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Electric Dryer Problem

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Joined: Nov 19 2003

When we bought our Eichler house 7 years ago, it came with an electric dryer that worked fine. When it conked out a couple of weeks ago, we bought a new dryer that was recommended by Consumer Reports. The new dryer takes much longer to dry our stuff. So we had our vent cleaned. That didn’t help. Part of the problem might be the Eichler venting which runs up through the roof and requires a powerful enough dryer to cope with the long vertical vent. So we bought a kit at the hardware store that runs a vent from the dryer to a little container of water on the floor. We weren’t happy with this solution for a variety of reasons. We have until August 4 to exchange our dryer at the appliance store. We thought maybe another dryer would have more power, but the appliance store manager said that most modern dryers have similar power, and that “they just don’t make things the way they used to.” Any suggestions?

Joined: Dec 14 2003

“they just don’t make things the way they used to.”

Bull-puckey. If anything, dryers are more efficient than they used to be. You got a bum dryer. I just bought a new dryer since our old house had a gas line and the new one dries a load in about 45 minutes on the regular heat setting. I bought a Maytag Neptune to match my washer. I installed it with a vent called "Lambro Tite-Fit" so that it would sit closer to the wall since modern dryers are apparently larger than dryers of the 50s and 60s.

Joined: Mar 20 2003

Have you had your dryer duct cleaner lately? It will make an huge difference. Our electric dryer was much more efficient after the cleaning. It was amazing how clogged it was - years (perhaps decades) of lint.

Had the chimney done at the same time.

Joined: Mar 20 2003

If you have to, you can get a booster fan:

but like they said, you wouldn't want to go through the trouble without finding out what the real problem is first.

Joined: Mar 24 2003

Also, check the electrical. First make sure both legs of the 220V outlet your dryer is running off of work. Next, make sure that when the cord was wired to your new dryer it was done correctly. If it wasn't you could be running your new 220V dryer off of 110 inadvertantly.


Joined: Aug 12 2004

First comment on Consumers Reports, they've dropped off of my list after too many thing I disagree with. Like the Matador as the best buy and then the next year the worst, or the engine oil study saying anything will do (based on their extensive NY City Taxi Cab test) and finally their study/testing of the Iszuz Trooper rollover....looking at their "first" test setup, of course and even the highest rated SUV would also tip over, as they installed the +500lb outrigger/wheel assembly on the roof, which raised the CG significantly.

Now to your problem...

The new appliances are greatly improved in material science, engineering knowhow and manufacturing processes. It's better than any comperable level product from the past. Not to say you don't have a lemon, everything manufactured can and does have lemons.

The exhaust is powered by a fan, most likely belt driven from the drum motor. That fan draws air into the drum from the dryer surrounding (room). Goes into the heater coil box, then into the drum where the clothes are tumbled, then out the exhaust duct.

At the exhaust duct in the back, there should be a hose with a clamp (radiator hose clamp like). That hose needs to be kept as straight as possible and any sharpe bends/kinks/etc will restrick air flow.

Anything sticking out of the interior surface will catch lint and build up to become a restriction or blockage. This becomes a larger problem when the run is long and/or couplings to join more than one length of tubing.

The exhaust vent at the end on top of the roof is very important, as some are restrictive or more so than others. Lint build up is common up there and needs regular check/cleaning. A tree branch or leaves could also be blocking/restricting the exhaust.

If new appliance, then maybe still under warranty, so call and have them check out the appliance and maybe the exhaust syste all the way to the roof. If "their" problem, they shouold fix a no cost and if "your" problem, fair is fair, pay for them to do it, or do it yourself.

I don't recommend exhausting into the house. Sure the water trap works, but you must keep the water level constant and refilled. If you allow it to go dry and lint gets into the house, that becomes both a health hazard and explosive hazard.

Any air borne thing that can "burn" becomes a potential bomb. Why they have explosion proof electrical boxes in corn/wheat/rice/cement/etc silos. They have air borne dust and has two of the necessary elements for combustion. All it needs is a heat source (spark).

Joined: Mar 22 2003

What kind of dryer did you get? We have a Bosch. Asko and Miele also make very nice energy efficient dryers. Combined w the Euro style front-load washer--which uses 1/4 the amount of water, leads to short drying times.

Our duct had to be cleaned and after that, things have been great. It may not be your home - it could be your dryer.

Consdier posting on the forums at - they have one dedicated to washers/dryers and a lot of particpants are in the biz and provide excellent advice.


Joined: Mar 25 2005

If you haven't already done so, I'd just reiterate the earlier advice to clean or replace the dryer duct/vent. We have a 1962 atrium model with the W/D hookups in the kitchen and the vent goes up through the 'divider' wall along a post and out through the roof. The original vent pipe was still in there and obviously it had never been cleaned - I removed it and hosed it out and you wouldn't believe the pile of lint that poured out of the thing. The roof vent cap was also filled with lint as was the sewer vent pipe that comes out through the same opening in the roof. Clean 'em all.

BTW, you can easily buy new ducting at any hardware store - the catch is that if you have the 'divider' wall the standard 4" diameter ducting will not fit in the wall unless you shape it (crush it) to make it elliptical - so that it can fit within the width of the 2x4s.

There are tons of dryer duct products that are different shapes eg - they make rectangular and other shaped ducting. But this was essentially the best way to replace the original for our setup - the original had obviously been 'shaped' to fit within the depth of the 2x4s as well.

Joined: Mar 2 2004

Please, Please, Please keep your dryer air outlet free of lint. Lint builds up on the roof vent and will wick loads of rain water into your house. Water will wick uphill, so clean the outlet vent thoroughly and yearly. Check the volume of warm, humid air at the dryers outlet. If you have a good flow, it may be that you have a more efficient dryer that takes longer.

I trust Consumer Reports and have decades of experience with their recommendations. If we took the time to do the 'hands on' tests, we would likely agree with them. Most of their tests are simply not duplicated anywhere, by anyone.

Joined: Aug 12 2004

I've learned to trust Randy and his advice/words all ring true, except must disagree on Consumer Reports.

No good ***FOR ME*** and I'll get my input from other sources. Like this type of forum and other types.

Everything in life can be used as a filter of sorts. Learn who you agree with "more" than not, or what makes sense to your own application. Randy has become one of my filters on a positive side. Others have also become a filter of sorts....I'll go the other way. Sister is one of the best...anything she touts, I'll generally go the other way after a quick check.

Like the fabulous $69.99 deal on 4 wheel brake job she was telling everyone in the family about...till her Volvo Turbo had problems with the brakes...turned out they put in the calipers upside down!!! Didn't know they could even be put in that way.

For appliances, I keep close tabs on industry sources. I used to be a designer/partner/etc in small companies who provided controls for industrial applications. Some of them produce appliances.

The best source for appliance insider info is Freebie peek, but need subscription for more detailed information. Also note that this is an industry supported source, so a bit biased and need to know enough to know when they are talking "around" something. This is what most miss on CR's stuff.


Do you remember who you called to clean the dryer vent?
Any suggestions?

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