meaning all the coils before the other coils become defective, too.
The gas valve solenoid functions to turn the gas on and off. It is responsible for maintaining a constant flame that runs your gas-powered GE dryer. If it is defective, your dryer will not heat up and your clothes will never be warm enough to dry.
You use your dryer several times a week. Since it is used often, it is quite common for your dryer to have some issues over time, especially heating issues. It can be such a hassle not to have a running dryer and deal with all your clothes wet and lying around.
You can look into each of the reasons your ge dryer not heating and follow the recommended fixes. Always make sure, though to unplug your dryer before checking on the components and running any test on your unit.
Before working on your dryer make sure you are confident that you can do the troubleshooting yourself. It may sometimes require you to take the dryer apart and reassemble it.