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Cost to repair a dryer

The average repair ranges from $50 to $800, depending on your problem and brand of dryer

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Written by Diana Flowers
Edited by Vincent Landino

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    dryer technician talking to customer

    The most common dryer problems are easy to repair. However, costs can vary from as little as $50 to as much as $800 to get a dryer working again, so it’s important to make sure investing in a repair is worth it.

    Keep reading to learn about common dryer issues, how much repairs cost, what different brands usually cost to fix, parts costs and when to just replace your dryer instead.


    Key insights

    • Certain brands are more expensive to repair than others.
    • Warranty coverage from your manufacturer or a third party can save you hundreds of dollars on a repair.
    • If your dryer is more than five years old and the repair estimate is more than half of the price of a new dryer, consider getting a new unit.

    The most common dryer problems

    Dryers only have one real job to do, but multiple dryer components can cause problems. So, we reached out to seven appliance repair companies around the country to ask about the issues their customers frequently have with their dryers and get cost estimates.

    According to these industry professionals, the two most common problems by far are when heating elements stop working and when drums stop spinning. Both of these will prevent your clothes from drying properly and can cost a few hundred dollars to fix.

    Our sources mentioned that lint building up in the exhaust system or filter is also common. This can cause a dryer to run less efficiently or worse — and lead to safety concerns like overheating or starting a fire. The good news is that this is a more affordable fix, with professional cleaning available for less than $100 in some areas.

    Dryer repair cost by problem

    Dryers are fairly simple home appliances, but it’s usually a good idea to have a trained technician come out to diagnose whatever problem your dryer is having. “It’s not always just one part that’s broken or needed,” said Ron Shimek, president of Mr. Appliance (an appliance repair franchise based in Waco, Texas). “That’s why a thorough diagnosis is needed to get to the root of the problem and all the different things that could have caused it.”

    Not all dryers have the same components, either — you may face different problems depending on whether you have an electric dryer or a gas dryer.

    Electric dryer problems

    In general, electric dryers are cheaper to repair than gas dryers, mainly because electric dryers are simply more common.

    ProblemPossible causesCost range
    Clothes won’t dryFaulty heating element or broken thermostat$100 to $350
    Drum won’t spinBroken belt, worn-out bearing or broken motor$100 to $500
    Door won’t stay closedBroken door latch or strike$50 to $150
    Too noisyFaulty drum seal, old dryer belt or broken drum$50 to $500
    Won’t turn onBroken door switch or tripped circuit breaker$50 to $450
    Turns off before it’s doneBroken thermostat or stuck timer$150 to $250

    Gas dryer problems

    Because gas dryers are connected to your gas supply, you may want to find a technician who’s experienced in this type of repair, especially if the problem is in the gas line itself.

    ProblemPossible causesCost range
    Funny smell when not runningGas leak$120 to $250
    Burner won’t igniteFaulty thermal fuse or burner coils$80 to $150
    Dryer won’t run on all cyclesBroken thermostat or gas valves$100 to $250
    Dryer turns off mid-cycleBlower rotation failure or lint buildup$50 to $100
    Doesn’t get hot Faulty igniter or thermal fuse$100 to $250

    Dryer repair cost by brand

    We repeatedly heard from appliance repair technicians that the cost and ease of repairs really depend on your brand of dryer. While it’s true every technician has their own biases for what brands are most reliable, there are some common trends they mentioned seeing. Of course, even within a brand, there’s a range of potential issues that affect your overall costs.

    BrandUsual repair cost range
    Amana$200 to $350
    Bosch$100 to $400
    Crosley$100 to $200
    Electrolux$100 to $400
    Frigidaire$100 to $200
    GE$100 to $400
    Kenmore$100 to $200
    LG$50 to $400
    Maytag$100 to $550
    Samsung$150 to $350
    Speed Queen$315 to $600
    Whirlpool$200 to $350

    Dryer repair part costs

    If you’re able, doing your own dryer repairs can save you a considerable amount in labor costs. Assuming you already have the right tools and know-how, all you need to pay for is replacement parts.

    Part costs vary based on what you need and dryer brand.

    PartPart cost
    Heating element$70 to $150
    Belt$10 to $50
    Door switch$6 to $20+
    Thermostat$20 to $50+
    Drum$300 to $450
    Bearings$50 to $100
    Igniter$100 to $250
    Timer$50 to $75
    Roller$10 to $30
    Motor$50 to $200+
    Vent$30 to $75

    A part that’s relatively inexpensive to purchase isn’t always cheap to replace if you’re paying someone for labor. Most technicians charge between $100 and $150 for a service call, but they may waive this fee if they end up doing work. Labor costs typically run anywhere from $50 to $100 an hour after that.

    Broken dryer: Repair or replace?

    If you have a dryer long enough, you’ll inevitably have to decide whether it’s best to repair or replace it, and there are a few factors that should influence your decision. Probably the most important are the age of your dryer and how expensive the repairs are. The average dryer lasts around 10 years, but many models can make it longer with proper maintenance.

    To make an educated decision, balance the cost of your current repairs against the potential life span of your dryer. As a general rule, if your dryer is over five years old and the repairs would cost at least half of the price of a new dryer, it’s probably time to cut your losses and buy a new one.

    If your dryer is more than five years old and the repairs would cost at least half of the price of a new dryer, it might be time to replace it.

    It’s also worth considering the fact that washers and dryers often come as matching sets. If you’ve already sprung for a matching set, you may decide to spend more on a repair since replacing just one unit could be prohibitively expensive or outright impossible. On the other hand, if your matching washer is also having issues, a problem with your dryer could tilt the scales in favor of replacing the whole set.

    One way to avoid making this decision is to get a home warranty ahead of time. Home warranty companies almost always have options for appliance coverage. Once your plan is in place, all you have to pay for covered repairs is a service call fee.

    While dryer repairs alone probably aren’t enough to justify the cost of a home warranty, plans with dryer coverage will usually cover your other appliances too.

    A reviewer from Texas said about their home warranty: “I had an issue with the dryer. It's old and it was making funny noises. … The tech came out and said that the motor has to be replaced. … We had one less thing to figure out and I appreciated that.”

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      FAQ

      How long should a dryer last?

      A good rule of thumb is that a dryer should last around 10 years, but you can extend that life span if you perform regular maintenance, including checking the exterior exhaust and cleaning out the lint screen and filter regularly. You can do many of these preventive steps on your own, but it may still be wise to have professional cleanings done once a year.

      Ron Shimek, president of Mr. Appliance, pointed out that well-maintained dryers can last long past their average life spans. “The biggest factor is how long the manufacturer will be making replacement parts,” Shimek told us, “Personally, my dryer was manufactured in June of 1979 and it’s still running strong.”

      Is it worth it to repair a dryer?

      It’s usually worth repairing a dryer because most parts are relatively cheap to order and install. We’ve seen advice that you should never spend more than $400 on a repair, but if you have a high-end dryer or a matching washer and dryer, the amount you’re willing to spend may be higher. 

      If you have a larger problem, like a blown motor or damaged drum, it’s often better to replace your whole dryer, since these parts are expensive and replacing them can require a lot of labor.

      Can I fix my dryer myself?

      You may be able to fix your own dryer, but it’s highly dependent on the issue and your level of comfort with DIY projects. Problems like a broken door latch or a blown fuse are likely doable on your own. However, if a gas line needs to be replaced, consider calling a professional.

      Bottom line

      A working dryer saves you time and hassle, and when one breaks down, it can throw a wrench in your daily routine. If you’re out of warranty coverage, you’ll probably need to spend a few hundred dollars to get it up and running, depending on your dryer and what’s wrong with it. If your repair bill is large enough, consider whether you’d be better off getting a new dryer instead.

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