The Comprehensive Guide to a Dryer Timer Not Working: What You Need to Know and How to Fix It

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There’s nothing more frustrating than having damp clothes and a dryer that decides not to cooperate. Among the myriad of problems a dryer can have, one of the most confusing can be when the dryer timer is not working. But fear not, dear reader, for this guide is here to walk you through everything you need to know about this particular problem, from identification to solution.

Understanding the Problem: Dryer Timer Not Working

Every dryer comes with a timer, an essential component that controls how long your clothes stay in the machine. It ensures that your clothes get the right amount of heat for the perfect duration. When you select a setting on the timer knob, you’re essentially telling your dryer how long you’d like it to run. But when the dryer timer stops working properly, it can either leave your clothes damp or over-dried.

Timed Dry vs. Auto Dry Cycle

There are generally two main types of settings you might notice on your dryer: timed dry and auto dry cycle. In a timed dry setting, you select a specific amount of time for the dryer to run. On the other hand, the auto dry cycle adjusts the drying time based on the moisture level in your clothes. If your dryer timer isn’t advancing or isn’t working on one of these settings, it can affect the entire drying process.

Identifying Issues with the Timer Motor

The heart of the dryer timer is the timer motor. Depending on the model of your dryer, the timer motor turns the knob, advancing it through different cycles and settings. If you’ve noticed your timer knob isn’t moving or your clothes aren’t drying within the range you’ve selected, there’s a good chance there’s an issue with the timer motor.

To test the timer motor:

  1. Disconnect the Power: Safety first! Always shut off and disconnect the power from your dryer before starting any repair or testing.
  2. Locate the Timer Motor: Depending on your dryer model, you might need a wiring diagram, which is usually found in the user manual. This diagram will help you locate the timer motor within the machine.
  3. Test the Motor with a Multimeter: To measure if the timer motor is working correctly, you can use a multimeter. Connect the multimeter to the timer motor’s terminals, set it to the appropriate setting, and note the reading. If there’s no continuity or the reading is out of the machine’s specified range, the timer motor might be defective.

Replacing the Timer Motor

If you’ve identified the timer motor as the culprit, it’s time to replace it. Here’s how:

  1. Remove the Timer Knob: Turn the knob to the “off” position, and then gently pull to remove it from the machine.
  2. Access the Timer: Remove the back panel of the dryer to access the timer. Use the wiring diagram to help you locate it if necessary.
  3. Note and Disconnect Wires: Before disconnecting any wire from the timer, take a photo or make a note of its position. This will be crucial when connecting the wires to the new timer motor.
  4. Install the New Timer Motor: Connect the wires to the new timer motor as they were on the old one. Once everything’s connected, fix the timer in its position, ensuring it’s securely installed.
  5. Reassemble and Test: Replace the back panel, connect the power, and test the dryer. If the timer advances and the settings work correctly, you’ve successfully fixed the problem!

Seeking Help and Other Solutions

If you’re not comfortable troubleshooting or fixing the problem yourself, seeking the help of a dryer repair professional is a good idea. There are plenty of videos and online content available that offer step-by-step instructions. However, if you’re unsure, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.

For those who have faced this problem, comments and experiences can be a gold mine of information. Reading comments and content from others who’ve faced the same problem can provide insights into potential solutions.


  • What causes a dryer timer to stop working?
    A dryer timer can stop working due to various reasons, including a faulty timer motor, worn-out terminals, or a malfunctioning knob. Prolonged usage, power surges, or manufacturer defects can also contribute to its failure.
  • What happens when a dryer timer goes bad?
    When a dryer timer goes bad, you may notice that the timer doesn’t advance, the dryer doesn’t stop or start properly, or the heat and cycle settings aren’t consistent.
  • Can you reset a dryer timer?
    Most dryers don’t have a reset function specifically for the timer. However, unplugging the dryer for a few minutes and then reconnecting it can sometimes act as a ‘soft reset’ for the machine.
  • How much does it cost to fix a dryer timer?
    The cost varies depending on the model and brand of the dryer. A new timer motor can range from $50 to $100, but prices can vary. Additionally, if you hire a professional for dryer repair, labor costs will add to the total.