Our household appliances tend to be built with fail-safe mechanisms so that they’ll stop working if a part becomes faulty. However, in some instances, these mechanisms don’t work the way they should. In these rare instances, your appliance will do something odd.

For instance, you may be experiencing it right now with your dryer continuing to spin even when the door is open or after the timer has completed. What is going on with your dryer right now? The good news is that there are several reasons why your dryer won’t stop spinning even though the timer has gone off or the door is open.

A dryer that keeps spinning with the door open
  A dryer that keeps spinning while the door is still open can cause some pretty serious confusion.

If you’re ready to solve this strange occurrence with your dryer, then let’s dive in!

#1: The Dryer Door Switch Is Faulty

It is pretty odd to have your dryer continue to spin even after you open the door. It is very important that you never stick your hand inside of the dryer while it’s still spinning, as this can be very dangerous! Usually, this isn’t something you have to worry about, since the dryer will stop spinning as soon as the door is opened.

However, if your dryer is spinning with the door open, your problem is probably the dryer door switch. This switch is a common safety feature found on all dryers, especially modern ones. It keeps the drum from spinning once the door opens.

To test if your switch is faulty, use a multimeter tool to test for continuity. First, you must unplug the dryer, remove it from the wall, and remove the top dryer panel. This will allow you to gain access to the switch. If you’re unsure of the location of the dryer door switch, check your owner’s manual.

Set your tool to Rx1 and touch the probes to the switch terminals. The reading should be infinity. If it isn’t, then the door switch requires replacement.

If you need to replace the door switch, simply remove the screws and disconnect the wiring harness. Install the new switch, reattach the wiring harness, screws, and panel. Plug your dryer back in and see if it works now.

#2: The Timer Is Defective

Another possible problem that you’re looking at is the timer. If you have a dryer that has a twisting knob instead of an electronic control board that dictates how long the dryer runs, the timer may have suffered some level of damage. There is a significant amount of electricity that runs through the contacts of the timer switches, so it isn’t uncommon for a power surge to cause the timer to get stuck in an “on” position.

To determine if your timer is indeed defective and needs to be replaced, disconnect the drum and remove the main console. Locate the timer and remove it. In some cases, you may need to first remove a panel to gain access to the timer switch. If you can’t find the timer, refer to your owner’s manual.

Set a multimeter tool to Rx1 and touch the probes to the terminals of the timer switch. Test for continuity. The reading should be somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 ohms. If the produced reading is not within that range, the timer is indeed defective and must be replaced.

Once the timer is replaced, reassembly the dryer and test it to see if the dryer is operating normally. If not, try the next problem and solution.

Removing back panel from dryer
A defect in the timer’s electrical contacts can cause the timer motor to fail and the timer will need to be replaced.

#3: The Cycling Thermostat Is Faulty

If your dryer is equipped with an “Auto Dry” cycle, then there is a component known as the cycling thermostat that often comes into effect and is used to speed up the timer and regulate the temperature of the drum. Ultimately, once the temperature has been met, the thermostat will turn the timer motor or heat source on.

So, when this component is defective, there is never a signal sent that the auto-dry cycle phase has finished. As a result, the dryer just continues to tumble and tumble when it’s set on this particular function.

In order for this problem to be fixed, the cycling thermostat must be replaced. This will allow the auto-dry function to be restored. To test the cycling thermostat, you must gain access to the cabinet of the dryer. Usually, it is located on the blower housing. If necessary, refer to your owner’s manual for the location of the cycling thermosat. Once located, remove it carefully to test it.

Place the probes of your multimeter tool on the terminals of the part. Set the tool to the Rx1 setting. Test for continuity and watch for a reading of zero or infinity. If these readings are not produced, the cycling thermostat must be replaced.

You can choose to replace the cycling thermostat, or you can simply avoid using the auto-dry function and opt for other settings like timed-dry. If you replace the part, test the dryer on the auto-dry setting and see if the dryer is working normally again.

#4: The Cooldown Thermostat Is Defective

Another component in the dryer that could potentially cause the dryer to continue to spin even after it shouldn’t is the cooldown thermostat. This component is designed to measure how much heat is in the dryer when the unit is not actually creating any heat. Power moves through the cooldown thermostat and to the drive motor to keep the dryer in operation until the temperature of the drum has reached a certain “cool” temperature.

Many dryers will utilize this particular part at the end of the drying cycle to tumble clothing without heat and essentially cool down the clothes before they are taken out of the appliance. In the event that this component fails, it can result in the dryer drum turning continuously.

In order to determine whether or not your cooldown thermostat is defective, you can test it with a multimeter tool. First, you must disconnect the appliance from its power source and open up the cabinet of the unit in order to locate and access the cooldown thermostat.

As a general rule, the cooldown thermostat is located close to the blower wheel housing (similar to that of the cycling thermostat). If you’re unsure of the location of the cooldown thermostat, check your owner’s manual.

With a pair of pliers, grasp the metal fasteners (avoid the wires at all costs!) gently and remove the cooldown thermostat from the appliance. This will give you better access to the thermostat to test it.

Set your multimeter tool to the setting of Rx1 and place the prongs on the terminals of the thermostat. When testing for continuity, the reading produced should be zero or infinity. If it isn’t, replace the cooldown thermostat. Return everything to its original state and test the dryer to see if it’s operating normally after the thermostat replacement.


Having a dryer that won’t stop spinning with the door wide open and/or the timer complete can be very frustrating, but hopefully one of these solutions has helped you. If not, you may need to seek the help of a trained technician.

If you run into any other problems around the home that you need help solving, feel free to check out some of our other articles. Thanks for reading!