GE dryer starts, then stops as soon as the start button is released

GE Washer and Dryer, the dryer starts, then stops

My GE dryer, the star of this post, and her sibling

My dryer was about two years old when it decided to stop running. I remember putting some clothes in it, closing the door, pressing the start button and going away.

A few minutes, or perhaps hours later, I went back to check up on it just to realize that it was still on. The timer was still showing some crazy number like 50 minutes, the dryer was not running or making any noises, and the clothes were still wet.

Well, perhaps I forgot to press the start button, I remember thinking, so I went ahead and pressed it. It started running, nice! And then it stopped as soon as I released it. So, I pressed it again hoping that this time, it was going to work, but no, it stopped again.

Sounds familiar? You are not alone! It apparently is a very common issue with newer, electronic, dryers.

Disclaimer: I am not, by any means, an expert appliance repairman. This post is just a recollection of my experience and what I did to fix my own dryer, please do your own research. Cheapest House on the Block cannot be held responsible for your personal safety, the results of your home improvement projects or appliance repair efforts.

I tried holding it for a little bit longer, it made no difference.

What if I tried turning the dryer off, then back on? Same result.

What about making sure the door is properly latched? It is.

Is the filter clean? It is.

Did I put too much weight on it? I took some of the clothes out, it didn’t make any difference.

FINDING THE PROBLEM AND FIXING THE DRYER

After troubleshooting for a while, I was getting frustrated, so the next logical step was, you guessed it, checking online for a solution.

Online, I read about all the different issues that could cause a similar problem.

  • Overheated motor: highly unlikely, but I still waited a few hours and until the next day to try again, it was not the motor.
  • Start switch: Checking this required breaking apart the whole front panel. I realized the start button is part of a circuit board, so unless you are an electronics expert (I’m not), replacing that button required some soldering skills I do not have. I wasn’t too sure that was the problem anyway since the dryer started, which meant the start button was working, it was just stopping right after.
  • Dryer belt coming off the drum: this was easily identified as NOT being the cause of the problem by just checking if the drum was turning while holding the start button.
  • The dryer is not leveled: it was!
  • The dryer vent is blocked: it was as clean as it can get!
  • Faulty door latch: I could not find anything wrong with it!
  • And the list goes on and on…

At this point, as I’m sure you can tell, I was getting extremely frustrated. Most websites and online forums listed pretty much the same troubleshooting steps, some of them specialize in older washer and dryer models, others were not very helpful or only had information about easier or routine fixes, I was running or perhaps had already run out of options.

I DECIDED TO CALL A CERTIFIED APPLIANCE REPAIR TECHNICIAN

What? Going through all that hassle of troubleshooting and trying to fix the dryer by yourself just to end up calling a technician to take a look at it?

Well, if you haven’t looked at a newer washer and dryer before, you should, they look more like a computer than an appliance. But wait! I just wanted to have someone tell me exactly what was wrong with it so I could fix it!

And that’s exactly what I did! Some people may think that was not very honest, however, he got paid for his visit, it was up to me to decide if I wanted to go ahead and have them fix for $420 plus part costs, which is more than some new dryers cost, or fix it myself, which is what I decided to do.

I went ahead and ordered the part, the “Dryer Electronic Control Board”, for $220. I got it in the mail a few days later, it took me about 15 minutes to get it replaced, and for the first time in days I was able to use the dryer!

Uncovered dryer showing the electronic control board causing it to start, then stop

The culprit, dryer electronic control board

Readers, have you had any similar frustrating issues with any of your appliances? How did you handle the situation? Did you end up paying someone to get it fixed or were you able to figure it out and fix it yourself?

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