How to Repair Your Dryer
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Discover how to repair your Dryer For Yourself, Dos & Doesn't Tips
Before calling in a technician to repair your dryer, you may be pleased and even surprised to learn that you can do many repairs yourself. Unlike the washing machine, the dryer is a simpler and lighter device. This means that even critical dryer repairs that involve removing the drum are relatively easy. Many problems are as easy to solve as cleaning a vent, while others require only a few minor adjustments.
The type of tools you need varies by repair. Typically, you will use the basic household tools you already own, such as a cordless drill, Phillips screwdriver, pliers, putty knife, vacuum cleaner, and light fixture. To open some panels, you may need to purchase a set of hex nut wrenches.
Basics of how dryers work
Clothes dryers depend on three actions that occur at the same time: hot airflow; clothes fall off; and expulsion of humid air. If any of these actions fail, the whole process will fail. Clothes may be warm but not dry. Or they may be slightly dry due to the action of the drum, but mostly damp because air is not getting in and out.
If one of these processes fails, the other two processes can become overloaded and cause damage or even a fire. This is especially the case with the dryer vent. If the ventilation is blocked or fails anywhere from the dryer to the outside of the house, it could cause a fire.
Important Safety Instructions
As high-voltage appliances, electric dryers pose a great danger to the self-employed repairman. Follow all safety instructions. To generate enough heat to dry and wash clothes, electric dryers use twice the voltage (240 V) of that found in ordinary household outlets. You will see this on the electrical service panel, with a dryer breaker that is twice as large as the other breakers. Always be careful to turn off this circuit breaker and unplug the machine before making any repairs.
1. The dryer does not produce heat or does not heat up enough
- Turn the machine into a heat cycle: Make sure the dryer is on a drying cycle that includes heat. An air-only cycle will not properly dry clothes.
- Clean the lint filter: If the lint filter is clogged, hot air will not flow freely through the drum, delaying the drying cycle. Clean the lint filter and discard the lint.
- Clean vent pipe: The rigid metal or corrugated sheet vent pipe leading to the outside may be clogged. Remove and shake to expel the lint.
- Check Your Circuit Breaker: The circuit breaker that powers your dryer may have failed. Have it checked and, if necessary, have an electrician replace it.
- Determine if the heating element is working: Electric dryers use a single or multiple coil element to heat the air. Air is drawn into one end of the element, heated, and then passed through the other end into the drum. If the element does not work, the air cannot be heated.
2. The dryer does not start
- Check cord, plug and receptacle: Due to the high voltage draw of the dryer, cord and peripheral items such as plug and receptacle may melt. If you discover this, do not tumble dry until you can completely replace all affected items.
- Check the door actuator: For the dryer to start, the dryer door actuator and the door switch must be working. Located on the door itself, the actuator is little more than a spring-loaded metal finger pushing the door switch. This is a readily available inexpensive item that is easy to replace.
- Check the door switch: The door switch is a reasonably inexpensive electrical device located in the dryer. The actuator finger presses the switch when the door is closed to inform the tumble dryer that it can start. Check this item with a multimeter to verify electrical continuity. If that doesn't work, replace this item.
3. The dryer does not turn off
When your dryer is properly ventilated, you should be able to get out and feel the warm, humid air coming out of the vent. Otherwise, there are four main points to check where the air can be blocked.
- Ventilation: In ventilation, the endpoint, lint can be trapped when the flap of the vent cap is not working properly. Clean with fingers or vacuum the vents. It may be necessary to completely replace this external breather if the flaps do not open and close freely.
- Vent Tube: You can have a rigid metal or corrugated aluminum foil vent tube that runs from the dryer to the wall. Remove in two places, the dryer, and the wall, and clean the vent.
- Dryer: Lint may have got stuck inside the dryer. Special devices with brands like Lint Lizard or Lint Eater are connected to your vacuum or drill and allow you to remove lint from the confined spaces inside the dryer.
- Dryer Filter: The dryer lint filter should be cleaned after every load. Replace the filter if it is broken or does not catch lint.
4. The dryer is noisy
Not all dryer noises mean the same thing. Diagnose your dryer problem by identifying the noise. Remove all items from the dryer and let it drain for a few minutes while you evaluate the sound.
- Squeaking: This could mean that the roller bearings are not working as they should and need to be replaced or lubricated. These bearings look like little rubber wheels and are located inside the machine. You will need to open the machine at the top and then slide the drum forward to access the bearings.
- High-pitched squeal: Tensioner pulley may need to be replaced. The idler pulley is a spring loaded arm that regulates the tension of the drum belt. If it's too tight or too loose, friction causes the high-pitched sound.
- Knocking noise: If the dryer has not been used for a long time, the rubber on the rollers may have flattened. When the drum rotates, it does not rotate smoothly. Every time the round drum hits a flat area, it will hit. Replace the rollers as they cannot be repaired.
- Squeaking noise, such as metal on metal: Dryer guides may be worn or damaged. A slide is a small, inexpensive piece made of plastic and felt that acts as a guide for the drum to move on the drum rollers. After enough time, the slips will eventually wear out. Remove the top of the dryer and then the front guard to access the channels. Slips cannot be repaired, so replace them completely.
5. Dryer Drum Will Not Move
When the dryer doesn't wash clothes, the motor can break down. But when you can hear the engine running and the drum still isn't turning, the cause is probably a worn or broken drive belt. This is an inexpensive and easy to obtain part, but it requires access to the tumble dryer.
- Remove the top panel of the dryer by inserting the putty knife into the slot and pressing the spring clips on the left and right sides.
- Loosen the front bulkhead with the appropriate tool, probably a hex wrench or a Phillips screwdriver.
- Loosen the electrical harness by unscrewing the plastic connector.
- Raise the front bulkhead forward and place it out of the way.
- Loosen the drive belt, releasing the tension on the idler pulley. Lift the drive belt away from the drum.
- Hang the new drive belt around the drum, making sure the ribbed side of the belt is against the drum.
- Get to the rear and pass the strap over the axle of the transmission and idler pulley.
- Replace bulkhead and top panel. Plug in the machine and turn on the circuit breaker again to test.
We hope you enjoy watching this video about Things to check when your dryer won't turn on or start
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