Previously, you set a time on the dryer timer, and as it passed, the dryer sprayed your clothes with a stream of heat. Today’s dryers have modern high-tech components, such as humidity sensors. The latter significantly increased the efficiency of dryers.
They just turn off the dryer when the clothes are dry. The dryer works less and saves you money. The only question is how well the sensor determines whether the clothes are dry. This place has been in trouble.
A fairly common problem with the humidity sensor is closing the dryer while the clothes are still wet. In other cases, on the contrary, the clothes are dry, but the dryer continues to blow warm air, or it cannot exit the “Detection” mode. A number of these kinds of problems will be covered in this article so that you understand what happened to your dryer.
What is a dryer humidity sensor, and how does it work?
Judging by the name of the sensor, determines the level of humidity, specifically – inside the dehumidifier. The presence of wet clothes you have laid out in the dryer is the basis for the sensor to turn on the heat pump mode in the dryer to dry the clothes. No longer detecting a source of high humidity, the sensor will turn off the drying mode (will give a signal to the dryer to turn it off). In the event of a sensor malfunction, the dryer stops working as it should. Temporary failure is inherent in many components, including the humidity sensor.
Where is the humidity sensor located?
If you decide to find a humidity sensor, then look inside the drum of your dryer. You will either immediately see 2 metal rods, or you also need to look into the case with a fluff filter, some manufacturers put the sensor in it.
Nothing helps, they still haven’t found it – then open the User’s Guide, find the circuit and the humidity sensor on it. Lost the Manual – it doesn’t matter, go to the manufacturer’s website and look there. Some manufacturers specifically put the manual there for you. Or ask a question – about the site or the manager.
Description of the humidity sensor
Depending on the humidity of your clothes is their electrical resistance. By touching the metal rods that form the basis of the humidity sensor, wet clothes, in fact, tell them the value of their electrical resistance. This is enough for the sensor to decide whether to stop drying or to continue. Having reached a certain resistance value, the sensor stops the dryer. A decrease in the humidity in the drum leads to an increase in resistance and a reduction in time in the timer. Until the dryer stops – by order of the sensor.
Symptoms of a Dryer Moisture Sensor Problem
In cases of malfunction of the humidity sensor or its contacts, you can observe the manifestations of this in the form of quite different symptoms and problems. We can distinguish the following most typical and massive manifestations of these malfunctions.
The clothes are already dry, but the dryer does not stop working
This is perhaps the most common sign of a dryer moisture sensor failure. You check the clothes – they are completely dry, while the dryer is working. Stop the device manually and inspect it carefully. Dry clothes cannot continue the electrical circuit, so something else is supporting it, giving the sensor and you the illusion of wet clothes. There are 2 possible faults:
- there is a short circuit (short circuit) in the moisture sensor rods – it is clear that the short-circuited sensor strips provide current flow through the circuit, and the dryer continues to drive warm air, considering that the clothes are wet;
- contact with the sensor strips became permanent due to the formation of wax and other deposits on them.
In the first case, it is necessary to change the sensor. In the second, the sensor electrical circuit is closed by a wax build-up formed by excess fabric softener accumulating around the sensor. And the sensor detects the humid environment in the dryer, despite the dryness of your clothes.
You will detect wax buildup by touching the sensor with your fingers. In this case, it is enough for you to wipe the sensor with a cloth moistened with water, removing the build-up. For these purposes, replacing water with medical alcohol is quite suitable – not only the wax build-up but also any other contamination around the sensor will be easily eliminated.
Despite wet clothes, the sensor unexpectedly reduces the drying time abruptly
The next most frequent occurrence of malfunctions – with the opposite effect, instead of endless operation – is greatly reduced drying. The timer will sometimes suddenly set the drying time to a minute or so, making it jumpy no matter how damp your clothes are. That is, the sensor understands that the clothes have not dried yet, but incorrectly determines the degree of its humidity. There is a feeling of a confused dryer – she knows that the clothes are still wet, but does not understand how much.
The fault lies in the inaccurate operation of the humidity sensor. But this inaccuracy is not always eliminated. Thorough wiping of the sensor usually helps – with alcohol or, in its absence, with a soapy cloth. So, there was a simple contamination of the sensor. Much less often, the problem is loose connections, and you need to tighten them up, after carefully removing the sensor and checking the condition of its wires. If the problem persists after this, the humidity sensor needs to be replaced.
Unexpected shutdown of the dryer a few minutes after turning it on
Not always this problem is caused by a malfunction of the humidity sensor. It consists of the fact that the dryer, clogged with wet clothes, suddenly skips the drying cycle, and instead turns off, just a few minutes after turning it on. Most often, the cause is a blocked vent, or a faulty door, so after a few minutes, the dryer turns off.
Now, if the door is working properly, and the air vent of the dryer is not clogged with anything, then it is very likely that the reason is a malfunction of the humidity sensor. Namely, he suddenly detects the absence of wet clothes and turns off the dryer so that the device does not overheat and save electricity. We offer the following algorithm for your actions:
- Check the cleanliness of the sensor, due to excess dirt, it may not feel the moisture in the dryer.
- Check where the dryer stands. In the case of an uneven surface, the sensor (located in a strictly defined place in the dryer) may not come into contact with your clothes and think that the dryer is empty. Fix the location of the dryer.
- If cases 1 and 2 do not occur, then most likely the reason is a sensor defect.
The dryer is stuck on the sensor
Special situation for the humidity sensor. It is revealed after you have loaded the dryer and turned it on, finding the inscription on the screen: Sensing (sensor), which is basically normal. But the dryer does not start to dry and does not exit the Sensing mode. Now that’s not normal. The Sensing mode is designed to find out: how many clothes are in the dryer? And what is its humidity? And after receiving the answers, the dryer should quickly exit this mode.
If it still does not exit the Sensing mode, then something went wrong during the drying process, it does not start. The first thing you will think about is the humidity sensor. Wipe it properly, inspect the wiring. If the dryer does not start, then the problem is possible not in it and not in the external interface, but in what it is connected to with its back – in the controller or printed circuit board. In this case, troubleshooting and its repair are more difficult than the previous cases.
Is it possible to do without a humidity sensor?
On the Internet you can find a lot of advice on how to do without these devices – firstly, save money, and secondly – you need to learn to be the master in your house. There are instructions on how to connect the dryer in a different way to do without humidity sensors.
The formal answer to the question posed in the subtitle is yes. But here pro tip: We strongly advise against doing this. Without a humidity sensor, you won’t be able to control the amount of heat generated by the dryer. It is not only the loss of electricity and money. More importantly, with the sensor you will not overdry clothes, correctly determine the amount of heat needed, that is, do not worsen its quality. And reduce the risk of fire to zero.
Above is the only case where the humidity sensor can be bypassed – by troubleshooting the dryer itself.
Who should do this: you yourself or a professional specialist?
Even troubleshooting the dryer – entrust it to a specialist. Why? Of course, you can do a lot yourself:
- find training videos, with tips at each stage;
- find the necessary spare parts on the Internet and even order their delivery to your home;
- Trial and error, bumps on the forehead – master the maintenance of the dryer, troubleshooting the humidity sensor, and even do without it.
Your experience is one example, with one sensor and one dryer. Experience with specific malfunctions is necessary, and in fact, when dealing with the first of them, you will still be completely inexperienced, and with the second or third – in fact, too, because these can be new malfunctions. Ask yourself: Are the possible (but not obvious) money savings and ambitions worth it? After all, expensive drying equipment and the comfort of your family are at stake. Wouldn’t it be better to entrust this to a specialist who has vast experience in various drying equipment and troubleshooting all possible faults?