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Old 02-15-2020, 04:29 PM
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Default Electric dryer doesn’t dry towels well anymore...diagnosis variable

Have a 2001 kenmore HE3 Elite electric dryer. Done a few repairs myself

Plastic Door handle broke. Repair guy tried crazy glue as repair would be $300ish. Bought the $80 part and did it myself.

Then it stopped drying about 10 years ago. Replaced the moisture sensor. $3.17 part. Worked

Then it started squealing about 4 years ago. Replaced all rollers and belts. $44

Then heat completely died. Replaced the heater coil and thermal fuses. $120ish

Now the towels won’t fully dry. Takes 3 goes. Still heat.

Read online that bounce fabric sheets coat your clothes but also your dryer. Site suggested cleaning moisture sensor with rubbing alcohol once a month. Also cleaning lint trap screen.

So l gave it a try. Amazing how small the pour spaces were in the mesh screening. I used some rubbing alcohol to loosen but found the mr clean eraser sponge helped also. Used both on the moisture sensor.

Now drying some towels. Anyone else find this happened and fixed this way?

Cheers

Sun
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Old 02-15-2020, 04:56 PM
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My bet is the blower wheel is likely plugged with lint, that or the exhaust duct or exhaust flapper is plugged/stuck. I’ve cleaned all of the above before, in addition to u screwing the lint trap housing and vacuuming that and other internal ducting on the machine
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Old 02-15-2020, 05:15 PM
bobtodrick bobtodrick is offline
 
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It’s 20 years old. New washers start at $450 (which it sounds like you’ve spent on repairs). Might be time to bite the bullet.
As old as it is you’re going to spend $75 (or whatever) on repairs... and six months down the road something else craps out.
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Old 02-15-2020, 05:21 PM
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It's probably just full of stunted perch
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Old 02-15-2020, 05:24 PM
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Simple Fix
Don't dry towels

Is there a timed dry setting that bypasses the moisture sensor settings?
I kept my old dryer running for a few extra years with the Fly Lady Dryer Lint Kit.
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Last edited by omega50; 02-15-2020 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 02-15-2020, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bloopbloob View Post
It's probably just full of stunted perch
Last time I cleaned out the insides I found lots of stuff...just no perch. Maybe a few got in there.
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Old 02-15-2020, 06:34 PM
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Hmmm. Dried a bit better but still a few towels with a little dampness

Have to look into cabers ideas.
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Old 02-15-2020, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtodrick View Post
It’s 20 years old. New washers start at $450 (which it sounds like you’ve spent on repairs). Might be time to bite the bullet.
As old as it is you’re going to spend $75 (or whatever) on repairs... and six months down the road something else craps out.
It was a $800-900 dryer... fixing myself has been at a fraction of a repair guy. Plus I get personal satisfaction learning about the innards and fixing them.

Relatively speaking I have saved money and kept an appliance out of the landfill for 11 years from first breakdown.

I get frustrated that large appliances have become throw away versus repair due to costs and quality of product.

I have to think outside of major electrical or control panel problems I should be able to repair for ever.
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:09 PM
MyAlberta MyAlberta is offline
 
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First things first. Turn it on and check the airflow out the exhaust grill. Plugged lint trap, bent exhaust hose, confined exterior grill. Pulled a lint ball out of the grill a few years back.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyAlberta View Post
First things first. Turn it on and check the airflow out the exhaust grill. Plugged lint trap, bent exhaust hose, confined exterior grill. Pulled a lint ball out of the grill a few years back.
How do you check airflow?

Lint trap is clean
Hose is not kinked
Every time I have checked the hose it was fine
The plastic flaps /grill were smashed by hail. Could be a mouse nest?
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:40 PM
MyAlberta MyAlberta is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundancefisher View Post
How do you check airflow?

Lint trap is clean
Hose is not kinked
Every time I have checked the hose it was fine
The plastic flaps /grill were smashed by hail. Could be a mouse nest?
A machine with low airflow will typically run hotter. I just put my hand close to the grill and feel for air. It should be a good blow, as subjective as that is.
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Old 02-16-2020, 02:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyAlberta View Post
A machine with low airflow will typically run hotter. I just put my hand close to the grill and feel for air. It should be a good blow, as subjective as that is.
While it can run hotter, it cannot vent the moisture, so just keeps on 'shuffling' it around.
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Old 02-16-2020, 07:29 AM
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One thing to do is to always hard pipe a dryer exhaust, never use a plastic flex. The ridges in aluminum flexes offer lots of spots for lint to accumulate so they’re a bit less desirable too. The joints should be taped with a foil tape and don’t use screws as those are a lint catch.

I’ve always used gas dryers, they’re superior to electric for a number of reasons. First is that the energy is cheaper, second is less static electricity due to moisture always being part of the combustion exhaust, third is kind of related to the second as they ‘refresh’ better when you want to de-wrinkle a load of laundry that’s been sitting, again due to having some moisture present in the exhaust.
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Old 02-16-2020, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtodrick View Post
It’s 20 years old. New washers start at $450 (which it sounds like you’ve spent on repairs). Might be time to bite the bullet.
As old as it is you’re going to spend $75 (or whatever) on repairs... and six months down the road something else craps out.
Yup, Downer being replacement will be crap and not nearly last as long. The Consumer oriented society at work.

Grizz
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Old 02-16-2020, 08:18 AM
bobtodrick bobtodrick is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizzly Adams View Post
Yup, Downer being replacement will be crap and not nearly last as long. The Consumer oriented society at work.

Grizz
I will agree with you there. Recent had my furnace checked...a twenty year old Carrier that got a clean bill of health. Thought about putting in a more efficient model but the technician said:
A) in a 100 yr old house it’s so leaky it wouldn’t really save me anything, and
B) my 20 year old furnace might very well outlast a new one 😕
Just sounds like the dryer in question has hit the point where you might spend money and time repairing and have something else go in a month.
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Old 02-16-2020, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundancefisher View Post
How do you check airflow?

Lint trap is clean
Hose is not kinked
Every time I have checked the hose it was fine
The plastic flaps /grill were smashed by hail. Could be a mouse nest?
Run the dryer without the vent hose attached.

When you say the trap is clean, did you remove the back panel and clean the trap housing/exhaust housing, as per Caber's suggestion?

Open up the dryer from the back and vacuum everything.
Remove the internal housing and vacuum again.
You would be amazed as to what gets past the trap and into the housing.
I recently had the same issue and this was the solution.
And I made about $5 in change, screws, ear plugs, and a very dry Elk hair fly.

Then vacuum out the exhaust line to the outside house vent.
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundancefisher View Post
The plastic flaps /grill were smashed by hail. Could be a mouse nest?
Could also be a bird nest in the vent pipe, they will access any protected location they can find.
If you have good air flow at the exhaust vent, it may be the moisture sensor is kaput again. Any problems drying other clothing?
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Old 02-16-2020, 12:17 PM
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In my 20 years in appliance industry, this is the most common problem with the dryer. Here is step by step check list.
1. Remove the vent from the back of the dryer and run the dryer, with towels, let it vent into the room. If the towels are dry in one cycle- you dryer venting is plugged with derbies. It could be full of lint or even a squirrel or bird nest. Call the furnace cleaner guy to blow your interior dryer vent or do it yourself. Remember, if your vent is too long, you will need the professional to do that.
2. If problem persists, it is most likely your high limit thermostat that needs to be replaced.
3. Before replacing the high limit thermostat, make sure your heating element comes on. The Kenmore models could use the double spiral element. Meaning that there are two heating spirals, one for the gentle cycle and one for the full heat. You may only have the gentle cycle part working.
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:16 AM
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Ours did that same thing and it ended up being the outside vent cap screen was plugged solid and didn't allow the hi temp to stay on long so once it was cleaned it worked fine.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KGB View Post
In my 20 years in appliance industry, this is the most common problem with the dryer. Here is step by step check list.
1. Remove the vent from the back of the dryer and run the dryer, with towels, let it vent into the room. If the towels are dry in one cycle- you dryer venting is plugged with derbies. It could be full of lint or even a squirrel or bird nest. Call the furnace cleaner guy to blow your interior dryer vent or do it yourself. Remember, if your vent is too long, you will need the professional to do that.
2. If problem persists, it is most likely your high limit thermostat that needs to be replaced.
3. Before replacing the high limit thermostat, make sure your heating element comes on. The Kenmore models could use the double spiral element. Meaning that there are two heating spirals, one for the gentle cycle and one for the full heat. You may only have the gentle cycle part working.
Good ideas
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