Dryers are now must-have equipment in most households since they make laundry easier and faster, but they can encounter problems like any other appliance. So, what do you do if your dryer can’t tell if your clothes are still wet and aren’t drying them correctly?
To solve your problem with the dryer’s moisture sensor, start by cleaning it with steel wool or a dish scrubber, one damp towel, and one dry towel. If cleaning doesn’t work, you’ll have to take your dryer apart and replace its moisture sensor.
We’ll go over everything you should know about dryer moisture sensors in this article, as well as how to determine if it’s malfunctioning, what causes a moisture sensor to fail, how you should clean it, and how you can fix your sensor if cleaning isn’t enough.
Let’s get started!
How to Know If Your Dryer’s Moisture Sensor Is Not Working?
Your moisture sensor is likely faulty if your dryer takes longer than normal to dry your wet clothes, over dries them, or leaves them still damp after the drying cycle has finished.
To test this, place some dry clothes in your dryer and set them on an automated drying cycle. Once the sensors detect that the clothes are dry, they should run for a few minutes before turning off.
Then repeat the process with some moist clothes. This time, the machine should run for a longer period of time, and your clothes should be completely dry when it turns off. If these tests fail, you know your moisture sensor isn’t working properly.
Dryer Sensor Not Working: Top Causes
There are a couple of possible reasons why your dryer moisture sensor is not working:
Dirty Moisture Sensors
Debris is the most typical cause of error in moisture sensors. The remaining lint and dirt from your clothes might clump up on the dryer’s moisture sensor when you put them in the dryer., Dryer sheets that you use for your laundry can also create a residue upon the moisture sensors, preventing them from properly sensing the wetness of your clothing and drying efficiently.
Learn how to clean dryer moisture sensors here.
Another reason for a faulty dryer moisture sensor is old age. The moisture sensor and wire connections may wear out over time, resulting in incorrect moisture measurements and faulty signal relay. This will cause your dryer to dry clothing either insufficiently or excessively. Fortunately, there are solutions to these issues that do not require the service of a professional.
Fixing Your Dryer Moisture Sensor
Below are several fixes for your dryer’s moisture sensors:
Clean the Dryer Moisture Sensors
Dirt and lint from your clothes, as well as residue from the laundry sheets you use, can accumulate on the moisture sensor over time. This will prevent the sensor from correctly detecting the moisture content of your clothes in your appliance, resulting in either over drying or under drying clothes.
The simplest (and most cost-effective) solution is to wash the dryer moisture sensor thoroughly. Below are a few simple steps:
- Disconnect your dryer from the power source. This is a safety measure to prevent electrocution or other injuries and damage.
- Locate the moisture sensor. When you open the dryer door, look around the front of the dryer drum directly beneath the lint filter. The sensor should be here.
- Scrub off debris and residue from the sensor bars. For this, you can use either steel wool or a dish scrubber.
- Clean and dry the moisture sensor. Use a damp cloth to wipe away any dirt or residue that comes off of the moisture sensor. Then absorb any remaining moisture with a dry cloth.
- Test the sensors. Place a load of laundry into the dryer and set it to the automatic cycle. The machine should turn off after a few minutes.
It is recommended that you wash your moisture sensors whenever you remove the lint from the lint filter to ensure that they continue to operate properly and do not become damaged.
If the dryer runs longer than a few minutes, your moisture sensors may have a more serious problem and need to be replaced.
Set Your Dryer to the Correct Setting
Dryers come with various drying periods and temperatures that bring different results. Slow and warm dries, for instance, protect the integrity of the fabric being dried, whereas fast, hot dries remove extra moisture. Consider the following settings:
Sensor dry: prevents over-drying by stopping the drying process when lighter objects are dry. Heavier items, on the other hand, are more likely to stay damp.
Eco Dry: reduces the amount of heat needed in a longer drying cycle, saving electricity.
We recommend that you test and double-check your manual dryer settings to ensure that you employ the correct setting before you choose to repair the sensor error. Choose a greater level for your load if you’re utilizing the sensor dry setting.
Clean Clogged Dryer Vent
A buildup of lint and other material typically causes a blocked dryer vent. The clogs trap moisture in the dryer and increases the time required for laundry to fully dry.
Clothes are able to dry because of the warm air that dryers bring in through the duct. Ensure the dryer duct is as short and straight as possible to avoid a clogged vent and extended drying periods.
You should also check the exhaust hood on the outside of your home, where the duct draws outside air from. Make sure that it opens and closes properly. And if your dryer comes with a vent blockage test, use it to check for clogs regularly.
Ideally, you should wash the dryer duct once or twice per year to prevent buildup.
Replace Your Moisture Sensors
If your dryer still isn’t operating properly even after you’ve tried cleaning your moisture sensors, they may have gotten damaged or are defective. Fortunately, you can fix this issue quite quickly on your own:
Pull the dryer away from the wall and detach the exhaust line.
Loosen the bolts to the control console on both sides.
Remove the console cover and lean it against the dryer or wall.
Disconnect the dryer cables and electrical connections from the control console. We recommend that you take photos of the connections so you know how to reattach them later.
Remove the top and front panels.
Remove the bulkhead from the inside of the door. This holds the moisture sensor and lint filter.
Remove the moisture sensor bars so that you can access the slot.
Install the new moisture sensor in the bulkhead.
Once you’ve installed your new sensors, put the bulkhead back into the dryer door and work backwards through the instructions. Make sure to screw in any loose panels and reattach any disconnected wires.
Should You Call a Professional Repair Service?
Let’s say you detect your dryer’s sensor is faulty. Should you attempt to repair it yourself or hire an electrical service provider to do it for you?
Well, it will depend on how extensive the repair of your appliance is and how comfortable you are with fixing it.
Many free online resources are available to guide you through the fix, even if you’ve never fixed a dryer before. Articles, videos, and blog posts can be especially helpful.
However, especially if you’re new to fixing appliances, you may have to endure some trial and error before getting the sensor to operate properly again, which can take time. If you don’t have enough time available or just don’t feel comfortable fixing it yourself, call a technician and report the diagnosis to them. They can replace the sensor and examine the dryer for you.
Malfunctioning moisture sensors can surely be a hassle, but with a little at-home troubleshooting you can get your dryer back to running correctly again. And if for whatever reason you’re unable, a technician would be more than happy to help.