Monday, May 16, 2011

For Wetter Or For Worse.

My clothes dryer went kaput. To be precise, partially kaput. It quit spinning. The heat still works, but it is troublesome to have to keep opening the door, give the clothes a quick spin, shut the door so the heat will kick on, wait for several seconds for the clothes to slowly stop tumbling, and then repeat to whole process. One pair of jeans and a t-shirt take around 4000 spins to dry. Your arm does get tired.

Since I watch the DIY network, I figure I should be able to fix the dryer like a pro. I dust off my trusty phillips screwdriver and begin dismantling the machine. Forty-seven screws later I am able to remove the top and front of the dryer. I can see all the parts that had fallen inside as I had unscrewed every screw I could from the outside. I wonder how I am suppose to find out where they belong when I try to reassemble. Well, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

The belt that wraps around the giant cylinder is okay. What I had thought needed replacing seems to be in fine working order. Linda has snuck up behind me ans asks, "Do you know what you're doing?" I grumble a few swear words and ignore her.

There are more screws inside that can be unscrewed. No sense going at this half cocked. I unscrew everything that I possibly can. I believe this thing was designed by Rube Goldberg. I have all types of parts and gears and filters and tubes and Linda says, "Is that gas I smell?"


So now I have to find the gas valve and turn it off. I don't see any such valve inside the box, so I pull it away from the wall and look behind. I see where the gas line is connected to the dryer, but no shut off lever. Maybe if I unscrew the gas line, the gas will stop coming out. At least that was my original thought. No, if you unscrew a gas line from a dryer, you get an uninterrupted flow of gas. For some reason, when you try to reconnect a gas line in a hurry, it does not go so well. It's almost impossible to line up the threads for fastening. And it is even harder when your eyesight is blurry from the gas.

I know there must be a shut off valve somewhere. I start tracing the gas line. At the basement wall where the gas line enters our house is a faucet type lever. I quickly twist it close. Back at the dryer, the smell of gas is still strong, but the serpent hiss has stopped. Looks like I wasn't going to blow up the house after all. I finish disassembling the dryer. Now I can look at every part individually to see which ones need replacing.

There are wheels inside a dryer that the tumbler rides on. The wheels in my dryer had been used so much, that the axle had eroded the hubs to twice there size. Instead of being a smooth turn like a toy wagon wheel, my wheels turned like hula hoops, off center. I needed to replace these. So to the appliance parts supply store I go.

The clerk at the store does not have the wheels I need on hand. He will have to special order them. He tells me that I could save money by buying an old dryer like mine and using it for parts. There is a place just down the street, he tells me. So off to the Used Appliance Store I go.

The Used Appliance Store has the exact same model I need. It is sitting right there in the display window. For a moment I think my troubles are over. What are the odds that a local store has the same 20 year old dryer like mine? Then I notice there is sign on it that says it has been sold. Why am I being taunted like this? The salesman comes over and I tell him what I need. He suggests that I may be able to purchase the dryer by offering the buyer a few extra bucks. How much, I want to know. He tells me that he sold it for $175, but if I offered $200, the buyer may sell. That's too much. I had hoped to repair mine for under fifty bucks.

The salesman tells me that they also repair appliances. If I brought in my dryer, and if all I needed was those wheels like I had told him, then he could get me back up and running for $50. I ask if he could come to my house and fix it. That would be an additional $75 for the house call. I tell him never mind the house call, I'll bring it in.

So now I'm back at home trying to remember where all these parts go. Every time I think I have it reassembled, I find another part and have to tear it down again. Why is there so many screws? I got one piece that may be a shirt button unless I can find a place it fits in the mechanisms. I'm half tempted to buy the identical dryer and take it apart to see where all the pieces go.

I'll figure this out later. Right now I am going to make a sandwich. I would prefer to fry a hamburger but the stove isn't lighting. I may try to fix that before the dryer. Just got to bring my screwdriver up from the basement.

1 comment:

  1. I remember being scared of the knob that turns the gas on and off because my older brother said that if it's turned on all the way up and someone lights a lighter then the house will explode! : (