How to Replace the Dryer Door Switch

Appliance Express
March 12, 2020
Dryer Repair

Appliances can be surprisingly complex. Even something as simple as a dryer has a dozen different pieces that can stop your dryer in its tracks if they break. There are a number of temperature sensors and fuses that the dryer relies on to start safely. But it all starts with the door switch. Unlike the latch, which is purely mechanical, the dryer door switch is what tells your dryer that the door is closed and it’s safe to start. When the dryer closes, the small tab is pressed and an electrical connection is made. That electrical connection says that the door is closed. When the door switch breaks, it stops channeling electricity at all and never tells the dryer that it’s safe to start.

The following instructions are generalized and can vary based on the brand and model of your dryer.

For this reason, your dryer can’t start if the door switch is broken. In this case, you’ll need to replace the door switch before your dryer works. Fortunately, this is an easier repair than you might think. All you need is a couple of screwdrivers, a putty knife, and a replacement switch to get started. 

Gather Your Supplies

Start out by gathering all of your supplies. It’s smart to have everything you need nearby when the repair starts so that you can finish the repair without looking for an extra tool. The most important tool is your replacement door switch. Make sure to match the right part number for the make and model of your dryer. In addition, you’ll need both types of screwdriver and work gloves. You may also need a putty knife, which is a thin blunt metal (or plastic) implement. But a thin flat-head screwdriver or even a thin butter knife might do the trick if you don’t have a putty knife.

  • Replacement Door Switch
  • Screwdrivers – Both Types
  • Putty Knife
  • Work Gloves

Safety First

Cut the Power

The door switch is an electrical component of your dryer. For this reason, you’ll want to disconnect the power to your dryer before attempting this repair. If you can easily reach the plug, pull it from the wall. If the plug is not easy to reach, then flip the breaker that powers your dryer instead. Either method will disconnect power to your dryer and make this repair much safer to perform. 

Remove the Lint Housing

Pull Out the Lint Screen

If you have a lint screen on the top of your dryer, the next step is to remove the lint screen and reveal the housing screws underneath. If your lint trap is inside the door pocket instead, skip this set of steps and move on to removing the top panel.

Remove the Lint Housing Screws

Removing the lint screen should have revealed two (or more) screws inside the lint housing. Use your screwdriver to remove them.

Set the Screws Aside

With the screws in hand, set them aside where you can find them again later. They will be near the last reassembly step you take when the repair is complete. 

Lift the Dryer Top Panel

Insert the Putty Knife

Slid your putty knife or stand-in tool in the narrow gap between the dryer top panel and the housing.

Press the Clips on the Right and Left Sides

On the far-left and far-right sides of this slot, you will feel two clips. Press firmly with your putty knife into the tabs and they will release. Release both sides and the top panel will be loose enough to remove.

Lift the Panel from the Front

If you’re not already, put on your work gloves. The inside of the dryer panels can be sharp. Then grip the front of your top panel and pull upward. You may need to shake the top panel a little before it swings upward, hinged at the back.

Prop Open the Top Panel

The top panel does not come fully off. Instead, it will swing upward like a hinged box lid. Prop it up with a chain, a stick, or set it back to lean against the wall behind the dryer. 

Uninstall the Old Door Switch

Locate the Door Switch

Looking down into the dryer housing, find the door switch. It will be along the front panel, usually on the right-hand side close to the right-side of the door pocket. It is a small plastic box that is connected by wires and includes a tab that hangs into the door pocket.

Release the Locking Tab on the Wire Harness

Follow the wires to the wire harness in the top right corner of the dryer housing. It should be in easy sight and reach. Use your flat screwdriver to press on the plastic locking tab that will release the wire harness clasp.

Disconnect the Wire Harness

When the tab clicks open, you can pull the two halves of the wire harness apart. This disconnects the old door switch from the dryer circuits.

Remove the Mounting Screws in the Door Pocket

Open the dryer door and crouch infront of the opening. Inside the door pocket on the upper-right side will be a small tab and two screws on either side. Point your screwdriver upward and remove those two screws. Set them aside somewhere safe.

Pull Out the Old Door Switch

From the top, you can now pull out the old door switch and throw it away. You can also save the switch to be recycled as an electronic component. 

Install the New Door Switch

Set the New Door Switch Into Place

Set the new door switch (facing the right direction) into the same place. Its tab should hang down into the door pocket through the hole.

Secure the Mounting Screws

Return the two mounting screws, applied upward from the door pocket. Tighten until they stop with one more firm twist, but don’t over-tighten.

Connect the Wire Harness

Trace the new door switch’s wires up to the corner and clip them into the other half of the dryer’s wire harness. 

Reassemble Your Dryer

Fit the Top Panel Into Place

Align the top panel back onto the top of your dryer. Make sure all sides of the lower housing fit inside the edges of the top panel.

Press Down to Settle the Top Panel

Press down firmly on the top panel to make it settle down. You will likely hear or feel the locking clips click into place as the dryer top panel is secured.

Reassemble the Lint Assembly

Return the two mounting screws inside the top lint assembly, if you have a top lint assembly. Then return the lint screen.

Restore Power to Your Dryer

Finally, plug your dryer back in or flip the fuse to restore the power. 

Test Your Success

Check the Light and Switch

Now it’s time to check and see if your door switch replacement worked. With the door open, press the tab in and release it. If the light inside turns off and on, then the signal is coming through.

Start the Dryer

Last but not least, try firing up the dryer. If it starts, then your worries are over. You have successfully replaced your dryer door switch. 

Contact us with any questions or appliance repair needs.


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