With three boys, my husband and myself there is always laundry. Sometimes lots of laundry. Thanks to the modern conveniences of washers and dryers it is no longer a long and arduous task. That is until something fails.
We had purchased a new washer and dryer 8 years ago when the hand-me-down ones finally bit the dust. Nothing fancy or overly newage with a bunch of computerized dodads and gizmos. The set served us well up until May of this year. The timer button on the dryer slowly began to die. You could set it to 50 minutes and it would work. Then after a few days the timer had to be set to 43 in order to work. A week later it was 35 minutes. You see a trend forming don’t you? When it got to the point of being only able to set it for 20 minutes of run time I gave up on it.
It was time to get the clothes line out. The weather had become warm and sunny for the summer so it was no big deal. I have always enjoyed drying things out on the line. In fact when I was a kid I always thought there was something magical about running through the fabric as it was waving in the breeze. There were too many days with rain, or more laundry than we had capacity to hang, even after running extra lines from the swingset to the fence and back. After a month of line drying I decided to see what could be wrong with the dryer.
I knew it was not the heating element because heat was no issue. Maybe the connectors rattled loose over the years? Why not, with the number of times it had been run and some of those with shoes in it. So the slightly daunting task of tearing open the dryer commenced. They do not make them in a way that anybody can rip them open. After pulling the dryer from the wall and disconnecting the power I went at it with pliers, screwdrivers, etc. I managed to only mangle up the back in minor ways during the process.
Here is the biggest tip I can give-TAKE PICTURES. Take pictures of everything before you tear things apart and keep little bowls around for holding the screws, bolts and what not(trust me you don’t want to loose them).
With a bottle of alcohol and some swabs I disconnected and cleaned all the connectors and their receptacles. Once they were fully dry I reconnected them. In lieu of fully closing up the back for fear of having to get right back in there, The back panel cover was reattached only with a couple of the bolts. Plugged it back in and tried it out with my fingers and toes crossed….no improvement.
At that point with the disappointment I quit for the night.
The next day I decided to do some internet research. I was almost certain it had to be the timer but needed to make sure that that was the likely culprit. After hours on Google reading forums and such I figured that it had to be the timer. I just had to figure out what I needed and where I was possibly going to get it. Back down to the laundry room to disassemble the control panel again. With the dryer timer piece in hand I returned to the computer to see if I could possibly get this part.
Found the exact part needed and a few places I could get it from. Most were places that would ship it to you and happily one place in my town had it in stock. I drove down to Dey Parts with the timer in tow. There I was greeted by a very nice and knowledgeable man. I explained to him what had been happening with the drier and showed him what I needed. He agreed with me that it sounded like the timer went out. I hoped he was right because there was no returning the part after I installed it.
It took no time to put the part in and reassemble the housing on the dryer. With a huge amount of hope I set the timer on the dryer to 50 minutes and pushed the button…IT WORKED!!!!!! I apparently squealed with delight loud enough that my family misconstrued the sound as I did something to hurt myself and came running. They came barreling down the stairs to witness my happy dance.
I am sure some are wondering why did I go through so much instead of just getting a new dryer. Did you miss the part about 3 kids and a husband? Needless to say we don’t have money just lying about to replace appliances, let alone hire repairmen everytime something goes wonkey. I guess I am just a firm believer in trying to do for yourself as much as you can. I may not know how to do somethings but there is Google to give me tips. So what it boiled down to was rather than drop over $600 for a new dryer or spend a few hundred $ for a repairman to just look at it, I decided to spend $80 on a part and hope that it worked. This time my plan worked out and that may not always be the case, but I was lucky.