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Offering information and fun for the appliance repair industry and interested do-it-yourselfers since 2013.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Dryers

Hey, All!

Well, I'm back from vacation and rested and raring to go!

So, I was thinking about the most popular call I get from the do-it-yourselfers and that has to do with their dryers.  You'd think that this appliance would be a simple one to diagnose and fix but it's not.  The most popular of these calls is "My dryer is not heating so I need a new element."  Chances are your element is fine and there are several things to look at before you go spending your hard-earned dollars on something you may not need - and once hooked up is not returnable.

Remember to unplug your dryer before starting any work on it!

First of all, check your breaker box - dryers run on 220 volts and have two breaker switches.  The motor will still run on 110 but not heat.  Make sure both your breakers are on.

Next, check your element (unplug machine first!) - if you can see that the coils are broken/burned, then you will need a new element.  If the coils look fine then you're in for some deeper diagnoses.

Remember to unplug your dryer before starting any work on it!

Dryers have several thermostats (thermal fuse, high limit, thermistors, cycling thermostat, cut-off thermostat are just some of the descriptions of these) and can be located in several places - element housing, blower housing, back panel of dryer, front panel of dryer - it depends on the style and brand.  If this seems too complicated, now is the time to call your favorite appliance repair man.

And while you are waiting for him, now is the time for a little cleaning (and this needs to be done monthly).  Unplug your dryer and pull it away from the wall.  Clean all lint and anything else behind it  (oh, wow!  there are some of the socks you're missing!).  Unhook your venting, reach in the dryer duct and pull out any lint.  If this is really clogged this is probably the reason your dryer quit heating - no air flow and it blew a thermostat.  Then check your venting from the dryer end to the outside.  W L May sells all kinds of brushes to help clean these out.  You also may have some type of nature that has built a nest in the outside vent - nice warm, cozy place to help incubate those eggs!  W L May also has devices that will prevent unwanted tenants.

If you are confidant on your repair abilities, you can test for continuity on the thermostats with a multi-meter, or bring them in and we will test them for you.  Please bring your model number with you.  If everything tests fine then you definately need to call your repairman - there is something else that needs attention.  While he is there he should also check and make sure all components are in good working order - belt, rollers, pulleys, felts - to help your dryer to last longer.

Of course, with nice weather you can always use nature to dry your clothes - so string that clothes line and get out the clothes pins.  Personally, I love the way my clothes smell when dried outside and I like the scratchier feel of my towels.  If you don't, then use fabric softener in your rinse cycle.

Oh, and if you want some things to do with that lint that you clean out?  Makes for great firestarter (THE number one reason cleaning your dryer regularly is important - lint is highly flamable!) for campfires and fireplaces, use it to stuff pillows or stuffed animals with - it is already clean and smells good from the dryer sheets.  Or if you are really artistic, I've seen some pictures on the Web of people who have used it for art projects - like a reproduction of The Last Supper!  Wow!

Have a great week!

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