Electric dryer - silly question or not...?


Hey folks,
Recently we had an electric dryer fire - I had purchased a used unit that was apparently missing a very important screen to protect clothes from the heating elements. Obviously I had no idea, but have learned since then. For those who have never had this happen - dryer fires are pretty damn scary.
Anyway. We recently replaced that unit with a brand new one (I wont buy used here again), and of course, I am very timid now about electric dryers. My question is regarding this new unit. After hooking it all up and running it, I have found that the elements get RED hot - toaster-like. After searching around on the net, this appears normal. It should also, after a period of time, shut off as well, cycling back and forth.
Before I tell my family this is safe to use, Im asking the community here - is it safe to run a dryer that you can visibily see the red hot elements? How can you test that the elements will eventually shut off on their own? What do we need to look for as far as safety goes? Pardon the obvious concerns here over something that we all take for granted, but I have to say - if you've ever had a dryer fire, it will most certainly make you stop and think about what it is you are plugging into your walls.
PS - Advice I would offer EVERYONE is this: never leave the house or go to bed with an electric dryer running. You wouldn't leave your hairdryer or toaster oven running while away, and these things appear to operate on the same exact principle, in a much more powerful order. We were VERY lucky.
Thanks in advance
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yes
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm not sure if it's safe or not...but you can definitely see the glowing element in our electric dryer when first opening the door. It's a bit scary, particularly since the unit doesn't do much in the way of sensing moisture (in automatic mode, the dryer seems to dry clothes far past the point of 'dry'). We never dry clothes unless we're around to monitor progress of the load.
No fires so far, and we're about to replace the washer/dryer units anyway. I doubt we'd leave *any* dryer unattended, regardless of reputation or quality. Moisture + electronics smacks of potentially deadly hazard.

No doubt about it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You just bought it right? Brand new right? Why wouldn't it be safe?
BTW, there's a fire in your furnace also. Do you leave it going when you leave the house?
--
Steve Barker


"ShutterMan" < snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Good point. Heaters do cause a lot of fires so they should be turned off when you go out.
Dryers cause about 4% of all fires while heaters cause about 14% http://www.nfpa.org/itemDetail.asp?categoryID2&itemID#186&URL=Research%20&%20Reports/Fire%20statistics/Major%20causes%20of%20fire
While probably close to 100% of homes have heating equipment, I wonder how many have dryers? That would skew the statistics.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

http://www.nfpa.org/itemDetail.asp?categoryID2&itemID#186&URL=Research%20&%20Reports/Fire%20statistics/Major%20causes%20of%20fire
or other ways that have no open flames or very hot heating elements. Also not factored in is the ammount of time they are used or the age of the equipment.
Probably the most dangerous is the wood stoves or portable heaters (kerosene or electric) but I have not looked this up to make sure, just my guess.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I don't think you can confuse "heaters" with properly installed fixed space heating
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

That's why you should use dry heat. 4% times 14% would only be 0.56 percent.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Oh, good, another reason to never leave the house! Seriously, though, I always wondered about the stats for just this kind of thing. We turn the heat way down when we're gone, and I used to run the dryer when gone, but I probably won't anymore.
Stacia
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Don't forget to wear your tinfoil hat when outdoors.
--
Steve Barker




"Stacia" < snipped-for-privacy@xmission.com> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve Barker wrote:

http://www.stopabductions.com /
--
Grandpa

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Of course, gas dryers have an open flame; it's not surprising that electric dryers have elements that glow red.
If concerned, perhaps mount a smoke/fire detector above the dryer and a small fire extinguisher near it.
ShutterMan wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
i REKON if he was really worried about it, he could set it 10' from the house on the patio. Venting would be easy also.
--
Steve Barker




"Bennett Price" < snipped-for-privacy@itsa.ucsf.edu> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

You can take the dryer into the back yard and run it until it turns off.
I have an electric dryer but I've never seen the heating elements, red or not.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

All electric dryers sold in the US have thermal limit switches that "might" help prevent a fire, but there is no guarantee.
If your vent line is blocked full of flammable lint and crud, theoretically the dryer will heat up at which point the limit switch will trip. However, do you want to trust your life and property to a 25 cent switch that may or may not work?
To play it safe, don't run appliances when you are not at home, keep those lint filters clean, and periodically inspect (and clean, if necessary) the vent line on that dryer.
Beachcomber
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Feb 22, 7:28 pm, snipped-for-privacy@notreal.none (Beachcomber) wrote:

The vent line that is referred to here is the one hidden in the walls that most homeowners don't even know about.
Clean this vent pipe at least once each year. If you can't do it yourself, call a chimney sweep.
Alisa LeSueur Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician http://CleanYourOwnDryerVent.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
ShutterMan wrote:

The elements will turn red when on. Typically they're not visible during normal operation unless the dryer has a glass door. The important point is that the dryer must ave adequate air flow to operate properly and safely. Air is drawn past the heat source in a vacuum. If you open the door and hold in the switch the suction path is broken and a potentially dangerous situation exists. Ensure you have a good door latch and seal.
The temperature of the exhaust air is is measured by the thermostat and the heater shuts off when that temperature reaches a certain point. If air gets inside the dryer without passing the heat source, the heater will overheat and potentially cause a fire.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.