We love to repair dryers! Especially vintage Maytags and Whirlpools.
These grand old machines made in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s were made to last. All the wear parts can be easily and economically replaced every seven or eight years. You can keep these dryers for a long time.
Venting is a big issue with dryers. They require a lot of air moving through the drum. Cool room air is pulled through the heater and drum where it picks up moisture from the wet clothes and then gets blown out through the vent. Vents should be as short as possible with the fewest number of turns possible. They must be fireproof! If a fire starts in the dryer the dryer duct must be made to contain the flames all the way to the outside of the house.
The best material to make a vent from, especially when passing through walls or constructed parts of a building, is 4” diameter galvanized steel pipe. It is completely fireproof, cleanable and lasts nearly forever. It does, however take some skill to work with sheet metal. For connecting the dryer's duct to the wall vent, flexible mylar foil duct is a good second choice. Commonly known as 'Supurr-Flex', it tends to spring back to shape when crushed, requires less skill, but is not as durable or flameproof as steel pipe. But it will suffice as a transition duct, from the dryer to the wall, for most installations. We do not recommend the bendable aluminum spiral duct, which easily crushes and will remain so.
Keeping your dryer vent flowing well will reward you with shorter drying times and real savings in energy costs. Clogged vents result in longer drying times and can dramatically shorten the life of the heating element. Another consequence is lint build up inside the dryer. This can be very dangerous as lint is combustible. We often see a blanket of lint laying on the combustor of a gas dryer slowly toasting just below the ignition point. Thats scary! If you suspect that your vent is clogged you should ask the dryer repairman to look for lint build up in the dryer. A normally operating dryer should dry a large load in just one hour or less. If your dryer takes more than one and one-half hours to dry, suspect the vent.
The design of clothes dryers has fully matured over the past fifty years. Today most dryers are simple in design with little to break. And since the conversion of electrical energy to heat energy, by using a heating element is by nature 100% efficient, on those type of electric dryers, there is not much improvement needed. Even gas dryers utilize most of the energy they consume. These type of dryers require a portion of their energy usage to be expended out the duct to raise the duct 's temperature to above the dew point. This helps prevent excessive moisture and lint build-up in the duct along the way to the outside. This is one energy loss that has not been addressed on dryers with heating elements and gas burners.
With the introduction of the new ventless dryers, which have tiny heat pumps in them, energy usage has been reduced further. But they are expensive, so its a trade-off of higher up front cost, versus energy saved.
Adding hi-tech electronic displays with glowing lights and controls, will just increase the purchase price and incidence of repair, and generally will not improve the drying process. When it comes to clothes dryers, we say, keep them simple.
360-628-1900 - 503-505-2100
208 S. 7th Ave., Ridgefield, Wa 98642
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