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clothes dryer clip artThere's nearly nothing so frustrating as a clothes dryer which returns your freshly washed laundry in the same condition as when you put it in there. Most of us know the feeling we get when we stick our hand in the dryer expecting warm fluffy towels only to find a cold wet lump of terry cloth fabric.

There are three main conditions which most commonly cause this problem to occur. Your dryer vent could be plugged up, your heating element could be failing, or your dryer drum may be refusing to turn. A few tests and observations can quickly reveal the source of your trouble.

Begin by testing your drum to make sure it's turning freely. Just reach in and attempt to spin it by hand. The drum should turn but you want to feel some noticeable resistance. If the drum feels like it's spinning much too easy, your drive belt is probably over worn, stretched or broken. If you determine that is your problem, check out these excellent dryer belt replacement instructions from The Virtual Repair Man. You may also want to watch their handy dryer belt replacement video.

If you think the belt is alright, continue your diagnosis by throwing a couple wet towels in your dryer and then start up the machine. Use a setting which should produce the full amount of heat. Let the dryer run for about ten minutes while you eat a bologna sandwich and slurp a glass of milk. By this time, the dryer should be fully warmed up and you should be able to tell if it's heating properly. If the clothes are just a little warm to the touch, you probably have a heating element malfunction which generally means a call to the appliance repair technician for most of us.

If the drum is turning properly and the heating element is working alright, then you probably are having trouble with the warm moist air not leaving your machine. First, check to make sure that your lint trap is properly cleaned. Next, go to where the dryer exhaust is vented outside to see if you can feel the air being expelled. When the dryer is running, that vent pipe should be blowing quite noticeably. If you can hardly tell that air is exiting, then you have one of two potential problems, either your dryer's vent fan isn't working properly or your vent pipe is plugged. Unhook the pipe from where it attaches to the machine. If there's proper outward air flow at the machine, your vent fan is good and your vent line needs inspection.

Inspect your vent pipe from end to end and do whatever is necessary to clean inside it. A good rule of thumb for efficiency and safety is: If your dryer vent pipe gets plugged up it's probably a good time to replace it.

For more detailed instructions and a lot more clothes dryer repair information, please be sure to check out repair2000.com. Be sure to tell 'em DIYLife.com sent you!

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  • me

    Another thing to check is to make sure the dryer's hose is the right size. It sounds crazy, I'm sure, but the landlord who installed my mother's dryer used a smaller hose than the one that should have been used. He installed the dryer himself for liability purposes. If anything went wrong with the dryer's hose, he would be responsible and not us.

    As as result of the hose that was too small, the clothes weren't drying after a long time. My mom's friend came over to fix it and got a larger hose and then it worked fine after that.

    Reply
  • BurntElastic

    Any ideas for the opposite problem? My clothes dryer runs too HOT, even on "low heat". Tends to shrink and wear out clothes prematurely. How can I dial the heating element down a few notches? Can the thermostat be adjusted?

    Reply
  • KARREN

    IS THE DRYER ELECTRIC OR GAS. IF IT IS GAS THE PILOT LIGHT IS MOSTLY SET TOO HIGH IN OTHERWORDS YOU HAVE MORE GAS GOING THEN YOU NEED JUST LIKE A STOVE. HAVE A QUALIFIED PERSON SET THE PILOT OR SOME ONE YOU TRUST WHO IS KNOWLEDGED IN THIS LIKE WISE YOU DO NOT WANT IT SET SO LOW AS THE PILOT WOULD GO OUT CAUSING GAS TO FILL YOUR HOME. IF IT IS ELECTRIC THE HEATING ELEMENT MAY BE DEFECTIVE . REPLACE IT AND HAVE THE WIRING HARNESS INSPECTED TO TO BE SURE THERE ARE NO IMPROPER WIRING ISSUES GOING ON.

    Reply
  • KARREN

    LIKEWISE I FORGOT TO SAY IS IF IT IS ELCTRIC THE THERMOSTAT MAY BE THE ONLY ISSUE AND MAY BE THE ONLY PROBLEM AND NEEDS TO BE REPLACED AS I SAID ASK AROUND AND ONLY USE A PERSON YOU FEEL IS TRUST WORTHY . LIKE AN OVEN ON A GAS THE MORE YOU TURN UP THE OVEN THE MORE GAS AND A BIGGER FLAME TO COOK. A DRYER GAS IS SET BY THE PILOT. IF YOU SEE A LARGE FLAMED PILOT THE PROBLEM IS IT WAS IMPROPERLY SET RATHER THAN THE TEMP NEEDING TO BE REPLACED. IF A SMALL FLAME THAN THE TEMP CONTROL IS IMPROPERLY WORKING JUST LIKE AN OVEN IT WILL NEED TO BE REPLACED.


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