How to Check a Dryer Timer with A Multimeter

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For many years, dryers have helped many homeowners to make their laundry jobs a lot easier, saving you the trouble of having to line dry everything and speeding things up so you could have your warm blankets, fluffy towels, and dry clothes a lot sooner. 

What is a Dryer Timer?

In case you didn’t know, a dryer timer is a device controlling the dryer’s cycles. Its job is to regulate the length of time that power is directed to every component. 

Functioning as the heart of every dryer, the timer is nothing more than just sets of cam-operated switches. It directs electric current to the heating element and dryer motor at the right times for the cycle selected. 

The dryer timer drives the cam through a set of gears. But what if the timer doesn’t advance through the chosen cycle? Then the issue lies with the dryer timer or its internal control switch contacts. 

Indications Your Dryer Needs Some Continuity Test

Here are the common signs that your dryer timer may be completely damaged:

  • The dryer does not turn off

Does your dryer continue to run long after it should have turned off? That could be an indication that the timer has been damaged or needs to be replaced. 

That’s often caused by the contacts getting stuck closed. However, it could also be caused by the timer motor malfunctioning. To fix that, unplug the dryer and check the components and contacts for continuity. 

If the reading does not match the suggested specification, you need to change it. 

  • The timer won’t advance

Does the timer won’t advance by itself, but you see the dryer’s function still works when you advance it through the hand? Then it’s highly likely there’s an issue with the timer motor. Often, the motor and timer are sold as a single assembly, so the whole thing should be changed. 

To check if that’s the issue, begin by unplugging the dryer and find the timer assembly. You can normally access it by detaching the dryer’s back panel. Remove it and try to test it for continuity. 

You need to replace it if the reading does not match the recommendation in the owner’s manual. 

What’s the Correct Way to Test a Dryer Timer with a Multimeter?

If the timer is not working as it should be, more often than not, the issue is failing motor control contacts. A cam inside the timer runs the motor control contacts. A basic continuity test using a digital multimeter will confirm whether the motor control contracts are closed if the dryer timer is in its ON position. 

If the contacts are closed, the multimeter’s LCD will show 0.000. When the contacts aren’t closed, the LCD will show an O.L. 

Before you test the timer motor, make sure you unplug the dryer or shut off the power at the breaker panel or fuse box to prevent any electrical shock hazard. 

For a quick tip: You can consider replacing only the motor and not the whole assembly if you do have a failing dryer motor. 

  1. Locate the device

Before you start testing your dryer’s timer motor, make sure you find the device first. It’s always a portion of the timer assembly. 

Moreover, dryer timer assemblies are situated at the back of the control console panel. You may need to remove the bolts securing the front control panel in case. Depending on your dryer model, you may need to get rid of the rear panel at the back of the control panel. 

  1. Label all the wires

For the next step, label all the wires linking to the dryer timer motor. Doing this will enable you to connect them again later properly. Make sure you carefully remove all wires. We don’t suggest pulling on the wire itself. 

As an alternative, you can utilize needle nose pliers to pull slowly on the wire connector. Check the terminals and connectors for possible corrosion. If either is corroded, they should be replaced or cleaned. 

  1. Use a multimeter to test for continuity 

Lift the control panel and turn your setting to NORMAL DRY. Find the wiring diagram situated on the unit’s back, inside the control panel or cabinet. It will tell you the proper Ohms range and what contacts should be closed or open. 

Adjust the scale on your multimeter to read R x 1. Zero the multimeter tool by moving two probes together. Set your dial on the device to read zero. Touch one probe to the terminal where you removed the wire and the second probe to any contacts on the dryer timer.

You should receive a reading between 2000 to 30000 Ohms. On the other hand, it’s time you change your dryer timer if you get a reading that is out of range. Remember that open contacts should read O.L., and closed contacts must read 0

  1. Test the motor

To test the timer motor, turn it OFF, making the motor contacts open. In any other position, the contacts on the dryer timer must be open. Detach the timer by disconnecting the remaining wires, remembering how they connect and detach the console screws to free the knob from the dryer. 

If the reading you get from testing the dryer time differs from the range presented in your dryer, you should change the timer with the same model or use the universal model.  

Final Thoughts

As soon as you notice a problem with your dryer time, work immediately to find the solution. Bear in mind that the longer you leave a problem, the bigger it could become, turning to an even costly repair or replacement. 

Despite people often ignoring their appliances, a dryer is used often to clean your clothes. When it malfunctions, it stops you from doing everything to have clean clothes. The longer your dryer goes without repairs, the more you can lose out on washing clothes, which puts your daily routine in a funk. 

If you act fast, you can fix the problem before it worsens, helping you get back to normal and increasing the system’s longevity.

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