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How To Test A Dryer Timer [Step-By-Step Guideline]

This article is for informational purposes. Always seek the advice of qualified professionals.

Have you come to notice that your dryer is not advancing the way it should? Or maybe it’s not even turning off? Then you must check the dryer timer. Because that must have been the cause why it broke down.

How to test a dryer timer?

Take out the dryer timer and disconnect the wires. Get a multimeter and set it to Rx1 mode. Then touch one prob with a wiring terminal and the other on any timer contact. After that, check the readings from the multimeter. If it doesn’t match the actual reading then the dryer timer is faulty.

That was only a small part of the whole process. Care to know more? Then join me to read the procedure. 

Let’s begin!

What’s A Dryer Timer?

The dryer timer is a small motor located inside the control console of clothes dryers. It’s the heart of the dryer machine. It’s connected with a set of gears that are cam operated. 

These cams regulate the current inside the timer. As the timer controls the dryer motor it also controls the heat circulation.

The timer advances with a selected time cycle. If it doesn’t follow the cycle the motor fails to work. Defective timer motors can be identified by checking the internal electrical circuit.

How To Check A Dryer Timer?

Just assuming the problem isn’t enough, you’d need to check the timer to be sure. But before that, you’ll be needing a few pieces of equipment for the job. Here’s what you’re gonna need-

  • Multimeter
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Phillips head screwdriver

Collected them? Then let’s get to work.

Step-1: Locate The Timer

First, unplug the dryer from the electrical outlet. Either unplug it or flip the breaker from the circuit breaker box. Just to let you know,  you can place a breaker box out of home too. Once the power is cut off, you would have to locate the timer.

The dryer timer is usually set behind the control console. To get the timer you’d need to remove the cover of the control panel. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws from the cover.

Step-2: Access The Timer Motor

Once the lead is open you’ll see a small square-shaped black box. You’ll see many labeled wires connected to it. You can use a needle nose plier to pull out the wires from the timer. 

Be careful not to damage the wires while pulling them. Check out the 220 wires of the dryer. Carefully move them away. Also, unscrew the timer to bring it out.

Step-3: Read The Ohm Range

Inside the control panel, you’ll see a setting option. Turn it to “normal dry” and look out for the wiring diagram of the dryer. The diagram tells the right ohm range for the motor. 

It also tells what contacts of the timer should be kept open or closed. If you can’t find it inside the control panel look for the user manual. It should contain the same diagram.

Step-4: Test With Multimeter

First set the multimeter to Rx1 mode. Touch the two probes of the multimeter and make it zero. Now, set the dial to read zero. This is how we’re going to check the appliance with the multimeter.

Now, take one probe of the multimeter and contact it with a wire connecting terminal. Place the other probe on any of the other contacts. 

In a normal timer, the ohm range should be between 2000-3000. Depending on your dryer brand or model the range could be different.

So check the actual range from the diagram or user module first. The reading you’ll get should be close to the actual range. If the range doesn’t match with the reading then there’s a problem within the contacts.

It also indicates that your timer has gone bad. This is because the contacts that should be open at a time are kept close. And the ones that should be closed are being open.

Step-5: Test The Motor

Lastly, to test the motor, you’ve to turn the timer to “OFF” mode. If you do you should see the contacts in the motor getting opened. If that is not the case, the motor has also gone bad.

Whether the motor has gone bad or not, you’ll need to replace the whole timer. Looking for recommendations? You can try one of these:

Product 1
Product 2

Don’t worry about the price too much. At least it’ll be cheaper than the cost of a generator interlock kit

How To Tell If the Dryer Timer Has Gone Bad?

If you’re new to your dryer’s anatomy then identifying the problem will be difficult. But not on my watch. Even if you’re new to it you can identify a bad dry timer.

Watch for the following scenarios:

Timer Won’t Advance

Your dryer timer may not advance by itself sometimes. In such scenarios, if you manually function it would still work. If you’re facing such a problem then there’s a problem within the timer motor. 

To be more sure about the issue you can try checking the motor. The timer and motor are sold as a set most of the time. If one gets bad you’ve to replace the whole thing.

Dryer Not Turning Off

Once you’ve shut off the dryer it shouldn’t run. But if it does then there’s a possibility that the timer has gone bad. Maybe it could have been internally damaged and needs replacement.

This could happen due to the failure of the timer motor. Or the reason could be the contacts that may have gotten stuck close. In either case, you’d have to check the timer to be sure.


Question: Why isn’t my dryer shutting off?

Answer: Your dryer is supposed to automatically shut off once the door is open. But if it doesn’t, first check the door switch. Chances are that it might have gone bad. In that case, you’ll have to replace the switch

Question: Where to find the dryer reset button?

Answer: The reset button of the dryer should be in the control panel. If the motor doesn’t turn on then wait for 10 minutes to cool it off. Press the reset button afterward. It would restart the dryer.

Question: What does a bad dryer motor sound like?

Answer: A bad dryer motor may produce various types of sound. But the most commonly heard is a humming noise or a rattling sound. It comes from the switch of the motor. Check the timer motor if you hear these sounds.


Now you know how to test a dryer timer. Hopefully, our instructions were useful to you. Don’t forget to wear safety gear while dealing with electrical stuff.

Also, contact your manufacturer for issuing a warranty if the timer gets bad. If it’s within the promised time period it’ll save your hard-earned money.

That’s it for today. See you next time!