A dead computer and the holiday season can sure put a hitch in a newly fledged blog site! But home improvements continue, with the occasional broken appliance. Fixing the dryer seemed like a good way to begin the new year!
My dryer is a Roper brand, which is the low end of the Whirlpool, Kenmore line. It came with the house but it was working just fine and I saw no reason to replace it. Then, quite suddenly, it stopped drying my clothes.
First things first. When something stops working take a minute to assess the damage. The dryer was heating and running. I washed a rug and it produced a lot of lint. A short trip outside to check the vent revealed that the dryer was not venting properly. The logical conclusion was that the venting system was plugged up with lint. It should be easy to clean out the vent, right? …. Right?!
I reached into the vent duct from the outside vent, which in my case is only a few inches long. It was clear. Then I tried to pull lint out through the top of the dryer where the filter is located. It was clear. So the job got a little more intense. Time to delve into the depths of the machine. Before going any farther- disconnect the power!
I pulled the dryer away from the wall and crawled behind it to try to pull the plug out from the duct opening. No luck. On the bright side, the fan turned easily, so that gave me hope that it really was just a plugged vent system.
There are two panels on a Roper dryer. In order to access the venting system the back panel needed to be removed. This wasn’t difficult, just undo a few screws. Of course, the designers who built the thing were twisted and evil. Why should removing a vent panel require three different types of screwdriver? Sorry- I needed to vent…… about the vent!
Once the panel was removed it was easy to find and remove the plug. I had to stand back and admire it, in the way that one admires a tantrum thrown by a toddler. There is sometimes artistry in something terrible! In my own defense, I know that one should clean out the lint trap after every use and I did find artifacts in the depths of the venting system that predated my occupation of the house. Bobby pins, remnants of undergarments that I did not own, that kind of thing! I took the time to vacuum the vent system and all the other parts of the dryer I could get at. May as well clean everything up while the dryer was open.
Putting the dryer back together was pretty simple. I just worked backward, plugged in the dryer and held my breath. Things worked well. Yay! All that was left was reconnecting the vent. The duct connects the dryer to the outside vent by a pair of hose clamps. The first connection was easy and could be completed before pushing the dryer back in place. The second connection, well…. This one involved pushing the dryer into place and wiggling it back and forth to fit the duct in place. Then I tried hanging upside down to reach into the gap at the back of the dryer and screw the second hose clamp in place. Did I mention I am 58 years old, have short little arms to match my 5 foot body, and I am not a gymnast?
The solution was to use a zip tie around the vent where it exited the dryer. I put it in place and then could just pull it tight from the top of the dryer. All is well and I am back in the laundry business!
I started this blog to show that many repairs and renovations can be done by a homeowner without having to call a repairman. Rule out the easy fixes before getting out the phone.It will save you the frustration of waiting for a repairman and absolutely will save money!