Dryer indecision

daggettNovember 9, 2011

I currently have a 6 year old FP top loading dryer. It has had a couple of problems over they years. Most recent problem is that the reset button needs to be pressed often. My husband has been looking at the service manual and thinks it is some module that cost about $155. I love the features and the fact it is a top loading dryer but I'm not sure about putting $155 in a 6 year old dryer.

I am considering buying a dryer in the under $570 range. In this price range I can get a Whirlpool, GE, or Speed Queen. There may be others but this is what I have been looking at. Any opinions on a brand. I don't need too many features...a low or delicate temp. regular temp. and sensor dry

The third possibility is to purchase a Miele T9802 dryer. My plan is to buy a Miele when the FP washer gives out. The FP washer has not had any problems and I'm not sure it makes sense to purchase the dryer to match a future washer. If I buy a different brand dryer I probably will have a mismatched pair when it is time for the Miele washer and I really don't want that. I could sell the mismatched dryer when that time comes.

Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated. I have a tendency to over analyze any purchase.

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The reset button is an overheat protector for the heating element / heater box and tripping of it is caused by insufficient airflow, such as from clogged or obstructed exhaust ducting. Find and fix the cause and you will no longer have the problem. Check and clean the full length of the exhaust ducting from back of the dryer all the way through to where it exits outside the house. Make sure any flexduct between the dryer and wall is short and straight as possible. In the case of your dryer, the air intake grill at the left side inside the drum (where the lint collection bucket mounts) can also be clogged with lint accumulation, or the filter itself can be clogged. This is easy to disassemble, check and clear.

Remove the lint bucket. Remove the screw in the housing behind where the bucket sits. Remove the grill by pulling it out from the bottom first (where the two metal sensor bars are exposed), then down and out from the top. Brush and vacuum away any accumulated lint from the area and back of the grill, be careful of the sensor wires. Also check that the lint scraper bracket at top of the bucket housing is not broken. When replacing the grill, insert the top of it first, then swing the bottom into place around the bars.

To remove the filter ring, remove the bucket and grill first. There's a recessed (Phillip's) screw at the bottom of the plastic ring (below the sensor bars) that surrounds the filter housing. Remove the screw (a magnet may be helpful to get the screw out). Press your hands on the plastic ring, rotate it slightly clockwise to detach it from the drum. The filter snaps to the ring and will come out with it. Examine the filter for tears or impacted lint (it's a very fine mesh), detach and *carefully* clean it with a soft brush if necessary, don't damage the felt seal on the filter ring. If the filter has several tears it should perhaps be replaced to avoid excess lint passing through into the exhaust ducting. Part Number 395541. SearsPartsDirect.com lists it at $78.49 or FisherPaykelPart.net $68.05, which is a bit expensive but less than a sensor module (which is unlikely to be your problem).

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 10:59AM
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Thanks Dadoes. I know my husband has checked the vent, ours is not an ideal 4 turns and about 11' long, but I don't think he checked behind the lint bucket. We have replaced the lint filter several times so this is a good place to start. We have been running the dryer with the front panel off to watch what is going on. The heating element has turned on several times with out the dryer running. We are keeping it unplugged unless we are watching it.

I will open it up and have a look at the filter.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 11:15AM
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Oh my. If the element is turning on as you say, then there is some other problem happening. First thing to check is if the element is broken or sagging and touching the metal frame or heater box (shorted to ground).

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 11:23AM
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When I look at the elements it looks like only the one in the back is glowing. My husband did check the current and both were continuous but I'm not sure about them grounding out though.

I'm passing on this information to my husband. I don't have a problem checking the lint filter area but I'm not so sure about heating elements. We do have 2 new heating elements on hand that a serviceman left behind on a previous in warranty call.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 11:34AM
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I did check behind the grill and found quite a bit of lint and the lint filter has several tears in it. However, the dryer is still tripping the reset button. Any thoughts. Thank you.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 4:36PM
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The overheat protector *should* be tripping if either of the heating elements is energized with no airflow. Check the elements, or the motor controller board (which also operates the elements) could indeed be bad.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 4:46PM
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The relays do not appear to be working at least part of the time. They have voltage coming out even when the dryer is off. Could it be anything other than the motor control board?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 7:39PM
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Just either the motor board or one/either element shorted to ground, far as I'm aware.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 9:47AM
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