Why Your Dryer Keeps Adding Time To The Cycle [Solved]

Why Your Dryer Keeps Adding Time To The Cycle

Stuck trying to figure out why your dryer keeps adding time?

I’m so sorry to hear that! Not only can this be frustrating, but it can also result in higher energy bills.

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place for answers.

Your dryer may be adding time to the cycle due to the sensor dry feature, which detects the moisture level in your clothes and adjusts the drying time accordingly. However, a clogged vent or a faulty thermostat could also be contributing factors.

Keep reading to learn how to solve this issue!

Woman Mad At Her Dryer
It can be frustrating when your laundry takes longer than you thought. But that’s not the only problem: long periods of swirling heat and tumbling cycles can make the dryer prone to disrepair.

Why Your Dryer Keeps Adding Time

You wouldn’t believe how many people I’ve seen struggle with this annoying issue. There are several reasons why it might be happening.

In this section, you’ll discover the different causes and effective solutions that will help you get rid of the problem.

#1 Your Dryer Is Set To Automatic Cycle

There is a small sensor in your dryer that is responsible for detecting moisture that is present on your clothing. If the sensor detects that your clothes are still wet, then your dryer will add time to the cycle.

As your sensor realizes that the moisture is leaving the clothing, the amount of time on the timer should begin to drop. Even though this does not always happen, the sensor is designed to help your dryer run for the optimal amount of time to dry your clothes. 

However, if you don’t want the dry sensor to keep adding time to the cycle, you can remove your clothing early. Just bear in mind that you may find that there are a few articles of clothing that are still wet. 

If you would like your dryer to dry your clothes more quickly, you may want to remove certain items from your clothing pile as the dryer goes. Some items are going to drive more quickly than others. For example, your socks, sheets, and underwear are probably relatively thin. Therefore, they are going to drive more quickly. You may want to remove these items from the dryer before the timer reaches zero.

Dry sensor
You do not need to wait until the dryer reaches zero to pull out your clothes. If you take your socks, sheets, and underwear earlier, it will be required less time to dry the rest of the clothes.

If you can remove items from the dryer that are already dry, the dryer will be able to focus all its energy on items that are still wet, which could help you save time during the drying cycle. 

Finally, if you really want to stop a sensor from increasing the amount of time you still have on the drying cycle, you may want to switch to a time cycled instead.

Of course, you will need to figure out how long your clothes are going to take to dry. With a timed cycle, the dryer is going to shut off when the time reaches zero regardless of what the sensor has to say.

#2 The Sensor Is Not Calibrated

Another possible reason why the dryer might keep adding time is that the sensor has not been calibrated properly.

Your sensor functions by detecting the moisture that is present in your laundry. If the sensor has not been properly calibrated, then it might not be giving appropriate readings to the main control board. As a result, the dryer could be adding time even when it should not.

You may be able to test power going to the sensor on your own if you have access to a multimeter.

If you detect something is wrong with your sensor, you need to rely on a professional who can help you figure out if it needs to be replaced or if the entire dryer should be swapped out. 

#3 The Vent Is Clogged

Another possible reason why your dryer keeps adding time is that the vent is clogged.

You see, when this happens, the dryer won’t process air efficiently, preventing it from heating up correctly.

Without proper heating, the clothes will take longer to dry, causing the timer to add extra time.

If you want to put a stop to this situation, you need to make sure the vent is clean. Take a look at your dryer’s manual and figure out what you need to do to access your dryer vent.

Then, make sure the vent is cleaned regularly. This will make it easier for your dryer to heat up, stopping the timer formatting time. 

If you can’t find your manual, don’t worry! Check out our guide on how to find any product manual online.

Don’t forget to clean out the lint trap after every load, so your dryer operates properly. 

#4 The Thermostat Is Not Calibrated

Your thermostat is responsible for sensing how hot the dryer is. If there is something wrong with the thermostat, then the dryer may think it is hot, but it is actually not.

If your dryer is unable to properly detect how hot it is, it may not feed up properly.

If the dryer is not getting hot enough, then the dryer will keep adding time to the cycle. One of the ways you can put a stop to this is to make sure the thermostat is working properly. A professional may be able to take a look at the thermostat and figure out if you need to replace it. 

#5 The Dryer Keeps Shutting Off

Finally, another possible reason why the dryer keeps adding time to the cycle is that it keeps shutting off. There are a number of reasons why the dryer might keep shutting off.

For example, the dryer may think it is overheating, causing it to turn off from time to time. This is going to add time to the cycle because your clothes are never going to get totally dry. 

Another possible reason why the dryer might keep shutting off is that it thinks the load is too heavy. You may want to take a look and see if there are any error codes present. If you put too much laundry in your dryer, it may have a difficult time drying all of it at the same time. 

Take Care of Your Dryer 

In the end, a lot of the issues associated with your dryer come down to routine maintenance. If you want your dryer to function properly, then you need to take care of it.

Try removing lint from the lint trap after every cycle. This will make sure your dryer is able to heat up properly, cleaning your clothes in a timely manner. 

If you think there was something wrong with one of the parts in your dryer, it is a good idea to trust a professional who can take a look at it for you.

You might end up voiding your warranty if you dig around the inner workings of your dryer. Furthermore, if you trust a professional to help you fix issues with your dryer, you know they will be fixed on the first attempt.

Don’t forget to check out our free specialized guide on dryer maintenance! Not only will it help extend the lifespan of your dryer, but it can also save you up to $450 in repair costs and energy bills!


It can be frustrating if your dryer keeps adding time to the cycle. You have a schedule to keep, and you expect your dryer to work properly.

Remember that the vast majority of dryers are going to use a sensor that will help them figure out how much moisture is left in your laundry. 

If you think there was something wrong with the dryer, you may want to call a professional to do a diagnostic check for you. That way, you can figure out if the sensor is doing its job or if there is a part that has to be swapped out. 

Thank you so much for reading! If you found the tips above helpful, please check out our other related guides below.

Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more