Gas Dryer: If it ain't broke...?

kitchenobsessedAugust 15, 2013

Looks like we're about to replace our 8 yr old $400 Danby with a Speed Queen. I will miss washing our cotton napkins at 200 degrees, but I won't miss its weird noises which signaled its imminent demise. We got our money's worth, anyway, and after removing the back it doesn't look like a simple fix like replacing a belt.

Our Kenmore gas dryer was purchased with the Danby's predecessor close to 25 years ago in late 1988. The lint trap is on top just under the controls, and the plastic facing that covers it recently broke off so I have to pull it out using the curved end of a hanger. Otherwise, it works fine and seems to heat as well as when we purchased it. I like having gas, and I particularly like having a hamper style door. Our W/D is in the basement so I don't give a fig about having a matching set.

Your thoughts about buying a new dryer now? Money IS a concern because it is possible that DH may go on strike again, my income has gone down drastically, and we are paying for DD's college. How long do gas dryers last?

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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

My Maytag gas dryer is nearly 30 years old and working fine. At one time it wasn't heating right and the door latch broke, but neither were very expensive to get repaired.

I'd say just hold on to it. Like you, having a matching set doesn't matter to me.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 2:56AM
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I have a 4 year old Bosch Vision washer

and a 1982 Whirlpool Gas Dryer.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 5:44AM
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They don't make dryers like they used to.
A new one will never last as long as the one you have now.
Keep using it until you get sick of it or if a repair cost out weighs the cost of a new one.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 9:18AM
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Thanks, folks! Yesterday, we ordered the Speed Queen washer and spent ~$40 on a new lint trap for the dryer even though DH said it would be okay to get a new one. I'm crossing my fingers that our current Kenmore/Whirlpool dryer lasts at least a couple more years and maybe we could even pick up a used one for a good price. The big hassle is getting appliances up and down our 40 steps which has always been the incentive for buying new (although poor DH picked up and delivered our little Danby washer himself).

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 3:22PM
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Nice to see you're keeping the dryer. Only thing I'd recommend is to clean the dryer thoroughly inside. This will help to keep it performing its best.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 6:05PM
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Cleaning the dryer thoroughly inside? As in its innards? I always clean the lint filter -- which is probably why its outside cover broke off.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 6:53PM
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Yes, the interior ... not just the filter. There's always some lint that escapes the airflow components and accumulates inside the cabinet. It's a good maintenance procedure every couple/three years to open the unit and clear the accumulation. If you've never done this and the machine has never been serviced at all, you'll likely be amazed at the accumulation. It gathers on the motor, can cause overheating ... and gathers around the gas burner (or electric element) housing, potential for fire.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 7:11PM
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Thanks! We (or at least DH) removed the front panel and DH dusted with a miracle cloth after I picked up the hunks of dust. Hope that's sufficient.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 7:27PM
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Naw, you'll need to use a good vacuum to get all the dust out. Make sure you remove the covering over the electric heating element on the rear of the machine if your dryer is electric, or if it's gas make sure you clean around the burner itself. I found it is easiest just to take the top off, remove the drum and a lot of areas that you can't see will be exposed. Once done properly your dryer will be safe to use and will dry clothes much faster than before. Don't forget to clean out the dryer vent that goes to the wall, either.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 3:52AM
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