Dryer Won’t Turn Off? It Could Be 1 of These 7 Reasons

Dryer Won't Turn Off? It Could Be 1 of These 7 Reasons

Is your dryer on what seems to be the longest cycle ever? Does it keep spinning and spinning constantly? Then in this article, you’ll find 7 reasons why it does this and what you can do to stop it. 

If your dryer won’t turn off it could be because “wrinkle prevent” is on, or the felt tape, sensors, or filters are dirty. It could also be an indicator that the timer is faulty.

How can you work out which of the problems is the one that’s keeping your dryer running? What can you do to fix it? Find out the answers to these questions and more in this article. 

7 Reasons Why Your Dryer Won’t Turn Off

Let me guess. Your dryer has been running for a long time now and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down to a stop. You start to wonder whether all the extra drying is beginning to shrink some of your clothes. You’re even worried about how this extra run time is affecting your electric bill. 

Is this just the normal run time for a cycle? Or, is there something wrong with your tumble dryer? Coming up next, I’ll discuss some of the reasons why your dryer might run for longer than usual. And as always, I’ll provide you with some of the best tips to get the dryer working properly again.

Reason #1 Your Dryer Has a Drum Light

Does your dryer have a backlight or a drum light that stays on for a few minutes after the dryer has finished a cycle? You might think that this means that the dryer is still on when it isn’t. Some of these drum lights will remain on even after you power the dryer off at the power button. 

What is this all about?

Some newer models of dryers are built with a drum light or a backlight that remains on for a few minutes after a cycle. This is simply a popular design feature and isn’t anything to be concerned about. The light should turn off on its own without you having to do anything about it. This is a new feature that is becoming popular on the latest Samsung dryers. 

Reason #2 Wrinkle Prevention Is On

Does your tumble dryer continue spinning even after the drying cycle has ended? Your dryer will do this if you have some sort of wrinkle prevention or anti crease program turned on. 

What do these programs do? They keep the dryer spinning without heat once the dryer has finished its main program. The drum will continue to spin the drum for a few minutes. During this time, the clothes might tumble for a while. This setting helps to iron out your clothes and prevent them from creasing when you take them out of the dryer.

This program can be quite long. Your clothes could continue spinning for up to an hour in some tumble dryers such as an Electrolux. But the good news is that you can stop this program at any time by opening the door to the dryer. 

What can you do to prevent this program from turning on in the future? You should deactivate the wrinkle prevent or anti crease setting before you turn a drying cycle on. You can do this by turning the wrinkle prevention cycle selector to the OFF position.

Shirts On A Hanger
An anti crease program will keep the dryer running for longer.

Reason #3 You Are Washing Bed Linen

The maximum cycle time on most dryers is 2 to 3 hours long. Does your dryer seem to be on for a very long time? Then you’re no doubt worried about how the long cycle is affecting your clothes and not to mention your electric bill.

It is good to note that the longest cycles for most dryers are about 3 hours long. Bed linens can take a very long time to dry. This is especially the case for winter duvets and throws. But anything longer than 3 hours would be abnormal. 

So, what does this mean? 

If you are drying something heavy like a bunch of soggy towels or winter bedding, you can expect the dry time to be a lot longer.

Hand Putting Clothes Inside Washer
Your bed linen could take up to 3 hours to dry.

Reason #4 The Clothes Were Very Wet

Your tumble dryer will take longer to dry wet clothes. Did you put something in the dryer that you washed by hand? Did you put swimming costumes straight from the pool into the machine? The level of moisture in the clothes will affect the run time of the dryer. 

To prevent the dryer from running for a long time, you should remove the excess water from your clothes before you put them in the dryer. You can do this by using the spin cycle on your washing machine. You can also try leaving the clothes on the line to get them to blow out a bit if they are dripping wet.

NOTE: Taking the excess water out of your clothes before putting the dryer on will also help you to look after the dryer better.

Removing Excess Of Water From Clothes
Remove the excess water from wet clothes before you put them in the dryer.

Reason #5 The Felt Tape or Sensors Are Dirty

Another factor that can contribute to long dryer running times is the condition of the felt tape or sensors in the drum. These should be clean in order for the dryer to work quickly and efficiently. If they are dirty, the dryer will take a long time to operate. 

So what can you do? 

You can use vinegar to clean dirty felt tape or dirty sensors in the drum. Once clean, the dryer should operate normally again. You should clean the felt tape or sensors periodically to ensure that the machine runs as well as possible.

NOTE: If you are not sure where to locate your felt tape or sensors, you should see your dryer’s user manual. 

Reason #6 The Filters Are Dirty

Clogged and dirty filters will also force your tumble dryer to work harder. If the filters are dirty, the dryer will run for longer and will not be able to work as efficiently. 

To fix this problem, you will need to clean or replace the filters. You should do this regularly to ensure that your dryer works as well as it can.

Hand Pulling Out Dryer Filter
Clean or change the dryer’s filter when it is dirty.

Reason #7 There Is a Shorted Contact In the Timer

Does your dryer use a mechanical timer? It might do if it doesn’t have an electronic main control board. Dryers with a mechanical timer have a small motor that controls the operation of the dryer. If this mechanism has shorted, the dryer could keep running non-stop. 

To turn your dryer off, you will need to shut it down at the mains or the circuit breaker. With the power off you will be able to inspect the problem and call a technician to repair the shorted contact. 

Woman Taking Out Towel From Dryer
Your dryer will keep running if there’s a shorted contact in the timer.


Are your dryer cycles taking abnormally long to finish? What should you do if your dryer won’t turn off? In this article, I’ve covered 7 reasons why this happens and what you can do to resolve the problem. I am sure the tips mentioned in this article have got you on the road to fixing your tumble dryer.

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Thanks for reading, and have a great day!



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