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Dyers are a lot ‘smarter’ today than they’ve ever been. It used to be that dryers would simply deliver a constant flow of heat to your clothing for however long you’ve set the timer. Dryers today, however, are much more efficient thanks to newer, more high-tech components like dryer moisture sensors.
Simply put, moisture sensors continually check to see how wet your clothes are in the dryer. Once they’re dry enough, the sensor tells the dryer to stop working immediately.
While that does save you money in the long run, the dryer moisture sensor itself isn’t without its fair share of problems.
Some common dryer moisture sensor problems that you might run into include shutting the dryer even though clothes are still wet, continuing to run even when clothes are already dry, or the dryer being stuck on ‘Sensing’.
In this article, we’re going to explore some of these common problems to help you understand what’s going on with your dryer.
We’ll also look at common symptoms that people often face and tell you what that might mean for your dryer.
Let’s get to it!
What Is A Dryer Moisture Sensor And How Does It Work?
Let’s start with the big picture: what is a dryer moisture sensor?
As the name suggests, it’s a dryer component that focuses on measuring the moisture levels inside the dryer.
So, when you put your wet clothes inside it, the sensor will tell the dryer to deliver the heat necessary to dry them. Once the sensor detects that everything is dry, it’ll tell the dryer to cut off power and end the drying cycle.
As with most components, the moisture sensor can get fault from time to time, causing the dryer not to work as it should.
Where Do I Find The Dryer Moisture Sensor?
You can find the sensors in your dryer very easily. Typically, they take the form of two metal bars located inside the drum itself. Some manufacturers place the sensor in the same housing as the lint filter, so look in there.
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If you still can’t find it, the best thing to do is refer to the appliance’s user manual and look for a diagram highlighting its location. Don’t worry if you’ve lost the manual; some manufacturers upload digital copies to their websites for you to download.
How Does A Dryer Moisture Sensor Work?
As mentioned before, the moisture sensor typically consists of two metal bars. When your wet clothes touch the bar, it creates a certain electrical resistance that tells the dryer to continue working or it’s time to finish.
However, as clothes lose their moisture, that electrical resistance becomes bigger and bigger, telling your dryer to stop drying.
When there’s less moisture in the drum, the dryer’s timer will go lower and eventually stop entirely when the sensor finds that everything is dry.
How Do You Tell If A Dryer Moisture Sensor Is Bad?
When a dryer’s moisture sensor is faulty or connection to it, the problems that come from it can manifest in many different ways. Here are some of the most common symptoms that you might experience as a result of that.
Your Clothes Are Dry But The Dryer Keeps Running
That is probably one of the most common signs of a moisture sensor problem. If your clothes are already dry, but the dryer keeps running, you’ll need to stop the machine manually and take a closer look.
There are two possibilities here:
- The moisture sensor bars have short-circuited.
- The moisture sensor bars might have a buildup.
Remember: the sensor detects moisture when wet clothes cause an electrical circuit to form. If the dryer keeps running even when clothes are dry, that means something other than wet clothes is causing that circuit to form.
The first possibility is that the sensor bars may have short-circuited. That means that no matter how dry the inside gets, the sensor will still tell the dryer to continue working indefinitely because it thinks that there’s moisture inside.
If this is the case, then you’ll need to get the moisture sensor replaced.
Before you do that, inspect the moisture sensor up close. Using your fingers, touch the sensor to see if there is any wax-like buildup.
You see, sometimes, excess fabric softener from your clothes will build up around the sensors. Over time, they’ll form a waxy buildup that’ll complete the circuit at the sensor no matter how dry your clothes get.
If this is the case, all you have to do is wipe the sensors clean with a cloth and some water. You can also use rubbing alcohol to help clean off that waxy buildup and any other dirt that may be around the sensor.
Clothes Are Still Wet But The Timer Jumps Down To One Minute
Sometimes, the opposite can also happen. Even though your clothes are still wet, the dryer timer might jump down to an insufficient amount of drying time, like around one minute or so even though your clothes are still drenched.
Well, that’s a clear sign that your moisture sensor is still working, although it’s working inaccurately.
In simple terms, the dryer knows your clothes are wet, but they don’t realise how wet they really are.
Of course, this might be the result of a faulty moisture sensor. But more likely than that, the moisture sensor might be dirty, or its connections are a little bit loose.
Just as with the previous symptom discussed earlier, you can clean a dirty moisture sensor by giving it a good wipedown. If you don’t have rubbing alcohol, just a tiny bit of soap will do.
If that doesn’t help, you can try to gently remove the moisture sensor and check that there’s nothing wrong with its wiring.
That should solve the problem, but if it doesn’t, it could just be that you need to replace the sensor.
Dryer Shuts Off After A Few Minutes
On occasion, the dryer might not even start a drying cycle at all! Instead, it might shut itself off after a few minutes even though it’s still full of wet clothes.
This isn’t a problem that’s uniquely caused by the moisture sensor alone. As a matter of fact, a blocked vent or a faulty door could also cause the dryer to shut itself off after a few minutes.
But if dryer vent is clear and the door works fine, then you might be dealing with a moisture sensor problem yet again.
Simply put, if the moisture sensor doesn’t detect any wet clothes, it’ll just shut the dryer off thinking that it’s preventing wasting of energy and stopping the machine from overheating.
That could be caused by a defect in the sensor, or it may just be so dirty that it can’t detect any moisture at all.
While you’re at it, make sure that you place your dryer on a level surface. You see, the moisture sensor is placed in a fixed location inside the dryer.
So if the appliance isn’t level, the sensor may never come into contact with the wet clothes, causing it to think that the dryer is empty.
Dryer Is Stuck On Sensing
Now, here’s a problem that’s unique to the moisture sensor. Suppose you load up the dryer and turn it on, and the screen says that it’s ‘Sensing’ or ‘Sensor’ mode.
That’s perfectly normal. But it’s only a problem when you find that your dryer is stuck on Sensing and never actually starts drying.
You see, dryers go into Sensing mode to figure out how much of a load it has inside and how much moisture it carries.
So, if it gets stuck in Sensing mode, that means that something has gone wrong with that process, and it can’t start the drying cycle.
At first glance, you may be dealing with a problem with the moisture sensor. Just like with previous problems, be sure to check and clean the moisture sensor and see if it works then.
If not, the problem might not be on the front-end with the sensor itself, but rather what it’s connected to on the back-end: the circuit board or controller.
If that’s the case, then troubleshooting and repairing will be a bit more complicated.
Is It A Good Idea To Bypass The Dryer’s Moisture Sensor?
When some people think that their dryer’s moisture sensor isn’t working correctly, they might feel tempted to bypass the sensor entirely.
Perhaps they do it to avoid having to pay for repairs, and because there are plenty of instructions available online on how to rewire the dryer to do it.
But let’s be clear about this: no, it is not a good idea to bypass the dryer’s moisture sensor.
The only time you might want to bypass the sensor is to troubleshoot a dryer that’s malfunctioning. Even then, this is something that only a trained professional should do.
Remember two things: one, your dryer is an appliance that generates a lot of heat. And two, the sensor’s purpose is to help the dryer decide how much heat to use with a load of clothes.
Without it, you’re exposing your dryer and your home to a lot of unnecessary risks. For starters, your dryer might continue to run even after your clothes are already dry, wasting a lot of electricity and costing you money.
In more extreme cases, excessive heat and dryness could lead to fires. Needless to say, fires in your home, especially in your laundry area, are extremely dangerous.
So, again, do not bypass the dryer moisture sensor.
DIY Or Call In The Pros?
Suppose you think that there’s a problem with your dryer moisture sensor. Should you try and fix it yourself or would you be better off calling in an expert to repair it for you?
Well, it really depends.
These days, you can find a lot of information online on how to fix the moisture sensor yourself. You might even be able to find instructional videos uploaded to guide you every step of the way.
Plus, it’s not that hard for you to find the spare parts you need online and have it delivered right to your doorstep.
There is one downside, though: you might have to go through a bit of trial and error before you get the moisture sensor to work correctly again.
All-in-all, doing it yourself will save you a bit of money and help you sharpen your DIY skills.
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Still, there is a lot of value when you hire a professional to repair it for you. Remember: a repair person comes with skills, experience, and a fair bit of expertise. So, there’s very little need for trial and error.
When it comes to common problems with dryers and their moisture sensors, a pro has seen it all and they know exactly how to fix it!
Using a moisture sensor, it senses when your clothing is dry enough and ends the cycle instead of just running on a set timed cycle. However, if the moisture sensor no longer works then your clothing may not get dry or the dryer may run indefinitely as it fails to receive the proper signals to stop.Why does my sensor dryer keep stopping? ›
You have a defective moisture sensor
The moisture sensor tracks the levels of wetness in your dryer and then communicates with the control board. If it's defective, it can signal that your clothes are dry even when they aren't, causing the machine to shut off early.
- It takes longer than usual to dry your clothes. ...
- You notice a burning smell. ...
- Your clothes are hot to the touch at the end of a load. ...
- You can see lint or debris in the dryer hose or around the outside dryer flap. ...
- You haven't cleaned out your vents in over a year.
The drying sensor bars are located behind the lint filter in the front of the door opening. Allow the machine to cool down if it is still hot from being used. Wipe the metal surfaces of the sensor bars with a soft cloth.Can you turn off dry sensor dryer? ›
No, you cannot turn off the sensors, but you may use the timed dry cycle.What must a moisture sensor be able to do? ›
Soil moisture sensors measure or estimate the amount of water in the soil. These sensors can be stationary or portables such as handheld probes. Stationary sensors are placed at the predetermined locations and depths in the field, whereas portable soil moisture probes can measure soil moisture at several locations.What is the difference between humidity sensor and moisture sensor? ›
What's the difference between humidity and moisture sensors? In short, both measure humidity, but the minor terminological difference lies in the “material” where humidity is measured in.How do I reset my Samsung moisture detected? ›
If moisture is detected in the USB port, an error message will be displayed and charging will stop. In this case, unplug your device from the charger, then wipe with a dry cloth or gently shake your device (5-10 times) with the port facing downwards to release any excess moisture.Why does my Samsung dryer keep shutting off after a few minutes? ›
The first and main, reason a dryer shuts off after a few minutes is an overheating dryer motor. When this occurs, you might need to replace it – especially if you can hear a loud, buzzing noise emanating from the motor.Why is my Samsung moisture sensor dryer not drying? ›
If your dryer is heating but the clothes are still damp, your vent is probably blocked. If your dryer has weak heat and runs for a long time, that could also be a blocked vent. And if your dryer ends after only a couple minutes with soaking wet clothes, your moisture sensors could be dirty.
The most common cause of a dryer shutting off after a few minutes is a broken or faulty drive belt. The drive belt goes around the dryer drum, idler pulley, and the motor pulley and helps the dryer to rotate when operating. If it is defective, the dryer won't work correctly.What causes a dryer thermistor to go bad? ›
What Causes Thermistor Failure? Usually, thermistor failure is caused by an open circuit due to mechanical separation between the resistor element and lead material. This can happen as a result of improper handling, thermal mismatch, or heat damage. Another common reason thermistors fail is simply aging.Can a clogged dryer vent cause the dryer not to work? ›
One of the most common signs that your dryer vent is clogged is that your laundry and clothes will take much longer to dry. Try vacuuming out the vent many times this will fix the problem. If it is completely blocked, the dryer will not be able to operate at all.Will a dryer shut off if the vent is clogged? ›
A clogged dryer vent can cause the dryer's heating element to overheat, leading to a fire. The dryer keeps shutting off before the end of the cycle.Where is the humidity sensor on a dryer? ›
The moisture sensor is located in the front of the dryer behind the lint trap. It is important that there are enough clothing items tumbling past the sensor for the dryer to effectively measure remaining moisture.Why replace dryer moisture sensor? ›
When the clothing hits these sensors, it will detect how moist they are and adjust the time accordingly. However, if these moisture sensors are faulty then they can cause the dryer to end the dry cycle after a few minutes or to run a dry cycle indefinitely.Is sensor dry better than timed dry? ›
You'll set the drying time yourself when using the timed dry option, whereas the automatic or regular option uses a moisture sensor to detect when clothes are dry. It's easy to use this setting as your default dryer setting, but this can actually damage your everyday garments over time.What does flow sensor mean on a dryer? ›
The Flow Sense warning on your dryer is designed to help avoid reduced performance caused by restrictions from the household exhaust system and alerting of such problem in the system so that it may get fixed.What is the cost of moisture sensor? ›
The price of 93% Soil Moisture Sensor products is between ₹50 - ₹250,000 per Piece.What are the constraints of a moisture sensor? ›
Following are the disadvantages of Moisture sensor for soil: ➨It requires initial evaluation of site specific conditions before selection of appropriate moisture sensor. ➨It requires probe to be inserted in the soil. It requires labor to collect the data and maintain the measurement processes.
Typically, the moisture sensor in your dryer consists of two metal bars mounted on a black plate. The two metal bars will protrude into the dryer's drum.What are the three types of humidity sensors? ›
Humidity is measured with a device known as humidity sensor and different types are available in the market such as the, optical, gravimetric, capacitive, resistive, piezoresistive and magnoelastic sensors etc.What are the two groups of humidity sensors? ›
These types of humidity sensors include: Capacitive humidity sensors. Resistive humidity sensors.What is the most common humidity sensor? ›
The most common types of humidity sensors are the capacitive humidity sensors. It primarily measures relative humidity (RH). It consists of dielectric material whose permittivity changes with the change of humidity.Where is the dryer moisture sensor located? ›
The moisture sensor is located in the front of the dryer behind the lint trap. It is important that there are enough clothing items tumbling past the sensor for the dryer to effectively measure remaining moisture.How do you reset a GE dryer dry sensor? ›
How do you reset a GE dryer? Turn the dryer off, then on again to reset it. Or you can press the reset button on the dryer plug. If this does not clear your error, see the troubleshooting guide below.Why does my Samsung dryer run for 3 minutes and then shut off? ›
The first and main, reason a dryer shuts off after a few minutes is an overheating dryer motor. When this occurs, you might need to replace it – especially if you can hear a loud, buzzing noise emanating from the motor.What does a moisture sensor detect? ›
Soil moisture sensors measure or estimate the amount of water in the soil. These sensors can be stationary or portables such as handheld probes. Stationary sensors are placed at the predetermined locations and depths in the field, whereas portable soil moisture probes can measure soil moisture at several locations.How does a moisture sensor function? ›
Soil moisture sensors (SMSs) measure soil moisture at the root zone and regulate the existing conventional irrigation timer, resulting in considerable water savings when installed and used properly. A customized soil water content threshold is set, allowing for dryer or wetter soil condition.Why does my LG dryer run for 2 minutes and then stop? ›
The most common cause of a dryer shutting off after a few minutes is a broken or faulty drive belt. The drive belt goes around the dryer drum, idler pulley, and the motor pulley and helps the dryer to rotate when operating. If it is defective, the dryer won't work correctly.
You'll set the drying time yourself when using the timed dry option, whereas the automatic or regular option uses a moisture sensor to detect when clothes are dry. It's easy to use this setting as your default dryer setting, but this can actually damage your everyday garments over time.How do I clean the moisture sensor on my LG dryer? ›
Check for lint buildup on the moisture sensor located behind the lint filter and wipe often with a dry rag. Look for, and clean any lint build up on the door gaskets. After utilizing your STEAM CYCLE feature on your LG dryer, you might notice some moisture buildup and condensation on the drum.What is the safety reset button in a dryer? ›
Many dryers are equipped with a reset button on the control panel. If the motor won't run, let the dryer cool for about ten minutes. Then push the reset button. If there are no problems with the motor, switches, or electrical system, this should restart the dryer.