Dryer Problems and Solutions

 Saturday mornin fix it:

Top ten problems:

1) Dead:
If a dryer is not working at all that's not good! But it doesn't mean you need to go appliance shopping just yet. It may be something very simple like a broken door latch, a bad door switch or even a broken door switch actuator, in a kenmore dryer there is a tab that sticks out of a hole in the wall that allows the dryer to run only if the door is shut, other models may have button that protrudes out of the dryer and when the door is shut, this allows the dryer to run. These switches go out from time to time, also if a dryer is full of lint build-up over time this will cause the dryer high limit or fuse to blow. The fuse is located near where the blower is in most cases. When the air in the dryer gets way too hot the fuse/hi-limit will blow and the house wont burn down.

2) Runs but drum don't turn:
Usually this means the belt is broken,the belt may have just been old and worn out and it was time to replace it,or perhaps the wheels locked up or the idler and caused the belt to break. Look around for stiff wheels, bad bearings, glides and idlers. Its a good idea to oil the rollers with some temp resistant oil such as zoom oil. Don't use WD40 as this stuff is highly flammable and may cause a fire.

3) Runs but don't heat:
The heating element may have gotten old and brittle over time and finally gave up the ghost. But it is not always the element. It could be one of the safety Hi-limits have blown. All parts of the dryer will have continuity if its working properly. Test for continuity by using a meter set on Ohms, or use a poor man's meter. Gas heat is fairly simple, if the ignitor and flame sensor is ok but the heat is IFFY, change those solenoid coils they get hot and quit with age.The next step is to check each little gizmo on the dryer that the wires attach to. All the limits attached to the side of the heat element, the door switch (when door is closed) etc.should have continuity (closed circuit)(the light should come on in the poor man's meter) If you come across an thing near the blower housing with 2 wires attached to it, that is a thermal limit, a safety or a control thermostat  (So as not to get a false circuit you need to remove one of the wires to each thing you check) Look for lint buildup or blocked vent going out the house. If everything is good and you have paid the electric bill, then the timer could be bad.

4) Runs but takes a long time to dry the clothes:
Sometimes blower wheels will get loose in dryers. Sometimes they will get a whole lump of lint in them or you can hear a rattling noise in the dryer, this is the blower wheel, its worn out and it can cause the fuse to blow too,or it can half ass work and take fifty forever's to dry the clothes.Or it could be just that the dryer needs a good blowing out .I use a lawn blower to get all the lint out of the dryer as well as the vent pipe and vent to outside. I take the filter HOUSING out and wash it also. That is, I remove the housing and clean is good! Making sure that the dryer is properly flowing air is a good thing!

5) Squeals,Scrubs,Squeaks:
All dryers have to have a way of allowing the tumbler (that's the thing you put the clothes in) to turn freely, not all of them are the same tho,some use bearings, some use slides,others use rollers. Over time these rollers will need to be oiled,the slides will get thin and start metal to metal contact causing a noise, The rear bearings will then start to make their way to china and cause the tumbler to rub into the heating element and OUCH! These things will cause the motor to prematurely DIE! Its best to examine the dryers, rollers, and slides when you first hear the noise, but who does?

6) Runs and never stops:
In all probability this may well be the timer motor has quit,and thus the timer needs replacing right? Maybe, but you need to first check to see if your dryer has a moisture sensing system, If the sensor board contacts get corroded or goes caput, then the dryer wont know when to advance and shut off in newer models!

7) Runs for a few minutes then quits:
This is probably the motor going bad. The sensors wont cause this to happen. The start switch either, replacing all the sensors in the world wont make the motor be good again. But their is something you can do to try and make the motor last a while longer,their isn't any holes to oil the dryer motor so you must make some,using a 1/8th inch drill bit make a hole in either end of the motor where the bearings are (taking care not to hit the shaft), then add some hi temp oil such as zoom-oil, (don't use WD-40) and work the motor free as you can by hand. If this frees up the motor it may go a while longer. Also oil the rollers and check the slides to make sure they are not pinching and stalling the motor. If the motor can't reach top speed it will get hot,overload and stop.

8) Runs only if you hold the button down or just hums:
this is the motor trying to get up to top speed but it cant for some reason do it, some models will not run unless the button is pressed if the belt is broken (also,see above). Some folks try and trick the dryer into staying on by lodging something in between the switch and letting it dry, but the sad reality is the motor is probably shot and needs to be replaced. The switch itself is not the fault, all it does is start the motor up and then the secondary windings in it take over, if the motor is dragging it will not switch over to the run mode, it soon will die anyway.

9) Runs but KEEPS blowing fuse:
Almost all the time this is because of a heavy lint problem some where in the housing of the lint trap. Keeping the lint filter chute clean will stop the fuses from blowing. THIS MEANS REMOVING THE LINT CHUTE AND WASHING IT OUT THOROUGHLY!

10) Runs beautiful at repair shop, dead at home:
This an electrical problem usually caused by a bad breaker or a bad receptacle where the cord is plugged in. In fact bad breakers can cause you to have fits trying to figure out why the dryer wont work. If the dryer breaker is over 20 years old it may need replacing.
Maytag/Admiral/Crosley/MonkeyWards dryer repair pix
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