5 Signs It's Time to Replace Your Dryer
Are strange sounds coming from your laundry room? If you hear bangs and thuds when you use the dryer it’s time to investigate.
It’s important to resolve appliance issues before they cause serious damage. Early intervention can be the difference between repairing an appliance or replacing it.
Dryers aren't cheap appliances. The average 6 cubic foot capacity electric dryer costs $200 to $400. That’s the price for a basic model with three temperature settings and a plastic drum.
Pick a high-end dryer model with a stainless steel tub, sensors, and more cycles and the price jumps to $700-$800.
Whether you’re ready to buy a new appliance or prefer to repair the one you have, you need to understand the issue. Keep reading to learn about common dryer problems and how to fix them.5 Problems That Can Lead to Replacing Your Dryer
Most households depend on their appliances working at peak performance. If your family members play sports or you have small children, you need a reliable washer and dryer.
If your dryer doesn’t work right it may be time to buy a new one. But before you spend any money, let’s learn more about specific problems.
Once you identify an issue you can decide if it’s better to repair or replace the unit. In most cases, it’s best to contact a professional repair service to diagnose and fix the issue.1. Strange Sounds and Smells
Sometimes something falls out of a pocket and makes noise in the dryer. That’s okay. But if your dryer squeals, screeches or bangs you have a mechanical problem.
When the drum belt or rollers wear out they make noises. A burning smell may mean broken parts are causing friction.
An operational dryer won’t smell or make noises. Don’t ignore small noises and smells. Unresolved problems can become safety hazards.
When your dryer produces strange noises and smells it’s time to call a professional. A pro can replace worn-out or broken parts and assess any damage.
If you continue to use a dryer that squeals or smells you will break it beyond repair.2. Clothes Aren’t Dry
Never overload a washer or dryer. It can throw it off balance and stress the machine. Break big loads into smaller ones.
If you need to dry an oversized item like a comforter, consider taking it to a laundromat or dry cleaner.
Often a dryer won’t dry clothes because of clogged lint screens and vents. Clean the inside dryer vent first.
Check the exterior vent for your dryer. It should produce a strong airflow when the dryer is on. If not, look at the air duct behind the dryer.
Is the vent on the back of the dryer clogged? Is the ductwork pinched or bent so air can’t escape?
If the ductwork looks okay but isn’t working disconnect it from the dryer. Check for a blockage in the ductwork.
If everything is clear and your clothes still won’t dry, it may be time to retire your dryer.3. Dryer Won’t Start
There’s a definite problem if your dryer won’t start. It could be a power supply issue.
First, check your circuit breaker. It may be off due to a power surge. Examine the power cord and dryer door switch. If you’re lucky, you can fix the problem yourself.
If the cause isn’t obvious, call in the professionals.4. Wrinkled Clothes After Drying
When you pull clothes out of the dryer, you expect them to be wrinkle-free. If they aren’t, most people put them back in the dryer for another spin.
The heat and tumbling inside the dryer removes wrinkles. If wrinkles remain there’s a problem.
Try reducing the size of the load. Sometimes too many items prevent thorough drying. Another option is to adjust the dryer setting. If it isn’t hot enough, it won’t remove wrinkles.
If the problem continues, it might be a broken heating element. It won’t produce enough heat, so clothes stay wrinkled.
A broken belt stops the drum from rotating. It’s impossible to dry clothes when the drum won’t move.
It’s hard to change a dryer belt. It’s best to hire appliance repair pros to do the job. If a damaged motor or parts is the culprit the pro can fix your dryer fast.5. Too Little or Too Much Heat
If the dryer tumbles but clothes are wet at the end of the cycle, it’s a heat issue.
Before you make a service call, check your settings. If that’s not the cause, it could be the thermal fuse. The fuse regulates the temperature so the dryer doesn’t overheat. If the fuse breaks the result often is no heat at all.
Another cause could be the temperature switch or thermostat. If your dryer overheats it’s serious. It can damage your clothes or start a fire.
If the dryer catches fire do not use it. A fire can melt wire casings and damage the inside of the dryer. Restarting it can cause another fire or electrocute you.
Unplug the dryer and make plans to buy a new one.Consider the Age of Your Appliance
The average dryer lasts 10 to 13 years. Think about replacing your appliance if it’s over a decade old. You can look online at reviews for more info on your model.
Even if you don’t have the problems mentioned here, a new dryer is a good investment. It won’t break down. It’s covered under warranty.
New models perform better and are energy-efficient. If your dryer isn’t a certified Energy Star appliance it can use 20 percent more energy than a certified model.
Need more proof it’s time to buy a new model? If your dryer is over 13 years-old take the panel off the back.
Examine the wiring. Is it cracked, peeling or rusty? Exposed wiring is dangerous. It can shock you or lead to a fire.
If it is, you have two options. You can have a pro rewire the machine or buy a new one.It’s Time to Buy a New Dryer
Some dryers come with warranty guarantees. Check your paperwork to see if your dryer is under warranty. It’s the least expensive way to repair a problem.
If your dryer isn’t under warranty, it’s time to replace your dryer. A new energy-efficient model is reliable, safe, and saves money on electricity.
Use the 50% rule if you have trouble deciding what to do. If the dryer is 50% through its lifespan, plus costs 50% of its original price to repair, buy a new one.
The rule applies to wear and tear. It doesn’t consider an unusual breakdown or accident.
Repair for parts like heating elements and drum belts include extensive labor charges. It doesn’t make sense to repair a dying appliance only to replace it in a few months.
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