The main joy of a tumble dryer is that it’ll dry your laundry quickly while keeping the fabrics soft and wrinkle-free. So when your tumble dryer is not drying clothes properly, it quickly becomes a useless appliance.
Fortunately, you probably won’t need to buy a new tumble dryer just yet. Tumble dryers are pretty straightforward devices that use four basic components to function; a drum, a motor to turn the drum, a heating source, and an electric timer. So when your tumble dryer fails, there are only a few factors to troubleshoot.
The most common reasons your tumble dryer is not drying or heating up are clogged lint filters, vents, or an overloaded drum, which are easily resolved with regular cleaning and proper dryer use. Otherwise, you might need to replace the thermal fuse, blower wheel, or heating element assembly.
So if your laundry is still damp or wet at the end of a dryer cycle, read on to learn the potential causes and solutions.
Tumble dryers usually have two thermostats; the cycling thermostat and the safety thermostat. While the cycling thermostat switches on and off at routine intervals to maintain a constant temperature in the drum, the safety thermostat prevents overheating that would otherwise cause extensive damage to the tumble dryer parts.
If the thermostats are faulty, the dryer will only produce cold air or battle to control temperatures and cause the dryer to overheat.
The thermostats can malfunction due to mid-cycle interruptions, lousy airflow due to clogged filters, or an overloaded drum. So you can prevent damaging the thermostats with proper dryer use.
A Blown Thermal Fuse
The thermal fuse is a safety installation that helps prevent the tumble dryer from overheating; the appliance won’t work when this fuse blows or trips.
In some dryer models, a blown thermal fuse will shut off the power supply to the heating element. The dryer will run, although it will only produce cold air. For other tumble dryer models, a blown thermal fuse prevents the appliance from running altogether.
Clogged filters and vents are the most prominent cause of a blown thermal fuse.
The Heating Element Is Faulty
The heating element is largely responsible for heating the air that dries laundry inside the drum. So, if the heating element is faulty, the tumble dryer will take longer to dry clothing, or it might not heat up at all and only use cold air while tumbling garments.
The Lint Filter Is Clogged
It’s essential to clean the lint filter that’s located on the dryer’s door after every use. A build-up of fluff can block airflow and lead to longer drying times. What’s more, if lint is left to build up for too long, the tumble dryer can eventually overheat.
If you have a vented tumble dryer, the appliance will have a vent pipe at the back that releases airflow from the drum. Condenser tumble dryers move hot air into a unit where the hot air is condensed into water.
Fluff will build up in the tumble dryer vent hole and pipe and increase cycle drying time.
The key signs of a clogged dryer vent include a burning smell during a cycle and garments that are hot to the touch after a drying cycle.
This vent will become clogged if the lint filter or lint screen is not cleaned routinely. Even so, cleaning the vent at the back of your tumble dryers at least once a year is good practice.
Dirty Or Faulty Blower Wheel
The blower wheel is a type of squirrel cage wheel component located at the bottom corner of the tumble dryer’s back. This component moves air through the tumble dryer; the wheel spins on a shaft to circulate air from the drum to the appliance’s exhaust.
But when fluff and bits of lint get caught in the blower wheel, circulation is negatively impacted, and the tumble dryer will take longer to dry clothes.
The Drum Is Overloaded
If the dryer drum is overloaded, there is less space for hot air to flow between garments, leading to longer drying times. However, overloading the drum can also lead to eventual overheating as the additional weight will wear down tumble dryer parts faster.
How To Fix Your Hotpoint Tumble Dryer
If your Hotpoint dryer takes longer than usual to dry laundry, there’s no need to panic. Because Hotpoint appliances are built to last, there’s a good chance you won’t need to replace your tumble dryer.
Instead, try these solutions or contact a repair centre to restore your Hotpoint tumble dryer.
Reset The Dryer
With tumble dryers that have a reset function, a simple reset might resolve the issue. If the appliance has overheated, this might trigger a safety trip to prevent damage.
Find the tumble dryer’s reset button on the back of the appliance near the back panel. If you hear a click when pressing the reset, the issue is likely due to a trip.
However, even if resetting the tumble dryer solves the issue, it’s still essential to clean filters and ensure proper dryer use to prevent further appliance trips.
You can find proper usage instructions in the appliance’s user manual. If you have misplaced the user manual, you can find one online using the appliance’s model number.
Clean The Lint Filter
It’s crucial to clean the lint filter or lint screen before each use to maximize tumble dryer efficiency and prevent appliance part damage. When fluff and lint build up on the filters, airflow is gradually restricted.
To clean the lint screen or lint filter, remove the part and gently scrape the lint build-up using a paper towel, a soft brush, or your hand.
Clean The Vent Hose
You will need a vacuum cleaner to clean the vent hose on your Hotpoint dryer.
First, move the appliance forward and detach the vent at the back of the tumble dryer and vacuum both ends of the pipe to remove any build-up of fluff and pieces of lint.
Clean And Inspect The Blower Wheel
Switch the dryer off at the wall and remove the back panel to locate the blower wheel at the bottom corner of the appliance.
The blower wheel resembles a circular disc with indentations. The outer covering protects the disc and fan system of the blower wheel. Bear in mind that this part is sometimes crafted from durable plastics, while other times, a blower wheel can be made from corrosion-resistant metals.
Remove any build-up of fluff and lint, and then try to rotate the blower wheel by hand gently. If you feel the wheel wobble even slightly while attempting to turn it, you must replace the part.
Reduce Drum Load Size
It’s a good rule of thumb to only fill the tumble dryer drum halfway. Even though a small load is a quarter full and a medium load is halfway full, larger loads that fill the dryer drum more than halfway will restrict airflow.
Instead of extending the drying time of the cycle and risking damaging the appliance parts, remove some garments from the dryer drum.
Replace The Thermal Fuse
The tumble dryer’s thermal fuse is located on the blower housing or by the heating element. When the fuse is blown, the dryer controls will light up, but the tumble dryer’s motor won’t run.
Repairing a blown thermal fuse is impossible, and you will need to replace the part. Fortunately, replacing a fuse is pretty straightforward.
Remove the back panel on the tumble dryer and locate the fuse on the blower housing. You will see two leads attached to the thermal fuse. Gently remove these wires from the female end and tug towards yourself.
Now use a nut driver to loosen the screw holding the thermal fuse in place and wiggle the component out. Insert the new fuse and reconnect the leads.
Replace The Heating Element Assembly
You won’t be able to replace the heating element or the thermostat separately because these parts are pre-assembled into one part, known as the heating element assembly. Fortunately, this makes replacing both parts a lot more straightforward.
Switch the tumble dryer off and remove the back panel. The assembly is located at the back of the tumble dryer. The component resembles a large round metal box with wires connecting it to the dryer motor.
To remove the assembly, loosen the screws holding the element and connector. Be sure to secure the two wires to prevent losing them.
Inspect the tumble dryer heating element assembly for any visible breaks or damages to the part and connecting wires. Insert the new assembly by clipping the component in place.
When To Contact A Service Center
As mentioned, tumble dryers are fairly simplistic appliances, which makes repairing faulty parts relatively straightforward. But even so, if the suggestions listed above don’t solve the issue, there could be a more complex problem with your Hotpoint tumble dryer.
The control board or moisture sensor might be faulty. In these instances, contacting a repair centre for further assistance is best. A repair centre will be able to have your tumble dryer completely repaired.
How To Keep Your Dryer In Top Condition
While the suggestions above will help you fix a Hotpoint tumble dryer that’s not heating properly, it’s also essential to know how to clean and maintain your dryer to prevent these kinds of issues from developing in the first place.
Clean the lint filter or lint screen before each use. Leaving lint and fluff to build up risks the appliance overheating, tripping, or becoming damaged. In addition to cleaning lint filters, you must clean the vent hose at least once a year. Lastly, remember to only fill the dum halfway with your wet garments to prevent overloading the dryer drum.