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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dryer Trouble-shooting: Keep It Simple

Jim Ruen
Hobby Farms Contributor

If a machine (like your washer or dryer) stops working, check for simple answers to the problem before jumping to conclusions. Photo by Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Thinkstock
Courtesy Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Thinkstock
I learned through our broken-dryer incident that if a machine stops working, check for simple answers to the problem before jumping to conclusions.

Electric motors are great, and modern life wouldn't be the same without them. Let an electric appliance stop working, as our clothes dryer did recently, and you are quickly reminded how vital these machines are.

It always amazes me how easy it is to assume the worst when a machine malfunction occurs. In the case of the dryer, which was only a few weeks old, the sudden stop came mid-cycle. We heard a thump from the laundry room, and by the time I got there, only silence was to be heard. However, I smelled a strong odor of burned wire and immediately assumed the motor had burned out.

Because I purchased the dryer through our local dealer (after all, he had kept our 20-year-old dryer functioning for years), I gave him a call. He was at our house the next day, opened up the machine, looked for possible problems around the motor and drive unit, and found nothing.

As he wasn't certified for warranty repair, he called a technician who was. A week later (one of the hazards of living in the country) the technician made the 40-mile drive to our house,pulled open the cover plate where the power cord connected to the dryer, and found it was burned to a crisp. A connection had come loose and shorted out. Both my dealer and I had made a complicated assumption but really the problem was quite simple and basic.

Like so many things in life, when dealing with electric motors, stop, think and check for connections gone bad before jumping to conclusions.

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