What to do if your hand dryers not working?

What to do if your hand dryers not working

Updated 15/12/21

Has your hand dryer suddenly stopped or has an intermittent fault?

The good news is that Hand dryers are relatively simple devices and pinpointing the problem is usually straightforward. Below you can find a series of video explainers and information to help cover the following issues:

  1. Device has stopped operating completely.
  2. Device has power but is not blowing or blowing less than usual.
  3. Device is making a rattling sound
  4. No heat is coming from the airflow
  5. The power light is on but dryer is not activating
  6. There is a burning smell/sparking

We may well also have a specific trouble shooting guide or video available for the model you have. Please contact us if you need additional help

Help my hand dryer’s stopped working (FULL VIDEO)

The full video above is broken down into smaller sections in the playlist “Help my hand dryer has stopped working” series which can be found here

The video series gives you a useful guide of what to check to get your hand dryer up and running again.

The parts of the full video can be found here:

  1. Consult the Manual
  2. Check Power Supply and Fuse 
  3. Check the Sensor 
  4. Air Outlet
  5. Is the Inside Clean?
  6. Carbon Brushes
  7. HEPA or General Filter
  8. No Heat
  9. Check the Circuit Board

There are very few things that can go wrong with most electric hand dryers. Many modern electric hand dryers no longer have a heater element, so they have become even simpler to diagnose. Anyone opening the cover of a hand dryer to conduct work on the electric components should be a trained professional. Ideally you should consult the trouble shooting guide in the user’s manual, however if this is not available here are a few of the potential issues that may occur with your electric hand dryer. The power to the hand dryer must be isolated and turned off before removing the cover.

View our YouTube Channel for more helpful Hand Dryer User Guide, Installation and Maintenance Videos – Click Here

The Hand Dryer is not blowing or the performance has reduced?

Depending on the age and type of motor the hand dryer has there are a few likely causes.

On a brush motor hand dryer (majority of hand dryers) that has been in use for some time, the 2 brushes that hold the rotator will gradually ware. Even on a low cost unit this should not occur until the electric hand dryer has performed at least 100,000 cycles, so if it is relatively new or in a low use area this is less likely to be the fault.

Check when the electric hand dryer was installed and check with the supplier what the expected brush life is, in order to eliminate this as a likely cause. More simply you will be able to visually detect if the brushes are worn because the connection with the rotator will be slight or their will be no connection at all. It is also worth checking or replacing the springs that hold the brushes in place.

The good news is that a set of brushes are relatively cheap to buy and simple to change.

If the unit is new, it maybe that dust or debris has got into the machine and is inhibiting the performance. On brush motors, when the winding (copper coil) gathers dust the electrical connection will not be as good therefore the motor may be intermittent. Dust around any moving parts will inhibit the performance of the machine so please consult the supplier about the correct way to clean the internals of the hand dryer.

You may also want to check the filter (if your hand dryer has one) is clear of debris, this is a common issue with high speed hand dryers as they suck more dust into the units and often have HEPA or anti-bacterial filters. Filters protect the motor but performance will be dimished if filters are left to gather debris.

Digital brushless motors have less maintenance issues but are affected even more my dust, so it is vital that they are cleaned in accordance with guidelines.

View our YouTube Channel for more helpful Hand Dryer User Guide, Installation and Maintenance Videos – Click Here

The hand dryer is making a rattling sound?

Potentially this could be the springs on the brush motor, if these are not at the correct tension they may move about as the motor rotates.  Other than that components may have come loose and the unit needs thoroughly checking.

The Hand Dryer has no heat coming out?

Many modern hand dryers rely on the speed of the airflow as opposed to evaporation to dry hands. Some of these hand dryers have the option of heated airflow or unheated airflow, as the unheated versions are far more energy efficient. So firstly check whether the hand dryer has a heater element. If it does not, the the dryer will only give off heat when it is in regular use.

Secondly, if heat is desired and there is a heater element, there may be a switch under the unit or on the circuit board that allows the heat to be activated or deactivated.

Thirdly, check the connection between the heater element and circuit board as it may have come loose and check that there is power to the heater element. If it is none of these things, you may need to obtain a new heater element from the supplier.

I put my hands under the dryer but nothing happens, yet there is power to the hand dryer?

This is most likely either a connectivity problem between the sensor and the circuit board or the sensor is faulty. First check the connection and clean the sensor. If this does not work replace the sensor. If still not working, check the power from the circuit board to the sensor

View our YouTube Channel for more helpful Hand Dryer User Guide, Installation and Maintenance Videos – Click Here

Circuit board issues

If you look at the hand dryer circuit board and there are signs that a component may have suffered damage then this may also link with the issue you are having depending on the function of the component in question. You can try changing the circuit board.

Burning smell/sparking

It is unusual to come across a burning smell in a hand dryer, but when we do its almost always because it has a carbon brush motor and the brushes has completely worn over time. Most brushes will last 150,000 plus uses, so a lot of dryers never get the use for the brushes to wear out. This scenario is more likely to occur in a high traffic area or with a very old unit. In a newer unit, it can mean the brushes have not been mounted properly or have been damaged in transport.

To Fix

Turn the power off to isolate the unit and if you see evidence of black debris, please contact the supplier for replacement brushes. Contact us with the model and we will do our best to get you instructions for that particular unit, we can probably help you with the part too if needed.

We hope you found this helpful, we have a team of qualified engineers who can visit your site to diagnose problems and can also carry out maintenance checks to ensure the smooth operation of your hand dryer.

Alternatively if it is a new hand dryer you are requiring, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experts for the best advice in the industry.  Also view our website here.

View our YouTube Channel for more helpful Hand Dryer User Guide, Installation and Maintenance Videos – Click Here


For more information or for help in finding your ideal hand dryer or washroom product, please call us UK offices: North: 0114 3540047 South: 0203 3270448; Eire office: +353 19036387, use our contact us  or click to visit the website.

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