Laundry 101: What is a Maytag Dryer Moisture Sensor?

In order to be more energy-efficient, modern dryers use moisture sensors to monitor when clothes are dry. Once the sensors no longer detect moisture, the dryer turns off automatically, potentially reducing drying times. But how does a Maytag dryer moisture sensor work and how to know if it’s operating correctly? We’ll discuss how these devices operate and how testing and cleaning can ensure proper function, saving energy and money.

Understanding and Maintaining a Maytag Dryer Moisture Sensor 

Knowing how a Maytag dryer moisture sensor works and how to maintain it can reduce utility bills and save energy. These devices also ensure that your dryer operates correctly, as well as efficiently. How do dryer moisture sensors work? Before we discuss proper testing and cleaning, here’s some background on the technology behind the mechanism.

How Do Maytag Dryer Moisture Sensors Work?

A Maytag dryer moisture sensor consists of two metal bars. As wet clothes tumble over them, the moisture creates a quick electrical current that passes through the bars. Once the clothes dry and lose their moisture, this current becomes weaker. Then, the moisture sensors no longer detect any current and they signal the dryer to turn off automatically.

Maytag dryers also utilize two other sensors to monitor the dryer’s air temperature. A sensor near the dryer’s motor measures the incoming air temperature while another in the dryer vent monitors the temperature of the outgoing air. When coupled with moisture sensors, these additional sensors can tailor drying times for specific loads or the level of dryness you prefer.

Maytag dryer moisture sensor
Image: Maytag

How to Test a Maytag Dryer Moisture Sensor

While this drying system is both effective and efficient, lint, dirt, and dryer sheet residue can coat the moisture sensors over time. When this happens, their ability to detect moisture can become limited, and you’ll notice the dryer not drying clothes as effectively. Specifically, you may find the dryer leaves clothes damp or continues running even after clothes are dry.

Here’s how to perform a dryer moisture sensor test to determine how well the moisture sensors are working:

  1. Make sure the dryer is on the “auto-dry” setting.
  2. Place several damp articles of clothing in the dryer and start a regular drying cycle.
  3. If the dryer continues running after clothes are dry or stops when clothes are still damp, the sensors may not be functioning properly. 

How to Clean a Dryer Moisture Sensor

If you find your Maytag dryer Auto-Dry not working because of dirty moisture sensors, proper cleaning can restore their function. Follow these steps to clean your dryer’s moisture sensors:

  1. Locate the Moisture Sensors: Where is moisture sensor on Maytag dryer? Newer dryers have sensors along the lint trap while the sensors in older dryers may be on the dryer drum’s rear wall. Check your user manual to determine the sensors’ location on your model dryer.
  2. Sand the Moisture Sensors: Using fine-grain sandpaper, sand the sensors to remove any caked-on white residue, lint, or dirt.
  3. Polish the Moisture Sensors: Remove loosened debris and residue with a dry cloth, rubbing the sensors vigorously to polish and shine.

Performing a dryer vent cleaning to remove dust and lint can also ensure that the outgoing air temperature sensor is functioning correctly.

If your dryer still isn’t drying normally after testing and cleaning the moisture sensors, they may need to be replaced. It’s also possible other issues are keeping your dryer from functioning correctly. GFY Appliance Repair can help by providing a professional assessment and performing any Maytag dryer repair.

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