My dryer is taking three times as long to dry my clothes as it used to. It still gets very warm (though not hot), so I don't see how it can be the heating element. My husband has cleaned out the vent, from the outside to the inside, to no avail. I have cleaned the lint trap. Any suggestions? Thank you.
By donandvi from Cincinnati, OH
I'm glad that you mentioned that you've cleaned out the vent from the outside to the inside and also the vent in your dryer, because that was the first thing that I was going to suggest.
If you own a gas dryer, it might be the electrical ignitor that actually lights the natural gas. And if that is malfunctioning the gas won't stay on long enough to dry your clothes. Or it might be the heating coils that are shot.
If you can't fix it yourself, call in a repairman. (06/22/2009)
Assuming it is an electric dryer, it could be your element is burning out and is not producing the full heat it used to. Elements work by resistance and do burn out slowly sometimes. The could be a bad thermal limiter that is turning the element off and on. The other thing it could be, is you might only be getting half the voltage you need, your breaker might be bad and one side is not sending the current through so instead of 240 volts your dryer is only getting 120 volts and producing half the heat. (06/22/2009)
Some dryers have more than one heating element and one may have gone bad while the other still works. (06/22/2009)
One time we had a repair person out for the same thing. When he took the front off there was lint all over the inside between the drum and the outside walls. This could also be a fire hazard. Check it out. (06/24/2009)
You may have cleaned off the lint in the vent and the lint trap/screen. However, if you are a regular user of dryer sheets (as opposed to liquid fabric softener), your problem may stem from their use.
What happens is that there is a waxy substance on the dryer sheets. This gets on your clothes to make them soft. It can also get on the lint trap/screen. To check for that build up which you can not see. Remove all lint from the lint trap/screen. Then, run water on the screen. If the water puddles and does not go through the holes in the screen, you know you have build up. Take a scrubby and scrub the screen until water will run through. This should help your dryer. My sister-in-law had a heating element completely burn out due to this problem. It is the sole reason why I now only use liquid fabric softener. Good luck. (06/24/2009)
Dryers have thermostats inside.
There are usually 2 on the heating element holder.
They should just be able to be popped off and
then the new one popped back in.
They have a light metal tops, kind of a circular
shape that look as if 2 sides got pulled out of
shape with prongs on the bottom.
There is also usually another one, that is not on
the heater holder, but near it, that is oblong and is
plastic with little prongs. I think it is called a thermal
I would try replacing that one first. (06/25/2009)
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