How to Test a Thermal Cut Off for a Dryer

The thermal fuse, also known as the thermal cutoff, is designed to shut the dryer down if the temperature becomes too hot. This prevents the dryer from catching on fire while drying clothes. You can check the effectiveness of the fuse once you know how to test a thermal cutoff for a dryer. The thermal cutoff is beside the cycling thermostat on most dryer models.

Disconnect the power cord of the dryer from the dryer wall outlet. Use a putty knife inserted between the bottom of the front panel and the top of the toe panel to disengage the spring retaining clips that secure the toe panel. Press in on the clips with the putty knife while pulling the toe panel away from the dryer.

Use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the wires from the thermal fuse. The thermal fuse is beside the thermostat on the back of the blower assembly. Some dryer models have the thermal fuse and thermostat on the side of the heating element can. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the screw securing the thermal fuse to the blower housing. Remove the thermal screw from the dryer.

Set the volt-ohm meter to the RX1 setting to test for continuity. A thermal fuse at room temperature will produce a zero on the volt-ohm meter display. Touch one probe to one terminal and the other probe to the remaining terminal. Any other reading other than zero indicates a faulty thermal fuse.

Things You Will Need

  • Putty knife
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Volt-ohm meter


  • Never use jumpers to bypass a thermal fuse.
  • If a thermal fuse is found to be faulty, it is a good idea to replace the cycling thermostat at the same time.


  • Always disconnect appliances from their power source before attempting repairs.

About the Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle." Crawford holds an associate degree in business administration from Commonwealth College.