What Causes a Thermal Fuse to Blow?

macro of electric fuse

Those who often use blow dryers will likely have dealt with a blown thermal fuse at least once, but did you know that this doesn’t mean that you have to get a brand-new appliance? It could be a simple enough task to simply replace the broken piece, and this is typically going to be the thermal fuse. The same goes for any other appliance or device that uses these types of fuses – while they are designed to last, frequent overheating and other factors can cause them to blow.

First of all, what is a thermal fuse?

Almost all electrical appliances that have a risk of overheating to dangerous levels are typically fitted with thermal fuses. Thermal fuses are used most often in any device that produces heat, like clothes dryers for example.

Thermal switches are found in some blow dryers, which can be turned off if they become too hot. As they begin to cool down though, they will reactivate.

How do you know if the fuse has blown? 

Generally, depending on the model of dryer you have, there might be different ways to tell that there’s an issue. On some, it might just stop working completely, while others might have an error message.

Usually, the only real way to know for sure is if you open up the dryer, but there are a few things that you could do before you go ahead and replace your thermal fuse that could prevent the same problem from happening again. 

Causes of a blown thermal fuse

Figuring out the reason behind certain issues is generally the most important step to identifying the problem and finding the best solution. In some instances, changing the fuse without addressing the underlying cause could lead to the same thing happening again and again – and it could even be worse next time around.

One of the most common reasons for overheating in a blow dryer is clogged vents, and this is often due to the accumulation of lint, which can lead to thermal fuses blowing. If you haven’t cleaned yours for a while, or if you haven’t installed your venting properly, you could end up with a blown fuse. Ensure that the vent route is free of obstructions and is clean to avoid any potential issues.

Another small problem could be if your dryer is kept close to excessive heat (like a furnace, for example), or a malfunction in another part of the appliance. This particular issue could also apply to other devices. 

It may simply be that the fuse is near the end of its life. In this case, it’s simply best to just buy a new thermal fuse and replace it. They don’t tend to be too expensive and it could be a fairly simple and inexpensive process to switch it for a new one. 


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