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Clothes Dryer Issue


aaronm
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Client's daughter has 2007 townhome where clothes dryer top gets hot and does not dry clothes. She had the vent professionally cleaned and they found no obstructions. Builder (of course) says that it was installed properly. They want me to take a peek and perform miracles. My idea is to run the dryer and use the IR camera to try and trace the length of the vent in the wall. Any better ideas?

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You've probably thought of these things already, but ......

Maybe it's a problem with the dryer. If not, there has to be an obstruction somewhere. An IR camera may not be of much help in finding it, because a blockage anywhere in the line would pretty much prevent exhaust discharge from even entering it. I'd start by checking for discharge at the exterior hood. If there's no discharge there, pull the dryer away from the vent line. If there's airflow, it's definitely an obstruction in the line. No airflow, means it's a problem with the dryer.

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I've also found them crushed. Found one metal flex between the dryer and the (1 foot long) solid vent to exterior that was fully extended to TEN FEET and then practically tied in a knot to fit it behind dryer and then mashed up against gas supply line! People had lint all over the room and couldn't figure it out. Cut flex down to 3 feet long, excising ripped part, and all was well.

Also, lint (or sock or whatever) could be somewhere between lint trap and outlet in the dryer, hardware stores sell a special long thin brush you can use to clean this area. Sold as a brush to clean refrigerator coils.

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  • 2 years later...

Dryers also contain thermal fuses. Much like your coffeepot heating element. Be prepared, 1/4" nut driver, phillips screw driver, multimeter. If the fuse is blown drum rotates, blower blows - no heat.

A blown thermal fuse is usually indicative of an obstruction in the vent system but can occur simply from age. Many dryers have multiple elements for different cycles.

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I had a dryer several years ago that had an upper and a lower heating element. The lower element went out and the clothes would not dry worth a flip.

Pull the dryer out from the wall, disconnect the vent hose and cover the end with a sock or point it towards a 5 gallon bucket with a couple of gallons of water in it, then turn the dryer on. This will contain your lint and confirm if the dryer is indeed working correctly.

If the dryer is working correctly, take an electric leaf blower and let it blow into the vent. You should be able to feel the air coming out the vent if the vent is not clogged.

Or just take out your IR camera and follow the heat trail in the wall.

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  • 8 months later...

Most dryers have two elements: a low heat and high heat element. Possibly, one of the two is not working.

Possible, but unlikely since it was a new appliance in a new house. You can heat the moist clothes all you want, but if you don't remove the moist air the clothes will never get dry.

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