How To Fix It?
While the image of clean laundry swinging in the wind on a clothesline is picturesque, this aesthetically pleasing laundry solution isn’t exactly practical for those of us with busy lives or limited outdoor space. Thankfully, electric clothes dryers have taken some of the burden of laundry off our hands (and our clotheslines). However, it can really throw a wrench in the works to encounter any kind of snag with your home laundry appliances.
If the inside of your home is starting to look like the dry cleaners, with damp clothes hanging off every available surface, it may be time to consider getting professional dryer repair service. At Starfix, we’ve diagnosed and repaired all kinds of problems with electric clothes dryers. Whether it’s a quick fix, or an extensive repair job, we’re more than equipped to help you get your machinery back to normal and help you reclaim your indoor space.
Common dryer problems
There are quite a few things that can go awry with your dryer, but there’s a short list of problems that we run into most often. Here are some of the most common problems we see with home electric clothes dryers:
- Dryer is making weird noises or vibrating unusually
If your dryer is making strange noises, or causing low-level seismic activity in your home, there could be a problem with the drive set. The drive set is made up of a few components, which are responsible for the mechanical operation of the unit. The parts of a drive set in most tumble dryers are:
- Drive belt – A piece connected to the dryer’s drive motor, which is responsible for turning the drum.
- Drum support rollers – The mechanism that sits underneath the drum, allowing it to spin on top. This is usually the source of any strange noises in your dryer – a scraping or squealing when it becomes worn out, and a loud thumping when it develops a flat spot.
- Drive pulley – Also known as a dryer belt tension pulley wheel, this component maintains tension on the drive belt, allowing the drum to spin.
A technician will take a look at these components, and figure out where replacements and repairs are necessary. Once they’re replaced, you’ll finally get some peace and quiet when running your dryer.
- Dryer doesn’t run at all
If your dryer simply isn’t starting, there’s a good chance there’s a problem with your thermal fuse. These handy little devices were made mandatory for all electric dryers in the 1980s, in order to reduce the risk of fires. If the temperature of your dryer exhaust climbs too high, it activates the thermal fuse, which will shut off the dryer. This acts a safe-guard for faulty dryers, and helps to keep you safe. However, it may be activated when the machine is still at a normal temperature, causing the dryer to either not turn on at all. This is because a thermal fuse is only designed to work one time, and must be replaced afterwards. It’s also possible for a fuse to simply wear out over time, even if it was never tripped by excessive temperatures.
One other cause of this issue we sometimes see is a worn out drive pulley. If the drive belt doesn’t have the correct amount of tension on it, tension which is applied by the pulley, the drum will not spin during the cycle, even if the dryer is heating up as normal.
- Dryer isn’t heating up enough (or at all)
Similar to the previous problem, a dryer than runs but doesn’t heat up is often the result of a spent thermal fuse. In addition to keeping the exhaust vents clear of obstructions, you should always take care to clean out the lint trap after every use of your dryer. A dryer repair technician will be able to tell you if there is any blockage in your ventilation, if the machine is being frequently overloaded, or if the thermal fuse was previously activated and needs to be replaced.
Beyond the thermal fuse, a dryer not heating up is sometimes symptomatic of the heating element itself not working properly. A heating element assembly, which includes the heating element itself, thermal fuses, thermostat, and other related components, is what’s responsible for heating the air that dries your clothes. This process is impeded by any lint or debris on the element, or if it’s in contact with the rest of the dryer. The heating element is an electrical component full of coils, which can sometimes break over time with normal use of your dryer. Due to the risk of electric shock when working on a heating element replacement, we advise against a DIY repair for this one. A qualified technician will know a faulty heating element when they see one, and will be able to safely and effectively replace it in order to get your appliance back online.
- Clothes are still coming out wet
Like a dishwasher that doesn’t wash dishes, or a fridge that doesn’t keep things cold, it’s especially frustrating when your home appliance fails at its one express purpose. There are a number of reasons why clothes may be coming out of a dryer cycle still wet. One cause could be that you’re overestimating the capacity of your dryer, and overfilling it. If the drum is completely packed, the warm air will not be able to properly circulate, resulting in a tight ball of damp clothes at the end of the cycle. If you’re still experiencing this problem, even with a regular-sized load, it could be a problem with your ventilation.
A good way to test this is to find your exterior dryer exhaust outlet, which is a small vent on the outside of your home. Turn the dryer on, and then head out to the vent. Feel the air coming out of it—if it’s moving very slowly, or isn’t particularly warm, it’s likely there’s some kind of blockage. If it’s not a ventilation issue, it could mean something’s wrong with your dryer’s heating element assembly. If you suspect a heating element trouble, be sure to call a professional rather than attempting a DIY solution, as doing so can be an electrical or fire hazard.
- Dryer is shutting off shortly into its cycle
All modern dryers have a cycle thermostat, which maintains the temperature of the drum and regulates it so it doesn’t overheat. If your dryer is shutting off mid-way into its cycle, the thermostat may be on the fritz. Although this problem is annoying, it’s certainly better than the alternative, which is your dryer getting hotter and hotter until the clothes inside are scorched. Either way, your thermostat should be replaced.
There are fewer things more frustrating than pulling a load of damp clothes out of your dryer. If you’re experiencing any of the above clothes dryer problems, or running into other snags with your dryer, it might be time to call in the professionals.
The expert technicians at Starfix have been serving the Lower Mainland area with washer and dryer repair, dishwasher tune-ups, and just about all other appliance fixes for years. We have extended experience with a number of appliance brands, including Samsung, LG, Whirlpool, Fisher & Paykel, Miele, Amana, Bosch, GE, Kenmore, Asko, Electrolux, and Maytag—no matter the type of unit in need of repair, Starfix is the obvious choice for any of your home appliance repair needs. If you’re sick of hang-drying your laundry and are ready to get your clothes dryer back up and running, give us a call today!