Sunday, September 22, 2013

diving deep in the dryer

Just when you least expect it - the dryer goes out.

Honestly how many times have you expected/anticipated an appliance would break? Do you really think about your appliances that much? I hope not. C’mon wondering about Miley Cyrus's next dance craze might be more productive than pondering when your dishwasher will seize up. (actually now I'm wondering if Miley has ever operated a dishwasher)

Thus the dryer (fill in any appliance or car part) will break when you least expect it. I’m not suggesting a little preventative maintenance is a waste of time. Tires looking worn? Get them replaced before this happens to you:

blow-outs always come when you least expect it

But what preventative maintenance can you do for your dryer? We have cleaned the vent occasionally.

We had a bit of trouble with this not-very-old dryer before. It’s like the dryer is entering its terrible twos phase. Months ago, it didn’t want to heat. I found a thermal cut-off sensor that tested bad. I just searched my blog a bit and I guess I didn’t post about that fix. Lucky you.

the beat of a different drum

The dryer would barely start running before it shut down. If you leaned close to it, you could smell a hint of burnt rubber. (a new life as a bad air freshener?)

I figured that taking it apart couldn’t hurt (actually I did cut myself on the sharp metal edges inside) so I unplugged it and opened my tool box.

dryer guts

During that last repair job I learned that youtube is an excellent resource for home repairs (warning Miley Cyrus is also up there). Do you know what tool to use for getting the top/lid up? If you watch this youtube clip you’ll learn to grab a putty knife for that.

The motor was making an odd clicking noise even when you turned it slowing by hand (oh I did mention that the power plug was pulled). I also had noticed a small spring lying on the bottom panel. That seemed odd. Looking inside the motor as it turned, I solved the mystery. I found the smoking gun (always liked that expression but seldom get to use it. Maybe I shouldn’t have this time either?). The small spring came from inside the motor. It had broken loose and as springs do when they get the chance, sprang for it.

the usual suspect - a recognizable motor

I bought a replacement spring for 89 cents, secured it inside the motor. Then I started the hard part of reassembling the whole thing (much easier to take apart). It the process I cut my hand twice and then remembered a pair of work gloves I had. Tip - get the work gloves out with your tools. 89 cents and a bit of blood - not bad.

the guilty spring that almost escaped


Bouncin' Barb said...

As I'm reading this my dryer is lie! Do you make house calls? haha

Cheryl P. said...

I understand your fearlessness as you seem to know what you are doing but over here...we don't ever touch appliances that are being difficult. We call a guy...a guy that knows how to fix things to make it all better. You are one of the smart ones that don't have to resort to these drastic measures but we do.

lisleman said...

no but check the video I linked to. There are many videos about repairs. Squealing might be fixed by clean it out good with a vacuum cleaner. Be sure to unplug it. thanks

lisleman said...

Believe me I will not try all of them. I hate plumbing stuff but I have done some. We had to replace an roof fan recently - that was worth to have another person do that sweaty job. So you need to draw the line as they say. You get lucky at times and the problem is simple like a chipmunk in the blower fan (not kidding you). In this case I really didn't see a downside other than time spent in trying to fix it. If I failed I would have called someone or bought a new one. Either way that would have been much more expensive so why not try. There many fixes that need special tools or can be dangerous but the dryer just needs to be disconnected from the power. Those youtube videos are very helpful. thanks

lisleman said...

Wow did your daughters grow to have dryer nightmares? Great story and great way to show them responsibility. It also made them more aware than most of the workings of a dryer. thanks for sharing - I enjoyed it.

agnes said...

Oh my you're good! I would never even try!

lisleman said...

They are easier to take apart than put together. I thought if it didn't work after I put it together, oh well it didn't work before.

longhollow said...

Way to go!! You and my husband have a lot in in, why call a repairman when there's you tube?

lisleman said...

thanks - it was a nice surprise to find such useful info on youtube.

Secret Agent Woman said...

My dryer started stopping after a minute or so and then it had to cool for another couple of minutes before I could re-start it and finish the load. The dryer repair took it apart, said the motor is wearing out and advised against fixing it. He suggested I just use it until it died completely and then get a new one. That was a couple of years ago, and it's still chugging along.

lisleman said...

I only know about the fixes I've done on ours over the years. There is a difference between gas vs. electric heated ones. We have always had gas. The motor could be getting over heated. It seems odd that the motor would overheat initially and then later run without getting overheated. Why the difference? I assume the dryer heats OK. There are sensors monitoring the heat flowing to the clothes and those can shut it down too. If it is still chugging along that's good. If you need to play games with it every time that would get old. thanks

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