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clothes dryer woes

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by bj, Aug 9, 2004.

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  1. bj

    bj Guest

    I have a Kenmore electric dryer that went on the blink this weekend.
    I set the timer (which I can hear running) and push the START button.
    I hear a humming sound whilst pushing the button but nothing happens.
    I took the back off and wiggled the wires. Still doesn't work. I
    couldn't see the belt very good from the back but it looked attached. I
    can move the drum one way manually.

    I have limited tools (my trusty swiss army knife is alls I have used
    thus far if this gives you an idea). Should I just bite the dust and
    call a repair person, or are there a few things I can still check.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Assuming a side-loading dryer here...

    Dryers often have a narrow belt that runs around the entire drying drum that you
    put your clothes into. This belt is then attached to a motor. Usually, the
    motors last a long time, but it is possible that the motor is "shot" and needs
    to be replaced.

    However, it's probably MORE likely that something is hanging up (or adding
    resistance to turning) the drum. This can be piles of lint, dirt (and if you
    have rats running around, wads of clothing they decided to drag into your
    dryer.) What happens in this case is that the drum gets harder and harder to
    turn, until it reaches the point that it can actually keep the motor from
    turning it.

    The humming you hear suggests to me that you have power and that the motor is
    probably getting some -- hence, the humming. But that the motor is unable to
    turn freely for some reason. If you open up the dryer enough (top panel with
    the controls on it, for example) to reach the drum with your hand, try turning
    it yourself. If it's not "really easy" and seems to have a modest amount of
    friction to it, chances are that you've got garbage in there that needs cleaning
    out so that the drum can turn. On the other hand, if it turns very easily, it's
    probably your motor -- could be the bearings are worn, for example.

    Even if it does "feel easy" to turn, get in there and clean out the dryer's
    interior. Open up the front face of the dryer where the lint catcher is at and
    make sure that the entire front area right down to the floor is lint free. Open
    up the rest of your dryer and examine everything to make sure it's basically
    clean of lint and wads of "other stuff." Get anything out of there that might
    be hanging up the drum or adding friction when it turns.

    Chances are, that will do it. If not, my guess is that your motor needs work or
    replacement. Probably about US$100, or so.

  3. Richard

    Richard Guest

    So from the way you talk the motor does not run at all? Gas or
    electric? Did you find a schematic? Sometimes taped to the back plate
    inside. sometimes on the back of the controll panel.
    Check the door interlock switch. It's usually activated by a small
    button operated when the door is closed. You can bypass this switch
    and see if it operates. This is the most common problem.
    Did you check to see if the belt is continuous? Properly engaging the
    idler pulley?

  4. John Schuch

    John Schuch Guest

    Does a dryer motor have a starting capacitor? That's what I'd look for.

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