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JC Penney Dryer Not Heating

The part(s) or condition(s) listed below for the symptom Dryer not heating 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 not heating

For the most accurate results, enter your model number.


Cause 1Thermal Fuse

The thermal fuse is a safety device designed to protect the dryer from overheating. The fuse is located on the blower housing or at the dryer’s heat source such as the heating element on electric dryers or at the burner on gas models. The fuse should be closed for continuity meaning it has a continuous electrical path through it when good. If overheated the fuse will have no continuity meaning the electrical path is broken and the fuse has blown. A multimeter can be used to test it for continuity. Be aware that a blown thermal fuse is an indication of a restricted exhaust vent from the dryer to the outside. Always check the dryer venting when replacing a blown thermal fuse.

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Cause 2Drive Motor

Most dryer drive motors have a centrifugal switch that energizes a start winding when the motor is first started and closes a heat cycle contact to allow the heat source to work. If the motor's centrifugal switch is faulty, either the motor won’t run or the motor will run but the dryer won’t heat. Since most centrifugal switches are not sold separately, the entire motor will need to be replaced if the switch is defective.

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Cause 3Gas Valve Solenoid

Gas dryers have two or more gas valve solenoid coils. The gas valve solenoids open the gas valve ports to allow gas to flow into the burner assembly. If a gas valve solenoid fails, the dryer won’t heat. To determine if one or more of the gas valve solenoids has failed, check the igniter. If the igniter glows and goes out but does not ignite the gas, the gas valve solenoid is defective. If one or more of the gas valve coils are defective, we recommend that you replace them as a set.

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Cause 4Incorrect cycle settings

Ensure the dryer is set to the appropriate heat setting. The setting may have been inadvertently changed to a non-heat option.

Cause 5Igniter

The igniter uses heat to ignite the gas in the burner assembly. If the igniter is not working, the gas will not ignite, preventing the dryer from heating. To determine if the igniter has burned out, use a multimeter to test the igniter for continuity. If the igniter does not have continuity, replace it.

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Cause 6Heating Element

The heating element warms the air before it enters the dryer drum. Over time, the heating element can burn out, causing the dryer not to heat. To determine if the heating element has burned out, use a multimeter to test it for continuity. If the heating element does not have continuity, replace it.

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Cause 7Heating Element Assembly

The heating element assembly warms the air before it enters the dryer drum. Over time, the heating element can burn out, causing the dryer not to heat. To determine if the heating element assembly has burned out, use a multimeter to test it for continuity. If the heating element assembly does not have continuity, replace it.

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Cause 8Flame Sensor

On a gas dryer, the flame sensor detects the heat emitted by the flame. If the flame sensor isn’t working, the dryer won’t heat. Before checking the flame sensor, first make sure that the igniter and thermal fuse are not at fault. To determine if the flame sensor is defective, use a multimeter to test the sensor for continuity at room temperature. If the flame sensor does not have continuity at room temperature, replace it.

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Cause 9Control Board

A dryer's control board controls the voltage being sent to all of the appliance's electrical components. If the board is defective, it may not allow voltage to reach the heating circuit. You can inspect the board for signs of damage or a shorted component. You can also use a multimeter to test for voltage reaching the drive motor after reviewing the dryer's wiring diagram.

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Cause 10Incoming Power Problem

An electric dryer heater requires 220 volts to operate properly. If the incoming voltage is incorrect the dryer can run and not heat.

Cause 11Thermistor

A dryer thermistor monitors the temperature of the burner or heater housing and will shut off the heat once a sufficient temperature is reached. If the thermistor is faulty, the dryer may not heat at all.

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Cause 12High Limit Thermostat

The high-limit thermostat monitors the dryer temperature and shuts off the burner if the dryer overheats. If the high-limit thermostat is malfunctioning, it may shut off the burner even if the dryer is not overheating. 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 continuity. If the thermostat does not have continuity, replace it.

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Cause 13Gas Valve Assembly

A dryer's gas valve assembly will open to allow gas to flow into the burner tube to ignite into a flame to heat the air being circulated through the dryer drum. If the gas valve assembly is malfunctioning, the dryer may not heat.

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Cause 14Cycling Thermostat

The cycling thermostat cycles the heat on and off to regulate the air temperature. If the cycling thermostat is defective, the dryer will not heat. 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 for continuity. If the thermostat does not have continuity, replace it.

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Cause 15Main Control Board

The main control board might be defective. However, this is rarely the case. Before replacing the main control board, check all of the more commonly defective parts. If you have determined that all of the other components are working properly, replace the main control board. (The control board cannot be easily tested, but you can try to inspect it for signs of burning or a shorted-out component.)

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Cause 16Timer

If the dryer doesn’t heat, the timer might be defective. 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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