Top 3 Most Common Dryer Repairs
If you've ever had to you air dry your laundry, you know how much time and energy a properly working dryer can save you every day. Even a partially functional dryer can leave your clothes feeling damp after the cycle is completed, requiring more time spent working and less time doing the things you love. Instead of waiting for a repair center to send a technician to your home, take matters into your own hands with just a few common household tools. These straightforward repairs can get you back to work faster and even save you money on maintenance costs.
Before you get started, always remember to unplug your appliance and to wear the appropriate safety gear for the task at hand. When working with a gas dryer, be sure to turn off the gas.
Repair 1. Cleaning the Air Vent
Symptoms: Clogged air vents can gradually decrease the efficiency of your dryer and lead to more complex issues, like blown fuses and compromised heating elements. Noticeable symptoms may include damp clothing even after the cycle is completed, excessive heat radiating from the unit itself and burning smells. This should be done yearly as preventative maintenance.
Causes: Cycle after cycle, lint from your clothing can be redirected into the air vent. Over time that lint can accumulate and become clogged, causing many dryer components to work harder and putting unnecessary stress on delicate mechanical equipment.
How to Fix It: Begin by pulling your dryer unit away from the wall to reveal the vent extension. Next you'll want to remove the extension from both the back of the dryer itself and from the wall connection if possible. Reach inside the unit, the extension and the wall opening to see if there are any debris that can be easily removed by hand. If you've got a shop vac at your disposal, try running the nozzle as far into the extension and wall as you can, but be sure not apply too much force, or you'll risk tearing the extension and need to replace it entirely.
If there's any especially tough clogs that you notice, try using a vent brush, again being careful not to damage the extension's lining. Weather permitting, you can also remove to the vent opening outside of your home and clean any accessible debris from there as well. When you're finished, simply replace the dismantled components and rest easier knowing that you're one step ahead of the game.
Repair 2: Replacing Blown Thermal Fuse, Thermal Cutoff or High-Limit Thermostat
Symptoms: Dryers require quite a bit of power to operate and therefore incorporate a series of safety mechanisms to prevent the appliance from overheating. If your dryer is turning on and spinning but does not heat, the culprit could likely be a blown thermal fuse, thermal cutoff or high-limit thermostat.
Causes: Damage to these mechanisms is generally caused by restricted airflow from the air vent.
How to Fix It: Start by removing the large metal panel on the back of the appliance. The thermostat and cutoff are generally connected to the heating element located on the right side of the exposed area, while the fuse may be located elsewhere in the vicinity. All three can be removed by simply disconnecting the adjacent wires and unscrewing the attached fasteners.
If you have a multimeter, you can test each component for continuity to determine the specific cause of the issue. Replace all of the components by inserting the new equipment into the casing, reattaching the wires and applying the fasteners securely.
Repair 3. Replacing a Broken Dryer Belt
Symptoms: In the case of a broken dryer belt, your dryer will supply heat, but the drum will not spin.
Causes: Dryer belts can become worn down over time due to regular use or because of added friction caused by impeded drum support rollers or bearings.
How to Fix It: For this repair, you'll have to remove the top and front portions of your dryer's casing. This may be slightly different for each brand and model, so it's best to refer to the owner's manual or service guide before starting. When you've removed the necessary casing, the large drum will be resting loosely on support rollers.
A thin black belt should be visible on the drum. If there's no belt there, it may have fallen beneath the drum. If you do see the belt, try pulling on it. A broken belt can be removed with very little effort. When you've identified and obtained the appropriate replacement part for your unit, simply loop the belt around the drum, set it back on top of the rollers and run the belt through the idler pulley and motor pulley. Be sure to check that all the parts move fluidly using your hand to turn the drum before replacing the casing.