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Dryer Problems You Can Fix

Things to Check Before You Call the Repairman: Dryer


If your clothes dryer is not working correctly, there are dryer problems you can fix before you call the repairman.

Specific questions? Just ask here.

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Dryer will not run

Is it plugged in? This seems so simple but dozens of repairmen have told me that's often all it takes to make an appliance work!

Dryer will not run and it's plugged in

Check your central home electrical box to see if a fuse has blown or a circuit breaker has tripped. You may be able to replace the fuse or turn the breaker back on. If this happens frequently, call an electrician immediately!

This is a good time to check the voltage in the outlet with a voltage meter. Dryers require 240v to operate. Be sure that your outlet is functioning properly.

Dryer power cords can also fail. Check the voltage. These are simple to replace.

Dryer is making a terrible noise

Stop the drying cycle and check the contents. Are all buckles fastened? Are zippers zipped? Are there "extra" items - coins, wallets, keys - taking a spin?

If the noise persists, it is probably worn drum bearings.

Clothes are taking too long to dry

Clean out that lint filter! If the lint filter is full, air is not flowing freely and your machine is forced to work longer than necessary.

If the filter is full empty it and give it a good cleaning to get rid of any residue from dryer sheets.  You should also use a bit of rubbing alcohol to clean the electronic moisture sensor inside the dryer drum. You'll get your dryer working more efficiently and prevent a possible fire.

Filter is clean and clothes won't dry

If your filter is clean, the dryer is heating up but it is still taking too long to dry clothing; there are two things to check. Is the dryer vent hose kinked or clogged? Use that long-handled bristle brush to clean out the dryer vent. The hose should be as short as possible between the machine and the outside exhaust vent to prevent clogs.

Now, go outside and check the outside vent. Most are designed with a trap door that only opens when dryer air - and lint - are blown out. If the vent hood gets coated with lint, the trap door can't open. This is often a problem in high humidity climates. Check it every few months, you'll be amazed at the amount of lint you find.

No clue what's wrong

Hopefully you've kept the operating manual. Get it out and read it! You may just find the answer to your question. If you don't have the manual, visit the manufacturer's Web site. It may take a little time but it's much less expensive than a repair call.

Still no clue

One last thing to do before calling a repairman is to ask for help from About Laundry or visit online appliance repair sites.

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