I've just moved houses and set up our dryer in the new house. It seems to get much hotter than it used to: hot to touch on the top surface, and my wife said it smelled like charcoal. The two things I can think of that are different are the plug and the vent hose.

The old house had a 3-prong outlet and the new one has a 4-prong one, so we changed out the power plug. The dryer runs, but is it possible we did something wrong that would cause overheating?

The vent hose is clear of lint and so is the vent to the outside of the house, but the hose is in this shape:


It seems like air would still flow OK, though. The hose is made of foil and is about 1 foot long. The vent through the wall is maybe another foot.

What could be wrong?

  • The dryer is a Maytag Legacy Series that was new in 2007. Jul 12, 2013 at 19:52
  • 1
    Is the dryer gas heat or electric? What were the color of the wires in the new outlet box, and how did you hook up the power plug? Pictures would help. (It is possible you have hooked a 110 dryer to a 220 circuit. This may have been answered in your subsequent question.)
    – bib
    Jul 12, 2013 at 23:47
  • Did you ever get this resolved? If so, please give a check-mark to the answer that helped you the most, or write up your own answer explaining what you did to get it fixed and give yourself a check mark. That will help others with this kind of problem know that this has a resolution and is a good place to look for their answer.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 3, 2020 at 14:58

4 Answers 4


The vent duct being clear is a good sign but it's possible it's still causing restriction and that's contributing to the heat / smell. You should be able to look up the maximum duct length for your dryer (you'll probably need the exact model number, not just the product line).

Barring more stringent requirements from your manufacturer, you should shoot for a maximum 25 foot vent, minus 5 feet for every 90˚ elbow (2006 IRC). So for your double bend, the total length of the ducting should be less than 15 feet. (If the duct is less than 4" across or is made of that flexible foil material that will add additional restriction. But if you have a foil duct you should really consider replacing to reduce the risk of fire.)

  • Updated with hose and vent lengths. Jul 12, 2013 at 21:48

Two options:

1) There is an obstruction in the connection to the wall. 2) There is an obstruction in the in-wall duct.

The second is pretty common; the duct can accumulate a lot of lint over a period of years.


Since the obvious has been addressed, there are a few other possibilities:

  • verify that you have the correct voltage going to the dryer.

Troubleshooting: Verify the requirements of your dryer (sounds like a 220v dryer, but because this site covers the globe, you need to confirm this if you are not in North America) Go to the breaker panel and look for the switch labeled dryer. If you aren't sure what you are looking at, take a picture and post another question here.

  • there is something preventing the exhaust fan from opening freely on the outside of the house

Troubleshooting: Place a damp cloth inside the dryer and turn it on to a low setting (since it has been over heating), go outside and look at the end of the vent. Is it open? If not this could be the problem. Inspect the vent opening for any resistance.

  • there is a problem with the dryers' exhaust fan

Troubleshooting: Disconnect the vent hose, place a damp cloth inside the dryer and turn it on. You should feel a strong steady stream of air being blown out of the dryer. If you do not, the problem is with the exhaust fan.

  • the thermostat needs to be replaced

Troubleshooting: unfortunately this is not a DIY fix. You will need to call a technician to ultimately test and replace the thermostat.

  • 1
    If you're fairly handy, you should be able to replace the thermostat as a DIY project. I've replaced the thermostat in my dryer before, but I did manage to find the technical repair manual. With my engineering background and a garage full of tools, I figure the only difference between me and a repair tech is a truck stocked full of parts. Amazon Prime took care of that.
    – Doresoom
    Aug 7, 2014 at 17:56

Just had similar issues, 4 year old dryer started burning clothes out of the blue. Checked vent, replaced vent hose, replaced dryer with brand new one, then replaced vent. Still burning clothes. Last effort I replaced the circuit breaker in the fuse box. Problem finally solved. Think circuit breaker fused together inside and messed with the power output.

  • 3
    I'm having trouble thinking of any way the breaker could have had this effect.
    – keshlam
    Jun 7, 2016 at 3:00

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