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Home /  Appliance Maintenance / Top 4 Home Appliances That Overheat
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Top 4 Home Appliances That Overheat

PUBLISHED: March 30, 2018 6 MINS READ

Too much of anything can be bad for you. This holds true even in terms of your home appliances. If you use your appliances too much then you could wear them down and reduce their lifespan.

A clear indication of this is when your appliances overheat. Overheating is a major warning sign that something isn’t right with your appliance.

It could be caused by overworking your appliance or faulty parts that are causing it to struggle. Either way, if they aren’t addressed quick enough, your appliance may have an abrupt end.

Appliances Overheat HWR


Here are some of the reasons why these appliances overheat:

Washing Machine/Dryer Overheating

It would sound ironic that you have a washing machine overheating issue when there’s a constant inflow of water. Then again heat is generated and must be vented out safely, especially in terms of the dryer. Here are some of the reasons why your washing machine or clothes dryer is overheating:

Restricted Airflow

This is the most common reason why your washing machine is overheating. Due to clogging or blockage of your dryer’s internal ducts, there is no smooth outflow of the generated hot air. The dryer overheats, if it is not cleaned regularly, the internal ducts turn into a hotbox which sends the hot air back to the drum. Hot air trapped inside your washer’s drum can make your whole appliance catch on fire.

The same goes for your lint filter as well. A large build-up of lint also affects the air flow of your washer. In terms of removal of lint, it is advised to use a vacuum cleaner with a wand attachment to remove it.

In addition, you should also observe the ductwork of your appliance to see if there is appropriate air flow. You can do this by running your hand over the airflow. If the vent is blocked you will find that there is little or no air coming out of the vent.

Overheat Washer Appliances

Broken Cycling Thermostat

Most washing machines come along with a cycling thermostat. The cyclic thermostat is specifically designed to shut off the heating elements when it reaches high temperatures. If you have a broken cycling thermostat, the heat generated by your appliances will be uncontrolled leading to overheating and in the worst case scenario, lead to an electrical fire.

In order to see if your cycling thermostat is running properly, use a multimeter to determine whether it needs to be replaced. After removing your thermostat, place the meter probes on the wire terminals of the thermostat. If the multimeter reads 0 or a number near 0, the electrical flow is normal. If the multimeter reads as the infinity symbol, then your thermostat needs to be replaced.

Cycling thermostats is a common spare part and are quite inexpensive. They are easy to replace and keeps your washer operating safely. Ensure that this is done so that you do not spend hundreds of dollars on having to buy a new washing machine.

Heating Element

The third possible reason on why your washer overheats are based on the heating element. It isn’t rare for heating elements to warp and shift over time. This results in the heating element for washing machine making direct contact with the drum or other integral components. When this happens, the heating element could accelerate warming up the drum faster than usual. The heating element for washing machine uses coils which should never touch the drum or any other component of your washer.

Oven Overheating
Oven Overheat Appliances

It would sound strange that an appliance like the oven can also succumb to overheating. But like any other electrical appliance, when overworked or not properly maintained it could lead to overheating or malfunctioning. Here are some reasons why your oven may overheat

  1. Thermostat knob:  A faulty thermostat knob will give you inaccurate temperature readings. This could lead to food getting overheated or even burning your food. You should ensure that the thermostat knob is fastened properly to ensure accuracy.
  2. Grime: After prolonged use of your oven, food stains tend to accumulate as grime in your oven. When your oven is filled with grime, your thermostat may get blocked, that would lead to it giving inaccurate readings and could prove to be dangerous.
  3. Oven-vent: Blockages in the oven vent is another common problem and this can lead to overheating because of the hot air that gets trapped inside.
  4. Control panel: Certain variants of ovens operate with an electronic control panel. A power outage can cause short circuits to the control panel. To resolve this, you must reset the circuit breaker and unplug the oven for a few minutes before turning it on again.
  5. Thermostat: Your thermostat might need to be replaced. You can check if it needs to be replaced by using a heatproof thermometer on the plates of your oven. If the temperature is above what’s listed on the knob then you will need to get it replaced
  6. Heating elements: The oven can also overheat if there is a malfunction with its heating element. The technician will check for any damage to the element or if the element has come loose. The outer casing of the element could hide the damage.
  7. Temperature sensor: Electrical ovens have a temperature sensor that ensures that the oven functions at the correct temperature. This is a long thin tube-like part located usually at the top portion of the back of the oven. A problem with the sensor can cause the oven to overheat.
  8. Selector switch: The selector switch in the oven acts as a communication device between the thermostat and the heating elements. It receives the temperature signal from the thermostat and regulates the heating elements. If the selector switch has a short circuit, it may signal a lower than the actual temperature, causing the heating elements to overheat the oven.

Water Heater/Geyser Overheating
Overheat Water Heater Appliances

Now, if this appliance malfunctions, you could be in great danger. Your water heater can also be susceptible to overheating if you aren’t careful.

A possible reason for your water heater to overheat is because the thermostat has not been set correctly. The first step you need to take is to find out why your geyser is overheating. You can do this by inspecting the temperature setting on the thermostat. Most present-day geysers are fitted with a thermostat and a knob to control the temperature. 120 degrees is the perfect temperature to heat water. Anything above this can cause overheating.

In water, there is a presence of minerals which forms during the purification process. When you heat water, these minerals clump together and settle at the bottom of the water tank. With time, this will create a coating on the water heater elements in the geyser.  Due to this, the geyser has to work harder to heat water and this results in the overheating of the heating elements. If this is the case, then you may have to replace the heating element as it may have burned out.

Apart from a higher temperature setting, you may also face problems with your thermostat. Scalding hot water will be the result of an unregulating thermostat. Every thermostat has a light that turns on to indicate that your water has been heated. The light usually indicates that the water is heated. A broken light on your thermostat will dissuade you to think that water isn’t hot when it actually has. This can be very dangerous to you and your family members as they might get hurt by hot water when the heater indicates that it isn’t hot.

Not to fret though, as thermostats are quite inexpensive and easy to replace. You could simply buy a thermostat from your local outlet and have it replaced.

Another possible cause of an overheating geyser are problems with the pressure release valve. If your pressure release valve is faulty or clogged then it won’t allow steam to release or escape when the unit has overheated. This could lead to damaging of the tank and in the worst case scenario, this could lead to an explosion.

Refrigerator Overheating
Refrigerator Overheat Appliances

Your refrigerator is an integral part of your home. It stores your cooked food and other perishable produce. But just like any other electrical appliance, your refrigerator is prone to overheating. Refrigerators work in similar methods as the appliances mentioned above. Instead of having sensor plates, thermostats and vents overheat, a refrigerator mainly deals with condenser coil issues.

Your normal refrigerator is all operated via condenser coils. These condenser coils suck up the outside air in order to generate cool air into your refrigerator. There are many ways your condenser coils could overheat. All of them stemming from poor maintenance or negligence.

One of the main reasons your refrigerator overheats is because of stocking up too much hot food into your refrigerator. Storing hot food in your refrigerator makes your condenser coils work even harder to keep the temperature cool. The same can be said when you leave your refrigerator door open for long periods. Since the air outside of the fridge is at room temperature, the condenser coils will struggle to cool the room temperature which leads to overheating and eventual breakdown. A broken condenser coil will ensure insufficiently or a lack of cooling and spoil all your food.

Since the condenser coils on your refrigerator suck up air from the outside to cool the inside, they tend to suck up a lot of dust and dirt as well. If neglected for a long period of time, the accumulated dust on your condenser coils will clog and prevent air from entering. This heats up the condenser coils and will render them useless after a point. In most cases, it’s very difficult and expensive to repair or replace the condenser coils of your refrigerator and you’re better off buying a new fridge.

Preventive measures to ensure that your condenser coils aren’t damaged

  • Clean your condenser coils every two months for optimum performance
  • Never overload your refrigerator with food and utensils
  • Do not place food and utensils very close to the cooling vents
  • Do not leave the refrigerator door open for long periods of time
  • Place your refrigerator in an area with ample breathing room and space.
  • Do not place your refrigerator near an area with direct sunlight. The heat from the sun will adversely affect the functionality of the condenser coils.

What You Need To Do To Maintain Your Home Appliances

Ensuring your appliances don’t overheat and breakdown usually comes under the tedious task called maintenance. We also know maintenance is a thankless and expensive task, so wouldn’t it be convenient to foresee how much you would be spending on maintenance? Well, you can! This Home Maintenance Calculator enables you to see how much you’d be spending on repairs on your appliances for a given year. What’s more, this calculator enables you to see how much you’d be spending on repairs for the next 25 years!

Don’t fret if you’re distraught that you might be spending a lot of money on repairs throughout the years. The best solution would be to invest in a home warranty.

A home warranty service ensures the protection of most of your home appliances for a year. The price for a home warranty is much lesser in comparison to paying for individual repairs for a year.

Now you must be thinking, what’s the best home warranty service for me? The answer to that question is at This has a detailed archive of all the top home warranty companies in America. Every home warranty company is presented with its features, price, and areas it caters to along with a rating timeline. This rating timeline visually explains to you how the home warranty company has been faring for the past five years in the eyes of the public. All the ratings and reviews on are a transparent view of the company. All reviews and opinions of the companies listed are from actual users and homeowners.

Once you are satisfied with the home warranty service you want, you can simply request for a quotation and let the respective home warranty company get in touch with you.

Why does my garbage disposal smell like it’s burning?

In case your garbage disposal has a burning smell then this could be because the garbage disposal overheated or the motor capacitor would have burnt out. This could be because of food waste being jammed or an object being stuck in the grinding chamber which lead to the motor overheating.

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