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Why Does My Dryer Keep Shutting Off?

John Turpin is our resident home service repair expert here at Service Direct. He’s got the knowledge and experience to help homeowners like you make sense of most home repair issues. And with Service Direct, we connect you with top-tier service professionals to help with any repairs needed.

Find Out Why Your Clothes Not Drying Due to a Faulty Dryer

Your dryer keeps shutting down, leaving your clothes wet and you not knowing what to do about it. You’re wondering, “Is there something I can do to stop my dryer from turning off prematurely?” Dryers are supposed to make your life easier, but not when they keep stopping mid-cycle and your clothes are still wet.

If this is what’s happening with your appliance, a few things are probably causing this. It may have a blocked dryer vent, a faulty door latch, or an overheated motor. Power supply issues, faulty thermal fuse, and a defective control board could also cause the problem. But don’t worry because this blog can help you troubleshoot your dryer issues.

Faulty Dryer Common Causes
Check out below the most common reasons your dyer isn’t working properly.

Common Causes Why Dryer Keeps Shutting Off Mid-Cycle

A dryer that keeps shutting off is not only frustrating. It can also lead to incomplete drying cycles. This problem has many possible causes, and understanding them will help you fix the issue. Read on to learn why your clothes are not drying and how to fix a dryer that keeps shutting off.


One of the most common causes of a dryer that keeps shutting off is overheating. It happens when the dryer can’t vent properly, the thermostat malfunctions, or the heating element is faulty. Overheating is a serious safety concern as it can lead to fires, so it’s important to address this issue as soon as possible.

Broken Door Switch

A broken door switch is another common cause of a dryer that keeps stopping mid-cycle. Dryers are designed not to run unless the door is securely closed. This means that if the door switch is broken, the dryer won’t be able to run a full cycle. A symptom of this may look like a dryer running initially, but then stopping prematurely because it detected that the door wasn’t fully closed.

Malfunctioning Timer

If the dryer’s timer is malfunctioning, it can cause the machine to shut off prematurely or not start at all. This is because the time controls how long each cycle is, which means the dryer won’t be able to complete a full cycle if it’s not working correctly. If you’re confident with your dryer DIY knowledge, you can fix this problem by replacing the timer.

Faulty Start Switch

A faulty start switch can also cause the dryer to shut off after a few minutes. This is because the start switch initiates the dryer’s cycle. If it’s not working properly, then the dryer won’t be able to run, stop mid-cycle, or keep clothes from drying. Like in most cases, you can fix this problem by replacing the faulty start switch.

Faulty Dryer Lint Filter Blocked
Each of these could be causing your dryer issues.

Blocked Lint Filter

Are your clothes not drying? A blocked lint filter might be why, as it can cause the dryer to shut off prematurely. It happens due to restricted airflow, leading the dryer to overheat and suddenly stop working. Luckily, it’s easy enough to fix simply by cleaning the lint regularly. Start by removing the lint screen and washing it with warm, soapy water. Then, use a lint brush or a vacuum to clean the lint trap area.

Power Supply Issues

If the dryer is not getting enough power, it can shut off during operation. This can happen if the dryer isn’t plugged into a functioning outlet or if the circuit breaker is tripped. Check if the outlet the dryer is plugged into is functioning properly by plugging in another appliance. If the outlet isn’t working, check the circuit breaker to see if it’s tripped. If it is, reset the breaker and try running the dryer again.

Faulty Thermal Fuse

You want to know, “Why does the dryer turn off while clothes are still wet?” The problem might be the thermal fuse, a safety component that protects the dryer from overheating. If it’s faulty, it can shut off the dryer even when it’s not actually overheating. If you have great DIY skills, you can try to fix the problem by replacing the faulty thermal fuse.

Our resident home repair guru, John Turpin, discusses common reasons why your dryer is acting up, along with some suggested solutions and DIY tips.

Defective Motor

A defective motor is one of the most common causes of a dryer shutting off mid-operation. Usually, this issue is accompanied by a humming noise whenever you start the dryer. Replacing the motor is the best solution for this problem. But if you’re not familiar with the inner workings of a dryer, it’s best to let a professional technician fix your dryer.

Loose or Damaged Wiring

Your clothes not drying due to the dryer stopping mid-cycle might be because of loose or damaged wiring. Check the wiring of the machine for signs of damage or loose connections. If you find any issues, loose connections need tightening, while damaged wiring needs replacement. It’s best to let an electrician take care of this for you.

Defective or Damaged Control Board

The control board regulates the dryer’s functions. If it’s defective, it can definitely cause the dryer to shut off unexpectedly. If this is the problem with your dryer, you will need to replace the faulty control board to fix the issue. It can be a complex process, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the machine’s electrical components. If you want to ensure your dryer will be fixed properly, call a professional technician to repair your appliance.

Dirty or Damaged Blower Wheel

The blower wheel is responsible for circulating air in the dryer. It can be one of the many reasons your dryer stops working mid-cycle, often when it’s dirty or damaged. If it’s dirty, cleaning it thoroughly with a brush or a vacuum should fix the problem. But if it’s damaged, you must replace the blower wheel.

Ask John Dryer Repair Person
See our list of Frequently Asked Questions relating to faulty dryers.

Faulty Dryer FAQs

How do I fix a dryer that keeps shutting off?

The first step is to clean the lint filter and event system to ensure the dryer has proper airflow. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you might need to replace a faulty component, such as a timer, thermostat, or heating element. You should consult the owner’s manual or contact a professional appliance repair technician to address the problem.

Should I try to repair a dryer that keeps shutting off mid-cycle on my own?

We don’t recommend trying to repair a dryer that keeps shutting off on your own unless you have experience with appliance repair. It can be a complicated process, which might end up causing further damage to your appliance if you attempt to fix it without knowledge or experience. DIY repair can also void the current warranty of the dryer. It’s best to call a professional technician to diagnose and fix the problem to ensure it is repaired correctly the first time.

How can I prevent my dryer from shutting off or stopping mid-cycle?

Regular maintenance is the key to preventing a dryer from shutting off or stopping mid-cycle. Here’s what you should do – clean the vent system and lint filter, check for and repair any damage to the motor or drum roller, and avoid overloading the dryer. It is also important to use the appropriate settings for each load to prevent overheating and other issues.

Hire a Local Appliance Repair Expert

Many different factors can cause a dryer that keeps shutting off. Most of them are simple enough to fix, even with little understanding of how a dryer works. Just remember to unplug the dryer first before attempting any repairs. On the other hand, seek the assistance of a professional appliance repair technician if it’s a serious, more complicated issue.

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