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Dryer Operation to avoid an Appliance Repair Call.

April 7th 2018 by Steve Anderson

The clothes dryer is one of the most repaired appliances. Over half of the repair calls could be eliminated it the system was operated and maintained properly. A thorough understanding of the total system is helpful. Appropriate maintenance along with action when failure symptoms are evident will reduce appliance repair and operating costs. Dryers can be your most maintenance free appliance if operated correctly. Most dryers are replaced because of the desire to have it match the new washing machine being purchased. HINT: If you just need a dryer, check the second-hand market and pick a good one up for little of nothing.

Does not start or does not heat is the most customer complaint.  The least frequent cause of this problem is not cleaning the lint screen after each cycle. Cleaning the screen is a must for each cycle. The operation with a clogged lint screen causes elevated operating temperature.  The most probable root cause of this problem is that the dryer vent in the house is clogged. The restricted flow of air causes the hot air to be blocked into the dryer causing it to heat above the recommended temperature. There are non-resettable safety fuses in the circuit that shut the entire system or a single function of operation down. The elevated operating temperature can cause the heating element to burn in to which produces no drying heat. How long should the heating element last? Dryers over 20 years old can have the factory element still in operating because the dryer vent is well maintained. Both of the above problems are often evident long before failure. HAVING TO START THE SYSTEM FOR A SECOND TIME TO GET THE CLOTHES DRY IS A WARNING OF A CLOGGED VENT.  Calling for service before the dryer fails leads to a smaller repair bill. DIY people can do a simple home test to determine if home vent service is required. Simply disconnect the large air vent hose that connects the dryer to the wall. Dry several loads of clothes. If the dryer works properly on a single cycle, the dryer is operational and the house vent needs cleaning. Cleaning the vent prior to dryer failure will save the expense of a dryer repair. Some companies will repair a failed dryer and not clean the vent. This will lead to another dryer failure in the near future. The elevated temperature operation can also cause motor and circuit board failures in addition the heating circuit components. Cost to replace these parts will make you think about how much you really want to keep this dryer. The elevated operating temperature in the restricted vent dryer is not good on clothes and can lead to shrinkage.  Another point to be made here is that buying a new dryer will not solve the clogged house vent problem.

Squeaking or squealing is the second most common customer complaint.  There is not anything the customer can do to avoid this appliance repair. The drum rolls on rollers that spin on shafts. The shafts and rollers wear out after several million turns. The wear causes noise. This appliance repair is usually not super expensive and is usually seen well into the life of the dryer.

Knobs, timers or control panels not operative are another class of customer complaint. Everyone is in a hurry these days. Don’t get in a rush and apply excessive force to the controls on any appliance. Knob and component replacement happen regularly. Slamming of doors causes hinge and switch failures. Gently push doors closed on ALL appliances. Also make sure everything is in the appliance when closing the door. Calling for an appliance repair on one of the above is costly and sometimes embarrassing to explain the carless act that occurred.

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