The working mechanisms of a dryer aren’t very technical. Most homeowners can correctly diagnose dryer problems themselves. Being able to properly diagnose dryer problems enables those with a faulty dryer to possibly correct or repair the problem without calling a professional dryer repair person, and doing so can save a lot of money. Many problems involving a dryer can be simply and easily remedied.
If the Dryer isn’t Heating Properly
If clothes don’t seem to be drying as quickly as they should, check the dryer vent outside the house. While the dryer is running, place your hand over the opening. There should be a strong flow of warm air venting through the opening. If there isn’t a strong flow of air, more than likely there’s a clog somewhere in the dryer vent. Use a flashlight to peer into the vent. If the dryer vent is clogged, turn off the dryer, and to be completely safe, unplug the dryer from the electrical outlet. Clean out the vent using a long-handled bottle brush or other instrument that won’t puncture the duct. There are tools made just for the purpose of cleaning out a dryer vent and duct. It’s inadvisable to stick a hand into a dryer vent. An arm or hand could become stuck, and an injury could occur. Most clogs within a dryer vent or duct can be reached with a long-handled bottle brush or a special cleaning tool especially for dryers.
At least once a year, remove the duct from the back of the dryer and dryer vent, and clean it by shaking it out and wiping the inside with a rag or brush. It’s also necessary to clean the damper to ensure it opens and closes properly. Reconnect the duct to the dryer and the vent, and reattach it with new duct tape and zip ties or adjustable rings and clamps.
A dryer door seal that’s leaking could also be the cause of clothes taking too long to dry. Be sure to check the condition of the dryer door seal. The dryer door seal may not look obviously bad, but there are ways to check it. If the dryer door seal is bad, moisture will generally collect on the dryer door. Another very good way to check the dryer seal is to close the door, turn on the dryer, and run a piece of lightweight paper such as tissue paper all the way around the door seal. If the paper is pulled into the dryer, the seal needs to be replaced.
A new dryer door seal can be installed very easily. Check for a part number in the manual that came with the dryer, or call the manufacturer to order a replacement. If the seal pulls off easily and appears to be glued on, a new seal can be installed using heat resistant nonflammable glue meant for appliances. A seal that attaches between the drum opening and cabinet may require a service tech.
Automatic Drying Problems
If a dryer is equipt with an automatic drying feature that senses when clothes are dry and automatically shuts off, the dryer sensor may become coated with fabric softeners. If the automatic drying sensor stops working properly, clean the sensor with warm soapy water, and rinse it thoroughly. Locate the sensor by consulting your owner’s manual or look for it inside the door or on the drum baffles. Cleaning the sensor normally corrects an automatic drying problem.
A Noisy Dryer
If a dryer is exceptionally noisy there are a few possible reasons other than the obvious such as loose change or snaps hitting the drum. A foreign object may be lodged in a drum hole. If the dryer isn’t equipt with an interior light, use a flashlight to examine the drum for a foreign object such as a nail, screw, earring, or anything else that may be stuck inside.
If a foreign object isn’t stuck in the drum of the dryer, while the dryer is off, turn the drum by hand. Different noises indicate different problems. If the dryer makes numerous thumping sounds while turning the drum, the problem is more than likely a worn support roller. If the dryer makes a thumping noise that varies with the speed of drum rotation, the problem is more than likely a worn drive belt. Check the service manual for a replacement part number and diagram so the part can be replaced, or call a service tech to do the job.
If You Must Call a Dryer Repair Person
If you check your dryer and determine the problem is something you can’t tackle yourself, with the information provided you will at least have some knowledge of what the problem could be. Although the vast majority of repair people are honest individuals, displaying knowledge regarding repair issues helps consumers avoid being cheated by potentially dishonest repair people.