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Can I Bypass My Dryer Thermal Fuse? (Read This First!)

We use many household appliances every day that reduces our mundane workload as well as save our precious time. These appliances became such an integral part of our lives that we cannot imagine a day without them. 

So it is necessary for us to know how to properly handle them and fix any issues that arise in them.

What does a dryer thermal fuse do?

Each Dryer consists of a component called the Dryer Thermal Fuse which is a 2 x ½ inch plastic-made safety mechanism that is used to prevent a heater from overheating. 

The dryer thermal fuse functions by breaking the flow of electricity into the dryer’s motor unit when the thermostat in the dryer exceeds a threshold temperature.

Without a working fuse, the electrical connection is broken and therefore there is no power supply to start your dryer. The thermal fuse breaks if the exhaust temperature recorded by the thermostat exceeds the threshold of the fuse rating. 

This mechanism is implemented in appliances such as dryers to prevent the internal components from being damaged due to overheating.

Thermal fuses are for one-time use unlike circuit breakers, therefore they have to be replaced once broken. Any dryer that has been shorted to work without a dryer fuse is prone to internal damage due to overheating.

Can I bypass my dryer thermal fuse?

While it is possible to bypass the dryer thermal fuse in a dryer, one should note that bypassing the thermal fuse is both unsafe and dangerous. So it is strictly recommended to not bypass your dryer thermal fuse. However, you can temporarily bypass the fuse until its replacement is installed.

Every electronic appliance is made up of tiny sensitive components that allow the appliance to function properly. If any of those components get damaged or stop working, the entire appliance will either stop working or malfunction. 

And one of the biggest causes of electronic deterioration is heat – which the electronic components generate as they are being operated.

Therefore, a mechanism such as fuses was built which ensures that electronic appliances do not get their internal components burnt out. 

These fuses ensure the safety of the electronic components that make up the appliance by preventing too much current from flowing that could cause them to overheat and burn. 

Dryers have a similar mechanism installed in them which prevents their internal components from getting burnt when excessive current flows through them. So if your dryer thermal fuse gets blown, it is unsafe for the dryer to run directly by bypassing the dryer thermal fuse. 

If you bypass the thermal dryer fuse and use the dryer on mains, then if excessive current flows through the dryer, the components inside it will get burnt.

Although the risk is greater, if you are looking for a temporary solution until your replacement dryer thermal fuse arrives, then you can bypass the thermal fuse with a suitable replacement.

But in order to ensure safety, you have to make sure that the current that is being flown is not too high, or else it would damage your dryer.

What happens if you bypass the thermal fuse on a dryer?

A thermal fuse is included in the dryer to ensure the safety of the dryer as well as your house. Therefore, bypassing it is not a wise modification to make because a few of the following might take place if a high current passes through a dryer with bypassed thermal fuse:

Reduce the dryer’s life expectancy:

The thermal fuses have a strict rating in them which blocks the current above them to pass through. If you bypass the thermal fuse, the dryer will directly receive the excessive current.

If the current from the plug is slightly higher to not cause the internal components to burn, then you might be led to believe that the dryer is working fine.

In reality, the internal components are functioning with a current higher than their requirement – which is causing them to be damaged slowly. Therefore, their durability will keep decreasing as more it gets used and have a lower than normal life expectancy.

Cause irreplaceable damage to the dryer:

Without the thermal fuse, the dryer is exposed to surges of high current which could run through very sensitive components and circuitry. Some of these components and circuitry often do not have proper and replaceable alternative parts. 

Fixing those parts either requires a huge sum of money or replacing the dryer itself in many cases.

If a high current passes through the circuit board that has the irreplaceable components embedded in them, then the entire circuit board would end up getting burnt along with the components in them. 

A dryer might become inoperable if a compatible replacement for the burnt circuit board is not available.

Will the dryer light work if the thermal fuse is blown?

Many dryers are manufactured with their thermal fuse connected to the main power line of the dryer and for those dryers, if the thermal fuse is blown then there will be no power supplied to the dryer at all. Thus the dryer light will not light up nor will any of the modes of dryer activate.

However, there are several models of dryers where the manufacturer designed the power line and distribution differently. The dryer lights as well as the mode control panels have a different power supply line than the dryer drums. 

So the thermal fuse gets attached to the drum supply line.

So the lights in those models of dryers will light up even if the thermal fuse is blown but the drum will not spin. Therefore, dryer lights are not the best indicators of whether the thermal fuse is blown or not.

How to check if a thermal fuse is blown?

If your dryer suddenly stopped working, you should not panic and rush to contact a mechanic because the problem might not be severe or as deep as you suspect. 

The dryer could simply stop functioning because its thermal fuse is blown – which you can check by following the steps below:

Remove the thermal fuse from the dryer:

You should never check the thermal fuse without turning off the power supply or else you could get a dangerous electric shock. And besides the safety precaution, removal of the thermal fuse is necessary to check accurately whether the fuse is blown or not.

Set up your multimeter:

We will need an analog or digital multimeter to test whether a thermal fuse is working or not. 

Before we can use it, it requires some setup – For analog multimeters, rotate the dial counterclockwise all the way to the lowest resistance ratings and hold the probes together, and set the resistance value to 0. 

For digital multimeters, rotate the dial counterclockwise all the way to the lowest resistance ratings and take note of the resistance.

Connect the probes and note the multimeter value:

Connect both probes of the multimeter to both ends of the thermal fuse. In the analog multimeter, if the needle does not move at all – then the thermal fuse is blown, but if it moves then the fuse is working fine. 

In the case of digital multimeters, if the value of the resistance does not get close to 0, that means the thermal fuse is blown – having a value near 0 means that the fuse is properly functioning.

How to bypass the thermal fuse on the dryer?

Follow the following steps to temporarily bypass the thermal fuse on the dryer:

Disconnect the blown thermal fuse:

First, unscrew the cover off the dryer to expose the wiring. Then unhook the two wires connecting both ends of the thermal fuse.

Twist the wires together:

If the wires have hooks attached, use pliers to cut them off to expose the bare copper. Twist the wires with each other to interlink them.

Wrap electrical tape over the connection:

Insulate your connection by wrapping the interlinked portion with electrical tape.

How do you replace a thermal fuse on a dryer?

Follow the following steps to replace a thermal fuse on a dryer:

Unscrew and unhook the old thermal fuse:

Remove the old thermal fuse by unhooking the connected wire, unscrewing the old thermal fuse, and taking it off the dryer body.

Screw the new thermal fuse:

Place the new thermal fuse in place and screw it firmly on the dryer’s body.

Hook the wires into the fuse:

Once the thermal fuse is firmly in place, reconnect the wires by pushing the hooks on both ends of the fuse.

Final thoughts

While it is viable to bypass the dryer thermal fuse in a dryer, it is important to note that doing so is both unsafe and dangerous. As a result, it is strongly advised not to bypass your dryer’s thermal fuse. However, until the fuse is replaced, you can temporarily bypass it.