LG Combo Washer Dryer Lint Build-Up
So, we just experienced the real Achilles heel of the LG washer dryer combo units. I must say, for two people and a dog, these units are a fantastic laundry solution. We live in DC, in a small condo, and needed a compact unit that didn't require a vent. Funny thing is, we had a normal stacked (and vented!) washer/dryer, but it was in the kitchen eating up valuable kitchen real estate. We ordered a 24" LG WM3455HS in early September 2010. 8 months later it completely stopped drying clothes.
Now, the first 8 months were heaven. Yeah, it takes 3.5 hours from start to finish, but clothes come out super clean and very dry (albeit a tad wrinkly). Really, it was love. And for $1,500, one should be in love, right?
Right around mid-April of this year the unit stopped drying periodically. A full cycle that would take 3.5 hours before was finished in 30 minutes. No error codes or anything, just completely wet clothes, like it had skipped the dry cycle completely. Turning the dial for timed drying of 2 hours fixed this issue, but only temporarily. It would require this 2 hour manual selection multiple times before long.
I did some googling at that point and saw others, with older models, suffering the same problem. It turns out that lint slowly accumulates in some internal plastic duct. It has to be professionally removed as LG does not make this part available via an access port. There is a "drain pump filter" on the front side that, one is led to believe, collects excess lint, but it does not. Actually, there is rarely anything in that filter. The real lint accumulates in the bowls of the machine. And it looks like this:
What is on the counter is what the repair guy pulled out with his hand. The rest you can see in the sink. Sorry for the blurry photo, but I was trying not to gag. When it was all balled up for the trash, it was bigger than a softball. After a 1-hour tech visit, it is back to drying like a champ.
The technician said that this is very common and he gets calls on these units regularly. He listens to the complaint, opens up the unit, and goes straight for that duct. I asked if this was common on all combo units and he noted that it's common only for the smaller ones (24"), not the larger combo units, in his experience. He was in & out in under an hour.
This is not really a complaint, but I guess a type of PSA for those interested in these units. Perfect for tight spaces, great performance, but there is a ridiculous design flaw with these machines. Being that this unit will be out of warranty in just 3.5 months, the next lint-removal will likely be out of my pocket. A pretty frustrating flaw in a machine that costs so much. So, be warned, there are definitely trade-offs!