How to Bypass a Thermal Fuse on an Electric Dryer

Written by megan mattingly-arthur
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How to Bypass a Thermal Fuse on an Electric Dryer
(Martin Poole/Lifesize/Getty Images)

A dryer that operates, but doesn't produce heat, may indicate a problem with the appliance's heating element or thermal fuse. Bypassing the thermal fuse in your electric dryer is a simple way to get the bottom of your dryer's inability to produce heat. Dryers that operate with the thermal fuse bypassed indicate that its time for a thermal fuse replacement, while dryers that fail to run when the thermal fuse is bypassed suggest a faulty heating element.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Putty knife
  • Electrical tape

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  1. 1

    Prevent electrical injury by unplugging your clothes dryer from its power source before beginning your repairs. Make sure that all electricity has been disconnected from your appliance before you continue.

  2. 2

    Remove the appropriate dryer panel to access the thermal fuse in your appliance. Note that the location of the thermal fuse may vary by dryer brand and model, but can often be found behind the bottom kick or rear dryer panels. Take out the four corner screws to remove the rear dryer panel or locate the two metal clips that hold the bottom kick panel and press them with a flathead screwdriver or putty knife until the panel comes free.

  3. 3

    Examine the exposed dryer components to locate the thermal fuse. Note that the thermal fuse in an electric dryer looks like a thin strip of white plastic and has a wire connected to each end. Tape the two thermal fuse wires together with electrical tape to bypass the fuse.

  4. 4

    Replace the dryer panel that you removed in Step 2. Reinsert and tighten the four corner screws to replace the rear dryer panel. To replace the bottom kick panel, line up the edges of the panel with the edges of the dryer cabinet; apply pressure to the panel until you hear the metal clips engage.

  5. 5

    Set your electric dryer to run a heated drying cycle; replace the thermal fuse immediately if the dryer operates normally with the thermal fuse bypassed.

Tips and warnings

  • Contact your appliance's manufacturer to obtain a replacement thermal fuse; thermal fuses can also be purchased from various online appliance part suppliers.
  • Never attempt to operate your electric clothes dryer with the thermal fuse bypassed. To do so can increase the risk of an appliance fire. For best results, only bypass the thermal fuse briefly to determine if the fuse is operational.

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