There are a few reasons why an Amana dryer may not heat up or fail to heat up appropriately. Your unit may not heat up at all, it might stop heating midway, or the dryer can fail to reach and sustain the necessary temperatures in an entire cycle. So, why is your Amana dryer not heating up, and how do you fix the typical issues?
Here’s why your Amana dryer is not heating up:
- The heating element circuit breaker is tripped
- Electric dryer doesn’t have 220V / 240V power
- The gas dryer supply or shut off valve isn’t open
- Lint screen, vent, exhaust, and airflow problems
- The electric or gas dryer thermal fuse is blown
- The limit switch prevents the dryer from heating
- The dryer control timer is defective or broken
- A thermostat is defective or not functioning
- The electric heating element isn’t working
- The gas valve ignition solenoids are failing
- Gas dryer igniter or flame sensor is broken
- The dryer has a failing or bad control board
In this article, I explain all the common heating problems and their fixes for both gas and electric Amana dryers. Some issues are repairable, but many glitches require replacing the broken part. Keep reading to learn why your Amana dryer is not heating up and how to fix every issue.
The Heating Element Circuit Breaker Is Tripped
Amana electric dryers require a double pole circuit breaker or two household fuses for the 240V power outlet.
If the circuit has two fuses, one is for the dryer’s drum, sensors, and control board. The second fuse is for the heating element. A double pole circuit breaker serves the same purpose but as one unit.
Each fuse or pole of a breaker regulates a 120V circuit. So, two fuses or a double pole breaker account for the 240V circuit. If the fuse connected to an electric dryer’s heating element is bad or tripped, the appliance won’t heat up at all.
However, you will get to access the controls, and the drum may work because one 120V line still has power. This problem isn’t relevant for gas dryers, albeit those won’t work either if their 120V fuse or single pole circuit breaker is tripped.
How To Fix
Here’s how you can inspect and fix the circuit breaker issues for an Amana dryer not heating up:
- Check if the fuse is blown or the circuit breaker is tripped.
- Review if you have the right circuit breaker for your dryer.
- Change the circuit breaker if you don’t have the right one.
- Also, the circuit should be rated for the required amps (30A).
- Reset the breaker if it is tripped or replace a blown fuse.
Electric Dryer Doesn’t Have 220V / 240V Power
While Amana gas dryers operate on 110V / 120V, the electric variants require a 240V outlet. You may not have an exact 240V at the terminals. Typical terminal voltages vary between 200V and 220V. However, anything abnormally low will prevent your Amana dryer from heating up.
Suppose you have the right circuit breaker rated for the required amps. You may still have a few issues with the power source. For instance, improper wiring can affect the voltage & amperage of the circuit. Your home’s power may also experience voltage fluctuations.
These voltage and amperage problems aren’t relevant for Amana gas dryers. However, dryers running on gas have other pertinent issues that I discuss later in this article.
How To Fix
Here’s how to fix the power-related issues with an electric Amana dryer not heating up:
- Check whether the circuit breaker is on and test the voltage at the wall outlet.
- A multimeter set to voltage should have a reading of 200V to 240V.
- Perform the same test at the terminal block behind the Amana dryer.
- Carefully pull the dryer away from the wall to access its rear terminals.
- Unscrew the terminal block cover, a small metal plate at the back.
- Test the left and right legs of the terminal block with your multimeter.
- The voltage reading should be the same as you found at the wall outlet.
- If the voltage is way off the 200V to 240V range, contact an electrician.
Wiring and circuit issues can lead to an improper terminal voltage in your house, which includes the wall outlet and the connections behind the dryer. In some cases, the dryer’s wiring or its terminal block may also be damaged. Replacing the terminal block or the wires as necessary.
The Gas Dryer Supply or Shut Off Valve Isn’t Open
All Amana gas dryers have a shut off valve. This shut off valve should be open (parallel position) for the dryer to have the required gas supply. If this valve is perpendicular or misaligned, the gas line will be shut, or the supply may be inadequate. Thus, the burner inside the dryer won’t work.
How To Fix
Check the shut off valve behind an Amana gas dryer and ensure it is open. You should also verify there’s gas coming into your home or the main regulator. If there’s no supply or the pressure is too low, your gas dryer won’t work as efficiently or effectively.
Lint Screen, Vent, Exhaust, and Airflow Problems
These problems apply to both gas and electric dryers. In some cases, the issues with exhaust and thus temperature are more severe in gas dryers. However, the four factors often combine to create a crisis in almost all models, subject to installation.
The four critical factors are:
- A clogged lint screen (filter)
- Blockage in the dryer vent
- An improper exhaust system
- A lack of unobstructed airflow
A dirty and lint-laden screen or filter obstructs the essential air circulation. The hot air will be trapped inside the dryer instead of flowing out through the vent. This heat buildup can trigger the high limit switch, which will shut down the heating element or burner.
Likewise, a blocked dryer vent causes temperature spikes in the dryer. This heat buildup can activate the high limit switch or blow the thermal fuse. Most Amana dryers have a thermal fuse near the blower and a high limit switch with the heating element or burner assembly.
Furthermore, the appliance has thermostats regulating the heat based on the requirements and your settings. The four critical factors above can trigger any of the safety features that are likely to shut the dryer’s heating element or burner.
How To Fix
Clean the lint screen regularly and keep the vent unclogged. Also, Amana doesn’t recommend using plastic or metal foil for its dryer vent because such materials are susceptible to crushing, kinking, and collapsing. So, you should review your installation accordingly.
Here are the best practices for Amana dryer vent and exhaust duct installation:
- Always use a heavy or rigid metal vent.
- A flexible metal vent is alright but not foil.
- 45° elbows are better than 90° bends for airflow.
- Every 90° elbow reduces 10’ (3 m) of duct length.
- The max length is 27’ (8.2 m) with 4 x 90° elbows.
- Scrub and vacuum the vent & duct, sooner than later.
- Clean the entire exhaust system, from the dryer vent to the outdoor hood.
The frequency of cleaning the lint screen depends on your regular drying load. You may have to clean the lint filter every couple of weeks, while the vent or the entire exhaust system can perform well with seasonal maintenance. However, ensure the outdoor vent isn’t clogged with lint, debris, etc.
The Electric or Gas Dryer Thermal Fuse Is Blown
A thermal fuse protects your Amana dryer from overheating and potential damage as a result. In most models, the thermal fuse is next to the blower. You’ll spot it easily after removing the back cover or rear access panel. Usually, this plate is one large metal cover screwed to the cabinet.
A blown thermal fuse won’t let your electric or gas Amana dryer heat up. Thus, you have to test the thermal fuse and get a replacement if it is blown.
How To Fix
Here’s how you can test and fix the thermal fuse on an Amana dryer:
- Unplug the dryer and move it away from the wall.
- Unscrew the rear access panel and remove it.
- Guide the cover around the vent to take it off.
- Remove the wire harnesses from the thermal fuse.
- Set your multimeter to continuity or lowest resistance.
- Touch the thermal fuse terminals with the probes.
- Your multimeter should beep or show an ohm reading.
- If there’s no beep or you see an open loop, the fuse is bad.
- Match the part number and install a new thermal fuse.
Here’s how you can replace an Amana dryer’s thermal fuse:
The Limit Switch Prevents the Dryer from Heating
Amana dryers have a high limit switch that shuts off the heating element or burner if it senses an extreme temperature spike. Generally, this limit switch is next to the electric heating element or gas burner assembly. So, if a dryer is warming but shutting prematurely, it might be because of the limit switch.
Unlike the thermal fuse that won’t work once it blows, a faulty high limit switch misreads the heat or temperature. Even if an Amana dryer is not overheating, the limit switch detects a spike in the temperature and shuts the appliance.
How To Fix
You can test the continuity of the high limit switch and replace it if you don’t see a reading on a multimeter. Use the same steps explained above to remove the rear access panel. Test the high limit switch for continuity after removing the wire harnesses. If it is bad, replace it with a new one.
The Dryer Control Timer Is Defective or Broken
Like the high limit switch, an Amana dryer’s control timer may prevent the heating element or gas burner from working. You may have the drum working fine. Also, you might see the heating element or gas igniter start to glow, but the dryer won’t heat up.
An Amana dryer timer or the control knob with the gear inside have multiple connections for the heating element, burner, and other functions. If these connections don’t work properly, the dryer won’t heat. You may have this problem in one or all the drying modes, whether automatic or timed.
These control timers have 7 contacts inside the housing. These contacts or metal strips can get charred, corroded, or warped. If any contact doesn’t function or fails to complete the electrical circuit when you toggle the control knob, the dryer’s heating element or burner won’t work.
In most cases, the leftmost external terminal or the rightmost internal contact fails to complete the circuit. This terminal or contact is labeled ‘A’ in Amana dryers’ circuit diagrams (schematics), which you can find under the top cover or console panel.
How To Fix
You can repair or replace an Amana dryer’s control timer, subject to its current condition and your preference.
Here are the steps to inspect, fix, or replace the control timer:
- Unplug the dryer, get some working space behind it, and take off the back plate.
- Most Amana dryers have 6 screws or so for their top cover’s back plate.
- Test the continuity of the 3 terminals towards the left, which control the heat function.
- So, test the terminals A & B, B & C, and A & C to detect the faulty contact inside.
- Get a putty knife if you want to remove the console panel or top cover of the dryer.
- Slide the putty knife under the panel or cover at both ends to release the spring clips.
- Turn over the console panel or top cover slowly because there are wirings inside.
- You’ll find the circuit diagram and schematics and also be able to take apart the timer.
- Some Amana dryers have nuts, while others use retaining clips for the control timer.
- Unscrew the nuts or use needle-nose pliers to release the timer’s retaining clips.
- Now, you can replace the control timer or clean and realign the faulty contacts inside.
- You may use an emery board or nail filer to clean the charred or corroded contacts.
- Also, you can realign any contacts that may be arced, warped, or just misaligned.
- The repair may or may not succeed depending on the part’s problem and condition.
Here’s a video about repairing a dryer’s control timer switch:
A Thermostat Is Defective or Not Functioning
Most Amana dryers have at least two thermostats. A standard thermostat is adjacent to the gas burner or electric heating element assembly. There’s another next to the thermal fuse, which is the cycling thermostat. A cycling thermostat usually regulates both low and high heat settings.
The fundamental purpose of a thermostat is to disrupt the circuit at specific temperatures. So, if a thermostat switches off or breaks the circuit prematurely, then the dryer won’t heat up. Also, a thermostat with an already open circuit–i.e., no continuity–won’t let a dryer heat up at all.
Thus, you have to test both thermostats on your Amana dryer. If the dryer shuts prematurely, the problem could be the cycling thermostat. If the dryer doesn’t heat at all, the issue could be either the cycling thermostat or the one installed with the heating element or burner assembly.
How To Fix
Test the thermostats for continuity. However, even if a thermostat has continuity, it may not be fully functional. In other words, if the thermostat switches off at a temperature much lower than it is rated for, the dryer will stop heating. Therefore, you’ll have to replace the bad thermostat.
Here’s how you can test a cycling thermostat at room and rated temperatures:
The Electric Heating Element Isn’t Working
Check if the heating element is glowing when you set your Amana dryer to a specific mode. If the element doesn’t glow and you have already checked for the other issues in this guide, you’ll need a new assembly. You should also inspect the wires to be sure that the heating element has power.
How To Fix
Here are the steps to inspect the heating element:
- Unplug the dryer, unscrew the rear panel, and remove the element’s wire harnesses.
- Test the heating element for continuity with your multimeter and inspect the wires.
- Replace frayed or broken wires, and ensure you use the right gauge for the model.
- If the heating element has continuity, test it for resistance by selecting the lowest ohms.
- Your multimeter should read ~10 ohms in a few seconds for a good heating element.
- Otherwise, the heating element is probably not working, or it could be shorted.
- Place one multimeter probe on the heating element terminal and the other on the dryer.
- If the metal cabinet of the dryer has continuity, the heating element has a short.
The Gas Valve Ignition Solenoids Are Failing
Amana gas dryers have solenoids regulating the supply through a valve. If the coil or solenoid is bad or failing, the gas supply will be cut off, and the igniter won’t light the burner. Hence, you’ll find the igniter glowing but failing to light the burner, and your Amana dryer won’t heat up.
How To Fix
You have to replace the gas valve ignition solenoid coil kit. If your dryer has two solenoids, you’ll need to replace the assembly as an integrated kit, even when only one coil is bad. However, the igniter could also be the problem if it fails to get hot enough, so rule that out in your inspections.
Gas Dryer Igniter or Flame Sensor Is Broken
A bad igniter won’t light the burners. Likewise, a broken flame sensor will shut the burner even if the igniter and solenoids work. If an Amana gas dryer’s igniter doesn’t glow, it may be bad, or there’s an electrical connection problem.
A flame sensor is probably bad if its connections are alright. With that said, a bad igniter won’t start the burner. A broken flame sensor will shut the heat prematurely. You can check the symptoms and decide on further investigation based on your observation.
How To Fix
Here are the tests and appropriate fixes for an Amana gas dryer igniter and flame sensor:
- Check the gas dryer igniter for soot, cracks, and structural damage.
- Clean the igniter if it is dirty, and test its continuity and resistance.
- A good dryer igniter should read around 50 ohms to 400 ohms.
- If you don’t get a reading or see an open loop, get a new igniter.
- Also, if the igniter is damaged, match the part number and replace it.
- Similarly, test the continuity or resistance of the gas dryer flame sensor.
- You should get continuity, or the multimeter must read around 0 ohms.
- No reading and open loop imply the flame sensor needs to be replaced.
The Dryer Has a Failing or Bad Control Board
An Amana dryer not heating up could be due to a faulty control board. Since you cannot check if a control board is alright with a typical continuity or resistance test, the only inspection is looking for signs of damage, burnt parts, charring, or other evident failures, like broken components.
How To Fix
You have to replace a bad control board unless you have a trusted technician who can repair it. Amana dryer control boards are expensive, so you can consult a local expert for repairs. That said, suspect the control board only after the other tests you can do, as explained in this guide.