Is my 17 YO gas dryer worth repairing?

roxanApril 14, 2011

I have had 17 wonderful trouble free years with my Whirlpool dryer. Alas, yesterday it decided to bite the dust and I have no heat. Could be something minor but DH gave the BIG OK to go out and but a new one. I suspect it is because he does not want to take the time to diagnose and repair himself or throw money at something this old. Would it be worth repairing, would you do it?

I feel that things made today are not as sturdy. I am reluctant to buy something new because it will ultimately be a lot less durable and break down quicker. Anyone share these thoughts?

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It's certainly repairable, and yes, I would do it. I replaced the belt on a friend's 25-year-old Whirlpool (1985 model) several months ago ($19.99 at a local dealer, which is $10 more than I would have paid via an online source, but I needed it ASAP).

I'm in the process of refurbishing a 22-year-old Kenmore (Whirlpool) dryer that was given to me by a friend whose niece used it at college. It had been drying slow, they thought the heating element was going bad (elements either work or not, they don't typically deteriorate over time). I found the drum air outlet was half-clogged with impacted lint, due to the lint filter handle being broken and thus seldom cleaned. The major mechanical parts (bearings, rollers, idler, belt, motor) are all in fine condition.

Can't say the same about yours, of course, without examination.

You can look up parts diagrams at

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 3:05PM
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Yes, very easy fix and a Flat and Phillip head screw driver is all that is needed. Your gas valve solenoid is shot and the replacement can be found at your nearest appliance repair store, through Sears or through the Repair clinic website.

Here is a link that might be useful: gas valve

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 5:28AM
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The repairman can on Saturday. I was right. The belt broke again for the second time in 23 years. He put in a new belt. He said one of the drum rollers was shot. I had him replace both of them. The most of the time was spent clean out the lint. Got about four cups full from the vent pipes. It was cheaper to repair than to get a new dryer for us, a lot cheaper.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 1:56AM
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Good Deal. Dryers are often much nore simple to repair than washers. Dryers are also more simple machines. Glad you were able to fix it and save money.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 5:57PM
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And those Whirlpool/Kenmore dryers with the lint filter on the top are some of the most reliable dryers around. They almost never break. Usually when they do break it's a belt. And that's a quick 20 minute repair job that anyone can do.

We have a 93' model that still has its original belt and have never even had one service call on it. In fact, it even has the original dryer drum light bulb in it!

We just clean it out every three years and have the vent cleaned at the same time. I think it'll last another 25 years or so!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 4:04AM
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Wonder if you have decided what to do, repair or replace?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 10:53AM
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Honestly you should just replace the dryer. Even if it was not broken I would suggest this. If your dryer is more than 10 yrs old than it will not be energy efficient. In one year you can save almost $150 in energy costs alone with a brand new energy efficient dryer. Do the math. It will easily last ten yrs or more saving you over a thousand dollars in energy bills. Cheers.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 10:55PM
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There's not a significant difference in energy efficiency from one dryer to another of the same fuel type, gas or electric. All of them heat the air/clothes and extract moisture. Gas burners and electric heating elements all have the same efficiency from one to another. Increasing airflow rates is perhaps the only factor in faster drying rates for less time and energy usage. Very old and worn units may have some inefficiencies from worn drum seals but that's usually not significant unless the seals are torn or completely worn away.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 11:55PM
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That's great! I have a 17-year old dryer too. I guess the door switch is going out because sometimes I must open and close the door a few times to get the dryer to "go." I've been looking at new HE machines and feel concerned about making the change, so you've inspired me to think about getting the dryer fixed when it finally won't work any more.

Maybe you're good to go for the next 17 years!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 9:50AM
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