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Maytag Dryer Overheating

The part(s) or condition(s) listed below for the symptom Dryer overheating are ordered from most likely to least likely to occur. Check or test each item, starting with the items at the top of the page.

Most Frequent Causes for Dryer overheating

For the most accurate results, enter your model number.


Cause 1Heating Element

The heating element warms the air before the air enters the dryer drum. If the element is partially shorted out, it may produce heat continuously, even if the dryer has reached the proper temperature. When this happens, the dryer gets too hot. To determine if the heating element is at fault, use a multimeter to test each terminal for continuity to the case. If the heating element has continuity to the case, it is shorted out. If the heating element is shorted out, replace it.

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Cause 2Heating Element Assembly

The heating element warms air as it passes over the element. If the element is partially shorted out, it may produce heat continuously, even if the dryer has reached the proper temperature. When this happens, the dryer gets too hot. To determine if the heating element is at fault, first use a multimeter to test the heating element for continuity. If the heating element does not have continuity, replace it. Next, test for continuity from each terminal to the case. If the heating element has continuity to the case, it is shorted out. If the heating element is shorted out, replace it.

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Cause 3Timer

A dryer that is overheating could be caused by a faulty timer allowing continuous voltage to be sent to the heating circuit. If the timer's heating contacts and the heating element are shorted, the heating element can heat when the timer is off. However, this is very rarely the case. Before replacing the timer, check all the more commonly defective parts. If you determine that all of the other components are working properly, test the timer by using a multimeter and consulting the wiring diagram. If the timer is defective, replace it.

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Cause 4Air Flow Problem

If the vent is clogged or partially clogged, it will restrict the airflow through the dryer, substantially increasing the drying time. To ensure proper dryer performance, you should clean your dryer’s venting system at least once per year.

Cause 5Drive Motor

A dryer's drive motor will drive the drum belt to rotate the drum as well as spin a blower wheel to circulate the air through the drum during operation. If the dryer runs for a while and then stops, and won't start again until it cools down, it's likely the drive motor is malfunctioning and will need to be replaced.

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Cause 6Thermistor

A dryer thermistor monitors the dryer temperature and sends a resistance reading to the control board. If the thermistor is malfunctioning, it may fail to send the correct reading to the control board resulting in the dryer overheating. If you've determined there is good air flow coming out the home's outside vent hood and the dryer venting is free of obstructions, the thermistor is one of the components you can test for electrical continuity with a multimeter to see if it's functioning properly. While the thermistor should have continuity at room temperature, the ohm’s reading should go lower as the temperature on the sensor increases. If the thermistor has shorted or shows no continuity it should be replaced with a new one. Thermistors rarely get out of calibration.

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Cause 7Main Control Board

A dryer's main control board controls the voltage being sent to all of the appliance's electrical components. If a relay on the board has shorted, it may sent continuous voltage to the heating circuit causing the dryer to overhead. To help determine this, you can inspect the board for signs of damage or a shorted component.

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Cause 8Clogged lint filter

A clogged lint filter will cause a loss of air flow, which can cause the dryer to overheat and eventually trip the thermal fuse. For the best drying performance, clean the lint filter before starting the dryer. If you use dryer sheets, residue can build up on the lint filter. If you cannot blow air through the dryer lint filter it will need to be cleaned with a brush, soap, water. Confirm the lint filter housing and grille, if applicable, are free of lint build up as well.

Cause 9Cycling Thermostat

The cycling thermostat cycles the heat on and off to maintain the proper air temperature. If the thermostat is defective, it may keep the heat on too long, causing the dryer to get too hot. However, this is rarely the case. Before replacing the cycling thermostat check all the more commonly defective parts. If you have determined that all of the other components are working properly, test the thermostat by using a multimeter to test it for continuity. If the thermostat does not have continuity, replace it.

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Cause 10Felt Seal

Most dryers have a felt seal at the front and rear of the drum to prevent heat from escaping the drum. If the seal is worn out or missing, the heat will not be drawn through the drum properly, causing the dryer to get too hot. Check the drum seal to ensure that it is creating a reliable seal around the drum. However, this is rarely the case. Before replacing the felt seal check all the more commonly defective parts. If you have determined that all of the other components are working properly, replace the felt seal.

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Cause 11High Limit Thermostat

The high limit thermostat monitors the air temperature in the dryer's blower housing, heating element, or heat duct and is intended to shut off the voltage to the heating circuit if the air temperature gets too hot. If the thermostat is defective, it may allow the heat to stay on too long, causing the dryer to get overheated. However, this is rarely the case. Before replacing the high limit thermostat check all the more commonly defective parts. If you have determined that all of the other components are working properly, test the thermostat by using a multimeter to test it for electrical continuity. If the thermostat does not have continuity, replace it.

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Cause 12Blower Wheel

The blower wheel works with the drive motor to draw air into the dryer drum. Clumps of lint, socks, and small articles of clothing can escape the lint filter and get caught in the blower wheel. In addition, the blower wheel sleeve can wear out, allowing the blower wheel to wobble on the motor shaft. If the blower wheel is obstructed or defective, the dryer may get too hot. To determine if the blower wheel is working properly, remove the dryer vent and assess the strength of the air flow. If the air flow is weak, check the blower wheel for obstructions. If no obstructions are present, try rotating the blower wheel by hand. If the blower wheel wobbles as it turns, replace it.

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Cause 13Control Board

A dryer's control board controls the voltage being sent to all of the appliance's electrical components. If a relay on the board has shorted, it may sent continuous voltage to the heating circuit causing the dryer to overhead. To help determine this, you can inspect the board for signs of damage or a shorted component.

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