Woman loading clothes into a dryer

What Are the Parts of a Dryer?

When it comes to your clothes dryer, you may not think about its parts and how they work until something goes wrong. If your dryer isn’t working properly, knowing its parts and getting some ideas on how to repair them can help to get laundry day back on track. This guide will break down the major internal and external parts of a dryer to help you understand what each part does, where it's located and how to consider whether it might need to be repaired or replaced.

External Parts of a Dryer

If your dryer seems to be malfunctioning, the simplest place to start investigating is the appliance’s exterior parts. Your dryer’s external parts can be accessed without having to remove the dryer cover. Below is a list of dryer part names that are typically found on the outside of your machine.

Dryer feet
Dryer Feet

Location: at the bottom of the appliance

Purpose: helps keep the dryer level and firmly in place

Dryer bulb
Dryer Bulb

Location: inside the dryer opening

Purpose: iIlluminates the dryer’s interior

 

Dryer lint screen
Dryer Lint Screen

Location: either on the exterior of the dryer or inside the door opening depending on the model

Purpose: collects lint and debris as it passes through the dryer vent

Dryer knob or dial
Dryer Knob or Dial

Location: on the exterior of the dryer

Purpose: used to select time of a dry cycle

Dryer door seal
Dryer Door Seal

Location: on the dryer door

Purpose: closes the gap between the dryer drum and door to prevent air and loose items from passing through

Dryer door latch
Dryer Door Latch

 

Location: on the opening of the dryer door

Purpose: keeps the dryer door shut during dry cycle

 

Dryer door latch
Dryer Door Switch

Location: in the opening of the dryer door

Purpose: stops dryer function if the door is ajar

Dryer baffle
Dryer Baffle

Location: on the dryer drum

Purpose: promotes air flow to help tumble clothes during the dryer cycle

Dryer vent kit
Dryer Vent

Location: on the back of the dryer

Purpose: used to expel hot air from the dryer

External Parts Infographic
Dryer feet

Dryer Feet

Location: at the bottom of the appliance

Purpose: help keep the dryer level and firmly in place

  • If the dryer is vibrating and off balance while in use, the dryer feet are not functioning properly and may need replacement
  • Shop Maytag® replacement leveling leg
Light Bulb

Dryer Bulb

Location: inside the dryer opening1

Purpose: iIlluminates the dryer’s interior

  • If the bulb is burnt out, the interior of the dryer will not light up when the door is open

  • Shop Maytag® replacement dryer bulb

 

1. Some dryer models do not include a light bulb inside the dryer opening.

Lint screen

Dryer Lint Screen

Location: either on the exterior of the dryer or inside the door opening depending on the model

Purpose: collects lint and debris as it passes through the dryer vent

  • Should be cleaned after each dry cycle

  • If clothes are still damp after a dry cycle, the lint screen may need to be replaced

  • Shop Maytag® replacement lint screen

Note: Before replacing the lint screen, try washing it with soap and water to see if that helps.

Dryer dial knob

Dryer Knob or Dial

Location: on the exterior of the dryer

Purpose: used to select time of a dry cycle

  • Needs to be replaced if it does not turn, or if it turns but does not provide a response whether it's a clicking sound or cycle selection

  • Shop Maytag® replacement dryer knob dial

Dryer door seal

Dryer Door Seal

Location: on the dryer door

Purpose: closes the gap between the dryer drum and the door to prevent air and loose items from passing through

Dryer latch

Dryer Door Latch

Location: on the opening of the dryer door

Purpose: keeps the dryer door shut during dry cycle

Dryer switch

Dryer Door Switch

Location: in the opening of the dryer door

Purpose: stops dryer function if the door is ajar

Dryer baffle

Dryer Baffle

Location: on the dryer drum

Purpose: promotes air flow to help tumble clothes during the dryer cycle

Dryer vent kit

Dryer Vent

Location: on the back of the dryer

Purpose: used to expel hot air from the dryer

Internal Dryer Parts

If the external parts of your dryer are not the root cause of your appliance’s problem, it may be one of the parts in the main body of your dryer or behind the control panel. Below is a list of internal dryer parts that may need repairing or replacing if your appliance is no longer performing at its best.

Dryer heating element
Dryer Heating Element

 

Location: either behind the dryer drum or in the back panel of the machine 

Purpose: a coil or wire that produces heat in electric dryers

 

Dryer blower
Dryer Blower

 

Location: near the bottom of the dryer cabinet

Purpose: circulates air by pulling dry air in and drawing hot damp air out through vents

 

Dryer thermal fuse
Dryer Thermal Fuse

 

Location: on blower housing

Purpose: works as a safety mechanism to prevent overheating

 

Dryer thermostat
Dryer Thermostat

 

Location: typically located on blower housing

Purpose: regulates the cycle temperature to properly dry laundry

Dryer idler pulley wheel
Dryer Idler Pulley Wheel

 

Location: in the back panel of dryer

Purpose: provides tension for drive belt to help rotate the dryer drum

Dryer drive belt
Dryer Drive Belt

Location: on the outside of the dryer drum

Purpose: connects to the drive motor to rotate the drum during a drying cycle

Dryer drive motor
Dryer Drive Motor

 

Location: in the back panel of dryer

Purpose: gives power to the pulley wheel and the drive belt to rotate the dryer drum

Dryer drum slide, glide and pad
Dryer Drum Slide, Glide or Pad

 

Location: inside dryer cabinet

Purpose: supports the drum as it rotates

Dryer drum roller
Dryer Drum Roller

 

Location: in the back panel of dryer near the drum

Purpose:  holds the drum in place during a drying cycle

 

Dryer electronic control board
Dryer Electronic Control Board

Location: in the back panel of the dryer

Purpose: controls dryer timing, temperature and function

External Parts Infographic
Heating element

Dryer Heating Element

Location: either behind the dryer drum or in the back panel of the machine

Purpose: a coil or wire that produces heat in electric dryers

  • If dryer does not heat during dry cycle, heating element may need to be replaced

  • Professional help is recommended for this replacement

  • Shop Maytag® replacement heating element

Dryer blower motor

Dryer Blower

Location: near the bottom of the dryer cabinet

Purpose: circulates air by pulling dry air in and drawing hot damp air out through vents

  • If you hear high pitched noises during use, loud vibrations or experience longer drying times, these may be signs to replace the blower

  • Shop Maytag® replacement dryer blower

Thermal fuse

Dryer Thermal Fuse

Location: on blower housing

Purpose: works as a safety mechanism to prevent overheating

  • If the dryer overheats, the thermal fuse will blow and cut off power to the motor

  • If the fuse blows and dryer does not heat, it cannot be reset and must be replaced

  • Shop Maytag® replacement thermal fuse

Thermostat

Dryer Thermostat

Location: typically located on the blower housing

Purpose: regulates the cycle temperature to properly dry laundry

  • If the dryer has poor temperature control or does not heat, the thermostat may need replacement

  • Shop Maytag® replacement dryer thermostat
Pulley wheel

Dryer Idler Pulley Wheel

Location: in the back panel of dryer

Purpose: provides tension for the drive belt to help rotate the dryer drum

Drive belt

Dryer Drive Belt

Location: on the outside of the dryer drum

Purpose: connects to the drive motor to rotate the drum during a drying cycle

  • If the drum does not rotate but the motor can be heard, the drive belt needs to be replaced

  • Shop Maytag® replacement drive belt

Drive motor

Dryer Drive Motor

Location: in the back panel of the dryer

Purpose: gives power to the pulley wheel and the drive belt to rotate the dryer drum

  • If the dryer does not start, makes a loud noise or stops mid-cycle, replace the motor

  • Professional help is recommended for this replacement

  • Shop Maytag® replacement drive motor

Drum slide and pad

Dryer Drum Slide, Glide or Pad

Location: inside the dryer cabinet

Purpose: supports the drum as it rotates

  • The dryer will make a loud sound when the slides need replacement

  • May need to replace all slides at once as they typically wear out simultaneously

  • Shop Maytag® replacement dryer slides

Drum roller

Dryer Drum Roller

Location: in the back panel of the dryer near the drum

Purpose: holds the drum in place during a drying cycle

  • If the dryer makes a loud rumbling noise during use, replace the drum rollers

  • May need to replace all rollers at once as they typically wear out at the same time

  • Shop Maytag® replacement drum roller

Control board

Dryer Electronic Control Board

Location: in the back panel of the dryer

Purpose: controls dryer timing, temperature and function

  • Sends power to the motor and other components

  • If all other components of the dryer are functioning properly but the dryer still won’t run, the control board may need to be replaced.

  • Professional help is recommended for proper diagnosis of this problem

  • Shop Maytag® replacement control board

White Maytag® front load washer and dryer

Gas vs. Electric Dryer Parts

Though many parts of a dryer are the same whether your appliance is gas or electric, gas dryers have a few additional components as they use a different fuel source.

Flame sensor

Flame Sensor

Location: across from the flame igniter

Purpose: detects when the igniter is ready to light the gas burners

  • If the sensor is broken, the dryer will not heat
  • Professional help recommended for this replacement
  • Shop Maytag® replacement flame sensor
Gas valve coil

Gas Valve Coil

Location: near the flame igniter

Purpose: heats the dryer by opening for flame ignition

Dryer igniter

Dryer Igniter

Location: on the side of the gas burner

Purpose: lights the gas to heat the dryer

Open front load dryer

Is It Time to Replace Your Dryer?

In some cases, a dryer malfunction can be resolved with a simple part replacement that comes at a low cost. With proper care and maintenance, a dryer can typically last between 10–15 years before needing a replacement. If you begin to run into problems around that time, upgrading your dryer with options from Maytag may be a more efficient option than replacing multiple dryer parts. 

Select Maytag® Energy Star dryers have features like smart capabilities, Extra Power, Advanced Moisture Sensing and Steam-Enhanced Dry. If you decide to give your laundry room an upgrade, trust Maytag to help you find the right washers and dryers for your family’s needs.

 

Shop All Maytag® Dryers

More Helpful Dryer Info & Troubleshooting

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