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Clothes dryers are much easier to work on than many people may think. There are a few preventative measures that can help you insure that your dryer stays in tip top shape and alleviate most major repairs. One of the most common problems with a dryer is poor drying. In most cases this is caused be a plugged lint filter. At other times this problem may be caused by a clogged exhaust or air vent. All of these problems are simple to remedy.

Lint should be removed from the filter of your dryer after each use. Allowing the lint to remain in the lint trap will eventually burn out the heating element in your dryer. It will also cause a back up of lint in the air vent and exhaust of your dryer. The exhaust hose on your dryer should be remove at least once a year and all the lint shaken out. Using a straightened section of a coat hanger, clean the damper and its hinges by inserting it into the outdoor vent. If the hose is damaged, replace it immediately. If it has sags, these should be eliminated to keep the area from trapping lint or moisture. When you find it necessary to replace the hose, look for the smooth wall ducting type since it is less likely to trap lint.

If your dyer operates with gas and has a pilot light instead of a flameless igniter, always check with your service manual before attempting to relight the pilot. With gas dryers you will need to periodically turn off the power and remove the front panel grill over the burner assembly. When the burner is exposed, wipe the entire area clean and vacuum it out thoroughly with a crevice tool. If you are having a problem with the dryer properly heating, turn your dryer on and inspect the flame. A roaring noise or yellow flame is an indication that your air gas mixture is incorrect. In this case you will need to call a repairman since the air gas mixture and all other burner problems should be dealt with by a professional. In a case where you have moved from a gas area to a bottled gas area, you should always have the gas company change out the burner orifices.

When your dryer will not start, begin by checking the door to be sure it is properly closed. Next you should check to be sure that the start switch is pushed in or properly turned on. Then check for blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers. With electric dryers there will be two fuses or two circuit breakers. If one is blown or tripped, many times your dryer might run but not heat. When the power supply is working but your dryer still will not run you need to call a repairman. In many cases the problem will be somewhere in the electrical system.

If your dryer will start with no problems but the drum will not turn, in most cases your drum belt is broken. To check this you should begin by unplugging your dryer and rotating the drum by hand. It the drum spins with ease, the belt is broken. To replace the drum belt you should insert a putty knife under the top panel near the front corner of your dryer and push against the spring clip. This is a small clip that holds the top to the dryer in place. When you can raise the top of the dryer with ease the clip has been released. Under the top you will find screws that hold the front panel of your dryer in place. All of these need to be removed. Use a piece of paper to write down how all the wires coming from the door switch are connected and then disconnect them. Lift the panel completely free of the dryer body and set it aside. In a case where the operating thermostat is in the front panel, you will not be able to completely disconnect it from the body of the dryer. In this case you should set the panel aside with the operating thermostat wires intact being careful not to damage the wires. When you discover that the drum of your dryer is supported by the front panel, use a block of wood under the drum to support it.

Next you will need to reach under the drum to locate the idler pulley. This controls the tension on the belt. In some cases you may need to remove a lower front or lower rear access panel. You can check your service manual that came with your dryer so you will know in advance if this is necessary. When you have located the idler pulley on your machine, push the idler arm away from the pulley and unhook the belt. Be sure you handle the idler arm carefully since it is possible that it may be under high tension and can snap back on your hand. Then slightly lift the drum and slide off the belt. Take the new belt and slide it over the drum with the ribbed side against the drum. Thread it over the idler pulley and the drive shaft. Next rotate the drum in both directions to make sure the belt is aligned. If the drum does not wobble, you are ready to put your dryer back together.

At times strange noises will accompany your dryer when you are using it. The first thing to check is the inside to see if any objects are caught in the drum holes or anything is rolling around loose. If this is not the problem you should next tighten all the screws on the trim and exterior panels. When the noises persist, open the dryer and turn the drum with your hand to see if you can locate the source of the noise. If the noise is a low thump that varies as you increase and decrease with the speed the dryer is being turned, it is quite possible you have a worn drum belt that will need to be replaced. If your dryer has a sliding drum support and a scraping noise is coming from your dryer, you need to check and see if the supports are worn. You can do this by unscrewing the front of the body of your dryer and replacing any weak or badly worn supports. A rattling noise is usually an indication that your idler pulley is worn. When the drum is making several thumping noises each time it rotates this could be an indication that your drum support roller is worn. To replace the parts you will need to remove the top and front of the body of your dryer, as well as, the drum. Then check your service manual for directions on how to replace these parts.