Last night was doing laundry noticed a really strong burning smell from the
garage, went in and it was a nasty smell, not like hot metal but like hot
burning plastic or something.
The clothes smell really strong and bad.
The cycle was finished and I took the clothes out I looked around in the
dryer and didn't see anything odd. I closed the door and started it up, afer
about a minute I opened the door fast and didn't notice any smell. THen I
put the dryer on hi and ran it again for a minute and then again opened the
door fast, again noticed nothing.
This morning I ran another load while washing my car in the driveway after
about 15 minutes I could smell it out in my driveway. I stopped it right
way, the clothers smell really really bad, even 9 hours later.
The dryer vents to a plastic box that has water in it. The lines are exhaust
vent is free and there are no obstructions.
THe smell is not burning lint it is a really nasty strong smell. The dryer
is electric 220 VAC.
The belt that turns the drum is slipping, heating it up and burning/melting
Could also be clothing getting caught in the gap around the drum, but not as
Finally, Is the lint trap clean, as well as the path for the vent?
I thought it would be an electrical problem, like a bad thermostat, which
turn into a big serious problem.
What would cause the belt to slip and burn. Do I just have to replace the
belt? Clean the drum and pulley?
I guess I will take it apart to look at it.
You'll have to. A slipping belt is caused largely by age and/or the tension
adjustment has loosened up coupled with a heavy load in the dryer. Simple
repair I would think.
Same thing can happen to automotive v-belts; that squealing you sometimes
hear when you turn the steering wheel hard to the end of it's travel is
caused by a slipping belt.
Based on what I have seen in the 1 or 2 dryers that I have had apart,
there will be a bearing of some sort at the back of the drum, and the
front end of the drum, near the door, will ride on some felt pads.
If the bearing has gone bad, or the front pads are worn enough that
the drum is binding, that could cause enough slippage to melt the
Another possibility could be the idler wheel on the belt tensioner
sticking and rubbing on the belt.
Just replacing the belt without fixing the underlying cause will have
you running out for another belt in short order.
My own personal worst dryer odor was when a bird made its way into the
vent and ended up dying inside the dryer, but I doubt that's your
Rather than keep starting it and risking a fire, how about opening the
thing and looking for something that looks burnt. You may have lint
on a heating element, could have had a smoldering fire in the vent
piping, or as other said, the belt is slipping and getting hot. Or
maybe the motor is dying (which has a different but strong odor).
Having been a handyman for many years, one learns to tell the problem
from the odor. Burnt motor has one small, whereas burnt rubber (belt)
is another, and burnt lint is more like burnt paper which you should
recognize. Electric dryers are not very complicated. Open it, look
for burnt stuff, and vacuum out the entire case and vent pipes while
you are at it. Also look at all wires and connections. A wire got in
contact with the belt, or a bad connection......... Of course unplug
it before you go in there. If you are not confident doing the repair,
call a pro. Once you look inside you'll most likely see the problem.
Either way, dont use it again till you open it and check it.
One other possibility, did a mouse get in there and get fried on a
heating element? Or a bird got into the vent? Anything is possible.
What do you mean when you say "The dryer vents to a plastic box that
has water in it." Water in it?????? Huh???????
I hope you dont have that plastic coiled dryer hose junk. That stuff
is now outlawed in most areas, but there is still lots of it around.
That stuff can ignite quickly, and likes to clog too because of the
rough interior. Use soild metal pipe only. Either galvanized tin or
Thanks to all for the advice.
I don't have time now but will take the dryer apart this coming weekend.
For those that are interested it is a
LADY KENMORE heavy duty plus "solid state integrated circuit"
serial no. m12503031
I went to the Sears website and searched under the parts and accessories
link from their main page.
Was able to see exploded views, parts diagrams and parts lists.
My dryer repairs have included
A shorted/ burnt wire (burnt smell and blown breaker..... I spliced, wirenut
and tape, has worked fine for years)
Plugged hose (metal is far superior)
Plugged exhaust tube between tub and hose (burnt smell)...plugged with pens,
junk and lint (kids are hard on dryers<g>)
drum support wheel
drum gasket (felt)
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