Here’s the thing:
A dryer that starts but keeps shutting off abruptly after a few minutes could easily be a laundrydoer’s worst nightmare.
I encounter this disruption frequently while doing dryer repairs, and I will help you assess potential causes and troubleshooting steps to curtail them.
I have also enlisted Bennett Page, an experienced appliance technician from California, to give his invaluable expert input on this issue.
Let’s get cracking!
Table of Contents
From my experience repairing appliance defects, there are a few likely causes to watch for if your dryer keeps shutting off unexpectedly. These include an overheating motor, defective door lock mechanism, faulty moisture sensor wires, broken drum belt, or a clogged lint filter.
I will examine each potential cause of a dryer that keeps shutting off and recommend helpful troubleshooting steps to correct them. So, unplug your dryer, wear protective gear, and start fixing it.
|COMMONLY AFFECTED PARTS||ESTIMATED COST|
|Drive Motor||$70 – $300|
|Door lock latch||$5 – $20|
|Moisture sensor wires||$10 – $80|
|Drum belt||$5 – $50|
|Lint filter||$15 – $70|
1. Overheating Drive Motor
|Location||It is located behind the access panel at the back or bottom of the dryer.|
|Ease of troubleshooting||Difficult|
|Cost||$70 – $300, depending on the model|
|Repairable||Yes – if it is clogged with dust |
No – If it is damaged
If your dryer shuts off after running for a few minutes, you should suspect your drive motor first. Why?
An overheating drive motor is the most common cause of this defect.
I have had a client with a Hotpoint HTDX100EM8WW dryer that would shut off after 10 to 20 minutes of running. What’s more? It wouldn’t restart until it had cooled down.
What was my verdict?
The motor was overheating and cutting out on its internal overload protector.
“Your dryer’s motor could overheat due to clogged vents, a defective thermostat, or a malfunctioning heating element.“ Furthermore, he says that you should check if the dryer is hot to the touch and listen for a distinct buzzing sound to identify the issue.
In any case:
You’ve got to solve the problem. So, leave your dryer to sit for about 30 minutes, then locate the drive motor. Finally, test it with a multimeter and replace it if it is non-functional.
2. Defective Door Lock Latch
|Part||Door lock latch|
|Location||It is located on the door at the front of the washer.|
|Ease of troubleshooting||Easy|
|Cost||$5 – $20, depending on the model|
The door lock mechanism in dryers is a safety feature designed to halt all processes when the door is open. And when the door lock latch is not properly engaged or is faulty, your dryer will have trouble running a full cycle.
Take it from this Reddit user whose GE GTD33EASK0WW electric dryer keeps shutting off mid-cycle after running for 5-10 minutes. Having checked the vent and breaker to no avail, they were open to other options.
From my experience:
The door switch is a probable cause for this defect. And after checking in with Bennett, he supported this assessment.
“You must examine the door lock latch for any visible damage and test it for electrical continuity to confirm its culpability.”
As soon as that’s done, replace the defective part with a new functional part.
3. Disconnected or Oxidized Moisture Sensor Wires
|Part||Moisture sensor wires|
|Location||They are located inside the dryer drum, near the lint filter.|
|Ease of troubleshooting||Moderate|
|Cost||$10 – $80, depending on the model|
The dryer moisture sensor detects the amount of moisture left in clothes. The idea is that when the moisture sensor detects an absence of moisture, it triggers the machine to end the cycle.
If the moisture sensor is faulty or the wires are disconnected and oxidized, it could send false signals to the control board. This would cause your dryer to stop the cycle prematurely because it believes the clothes are dry.
This happened to a group member from our Simply Swider Appliance Repair Community, Steve, who recently posted about his Kenmore dryer.
He complained, “My Kenmore 60222 dryer keeps shutting off after 5 minutes…replaced the thermal fuse, thermostat, and heating elements, but the problem persists.”
Based on the description:
I suspect that the moisture sensor wiring is faulty. And thorough inspection of the part for visible disconnections or damage is a great starting point.
“Clean the sensor with a soft cloth, reconnect loose wires, and replace oxidized or damaged wires,” Bennet says.
Bear in mind that your dryer’s user manual will be very helpful when trying to replace faulty wires.
4. Misaligned or Broken Drum Belt
|Location||It can be found around the drum and motor.|
|Ease of troubleshooting||Easy|
|Cost||$5 – $50, depending on the model|
|Repairable||Yes – If it is misaligned |
No – If it is broken
If your dryer’s drum belt is misaligned, loose, or broken, the dryer will shut off unexpectedly after a few minutes into the cycle. This belt is connected to the drive pulley, which rotates the drum.
If the belt is disconnected from the pulley for any reason, the drum will not spin, and the dryer will shut off.
So, listen to the sound of the motor. If you can hear it and the drum isn’t rotating, that indicates a broken belt.
Another user suggested the issue was with the drive belt if the drum did not rotate after restarting. And Bennett confirmed this assertion.
To troubleshoot, replace the belt with a new one if it is stretched, worn, or broken, and simply readjust it if it slipped off.
For more assistance, you could contact an appliance technician, like Bennet or me, if your Whirlpool dryer keeps shutting off abruptly.
5. Clogged Lint Filter
|Location||It is located inside the dryer door.|
|Ease of troubleshooting||Easy|
|Cost||$15 – $70, depending on the model|
|Repairable||Yes – If it is clogged No – If it is worn-out|
Here’s the thing:
Lint accumulation is one the greatest foes for most dryers because, when left unchecked, it could pose several complications.
An example of such a complication is a dryer that shuts off prematurely.
Here’s the thing:
This Samsung user in our Facebook group was having trouble with their DV42H5200EW which shuts off every 2 minutes. Then, another user responded to the complaint by suggesting that accumulated lint was the culprit.
This user was absolutely correct. A clogged lint filter will hinder the airflow your dryer requires, causing it to overheat.
The dryer’s thermal sensors also shut off the machine after detecting hazardous heat levels to protect itself from damage.
Confirming this fault is simple. If the dryer is scalding hot, inspect it for visible lint buildup, typically in the filter, vent, or drum.
Then to troubleshoot:
Detach the lint filter, and clean it thoroughly using a soft brush. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove leftover residue in the lint filter housing.
To go the extra mile:
Bennett suggests you clear out obstructions from the dryer vent as well. Also, replace the lint filter if it is worn out.
Consistent maintenance will extend your dryer’s life span and improve its general functionality. More specifically, it would do wonders in preventing your dryer from shutting off unexpectedly.
Clean your dryer’s lint filter before loading it, and routinely clear out obstructions in the vent to facilitate airflow and prevent overheating.
“You should also regularly service your dryer to avoid hardware defects,” Bennet pipes in.
Hear me out:
Your dryer is no different from your washer when it comes to loading. For both appliances, you must take care not to overload them for fear of overwhelming the motor and other relevant parts.
This Reddit user has issues with their Samsung dryer because it keeps shutting off after running for 10 minutes. The user, however, noticed, “…the issue only occurs with bedding or blankets, and that possibly means its weight related.”
The thing is:
Overloading the dryer causes a strain on the drive motor and its components, leading to a premature dryer failure.
Bennet recommends loading a little laundry at a time and ensuring it’s evenly distributed in the drum.
Sometimes, your dryer’s problem might simply stem from electrical connectivity. Anything from a fraying cord to a defective outlet could trigger your dryer to shut down after running for a few minutes.
To prevent this, I suggest you ensure the outlet supplies enough power to the washer. Bennet also adds that you should check for visible damage to the cord and replace it immediately if damaged.
Don’t forget to wear your protective gear when handling active electricity.
To wrap it up:
Although your flawed dryer disrupts your laundry process by shutting off after a few minutes into the cycle, it can be fixed. The thing is, you’d want to look into it immediately to avoid further hitches.
Try these troubleshooting recommendations if your dryer keeps shutting off abruptly:
- Replace the overheating motor.
- Replace the defective door lock latch.
- Reconnect or replace the moisture sensor wires.
- Realign or replace the drum belt.
- Unclog the lint filter.
“Be sure to seek assistance from your dryer brand’s customer support or a qualified professional if any repair recommendations are too complicated.”
Taking care of your dryer by maintaining and using it properly will keep it safe from any serious malfunctions.
Finally, don’t forget to share your questions and additions in the comment section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your dryer keeps shutting off during a cycle, your first step should be toinspect your dryer for an overheating motor. Furthermore, you must check for a clogged vent, faulty door lock, broken drum belt, or electrical issues.
A clogged lint filter is one of the common causes of a dryer that shuts off abruptly. The clog restricts airflow, which could cause the dryer to overheat and shut off.
While troubleshooting your dryer that keeps shutting off is possible, I recommend consulting an expert for the best results. However, with the helpful guidelines I’ve outlined, you can easily fix some of your dryer’s faults.