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Are your dryer’s buttons not working, and it’s making your life complicated?
That sucks! But you might find comfort in learning that you’re not alone. In fact, thousands of people find themselves in the same position daily and are left confused and helpless against a huge pile of wet clothes on laundry day.
I know how inconvenient it can be to have your dryer’s buttons not working, as you can’t select a drying cycle or anything else for that matter.
Luckily, you’ve come to the right place for answers. Below, you’ll find a list including 3 simple fixes you can try to get your dryer back to normal and its buttons working again.
Read on to restore life to your dryer’s buttons!
Craig has helped thousands of other homeowners repair their appliances since 2016.
James is one of our resident appliance experts with over 16 years of experience. He currently works as a Master Technician for SquareTrade, and runs his own appliance repair business.
Why Your Dryer’s Buttons Aren’t Working
While there’s no cookie-cutter answer to why your dryer’s buttons are unresponsive, over the years I’ve found that some culprits are more likely to blame than others. The good news is that most solutions for the problem are very simple and quick, so don’t cancel your plans for the day!
Here’s what I recommend you try to get your dryer back to normal.
#1 Power Cycle the Dryer
The first thing I recommend you try when your dryer buttons are not working is to power cycle the appliance.
Modern household appliances have small internal processing boards that compute thousands of background processes every second to deliver the results you’re used to and understand the settings you’re dialing into them. Just as it happens with internal processes in computers, sometimes bugs and glitches can cause a software error within your dryer.
A software error can cause many issues in your dryer, including never-ending cycles, failure to turn on and off, and, of course, unresponsive buttons.
Solution: Power cycling your dryer is very easy – all you have to do is either unplug the appliance from the wall outlet or cut power to it from your circuit breakers. Personally, I prefer to use my circuit breaker, as I don’t have to move the appliance away from the wall.
Once you’ve cut off power to your dryer for about 5 minutes or so, flip the switch back to the “ON” position and see if the dryer’s buttons work normally. If not, don’t worry; there’s still a lot of ground to cover.
#2 Clean the Button Area Thoroughly
The next thing I recommend you try when your dryer buttons are not working is to clean the button area thoroughly. You might find it hard to believe, but gunk, food residue, and dust can gather around your dryer’s buttons badly enough to make them unresponsive if you wait too long to clean them.
I’ve found that giving your dryer and its buttons a good cleaning session at least once every 2 months can go a long way in preventing several potential problems, including the one you’re currently having.
Solution: With a damp cloth, clean the button area thoroughly and try to remove as much dust, debris, lint, detergent, and any other substance/object that you suspect can be interfering with the proper functioning of the appliance.
If you want to go the extra mile and clean the entire dryer to the fullest extent, you can use a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar that will also serve as a disinfectant. Since the button area has electricity running through it, my usual advice is to unplug your dryer from the wall or cut power to it from your circuit breakers to prevent short circuits while cleaning it.
#3 Replace the Control Panel
Lastly, let’s consider a faulty control panel when your dryer buttons are not working. As time passes, the control panel, responsible for detecting your inputs on the button area and their processing, can fail due to age, factory defects, power surges, and other less common factors.
A faulty dryer control panel can cause many problems and leave you with a huge pile of wet clothes on laundry day, which is inconvenient, to say the least. Luckily, addressing the problem is rather simple.
Solution: In my experience, fixing a faulty dryer control panel doesn’t take more than an hour at the most. In 99% of cases, the best course of action is buying and installing a replacement board. To do so, you just have to follow some specific steps:
- Unplug the dryer from the wall or cut power to it from your circuit breakers.
- Go behind the unit and remove the screws holding the top plate in place.
- On the bottom corners of the top area of the appliance, you’ll see 3 screws – undo them to release the mounting plate holding the control panel.
- In some models, the panel is secured to the mounting plate by a 1/4″ screw. If your dryer model has the screw, undo it.
- With the control panel’s screw undone, use needle nose pliers to remove 4 plastic clips holding the board to the mounting plate.
- Take a picture of the control panel’s wiring for reference. Then, unplug the ribbon cables from it.
- Plug the new control panel using the photo you took, screw the part back into its mounting plate, and reassemble the dryer.
- Once the appliance has been fully reassembled, plug it back into the wall or restore power to it via your circuit breakers and see if the buttons work normally now.
If your dryer’s controls were unresponsive due to a faulty control panel, replacing the part will do the trick, and you can now get back to doing your laundry normally.
When Can You Make Your Dryer’s Warranty Valid?
The first thing you must consider when wondering whether your dryer’s control panel can be replaced for free under warranty is the time that’s passed since you purchased it. Most dryer manufacturers offer a 1-year limited warranty that covers factory defects. However, you should always check your specific warranty document to see your model’s policies and terms & conditions.
If your dryer’s control panel has failed due to manufacturer defects, you can likely get it replaced for free, but if the part has failed due to improper use or not following the manufacturer’s instructions, the replacement will likely not be covered.
Fixing Unresponsive Dryer Buttons
That about covers it!
When your dryer buttons are not working, something as tedious as laundry day can quickly be made worse, forcing you to spend a long time figuring out what’s wrong.
Luckily, as I hope this piece has helped you better understand, addressing the most common causes behind a dryer’s unresponsive buttons can be easy and quick. More often than not, something as simple as power cycling the appliance and cleaning it frequently will do the trick.
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Have a wonderful day!