How to Replace Thermal Fuses

Many home appliances protect against overheating and fire danger by using a component known as a thermal fuse.

Washers, driers and other home appliances have thermal fuses to prevent overheating.
The one and only function of the thermal fuse is to cut off the supply of electricity to the heating element in your appliance when the appliance overheats to a dangerous level. Once triggered, these one-time-use-only safety switches must be replaced to restore heat to your appliance. Luckily, replacing a thermal fuse is a simple appliance repair that takes just minutes. .

Unplug your appliance from its power outlet to disconnect the supply of electricity. Disconnect the gas supply to gas appliances before continuing to step 2.

Locate the thermal fuse in residential washers or dryers by removing the bottom toe or back panels. Remove the bottom toe panel of your dishwasher to access the thermal fuse. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the panel to the appliance. Some appliance panels are held in place with metal clips; apply pressure to these clips with a flathead screwdriver or putty knife to free the panel.

Locate the thermal fuse among your appliance's exposed components. Look for a strip of white plastic with two connected wires. This is the appliance's thermal fuse. Disconnect the two wires from the thermal fuse by gently pulling on them.

Note the small screw at the center of the thermal fuse. Remove the screw to free the faulty thermal fuse. Discard the faulty thermal fuse, but reserve the small screw for use in step 5.

Hold the replacement thermal fuse to your appliance so that the screw hole in the thermal fuse is aligned with the screw hole in the appliance. Insert the small screw that you reserved in step 4 and tighten it with your screwdriver to secure the replacement thermal fuse to your appliance.

Attach the two wires to the new thermal fuse to complete your thermal fuse replacement.

Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Replacement thermal fuse


  • Replacement thermal fuses can be ordered directly from your appliance's manufacturer or purchased from your local appliance parts store.


  • Never attempt to troubleshoot or repair any appliance while it is still connected to an electrical or gas supply.
  • Never attempt to operate your appliance without its thermal fuse or you increase your risk of an appliance fire.

About the Author

Megan Mattingly-Arthur has been writing professionally since 1998. She has contributed to various publications, including "Teen Voices" and "Positive Teens" magazines, as well as a book, "The Young Writer's Guide to Getting Published." Mattingly-Arthur is studying travel and tourism through Penn Foster Career School.