Dryer performance has changed. Why now?

bevbranDecember 26, 2012

Hoping an appliance repair person might give me their opinion on this. I have a Whirlpool electric dryer, about 23 years old. It's been a terrific dryer, never a problem. We've recently moved--and the performance of my dryer has gone significantly down hill. It was GREAT before we moved. Now it takes two full cycles on high to get the towels dry. First thing we did was fully clean the dryer vent run---it was VERY clogged. From the dryer, through the whole vent tube...took the whole thing apart and cleaned it. Yet, the performance still lags. The dryer venting run in the new home is significantly longer than in our previous home. Can this make a significant difference in how a dryer dries? I suppose it's possible that the dryer is failing, but it'd be an odd coincidence that it happened exactly when we moved. What do you think?? Do I need a new dryer or do you think the longer venting run is the culprit here? Any suggestions to improve drying? THANK YOU for sharing your opinions!!

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Long ducting absolutely has a detrimental effect, as do turns. Every 90* turn is equivalent to several feet of straight length.

This post was edited by dadoes on Wed, Dec 26, 12 at 16:14

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 4:12PM
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That's your culprit. There's booster fans you can put inline to improve performance. Or can you duct it out elsewhere?

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 4:24PM
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Arggg, that's what I was afraid of. My only other option would be to vent directly through the wall into the garage. Bad idea or good idea?
Thanks for the input--much appreciated.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 6:21PM
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Depends how well-ventilated is the garage area to dissipate the heat and moisture.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 6:41PM
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Sounds like you also have a problem with intake air. A dryer needs a flow of air , the old location more than likely provided enough . Your new location sounds like it is well insulated and there is not enough flow of outside air.
Effectively what is happening is when the drying is running it is pulling all the air from the room, like sucking on a coke bottle , no matter how hard you try , you're not going to get any air unless you put a hole in it.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 8:15AM
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When showering I crack the window and door to allow for air flow. My kids complain that the mirrors stay fogged, gee dad you were right.
One other issue is the flexible dryer vent, the ridges on this pipe are detrimental to air flow. A rigid piece of duct work is much more efficient.
The lint clogs are an indication of poor air flow

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 8:34AM
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Thanks for the excellent feedback. The flexible dryer venting is actually very short, just a few inches between dryer and the wall. The rest is a rigid venting run (yes, with an angle or two :-(.....and it was CLOGGED. OMG I'm surprised they didn't have a fire. Dryer sheet users, I'm guessing---it had that sticky feel. (I DON'T use them.) What should I think about to improve intake of air?

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 6:07PM
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I don't think insufficient intake air is a source of the clogging. Even "tight" houses aren't usually restrictive for dryer functioning. Does the ducting pass through an unheated space? Cold exterior temps can cause moisture to condense inside the ducting, which leads to lint sticking. If so, insulating the ducting can help.

Electric booster fans are available, added in-line to the ducting to promote airflow ... and passing of lint.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 6:25PM
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Is there a window or door. Open it and see how long it takes for a load to dry, as compared what it takes now.If your garage is not super tight , you can run a duct from there to provide air flow. Do NOT vent drier into garage, mold. Some how you have to get more air into the room. A 4" duct supply should be suffice.
I have a suspicion that the previous owners had the same problem and tried to improve flow by removing the lint filter.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 6:35PM
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Check the temperature of the exhaust with no clothing. make sure it is getting hot enough. Perhaps there is a voltage drop on one leg of power and the element isn't getting enough current.

Or maybe the element is partially shorted...


    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 8:20AM
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I am in no way an expert on this.. but another thought is.. did you happen to check the inside of your dryer? Is it possible it had some lint build up that got knocked loose during the move and it's restricting air flow now?...I remember reading on this forum once about the inside of the dryer venting getting clogged up with lint..

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 1:07PM
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On a Whirlpool dryer of this vintage you should take the cabinet off and vacuum out any dust/lint you see. Make sure you check any ducts in there too. Whirlpool suggests that this be done once every three years to prevent dryer fires.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 6:01AM
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Given the age of the dryer and everything else you have done so far, is it possible the heat element is going and needs to be replaced?

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 10:25AM
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It is against code to vent into a garage or to vent through a garage without encasing that vent entirely in a drywall chase. Likewise no venting hole to supply makeup air should come from a garage area as well. Garages have cars that will produce carbon monoxide. And they also usually contain gasoline for small power equipment. So, you can see why safety codes prohibit penetrations between the garage and home.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 7:19PM
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When you cleaned the rigid exhaust pipe, did you also check the exhaust port itself? My dryer exhausts through a port that penetrates the roof and vents to the outside. Not only had my exhaust piping accumulated lint, the exhaust port itself was almost completely clogged. I scraped this lint buildup out of the port and my dryer performs much better.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 1:31PM
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