Here Is Why Dryer Keeps Blowing Thermal Fuse

Dryers have many parts that can go bad. Two such part are the thermal (limit) fuse and the thermal cutoff.

In past years, house fires were commonly caused by failed dryers.

However, thanks to these components, this is a thing of the past, as both parts work to prevent fires.

Let’s take a look at some common issues with both the thermal fuse on the blower wheel and cutoff fuse on the heater assembly.

We’ll discuss some troubleshooting and possible fixes.

Thermal (Limit) Fuse On The Blower Wheel

This particular thermal fuse is located on your dryer’s blower wheel.

It monitors the temperature of the dryer, and when that temperature gets too high, it shuts power off to the motor (not to the heating element !!!)

Diagnosing a tripped thermal fuse is easy. You just need to have a multimeter and check continuity between two contacts.

But first, turn the dryer 240V power cord OFF from the wall and only then start to work on the dryer.

Every dryer has its own procedure on how to disassemble it and how to reach this fuse.

Connect with an Appliance Repair Tech

Click here to use the chatbox to speak with one of our technicians.
No in-home service calls. No appointments.

Failed Relay on the Control Board

Another common reason for Whirlpool and Maytag dryers, that this particular thermal fuse keeps tripping is due to a failed relay on the control board.

Usually, this relay becomes stuck in the “ON” position and sends the power to the heating element, ignoring ON/OFF commands from the control board.

This will cause the control board to constantly send power to the heating element while dryer running.

It will not send the power if the dryer is not running !!!

When the critical temperature is reached, the thermal fuse blows. Usually, this is happening at the end, when the dryer goes to the Cool Down cycle.

When this occurs, you’ll need to replace the thermal fuse and entire control board, because the relay is stuck.

Need A Part For Your Dryer? Click Here

Here’s how to check the control board:

  • Unplug the dryer
  • Remove the screws on the back of the machine that hold the control panel in place
  • Flip the control panel over to expose the control board
  • The relay switch should be on the lower right of the board
  • Check for any melting or black marks to indicate it has failed
  • If there is nothing visible, change control board anyway

The Thermal Fuse is Wrapped with Lint

Lint can bypass the trap sometimes, and end up in the wrong places inside your dryer.

Once such place it can end up is wrapped around the thermal fuse inside the blower wheel.

When this occurs, it will cause the fuse to overheat and blow due to heat build-up.

If this is the issue, you’ll need to access the blower wheel and clean all lint and other debris from around it.

Then you will need to locate and replace the thermal fuse.

To make it easier to locate, keep in mind that the blower fan is attached to the drive shaft motor.

Thermal Cutoff (heater Assembly) Fuse Keeps Tripping

The thermal cutoff is located on the heater assembly and it controls the temperature of the dryer.

It also helps monitor the amount of heat being produced by the dryer.

If you notice that the drum spins but there’s no heat produced, the thermal cutoff switch is probably blown.

You may also notice that your dryer is producing a small amount of heat, but not enough to dry your clothes in a timely manner.

You can troubleshoot the thermal cutoff by testing it for electrical continuity. However, you’ll also have to determine what made it fail in the first place.

Here are the most common reasons a thermal cutoff fuse will keep tripping.

Dryer Hose or Vent Line Clogged

When dryer hoses or vent lines become clogged it prevents proper air circulation, which will eventually cause your dryer to overheat.

This is the most common reason a thermal cutoff fuse keeps tripping.

You need to remove the vent line from the back of your dryer and clean it out.

Here’s the easiest way to clean the dryer vents:

  • Unplug the dryer
  • Locate the vent on the back of the machine
  • Remove any clamps or tape holding the vent to your dryer
  • Move the dryer out of the way to give you room to work
  • Clean the duct from the interior side of the vent. This will be behind your machine in the laundry room
  • Once that’s as clear as you can get it, you’ll need to locate the exterior vent on the outside of your home
  • This area is easy to access by removing the duct cover or flap
  • Be sure to clear the entire line, this may take a few tries depending on how many twists and turns your duct work has
  • Once you feel confident that all lint is removed, reconnect everything

Sometimes you can discover bird nest on the very end of the vent line.

Heating Element Grounded

When the coils in the heating element expanding, they can touch metal casing and it can cause the heating element to become grounded.

When this occurs it will cause your dryer’s heating element to remain “ON” constantly, even during the fluff or AIR ONLY cycle.

Cycling thermostat just not able to control amount of heat produced by the heating element.

Eventually, this will cause your dryer to overheat which will trip the thermal cutoff fuse.

To repair this problem you will need to follow these steps:

  • Unplug the machine
  • Remove the back panel from the dryer
  • The heating element will be located near the bottom of the machine, you’ll need to disconnect the wires going to it
  • Mark the location of each wire, so you can remember where they go later
  • Remove the high-heat thermostat from the old heating element and transfer it to the new one
  • Position the new heating element to the heater box properly and screw into place
  • Replace the wires and back panel
  • Plug the dryer in and test to see if it’s working properly

In the end, anytime the thermal fuse or cutoff trips, it will need to be replaced.

As a one-time use part, it’s not designed to be reset.

Also, remember to track down the actual problem when this fuse blows.

The simple fact is, it doesn’t happen for no reason at all.

Have you had issues with a thermal fuse tripping?

What brand machine do you have and what was causing the problem? Comment now and let us know.

Reader Comments (135)

  1. I have a GEGTMX180ED5WW and the thermal fuse keeps blowing over and kver. Sometimes after 5 minutes and sometimes after an hour. Both the lint shield and the exhaust pipe are oth clean. Would you have any idea why this is? Thanks

    • I’m having the same problem and I think the thermistor is bad causing the heating element to not cycle on and off causing it to overheat.

  2. My Samsung dryer is blowing the thermal fuse after a few minutes of running. The vent and blower are free of lint and air flow is normal. I cannot find any wiring issues. I’m lost as to what to do next.

    • Daryl..I’ve got the same problem with my 6 yr.old Samsung…I’ve replaced the heating element & thermostat…cleaned out the vent…cleaned off the moisture detector…doesn’t which thermal fuse I try…like a DC 96 00887 A or a DC 47 00016A..they all blow ..have you found a solution yet..thanks..R.Wilkens

    • I’m having the same problem and I think the thermistor is bad causing the heating element to not cycle on and off causing it to overheat.

  3. My old whirlpool dryer hi temp keeps cutting out. I have replaced the hi temp and the operating temp sensor and cleaned out the vent. The vent is clean. The dryer is clean. It works fine with the flexible hose draped over the dryer and blowing into the garage. But when I hook it up the vent (22 feet and very clean) it overheats.. After 20 years of working fine. Driving me nuts.

    • I have a newer whirlpool wed7500gc0 dryer that behaves the same way. If the exhaust is open and blows freely i have no issues but when i connect the duct work it blows the the thermal cut off fuse. I have replaced all 4 fuses and heating element several
      Times. Switched from the foil exhaust to a rigid exhaust. Cleaned the external exhaust many many times just to be sure and still it keeps blowing. Very frustrating!

  4. I bought a used Samsung dryer have had it about 4 months the thermal fuse has blown 2 times the vents are clear and relaxed the heating coil. What could be causing 5hus to happen. Can’t afford a new dryer at this time . Any. Suggestions.. Thank you

  5. Kenmore dryer blew the thermal cut off when the heatying element melted. Replaced the element, thermal cutout wiring, and both cut outs attached to the heating element housing. Cleaned the vent and the housing.
    Blew the cut out again the same night.

    I am now baffled as the vent is clean as is the interior of the dryer. All wiring is new as are the parts.

      • No heat on air dry only. There is no voltage to the thermal cut out when on air only. Voltage is only present on the heating element side of the cut out.
        There is voltage sitting on both sides of the high limit cut out when on heated dry. It blew again this morning after replacing it last night.

      • I missed the 155 F on / off temp switch on the vent. It was stuck closed and the element would never turn off.

        Thanks for the help

  6. Got a Whirlpool WED5620HW0 used. Thoroughly cleaned out all dirt, debris, and lint. Cleaned ductwork prior to installing. Now the thermal fuse has blown for the 2nd time in 2 weeks. It runs WAY TOO HOT, even on the lower temp settings. Can’t afford to buy a new unit, can’t afford to keep paying a repairman either. My husband insists it is the high end thermostat, but when I look up the symptoms, the element is #1. Is it even worth the hassle?

  7. I’m having to replace the thermal fuse once a month now. Get them in a 4 pack from Amazon. Dryer powers on fine but won’t run until I replace this fuse. Then it works for 3-4 weeks and same thing happens. Vents not clogged, lint trap clean. Any ideas? Whirlpool dryer.

  8. I replaced thermal fuse a few times. Started with heating elements needing replaced. After I did that it seem like when the dryer is on element is blowing red and never turns off causing it to kick thermal off. Cabrio dryer

  9. I have an Amana dryer & my thermal fuse keeps blowing. This will be the 3rd time I have replaced it in 6 months. I bought the dryer used but when the thermal fuse went the first time my son went through & checked everything with his multimeter & only thing wrong was thermal fuse. We clean lint trap after every load, after every 3-4 loads we check vent that goes to outside & the outside area to make sure vent is clear. Any other suggestions as to why thermal fuse would keep blowing?

    • In my experience, (gas dryer) there are two reasons the thermal fuse will blow.

      1) Blocked vent causing the dryer to overheat.
      2) Thermostats failing to cut out at correct temperature – and again causing the dryer to overheat.

      You have to check the thermostats for continuity at their cutout temperature which can be up to 265 degrees in the case of the high limit thermostat. If you check then for continuity at room temperature, you will not know if they are bad. You literally have to somehow raise the temp to it’s cut-out temp and then check continuity.

      Whirlpool Gas dyers and all gas dryers made by Whirlpool all have the same design. They have a cycling thermostat and a thermo-cutout kit consisting of a high-limit thermostat and a thermal cut-off fuse. These should be replaced as a pair. If the thermal cut-off fuse is bad, it’s because the high-limit thermostat is bad (not cutting out at high temps) .

      In short, as long as you have the dryer a part you may as well just replace the Thermal cut-out kit, the High Limit Thermostat and the Cycling Thermostat.

      As a DIY job it will be cheaper than a service call. FYI – you may as well do a thorough cleaning of lint from the dryer and the dryer vent at this time and have the peace of mind.

      My dryer is 12 years old. I keep a spare set of the thermostats and fuses on hand. A new dryer is running $800. $50-$75 once every 4-5 years is worth it in my book.

  10. I had my Maytag dryer Thermal cutoff replaced twice.(my last post is August 2, 2021 at 2:35 am). Dryer started blowing cool air again last night. Thermal cutoff is blow-out again. I went thru all the checking in July on this dryer. 1st Thermal cutoff lasted about 2 days and 2nd one is about 4 months (same model). Not sure what to do next steps. Do you need to try Whirlpool part instead of 3rd party

    Thank you


    • Put a new fuse and try to run dryer on AIR ONLY cycle. Will it heat up? if yes, you have a stuck heater relay on the control board

      • Thanks Eugene. No heat on Air only after installed new fuse. Run a quick test. it blows heat. I had this test in summer after 2nd new fuse was installed

        I will run regular dry mode with wet cloth later to see the results

      • Run dryer for 60 mins full cycle with wet cloth. It works well. hope this thermal switch will last….



  12. Replaced thermal fuse and it has blown twice in the last month. Also the timer doesn’t work anymore and the dryer runs until we turn it off. What could it be? Thanks!

Comments are closed. Protection Status