Electric Shock From a Tumble Dryer (Most Common Reasons & Fixes)

Electric shock from a tumble dryer can be very harmful, and for this reason, it’s important to be careful about how you use a tumble dryer. 

An electric shock from a tumble dryer can only occur if a malfunction exists and the grounding is not working at the same time. The defect allows the current to leave the designed path and the missing grounding impedes the safe exit of the electricity. This results in electrocution when touching the dryer.

There are many reasons why your tumble dryer malfunctions and finally cause electric shocks. Some of those reasons are broken outlets, non-insulated wires, unmaintained tumble dryers, and so on.

Here we are going to present you the most common reasons with a few basic tips on how to prevent electric shock from a tumble dryer, as well as some other precautions that should be taken when using it.

5 Most Common Reasons A Tumble Dryer Shocks You

1) Defective Socket

The current flows from the socket via the cable into the machine, motor, and all necessary parts. After doing its job it will leave the dryer the way it came into it via the socket.

A broken socket can lead to problems concerning the current flow and may cause electricity in the dryer. You can check the socket visually (without touching it). You can also use a different socket and check if the problem persists.

Fix it:
Call an expert who can check and change the socket within minutes.

2) Broken Cables

Tumble Dryers are often used in tiny rooms without much space. They often stand in front of a socket and the cables and plugs are squeezed and bent regularly.

This can easily lead to a broken cable or connection and result in an unsteady current or faulty transmission of the electricity. Unplug the dryer and inspect the connections.

Unfortunately, those damages are often hidden inside the cable sleeve.

Fix it:
An electrician can repair a broken cable quite quickly without much cost.

3) Broken Insulation In The Dryer

The distribution of the electricity continues inside the dryer and can have damage or faulty assembly. This could result in stray electricity from the dryer.

Fix it:
Call a professional to check the cables, and machine components and repair them.

4) Malfunction In The Dryer & No Grounding

The inside of a tumble dryer is simple but not easy to check for non-professionals. There are some connections providing the electricity and distributing it in the machine and out again. Any of these parts can get a problem. Without proper grounding, the electricity can cause electrocution.

A faulty assembly, too much heat in the wrong place, or mechanical pressure can cause a defect.

Did your dryer sound a little strange? Did it smell weird recently?

Stray electricity is a serious problem and can lead to electrocution. Of course, it is necessary to find the problem and repair it as soon as possible. Unplug your device and call an expert.

This type of uncontrolled electricity is especially dangerous if the dryer isn’t adequately grounded. The best way to do it is to use a 3-prong plug that will remove any electricity from the dryer into the outlet.

Fix it:
Unfortunately, only a professional can check the connections and components. You should also consider switching to a grounded system.

5) Statically loaded clothes

Clothes can have an electric potential that unloads when touching them. This doesn’t usually happen with a working tumble dryer, no matter how intensive the rubbing process and tumbling are. The dryer is grounded and any electricity will leave the machine in a safe place.

Nevertheless, when the grounding has a problem it can occur that the clothes stay loaded until you touch them.

Fix it:
Even if the electrocution is minimal it is a clear indicator that something is wrong in the dryer. Call an expert to check the problem.


  • Electricity uses the easiest way and avoids resistance.
  • An ungrounded Tumble Dryer without any malfunction won’t cause any electrocution.
    Electricity enters the dryer through one cable and exits through another.
  • An ungrounded Tumble Dryer with a malfunction causes electrocution.
    Electricity enters the machine through one cable, distributes in the machine and when touched causes electrocution.
  • A grounded Tumble Dryer with a malfunction won’t cause any electrocution.
    Electricity enters through one cable, the current leaves the designated route, but immediately leaves through the grounding which is always the easiest route.

Prevent Electric Shock With These Tips

You may have heard of people getting electric shocks from their tumble dryers, but most do not know what precautions to take. If you are one of them, below are a few steps that you can take to prevent it.

Do Not Leave A Gas Dryer Running When Not At Home 

When the gas dryer is on, it can generate a high voltage. This high voltage can cause an electrical shock if it’s not handled carefully. The shock travels along the air ducts, often located inside your home’s walls or ceilings. 

If you touch these parts of your house with wet hands or feet, you could get shocked.

The best way to avoid this type of problem is to unplug the appliance before going out. If you are leaving for longer than 30 minutes, turn off the power switch and ensure that all other electrical appliances are turned off as well.

Never Use An Extension Cord For Your Dryer

Never use an extension cord for your tumble dryer. Extension cords can cause electrical fires and electrocution if not used properly. These cords are not made to handle the amount of current that comes from a tumble dryer. 

The electrical current can cause the cables or electric cord to heat up and burn out, causing the dryer to stop working altogether.

To avoid this dangerous condition, always use the same type of standard wall electrical outlets in your home for your tumble dryer. 

Do Not Touch The Tumble Dryer With Wet Hands

The most important thing to remember when it comes to electric shock is that you should never touch your clothes dryer with wet hands. 

If you do this while the machine is connected to electricity, you could experience electrical shock. This is because wet hands are good conductors of electricity and electricity runs through every part of the appliance when it’s plugged in. 

The main component that causes the most problems is a fuse or circuit breaker box, which controls how much electricity goes through each part of the machine. 

Do Not Tumble Dry Any Clothes That Were Soaked In Chemicals 

If the clothes you are tumble drying have been soaked in chemicals or cleaners such as bleach or ammonia, they will be more susceptible to electric shock. 

The best way to prevent this is to first wash those clothes using mild detergent and warm water. Once your clothes are washed properly, don’t forget to clean your washing machine before adding more clothes to it. 

Keep Your Tumble Dryer Clean 

A dirty tumble dryer is a fire risk, as it can build up dampness and cause a spark or even an electric shock. Cleaning your tumble dryer regularly will prevent this.

It’s important to keep the lint filter clean so that hair and other debris don’t get trapped and cause a fire. You should also take the time to clean out the vent hose every once in a while. 

Most parts of your tumble dryer can be cleaned by hand with a soft rag. However, make sure you unplug the machine before cleaning it. 

Check out our complete tumble dryer maintenance guide!

Inspect your dryer regularly

If you have a tumble dryer, you need to be aware of its risks. Tumble dryers use high heat and high pressure to clean and disinfect clothes, but if it malfunctions or has a defect, it could cause serious burns and could even lead to electric shocks.

Always make sure that you check your tumble dryer regularly for any signs of damage or malfunction. This can help prevent electric shocks, serious injuries, and property damage caused by faulty machines. 

If you notice anything wrong with your machine, don’t wait until it’s too late! Call an electrician immediately and get your tumble dryer checked or inspected.

What To Do In Case of Electric Shock From a Tumble Dryer

In case of electric shock from a tumble dryer, you have to handle the situation quickly and gently. 

This is because the electricity released from a tumble dryer can cause burns, cuts, and other injuries. Here are things that you should do immediately after getting shocked by a tumble dryer: 

Check If The Person Is Fine

The first thing to do in case of electric shock from a tumble dryer is to check if the person who got shocked is fine. If the person is still in contact with the electric source, don’t touch them unless they are disconnected from the electricity. 

To disconnect the person from electricity, make the personal touch some non-conductive object such as wood, newspaper, book, etc. 

Don’t forget to call the emergency number and get medical attention for that person.

Try to move the victim away from any electrical components such as power cords and plugs so they do not become exposed to different electrical currents.

Unplug The Tumble Dryer 

The most important thing to do in case of electric shocks is to unplug the tumble dryer as soon as possible. This will prevent you from getting shocked again.

If you are unable to unplug the tumble dryer, immediately call an electrician or a licensed electrician. 

Once the electrician arrives, they will check whether the circuit breaker is tripped or not. If it is not tripped, then they will reset it and restart the machine.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a tumble dryer and a few questions about it, you’re in luck! You’ll find all the answers you need in this article. We’ve covered the most frequently asked questions about electric shock from tumble dryers below:

What Are Some Most Common Causes of Electric Shock in a Tumble Dryer? 

There are many causes of electric shock in a tumble dryer. The most common ones are:

  • Malfunction of the outlet (and no grounding)
  • Defective cables (and no grounding)
  • Dryer component faulty (and no grounding)

How To Get Rid of Static Electricity in a Tumble Dryer? 

The easiest way to get rid of the static charge in your dryer is to add some fabric softener sheets along with your wet laundry. 

If you are not able to get your hands on a fabric softener sheet, you can also use some vinegar. Just use a damp cloth or a sock with some vinegar and throw it into the dryer along with other clothes.

You should also check the grounding that should prevent your dryer from shocking you with static electricity.

Can I Make My Tumble Dryer Shockproof? 

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to convert your tumble dryer into a shockproof appliance. However, you can still do a few things like using insulated wires and always wearing rubber gloves while operating your tumble dryer to avoid getting shocked. 


Electric shocks from tumble dryers only occur when the grounding is not working AND there is a malfunction that allows the current to go into the dryer uncontrolled.

It is a good idea to check your tumble dryer regularly for signs of wear and tear. This includes checking the outside for scratches and dents, as well as ensuring that the cord is in a safe condition and not exposed or cut too short. 

You can also check to see if the dryer has any faulty switches, which could cause a fire or leave you at risk of an electric shock.

And if you are unsure of anything, get in touch with the manufacturer (via the number on the machine), and they should be able to assist you in the right direction.