Guide to repairing your clothes dryer

March 14, 2016

Guide to repairing your clothes dryer

Here are some tricks you can try. (Just remember to first unplug the dryer and put on some work gloves!)

DIY appliance repair “secret”

Sometimes, but not always, fixing an appliance yourself can be cheaper than hiring a repairman, thanks to the Internet. So how will you know if it’s better to replace your dryer vs. trying to repair it?

Answer: Generally speaking, if it’s an older model. They usually have a life expectancy of about 15 years.

Getting to the bottom of the problem

Several reasons may explain why your dryer isn’t heating up, ranging from something as simple needing to be plugged in to more complex, like defective parts.

There are a few ways you can go to try and resolve the problem. Here are some:

Read the user’s manual

Like most of us, chances are you tossed aside – and quickly forgot about – the user’s manual the instant you received your new appliance. But the manual identifies common problems and explains how to fix them fairly quickly.

  • Sometimes you’ll find additional resources, such as websites or telephone hotlines, where you can get further assistance.
  • Manuals can be a goldmine of information that will help prevent you from spending money on unnecessary repairs.

Don’t overload your dryer

You should never exceed the maximum recommended capacity of your dryer: it hinders the hot air from circulating which means your dryer won’t dry. The result? Damp, creased clothes.

  • It’s also important to ensure wet laundry is spun dry as much as possible before being put into the dryer. The additional moisture takes time to evaporate.

Clean the lint filter and outside vent opening

An accumulation of dryer lint or other debris blocking them could spell trouble. It means sopping wet clothes will take hours to dry. Even scarier, a blockage could cause a fire.

Check the exhaust hose

Although you may have been diligent about keeping the lint trap on your dryer clean, the exhaust hose leading from the dryer to the outside may be plugged.

  • If your hose is made of plastic, you may want to replace it with a metal one. They block much less frequently.
  • The exhaust hose should be cleaned once a year.

Level your dryer

With so many parts moving at such a high speed, it’s important to keep your machine level. Why?

  • Even at a slight angle the dryer’s bearings and motor brushes wear out faster – possibly the culprit behind why it’s no longer working…

Replacing a defective part

Despite your best effort to ensure your dryer keeps running for years, one day you’ll hit the start button on your machine and…nothing happens. Maybe it’s time to replace a worn out part.

  • If a defective part is the problem and you’re comfortable tackling the challenge, finding replacement parts for your dryer and doing the work yourself can make sense and save you some money.
  • You could either try a variety of online and in-store appliance retailers to find the pieces. Alternatively, you can also go straight to the source — the manufacturer itself.
  • Whatever route you pick, you’ll have to specify the make and model, or part number, if you know it.

Trust the advice and experience of a professional

The DIY route is good, when you know what you’re doing. But if you’re afraid you may damage your dryer by trying to fix it yourself or if the user’s manual can’t help you, it’s best to call an experienced repairman you can trust.

  • A professional should not only provide you with a written quote for the work, but can advise you if the price of buying new is cheaper than the cost of service and repair for your current machine.

Trust the advice and experience of a professional

Sometimes the cost of fixing an appliance surpasses the price of buying brand new. In which case, it’s time to go shopping!

Before buying a clothes dryer, there are some key factors to consider to make sure it meets your needs and fits your budget. For example:

Electric dryers
If you’re somewhat frugal, invest in an electric dryer.

  • They’re the most popular type of dryer, the easiest to install and maintain.

Natural gas dryers
Although they cost more initially to purchase and install, the cost to operate them in the long run is much less.

Front loading dryers
Usually more compact and energy efficient than their top-loading counterparts, front loading dryers are great for small spaces or condos.

Install a drying cabinet

If you’d like to save even more energy, why not install a drying cabinet?

  • Widely used for years in Europe and Australia, they’re growing in popularity in North America.
  • Although ideal for drying over-sized, delicate (including “hang dry”, “dry flat” or “do not tumble dry” garments) and difficult-to-dry items, they may not be practical for all your clothes drying needs.
  • Teamed up with a tumble dryer, a drying cabinet is an unbeatable combination.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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