Our electric dryer isn't drying as quick as it had in the past, but
eventually it does dry. Once in the past a repairman came out and cleaned
out the exhaust line and it began drying much better. Therefore I went
outside while it was running and from the amount of air, it appears that the
air is unimpeded. What could be the problem? Should I try to look inside
the dryer for more clues? Are dryers simple to get into?
Is the air coming out of the exhaust coming out as warm as you may
remember it to be?
If not, I'd bet that there's a problem with the heating element(s),
which may crequire their replacement.
As far as dryers being simple to get into, they're simpler than a locked
bank vault, but your success at repairing one depends on your knowledge
of the workings of electrical apparatus and your skill level.
sears most expensive repair people around,
pull dryer out, disassemble exhaust line and clean both ways,
the cost to do nothing is eventually the dryer will overheat, and its
thermal fuse will blow. might damage the heating element too.
this may make it too expensive to fix.........
if you get someone to fix this watch them while they do it, its not
I might add, if it's the foil type accordian (not the more rigid metal
accordian) and you clean it with a dryer vent brush it will pop a zillion
pinholes in it. If it's the plastic type accordian, that's illegal in
many if not all areas.
It may be different now. But when I worked for Sears in 1996, the guys were
under pressure to rush from job to job. It was better (on paper) to put in a
wrong part and stick someone else with the next callback. Better to get a
"first time complete". If you went back for a part, you were really
Here is my 2 cents worth. Dryers are not easy to get into. Depending
on the dryer, but those that have say three heat settings, have three
heating coils, which heat accorfing to the setting. Low heat uses one
coil, medium heat uses two and high uses all three. In the circuit
there are usually an automatic thermo switch for each coil. Failure of
one or more of those switches will cause a reduction of heating. My
guess is that one or more of those switches has failed which is the
usual.. The switches are cheap, the labor to install is the ticker.
You can do the job yourself if your are a SAVVY handyman.
Take the whole thing apart and remove the drum. Ohm out the element,
vacuum out every thing and clean the inlets and outlets and exhaust pipe
or replace it. If the element is bad, replace it. Replace the drive belt
and lube the rollers. Put it back together and run it for another 10 years.
The easiest and least expensive thing to do is clean out the dryer vent duct
from the dryer all the way to exterior vent. Depending on where your dryer
is located you may need a long brush to push through the duct or you can
replace the dryer hose. The inside of the dryer where the duct connects
must also be cleaned out as well as the area beneath the lint screen. You
can buy brushes for this purpose online. The dryer duct should be cleaned
on a regular basis. There are companies that will do this for a fee.
Any electric dryer I've worked on has been trivial.
Top comes up either by a couple of spring clips or 3-4 screws on the
bottom edge at the front. That reveals the front which has 3-4 screws
on either side to allow it to be set aside. Then the drum just slides
out frontwards giving access to the heating coils. About a 10-minute
job if done it before, maybe 30 if not.
If cleaning lint trap and checking for other obstructions doesn't solve
the problem, in all likelihood one or the two (or maybe three, altho
I've never had one w/ more than two) elements is broken. Replacing them
is also nothing more than threading a coiled piece of wire through a
bunch of round insulators and stretching it evenly so as to not leave a
Oh, there will be a C-clip on the rear. Pay attention to the thrust
washers. While you've got the drum out you should look at the condition
of the nylon bearing and replace it if it's getting badly worn so as to
do the two birds thingie...
Might look at the lower rollers/skid bearings at the front support, too,
while got it out.
how long is the vent run? what material?
move machine, take line off, vacuumn out machine thru exhaust vent as
good as possible, turn machine on so more lint can be exhausted.
then clean exit line, i have flexible metal duct, and had good success
putting a leaf blower against the line blowing a ton of lint outside.
worked amazingly well from the lint in yard
Check the air flow again.
There are two thing that make for long drying times. Lack of air flow and
not enough heat. If one of the elements is not working or the vent is
slowed down, it will not dry properly.
If you can get the vent off the back of the dryer feel the air there and see
if it is stronger than at the end.
If it's a Sears, and probably most others, you can go to their repair
website and get to the parts ordering area. There is usually a blow-
up diagram of the dryer. This will give you a reasonable idea of how
to take it apart. You can also use it to order parts!
If you need parts, there are quite a number of on-line places to order
them. Shop around, as I've found prices for such things as motors
varies quite a bit.
RepairClinic.com is one I've used. Good prices and actual shipping costs.
Put in appliance model number and it lists every part available along
with a pic of it. Of course, on smaller orders sometimes local is cheaper
since there are no shipping charges.
There are other issues that have not been addressed.
If you use clothes dryer softener sheets, like Bounce, they leave a
film on the lint screen which needs to be washed off with soap (Dawn)
Rinse thoroughly and dry completely before placing back in dryer.
Also, your laundry room door needs to be left open at least a little
to allow for easier replacement of exhaust air.
Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician
Update: I've taken apart the dryer and have found four or five overloads.
I've check the resistance and none are opened. I've also check the
resistance of the heater element and I suspect it is also ok (read 20ohms I
think. Besides, I am getting heat and it doesn't appear that there are any
separate circuits going to multiple elements). The dryer is an "Estate by
Whirlpool" model and I haven't found a manual online anywhere.
At this point, I suspect it's one of the following:
1. There is not proper air flow which the heating element to overheat,
causing an overload to shut it off (until it cools down). If this is the
case, I would prefer an easy way to clean out the vent duct without damaging
it. How can I do this?
2. One of the overloads is defective and is cutting off power before
necessary. Running the dryer with the panel off and checking the voltage
drop across the overloads would probably be the only way to check for this.
Any further help is much appreciated.
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