Condenser Tumble Dryer Not Heating Up

Condenser Tumble Dryer Not Heating Up – Causes and Solutions

There’s nothing worse than opening the door of your condenser dryer only to find that your laundry is still sopping wet and cold. There are a variety of potential causes of this problem, many of which you can resolve yourself without needing to call an engineer.

Whether the only symptom of a problem is wet laundry at the end of the cycle or you’ve noticed a strange noise, keep reading to find out what the common causes are and what you can do about them.

Do You Have an Error Code?

tumble dryer error code

Often, an error code is the easiest way to determine if your tumble dryer has a fault and what fault it is. If your tumble dryer is displaying symptoms of an issue and is displaying an error code, check the error code in the manufacturer’s guide to troubleshoot the problem.


Cause 1: Door Opened Too Soon

dryer Door Opened Too Soon

If you have opened the door shortly after starting the cycle to make sure the tumble dryer is heating up, this can actually delay the heating process, especially if you have opened the door in the first ten minutes of the cycle starting. 

If you do this, the drying time on some models will be extended as the heating process starts over again.


Cause 2: Overloaded Drum

overloaded drum

In order to protect the machine, tumble dryers have a maximum weight rating. If you go over this maximum weight on most modern tumble dryers, it will stop the dryer operating correctly, and so will prevent the machine from heating up.


Cause 3: Filters Need Cleaning

dirty tumble dryer filter

All tumble dryers have filters that are designed to catch the fluff and lint that comes off laundry during the drying process. These filters will quickly fill up with fluff if they aren’t cleaned out regularly.

If the filters end up full and air is not able to flow through them easily, tumble dryers will stop working until the filter is cleaned. 

If you check the filter and it looks clean, it could still be blocked. Try to run water through the filter, and if it cannot flow through, clean the filter thoroughly before trying again. 

If you have thoroughly scrubbed the filter and water still will not flow through, consider replacing them entirely as they could have ended up damaged over time.


Cause 4: Condenser Is Blocked

tumble dryer condenser

Much like the filters in a washing machine, the condenser in a washing machine can end up blocked with fluff and lint too. When you remove the condenser unit to empty it, rinse the unit well to remove any fluff and lint that has accumulated.

If you do not do this regularly, it can block the unit, preventing the tumble dryer from working. In the same way, if the condenser unit is allowed to fill with water and is not emptied, the machine will not let the cycle start to prevent damage.


Cause 5: The Room Is Too Hot or Cold

too hot or too cold laundry room

In order for the condenser unit to work properly, condenser dryers have a recommended operating temperature, often between 5°C and 30°C. If the ambient temperature is either above or below this range, the dryer might not heat up.

This problem is usually because the ambient temperature is too cold, for example with tumble dryers in garages or utility rooms that aren’t heated during the winter months. If you suspect that this is the case, you will need to either heat the room where the dryer is situated, or move the dryer to another room in your home.


Cause 6: Faulty Heating Element

All tumble dryers will have a heating element that warms the air used to dry your clothing. A fault with the heating element will stop a tumble dryer from heating up, and you will need to call an engineer to have the part replaced.


Cause 7: Thermal Cut-Out Triggered

The thermal cut-out is a safety device that is fitted into most large appliances to protect them against damage caused by overheating. This small device is essentially a thermal fuse, and if it triggers, cannot be reset and will need to be replaced by an engineer.


Resetting the Appliance

resetting the tumble dryer

Sometimes, especially with modern appliances, the problem is that a process has simply tripped up. Before calling out an engineer, turn the appliance off, and unplug it from the socket. Wait for at least three minutes, then plug it back in again.

Some tumble dryers will have a different reset procedure. If you are unsure, check the manufacturer’s guide for more information.