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Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

Posted by oakiris (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 27, 11 at 13:43

I have a Fisher & Paykel DE27CW1 dryer and due to a problem with it - it stopped heating, and, amazingly enough, this occurred just after the warranty was up too :rolleyes: - I finally started reading up on dryers, dryer problems and fixes. I was able to fix - at least temporarily - the lack of heating problem by removing the front panel and resetting the hi-temp switch - but now realize that my whole set up needs to be changed. After all, presumably there was a reason why the switch tripped in the first place.

The 220 electrical hook up for the dryer was installed on the interior wall of the utility room and nowhere near an outside wall. Because of this, the dryer has always been set up to vent indoors, using one of those lovely lint bucket set ups - and used with a foil vent tube to boot. There is no easy way to vent to the outside, and, through my ignorance, I didn't realize that this method of venting is really not recommended by anyone! Our dryers have vented indoors for about 20 years now so who knew this could cause problems. (Note that the building inspector that inspected the house before we agreed to purchase it didn't seem to have a problem with this indoor venting - it was the same method the former owners of the house were using when he inspected the house - so I figured it was OK. Guess that says something about the building inspector we hired, too.) Additionally, I wasn't aware that the foil venting tubes should be avoided, too. The company from which I purchase the F & P dryer also delivered and installed it and they used a foil venting tube and said nothing negative about my indoor venting set up, and they're the experts, right?!? (Obviously not.)

My previous dryers never seemed to be effected by this poor venting set up - and I never had a dryer fire, obviously - but the Fisher & Paykel seems to take forever to dry my clothes and I think the incorrect venting is one of the problems. (I refuse to contemplate that maybe my Fisher & Paykel dryer itself is the culprit - surely I didn't make the wrong dryer choice....)I know now that this method of venting is not only inefficient but can also be hazardous, as well as leading to early dryer failure. Luckily, I live in Colorado so, due to the relatively dry air, I have never had any mold or wood rot problems that indoor venting can lead to. Just the same, though it will not be easy, I am definitely going to get the dryer vented to the outside.

Sorry about the long, rambling post, and I know there is a lot about this elsewhere on the Web, but I just wanted to add my learning experience to the litany of other folks that recommend avoiding indoor venting solutions.

I have also seen recommendations that the moisture sensors should be cleaned with rubbing alcohol from time to time. Does anyone here know where the moisture sensor is located in a Fisher & Paykel DE27CW1 dryer? There is nothing in the owner's manual about it - no diagrams showing component locations, etc., and I have no idea what I am looking for! :-o

Holly


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

The moisture sensor bars are on the left side below the lint bucket.

I'm always surprised at people who are unaware that venting a dryer indoors is a bad thing. The use of foil ducting IMO isn't nearly so bad a venting indoors.

The "lovely lint bucket set up" to which you refer may be the source of your trouble if it causes excess restriction on airflow. A picture would clarify what kind of arrangement you have.

I've owned an early-model F&P topload dryer (DEGX1) for over 6 years. The mechanical design is the same as your model. I've found it to be an excellent performer, dries nicely fast in my experience. I did have a couple incidents of the overheat protector triggering after moving to a different house. Problem was caused by an exhaust restriction due to the wall opening being offset a little too far to the left. I can't move the dryer to the left to compensate because it's by a wall, so I had to set it at an angle to reduce the restriction.

Before the correction. Due to the sharp offset, the exhaust is essentially blowing at an opening that's about half the required 4" diameter. This is an exterior wall, the outdoor exhaust hood is directly on the other side.

After. There's a much more direct path of the dryer exhaust outlet facing into the wall opening. Yes, even "just" that much change makes an appreciable difference in the dryer's performance.


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

dadoes, thank you for your response.

"The moisture sensor bars are on the left side below the lint bucket."
I thought those were just shiny pieces of plastic that were for decorative purposes only. :smack: I will be cleaning them later today.

"I'm always surprised at people who are unaware that venting a dryer indoors is a bad thing. The use of foil ducting IMO isn't nearly so bad a venting indoors.

The "lovely lint bucket set up" to which you refer may be the source of your trouble if it causes excess restriction on airflow. A picture would clarify what kind of arrangement you have."

I know - no excuse for my ignorance about indoor venting being harmful, both to human health and to the "health" of the dryer! I just never thought about it.... :-o I am sure if I had some sort of respiratory problems I would have become aware of it much sooner, and, if mold had started to develop, this, too, would have made me reconsider the set up. Well, now I know and I do intend to remedy the situation. I have a friend, who is a plumber, coming out next weekend to help me vent the dryer correctly.

Here are a couple of pictures of my soon to be changed set up to show everyone what not to do - you can see all of the lint that is clinging to the wall behind the lint bucket:

From Dryer Venting

From Dryer Venting

Lovely lint bucket set up indeed. :p

Until I can get my new dryer venting installed, I am at least going to shorten the run of the tubing so there are no bends in it, in hopes that this will at least reduce the amount of air restriction.

Holly


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

Another aspect you may not have considered is that with the filter box right beside the dryer, it's sucking hot, moisture-laden air back in throughout the run. That does not so much facilitate quick drying of the clothes.

You may do better to stretch the ducting out fully, but with minimal bends and set the filter box far from the dryer as possible. It's the collapsed spring convolutions in flexduct that generate airflow restriction vs. solid-flue ducting.

And I'm hoping/assuming that's not a gas water heater ...


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

Another maintenance procedure I'd suggest is removing the lint bucket and housing, check/clean the area of any accumulated lint.

Reference this thread for details. You shouldn't need to remove the filter ring, just the bucket & housing.
Fisher & Paykel lint cup problems


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

Yep - it's a gas water heater. Guess I'm lucky that no fire has been caused. :-O I've been running my dryers this way for about 20 years, too, so I have been very lucky indeed.

I am sure that sucking in the moist air that it was trying to exhaust out didn't facilitate the dryer's ability to dry clothes. I really didn't notice any problem with my two older dryers - neither of which failed, by the way, I just replaced them when I was ready to "upgrade" to something newer - but I think the Fisher & Paykell dryer must be more sensitive. :p

I have moved the lint bucket to the far side of the washer, as far from the dryer - and gas heater - as I can get it with my current 8' foil vent tube. I also cleaned out the tube, though there wasn't much accumulated lint in it, as well as vacuuming the lint, etc, off of the walls in the utility room.

When I reset the hi-temp sensor on the F & P, I also removed the lint bucket mounting panel and vacuumed out behind it - there was indeed lint and dog hair stuck behind the panel. I cleaned off the moisture sensors yesterday.

As I will be doing laundry today, I will find out if the dryer is any "happier" after doing this long over-due maintenance and the temporary reconfiguration of the venting set up. At least the set up is much safer than it was.... Hopefully by this time next week, I will have the dryer safely and correctly venting to the outside.

Holly


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addition to last post

Thank you for that link, also, dadoes. I read it after posting my last message. I had already removed the lint bucket mounting panel (or housing, as you more-correctly labeled it) but I didn't examine the filter ring. I think my filter is intact as the lint cup always has lint in it after each dryer load, but, after reading your post in the linked thread, I now know how to check the filter as well!

Thank you again for all of your help.

Holly


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

Dadoes,
Yes, thank you for telling where the moisture sensor bars are in the F&P dryer. I've had mine 3 years and have never cleaned them because I didn't know where they were (and the F&P has never acted up either).
They will be getting cleaned soon!


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

My unit is 6+ years old and I've never cleaned the sensor bars directly ... although I have pulled the bucket housing and cleared the accumulated lint in that area a few times.

Also, if the front panel has been removed for access to the overheat reset, be SURE the green ground wire is replaced/attached to the lower edge of the panel upon reassembly ... the sensor may not work properly if all the control board modules aren't grounded.


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

The bucket housing will be cleaned as well.
Thanks very much for the detailed instructions and pictures on how to do this. It's greatly appreciated!


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Mixed results, somewhat disappointed :-(

The dryer still isn't functioning the way I think it should. It seemed to dry a small comforter without much difficulty on regular cycle (changed it to regular cycle because the comforter specific cycle didn't do much of anything,) but then struggled to dry a smaller load of items. I had to run the drying cycle twice in order to get a relatively small load of towels to dry - the load consisted of 2 regular sized bath towels, one hand towel, a tea towel and two washcloths. The items were not unusually wet or anything of that nature, either. Is this normal?

I can only hope that once I have the dryer vent installed correctly and exhausting outside of the house that the dryer will begin to work a bit more efficiently.

Holly


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

Moisture sensors depend on physical contact of the items on the sensor bars. It's not unusual that very small loads may not register properly due to there being fewer items touching the bars less frequently, and the machine ends the cycle early. The towels load you describe doesn't seem overly small, but fabric characteristics can also vary. I have a set of towels (primarily for decorative purposes) that always comes out very damp unless I set the dryness level to maximum. On the whole, however, I've found my DEGX1 to be reasonably adept at handling various load sizes and fabric mixes.

Have you checked that the ground wire I mentioned above is properly connected to the front panel?

Your unit is an AeroSmart with an LCD panel and touch buttons, yes? You can test the sensor bars via this procedure. Press and hold Wrinkle Free, then press Select at the same time for 2+ seconds. Two beeps should trigger and a Diagnostic Menu appears on the screen with Service and Control sections. Press Select to enter the Service menu. There are three screens: Fault Status, Machine Status, Warning Status. Select the screens via the Scroll buttons. Display the Machine Status screen. Touch your fingers or a damp cloth across the sensor bars. The Touch: number on the screen should increase when moisture is sensed. Minimum value is 0, maximum is 255. If the number remains zero or does not change, or reads a high value when not touching the bars, then there's a problem.

I believe Diagnostic Mode can be accessed at any time, even while a cycle is running. The Machine Status screen also reports the Exhaust Temp reading in *C, so you can check if the proper temp is being reached on the various cycles. Low (Delicate & Bulky) should be ~53C/127F, Medium (Easy Iron/Perm Press) ~60C/140F, High (Regular, Heavy) ~65C/149F.

Press Power (once) to exit Diagnostics. If a cycle is running, it should continue if Power is pressed only once.

The Synthetic Comforter cycle runs at Air Dry temp (no heat). Feather Comforter runs Low heat.


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

Great Googly-Moogly!
I cleaned the moisture sensors in the dryer. My wife found some 91% rubbing alcohol at Target. I expect it'll leave a bit less residue after evaporating than 70% alcohol.
I also removed the lint bucket housing that dadoes mentioned in his link. Wow. After 3 years there was a fair bit of lint back there. All clean now.
A very easy job, 10 minutes max using a large-headed phillips screwdriver. The only caveat is there are a couple of wires to watch out for when cleaning.
Dadoes, thank you for the information. As always, it was top notch!
Holly, best of luck to you with your dryer.
kcred


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

"Have you checked that the ground wire I mentioned above is properly connected to the front panel?"
I believe the ground wire is still attached - after taking it off for the first time when I removed the front panel to reset the hi-temp limit switch, the attachment mechanism (not really a mechanism - the metal of the connector just squeezes together over the panel edge) got pretty loose - I tried squeezing it back together so it would make a tight seal again but this didn't seem to help very much - so I actually used a piece of electrical tape to secure the sensor to the panel. I will recheck to make sure it is still correctly fastened.

It could be that the load of towels was too small to correctly interact with the moisture sensors. The dryer model I have is indeed one with the Aerosmart and LCD panel technology. I will place the dryer in Diagnostic mode to test the moisture sensors and to check the temps of the various drying cycles - thank you very much for the thorough "how to" tutorial, dadoes.

I am getting tired of obsessing over my dryer but I have learned a lot in the last week or so and now have a much better grasp of what to do and what not to do. Your knowledge and experience is much appreciated, dadoes; thank you for taking the time to answer my posts!

Holly


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Diagnostic question

I checked the moisture sensors via the dryer's diagnostic mode and they seem to be working just fine - went immediately to an over 200 reading when I touched them with my finger.

I also checked the exhaust air temps and am a bit concerned. I dried a load via the regular setting, and though I didn't watch the temps continuously, the highest I saw the temp get to was 58C; the temp generally stayed in the mid to low 40's. The load did dry just fine, however. I will check with another load to see if these low temps remain consistent.

Also, I checked the fault section of the diagnostics. It showed that the last fault received was "6." I am wondering if this occurred when the hi-temp sensor tripped, but can't find anything on line about the fault codes for this dryer. Needless to say, there is nothing in the user manual about fault codes and what they mean, just a brief mention that a fault code will enable a service tech to know what the problem is. Any idea of what this fault indicates?

Holly


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

Fault Code 6 is drum door jammed, unable to close ... typically due to an obstruction, piece of clothing caught in it, etc. It's a "user warning" that typically self-corrects when the obstruction is cleared. If it occurs repeatedly, then the the door mechanism may be binding or malfunctioning.

The target temps I listed are the maximums for the respective settings. Moisture in the exhaust air may hold the temps lower during the drying process, with the target being approached toward end of the cycle. I'd check it by running the machine empty on a 20 or 40 min timed cycle, give it at least 15 mins of heating time for the temp to stabilize. The last few mins of any cycle is the cooldown period, which runs until the temp drops to ~35C/95F (or maximum of 10 mins).

If the temps are consistently and unreasonably low, could be that one of the elements isn't working or the temp sensor is faulty. The electric models have dual heating elements, one is 1/3 (~1,400 watts) of the full capacity, one is 2/3 (~3,600 watts). Only the 1/3 element runs in the reverse tumble direction on all heat settings. Only the 2/3 element runs on Medium & Low in the forward tumble direction. Both run together on High heat (~5,000 watts) during forward tumble.

My unit doesn't have an LCD screen for diagnostic details, and I haven't checked the exhaust temp directly to see if it reaches the targets. Some years ago I put an instant-read kitchen thermometer in the lint bucket and recall the temp was within reason, probably a little low.


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

Holly, I tried sending an e-mail to address on your GardenWeb profile, it was returned undeliverable.


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

"Holly, I tried sending an e-mail to address on your GardenWeb profile, it was returned undeliverable."

Whoops - I changed my IP a year or so ago and never input my new email address in my Garden Web profile. This must be why I wasn't receiving the email responses to my threads that I wanted. :smack: I just changed the address this morning after reading your post so please try to email me again!

"Fault Code 6 is drum door jammed, unable to close .."

Strange, I don't ever remember not being able to close the door, and it always locks down when I start a drying cycle, so I don't know why the dryer registered that fault.

I think the temps might actually be OK - on regular cycle, according to the LED display, the heat is supposed to be "medium +" (not sure what the "plus" means) so the 58 C temp I saw almost reaches the medium range you indicated, especially if the temps you gave are the highest target temps.

I did check the temps again with another load, which was quite a bit damper than the first load, according to the moisture sensor readings, and the exhaust temps remained low, even lower than the first "test" load so I think you are correct about the moisture in the exhaust making the air cooler. I will try a test with the empty dryer on timed drying as you suggested.

Thank you again, dadoes, for all of your helpful responses.

@kcred - did your dryer begin to work better after the cleaning/vacuuming you did?

Holly


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

Fault 6 refers to the inner sliding door panel and latch/release mechanism on the drum, not the outer loading lid.

E-mail sent again. :-)


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

Hi Holly,
I've only done one load since the cleaning, but I like to think the dryer is now more efficient, but it also might be wishful thinking on my part. I'm just glad it's clean as I'm a firm believer in preventative maintenance.
BTW, I use that flexible-foil dryer vent hose. Haven't ever had a problem with it.


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

dadoes: "Fault 6 refers to the inner sliding door panel and latch/release mechanism on the drum, not the outer loading lid."
Hmm, well I never saw the fault code displayed on the LCD panel and the dryer never refused to start up, so I have no idea when this problem occurred, and certainly did nothing to correct it.

dadoes: "E-mail sent again. :-)"
And received, thank you very much!

kcred: "I've only done one load since the cleaning, but I like to think the dryer is now more efficient, but it also might be wishful thinking on my part. I'm just glad it's clean as I'm a firm believer in preventative maintenance."
I never thought about dryer maintenance before I had this no heat problem with my dryer. I emptied the lint bucket after every load, cleaned out the indoor lint trap water reservoir, but that was about it. Now I know to religiously check the vent for lint build up (once I get a "real" one installed especially,) as well as removing the lint bucket housing from time to time to clean out the lint from there as well.

kcred: "BTW, I use that flexible-foil dryer vent hose. Haven't ever had a problem with it."
I never thought there was a problem with it, either, and many, many people use the foil vent hoses. I don't believe any dryer manufacturers recommend using this sort of venting, however, and it certainly isn't UL listed, if that is important to you; Fisher & Paykell's user manual, (which I have finally read thoroughly :-o ) specifically says not to use it (and to never vent your dryer indoors, either - good thing I never needed warranty service because I bet my entire set up would have voided the warranty!)

I have now read many articles as well as posts on various DIY, etc., forums written by people that also recommend against using the foil vent tubes. From what I have read, the problems caused by these foil vents is primarily due to air turbulence/resistance caused by the ridges in the foil ducting cutting down on the dryer's efficiency; even more important, the ridges - and the potential sagging or kinking of the aluminum foil venting - can also lead to a build up of lint, which can cause both a significant blockage of the vent and maybe even a fire.

I'm not sure how one goes about cleaning out an aluminum foil vent tube, either; I would think one of the "normal" vent cleaning brushes would catch on all of the metal wire spiraling through the tube as well as tearing the foil itself.

I think it all depends upon your venting configuration. In the picture, you can see that dadoes uses an aluminum vent, but it is just barely extended, there can be little air turbulence, it doesn't sag at all and is probably very easy to clean out. My vent will need to go about 8-10 ft to get to an outside wall so I intend to use rigid metal pipe for my vent.

Holly

Here is a link that might be useful: Reasons why foil vent should not be used


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

The dryer will attempt to auto-correct a Fault 6 by re-opening the drum door, then closing it again. The Fault is recorded but you won't see it displayed unless the machine can't auto-correct the situation and needs help from you.

Regards to flexible ducting ... there are many situations in which there's no other reasonable/workable way to connect the dryer to the wall opening. The hazard of it comes into play when flexduct is used for the entire distance of the exhaust run through an attic or crawlspace, such as in these pics -- very bad!


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

Some wild pics there, dadoes!
I use the flex tubing for about 5 feet of my vent run, from the back of the dryer through a gentle 90 degree bend to where it meets the rigid vent tube in a vertical run up the wall.
I'd never try cleaning the flex tube, just buy a fresh length of it every year.
Holly, with you cleaning the lint bucket after every load, I'd say you're ahead of at least 50% of the people out there with regards to dryer maintenance.


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

Those pictures do indeed show how not to use the flex tubing, as do mine! It does depend upon the configuration but I won't be using it because I don't need to. I may need to use a short length of the semi-rigid ducting to go from the rigid pipe up to the outside vent; we'll see!

The installation of my new vent will be happening tomorrow as my plumber friend had to work this weekend. I can't wait! (Yep, my life is full of exciting times. :p )

Holly


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

Congrats on the new vent being installed, Holly! I expect your dryer will perform amazingly well properly vented to the outside, just as it was designed for. Let us know how it works.


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

Well, I managed to come down with the flu - or maybe just a bad cold - so once again the dryer vent installation will be delayed. For some reason my friend doesn't want to come here and risk catching my disease! I am determined to be better, and no longer contagious, tomorrow. :p

Holly


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

My new dryer vent system was installed yesterday and I am very happy with it, even though the outside vent had to be placed in the front wall of my house - it was the shortest, straightest run for the dryer. I used 3'of rigid pipe from the dryer (had to use a 90 degree elbow, too) and then about 5' of semi-rigid pipe from there to the rigid outside vent pipe. The venting had to go around some unmovable 2 X 4's or I would have used more of the rigid pipe.

I think the dryer is working better - I dried a whole load of jeans on the jean dryer cycle in one go!

Thank you again, dadoes, for your invaluable help and thank you kcred for your support.

Holly


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RE: Fisher & Paykell Electric Dryer/venting setup/moisture sensor

Yay!
Glad to hear that both you and the dryer are doing better.
+1 for dadoes. He was a big help to me a few years ago when I was trying to decide which w/d to buy.


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