Tumble Dryer Thermostats
Tumble dryer thermostats failing is likely one of the most common types of failure on virtually any make of tumble dryer.
The big problem that we often have is explaining to people why that, in large part, it is often a fault that is user generated through use or failure to use and maintain the tumble dryer correctly. Of course, if people are happy to keep paying us to come and repair their tumble dryers repairers are happy enough to do so but a little care could prevent the hassle and cost.
Why Tumble Dryer Thermostats Fail
There are various reasons why thermostats fail when you the dryer does and how it operates.
The obvious bit is that the drum tumbles, it may well reverse and a timer (mechanical or electronic) will count down the drying time.
The important bit is that the machine is an airflow.
Your tumbel dryer effectively sucks in cold air, passes it through the heater into the drum, through the tumbling clothes and then will be either blown out through a vent hose or passed over an aluminium condensing element.
The steam is flashed back to water and it is collected in a chamber for the user to empty on a condenser tumble dryer or, the expelled moisture is vented out the vent hose, hence the term, vented dryer.
If the air doesn't flow, the machine can overheat and the safety will trip.
Any obstruction to the rate of airflow will affect the operation of the dryer and almost certainly cause a failure of the thermostat or, the safety thermostat to trip.
The Tumble Dryer Filter
The label saying “Clean filter after every load" is there for a reason!
People tell us that they clean the filters, we often see a different story. (Photo courtesy of Jim Banks, IADOM)
If you don't clean the fluff or lint filters, don't fit them back properly or use the tumble dryer with damaged or broken filters then the above is what will happen. It isn't a case of "if", but when.
As you can imaging this affects the efficiency of your tumble dryer massively as well as being a massive fire risk.
But what it also does is restrict airflow (increasing the fire risk) as the temperature is not kept down by cooler air being drawn into the tumble dryer. This increase in temperature can and does, rise high enough to trip out safety thermostats.
Tumble Dryer Door Channel
This will collect a surprising amount of fluff.
Remove the lint filter and look down through the door; keep it clean.
If you do not keep this area and filter clean and clear then the airflow will become restricted and there is a strong possibility that the thermostats will fail.
Tumble Dryer Vent Hose
Hopefully, a short, flat run.
If it droops, it may form a U-bend and this can fill with water by condensation.
A long hose rammed back behind the machine may be crushed and not allow air to flow.
Loading Your Tumble Dryer
Did you really put two double sheets, a duvet cover and four pillowcases in the tumble dryer?
The large items can (and will!) spread across the drum and strangle the airflow.
Just as putting too much in your tumble dyer will affect the airflow, in some cases to dramatic effect and you can read more about overloading in this article.
Tumble Dryer Condenser Unit
The big assembly of aluminium plates at the bottom of condensing machines.
You can see the front when the cover is removed and it must be kept clean. The shower head or garden hose is very effective for removing the build up of fluff or lint that will get depositede in this area.
Tumble Dryer Motor
The motor fulfils two functions; it turns the drum and the fan. If it doesn't run, there is no airflow and the safety will fail in seconds.
We will try to break it gently.
The single, commonest reason for the safety thermostat to trip is that people will open the door during the drying cycle.
After 20 minutes, the inside of the dryer is running at 100c plus. The clothes are starting to warm through, steam is coming off. By an hour, they're cooking nicely. The control panel will tell you to set cottons for 90-120 minutes.
If the door is opened after an hour (“To see how they're doing"), the airflow stops, the temperature at the element soars (briefly) and the safety will trip. It happens all the time.
If you have to open the door, set the timer to the propeller symbol and just wait a minute to take the heat off the element and will save you a repair bill. Best bet is to trust the machine to do its job; it will, if used correctly.
Should you need to investigate a “no heat" problem on these machines, please remember to pull the plug before removing any panel.
Hotpoint Tumble Dryer “No Heat" Problem
First things first, from 1991 to 2004, these full size machines were all variations on 3 basic designs theywere sold under the Hotpoint, Indesit and Ariston brands.
The early versions had a door glass, later ones used the full width solid door, with a filter and air channel through it.
At the same time, temperature control at the heater was altered to comprise a control thermostat and a “one time" safety thermostat. When these fail, they must be replaced as a pair; they are supplied as a kit by The Indesit Company and are all available through the spares store facility on UKWhitegoods.
The Tumble Dryer Spares To Fix It
It's relatively easy to fix the heater and thermostats on these machines, with the power off of course and the spares are all available from UK Whitegoods.
There are two flavours of common heater on these machines which you can find on the online shop in the relevant section but please check the wattage before you order one or ask us to check when you do order.
The most popular Hotpoint and Creda thermostat kits are here
The section for tumble dryer spare parts you can get to from this link