Helpful tips for maintaining washers and dryers

These handy tips will help you keep your washer and dryer in good working condition.

Helpful tips for maintaining washers and dryers

A temporary fix for dryers that don't start

  • If your dryer doesn't start after you close the door, the button switch that turns the motor on may have worn down.
  • Taping a thick piece of cardboard to the inside of your dryer's door will fill the gap and activate the button until you can have a new switch installed.

A possible sign of a faulty dryer thermostat

  • If your dryer drum turns but the air inside it doesn't seem to be heating up, your machine's thermostat may need replacing.
  • Turn your dryer off for a while and then try it again.
  • If the air inside still won't heat, call a service technician to check the thermostat; you may need to replace it.

Putting a duct on your dryer

  • Use only approved, non-flammable ducts if your attaching an air duct to your dryer.
  • Avoid crushing the ducts, or including any dips or elbows in its path.
  • Lint is likely to collect in a duct's dips and elbows and block airflow. Blocked airflow and a pile of lint will create a fire hazard.
  • Your duct should be less than 6 metres (20 feet) long.

Keep lint out of your dryer

  • Either before or after each time you do laundry you should remove the lint and fluff from where it's likely to collect and where you can reach.
  • These places include the back, air vents, around the mouth of the lint filter and around the door.
  • Calling a service technician in to give your dryer a professional clean every year can help keep your dryer running at top efficiency.

Air flow is important for dryers

  • Dryers need fresh air flow to work properly.
  • If your dryer is in a closet or other tight area, keep the door to that area open while your dryer is running to keep it from overheating.
  • Or, if you don't want to keep the door to where your dryer is open while it's running, you could install a louvered door to allow air circulation even when the door is closed.

Dryers need to vent outside

  • Always direct your dryer's air vent outside, using a duct if necessary.
  • A vent directed to somewhere in your house can bring enough moisture inside to warp panelling, flake ceilings, and seed mould patches.

The importance of washing your dryer

  • The residue from antistatic sheets and fabric softeners can coat your dryer's drum and keep your dryer's sensors from shutting off when clothes are dry.
  • If you use antistatic sheets or fabric softeners, regularly wash the inside of your dryer's drum with hot water and dishwashing detergent to protect your dryer from residue build up.

Keep your dryers and washers level

  • Wall-mounted dryers should always be level and plumb.
  • Mounting a dryer at even a slight angle will contribute to the dryer's bearings and motor brushes quickly wearing out.
  • An unlevel washing machine makes a huge racket during its spin cycle and will quickly wear down the appliance's components
  • Follow this process to balance your washer's legs and help solve the problem:

What you will need

  • Spirit level
  • Scrap of wood
  • Adjustable wrench

Measure to see how much adjusting is needed

  • Place your spirit level on the washing machine on both sides and then on the front and back to find out how much the legs must be adjusted.
  • Most washing machines only have adjustable front legs.
  • On these models the rear legs are self-adjusting.

Adjust your washing machine's front legs

  • Tilt your washing machine back and slide your piece of wood underneath its front.
  • Use your adjustable wrench to loosen the lock nuts on your washing machine's front legs.
  • Raise or lower the feet as needed by turning the legs clockwise or counterclockwise by hand.

Test your adjustments and tighten the legs into place

  • Remove your piece of wood, and use your spirit level to check if the washing machine is level.
  • If it is, use your wrench to tighten the lock nuts.
  • If your washing machine's rear legs won't adjust, tilt the machine forward just over 2.5 centimetres (one inch) and let it drop gently.
  • As it drops back, the rear legs should automatically adjust.
  • Repeat these steps with your dryer if it needs to be levelled.
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