Losing my marbles? Rattling sound from Fisher Paykel DEGX1

katflaggeApril 18, 2011

I have a Fisher Paykel DEGX1 dryer purchased in July, 2006. I have had several issues with it, all post-warranty, but all repairable by me with the purchase of parts. Currently a new sound has developed. I was drying a load of clothes, and I heard a loud "pop", for lack of a more sophisticated term, that came from the laundry room. I then noticed that when my dryer is tumbling the clothes in one direction, it sounds normal for this dryer; when the drum reverses, a sound similar to marbles tumbling and rattling around in the drum presents itself. The reverse-direction tumble seems to have a much shorter duration than the other direction, although I have never paid much attention to this; just know that the drum does a series of reverses while drying, and I noted the durations as I was trying to determine the location of the rattling noise. Seems to be coming from lower right of the unit as best I can tell. Does anyone have suggestions as to what may be producing this sound, and perhaps whether attempting to repair it myself is a reasonable task? I replaced the bearing ass'y once at about 30 mos of age on the unit; this sound is not the screeching, scraping, grinding sound that resulted from failure of that mechanism. Functionally, the unit presently performs as usual; just noisy on the reverse tumble. Glad for any input.

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dadoes

Forward tumble is approx 4.5 minutes, reverse is 40 seconds.

The drum is belt-driven, with the belt wrapped around the extreme right side. The motor and a dual-pulley idler/tension assembly is at the lower rear of the machine on the right side.

I'd suspect the idler assembly. Access to it requires disassembly of the machine, which is different than other dryers. I have a service manual if you're interested. A replacement idler (two pulleys, two axles) is unreasonably expensive for what it is, but surely is cheaper than a new dryer.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 6:18PM
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katflagge

Thanks for responding, dadoes. I almost emailed you directly rather than posting, having seen your comments often regarding these machines, but decided to post since I have benefited multiple times from the open info on this website, and might benefit another--though do not wish the maladies I have experienced on anyone else with this dryer!

I would definitely like the service manual. I already have the machine "shell" partially removed, snooping around hoping I might see something obvious to account for the marble-rolling sound. I do not know how to get the side and back panels off--the front is pretty obvious--and I don't even know if I will embark on trying to do the replacement, but I may. I looked on the searspartsdirect website and saw the exploded view of the pulley/tensioner ass'y. I am curious how a component like that becomes affected to the point that it noisily begs attention, yet still seems to work acceptably allowing the belt to drive the drum. Without the noise, I would not know anything is defective. If the manual gives some insight into getting the remainder of the walls off, I will probably at least take that portion apart, see if I can find the offending piece, and determine if I think I can do the disassembly and subsequent reassembly myself. If not, I can possibly arrange to have someone with more expertise do the installation, maybe paring a bit of the cost by having everything accessible and the part in hand.

Please do allow me access to the manual. That will help me know how to best proceed.

Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 1:26AM
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dadoes

I can't send the manual (.pdf file) without an e-mail addy. You'll have to contact me via GardenWeb's form on my user profile and include your address.

The side and rear panels do not come off. After removing the top deck, front panel, door grabber mechanism and a few wires, the inner chassis of the dryer tilts/rolls forward out of the cabinet.

The idler mechanism is a couple pulleys on axles that snap into a yoke that maintains tension on the belt via a spring-mount. The pulleys and/or axles wear over time, as moving pieces are apt to do. Could be a light oiling would take care of the problem for a while, depending on how much wear has occurred (VERY light, keep oil away from the belt!). The idler on my DEGX1 was chattering for a while a couple years ago. I bought the parts in preparation for doing the repair, but the noise settled before I got to doing it.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 2:41AM
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katflagge

I'll communicate thru the profile page to send the email address. I may already have everything off that you mention; I'm not in front of the unit right now so I am not sure if I have the "door grabber" mechanism removed; I did disconnect a few wires. Thankfully I do not YET have a photographic image of the dismantled machine in my mind...

Admittedly, this dryer has seen a great deal of use in the 4.75 years I've owned it, with four kids and myself running it probably daily, sometimes more than once a day, so perhaps I am harsh in my complaints about these mechanical failures. I suppose I am too familiar with the generation of machines available when I grew up, and my mother's ONE Kenmore W/D set that never seemed to fail, even when my sisters and I taxed it beyond typical tolerances. Having gotten this far, I think removal and replacement are the best options. Do you know if I will be able to manipulate the part once I find it to see if I can create the noise, just to be sure I am not replacing the wrong thing?

Thanks, once again dadoes.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 1:57PM
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dadoes

Wear (if there is wear) on the part(s) should be apparent when having a look-see at it. You should be able to rotate the drum manually (although not up to full operational speed) which will in turn spin the motor and idler pulleys.

The belt, idler, and drum support rollers on those old dryers did also wear and need replacement ... but newer machines of any brand may not be as robust due to the manufacturers' need to cut costs in order to maintain a market price point.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 4:56PM
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