How To Fix Your Dryer

A few months ago, we began noticing our dryer was acting a little funny, it was taking longer to dry than usual so we started with the obvious and deep cleaned its lint trap (which we knew to do after seeing this pin). We also unscrewed the dryer vent trap on the outside of our house and cleaned it (it had a bit of lint build up). This seemed to help but didn’t completely fix the issue.

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Then, a few weeks ago, the zipper of one of my sweaters got stuck in the dryer, like really stuck. As in, we had to take the dryer apart to be able to free the zipper pull. That is when we noticed that the drum felt was worn and causing our drum to rock up and down, creating a gap through which lint and clothes would escape/get stuck.

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In order to figure that out we had to:

  1. Use a flat head screwdriver to release the spring clip which hold the top of the dryer in place;
  2. Repeat the same process on the other side to release the second clip and free the dryer top;
  3. We used a leftover piece of wood we had lying around to old the top propped up;
  4. Then used our flat head  screwdriver again to release the clips holding the front of the washer in place;
  5. Taking caution not to pull the front panel too far away from the machine, we tilted it forward enough to be able to disconnect the grey and blue wires therefore freeing the front panel from the rest of the machine;
  6. This allowed us to see exactly where the zipper pull got stuck, to remove it all the while noticing that the upper felt was worn and almost flat compared to the bottom felt which appeared to be in much better shape.

The amount of lint inside our dryer was absolutely ridiculous! We were so shocked that we didn’t think to take a picture and simply started cleaning it off. There was SO much, no wonder our dryer had been taking longer and longer to dry!

We considered our options: fixing our current dryer (which is about 14 years old and was donated to us by my uncle when we moved) or buying a new set of washer/dryer. We did a bit of research on the matter and quickly realized that the estimated life span of a new washer is 10-14 years whereas a dryer is said to last 10-13 years. This meant that at 14 years old, both our machines have surpassed the expected life span of newer machines. We also knew that our machines were built to last longer than that since my dad’s similar ones lasted over 20 years with only basic maintenance done on them throughout the years. We decided to find out how much the felt would cost and then decide. Our first step was to find our dryer’s model number. Luckily for us, the model number tag on our machine was easy to locate: on the cabinet frame inside the door. If you need help finding the model number tag on your appliance, this useful tool should be able to point you in the right direction.

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My dad stopped by an appliance parts store in Ottawa after work and met with a very knowledgeable/older salesman who sold him a repair kit which contained not only the 45$ felt kit (upper and lower felts) that we needed but 3 other parts (the bearing, the belt and the idler) which are the most susceptible to need repair on our specific model of dryer. At 47$ for the kit (only 2 extra dollars for 3 more parts), we figured it was worth the buy. Even more so after the kind salesman assured us that replacing all the parts at once would pretty much guarantee that our dryer would last us another 10 years. Talk about bang for your buck!

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When came time to install all these parts, we turned to to figure out how. This website is incredibly well done, entering our dryer’s model number in the search bar lead us to a page with tons of information: section diagrams with every part listed, detailed part info, list of common symptoms and suggested parts to fix them, detailed how-to repair videos as well as consumer written installation instructions. We loaded the videos corresponding to our new parts and followed Steve’s instructions step-by-step. We had to watch the videos over quite a few times and by the end we were saying “Hi, I’m Steve from Part Select” in unison with him at the beginning of every video. Sure enough, we were able to replace every parts within a few hours and with only 3 basic tools as promised by Steve in his videos.

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Though time consuming, this repair was kinda of fun to do. It is always neat to learn knew things and we definitely felt smarter after learning how to disassemble/repair/re-assemble our dryer which taught us a lot about how it actually operates. We were glad that this repair cost less than 50$ and should extend the life of our dryer by another decade. Of course, we have to thank Steve, our new friend for all his advice and help (through the partselect videos); Thanks Steve!

Have you ever had to repair one of your major appliances? Were you surprised by how easy it is to do yourself or do you prefer leaving this type of work to the pros?


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