Dryer Takes Too Long To Dry

If you’ve been in the appliance repair business as long as I have you would know that taking too long to dry clothes is a very common clothes dryer problem. In fact when people call service companies they often say, my dryer is taking a long time to dry however it is very hot on the top. If you think about it, that doesn’t make much sense. How can a dryer be extra hot but take a long time to dry? Well it is usually because of a dryer vent restriction.

Often times people will say, when I open the door to the dryer it seems very humid inside. They also might say that there lint filter is picking up very little lint.

What I have just described are the classic symptoms of a dryer vent restriction. The best way to confirm a dryer vent restriction is to go to the outside of the house while the dryer is operating and feel the volume of air coming out of the vent. If you have little or no air coming out of the vent, you have a vent restriction, and that is most likely why your dryer is taking too long to dry clothes. Believe it or not one time as a service technician I had a service call where a rabbit crawled into the dryer vent and died. Therefore I have come to expect critters, birds or debris clogging up a dryer vent.


If you go outside and discover very little airflow coming out of the vent then you need to find out what is causing the dryer vent restriction. But the most important thing you should do is stop using the dryer. In addition to a fire hazard, it could wind up being a costly repair should you need to call in a service technician to replace your dryer thermal fuse. All dryers in use today have at least one dryer thermal fuse, and many have several. They usually open the circuit to the dryer motor in the event that the dryer gets too hot because of a vent restriction. When that happens the dryer will not start.

If you use a plastic corrugated dryer vent pipe you are more likely to have a vent restriction. That is because compared to a solid rigid aluminum pipe there are countless places for dryer lint to get stuck and build up in the vent

So the bottom line is, if your dryer is taking too long to dry, check for a dryer vent restriction and correct it.

The basic dryer airflow direction for all dryers is the same. Air enters the back of the dryer near the motor and passes through the motor to keep it cool. This is why you should never operate a dryer without a vent! If a dryer does not have a vent the humid, dusty air exits the dryer and immediately reenters via the air inlet. Lint builds up on the motor creating a fire hazard and premature motor failure. Under normal conditions cool air passes through the motor and is forced by the blower past the heater into the drum. The now hot air passes through the clothes and enters the filter. It then leaves the dryer via the air duct that exits out the back of the dryer where you connect the vent.

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