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Author Topic: life span of a dryer  (Read 2143 times)

Offline rollingthunder6

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life span of a dryer
« on: June 03, 2013, 08:20:45 AM »
WHAT IS THE LIFE SPAN OF THE AVERAGE DRYER?
I have a Maytag "atlantis" dryer which i bought in july 2001.  So it will be 12 years old next month.  We have been using it all that time 2 or 3 times a week ever since.  It still runs, it still generates heat.  But over the last year, my wife has been complaining that the dryer has been taking longer and longer time to dry the same basic load of stuff.  Is there any test (heating elements, perhaps?) i can perform to find out if something is wearing out, or needs to be replaced?  or is it  nearing the end of its natural life span and is it simply  time to buy another dryer?  Thanks in advance. 

Offline theoldstoveguy

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Re: life span of a dryer
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2013, 08:33:26 AM »
Sounds like a vent issue rather than a dryer issue. Take the exhaust vent off the back of the dryer and run 1 load without it on (testing purpose only don't leave it off) That will tell you if it's the dryer or vent.

Offline Bailey

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Re: life span of a dryer
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2013, 09:16:54 AM »
I agree. I see this frequently where customers purchase a new one only to find out it also takes too long to dry.

Offline JWWebster

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Re: life span of a dryer
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2013, 11:58:00 AM »
Every five years you should take the dryer apart and clean it. Their are videos online that show how.
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Offline KeepItSimpleStupid

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Re: life span of a dryer
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2016, 12:54:37 AM »
I saw this post and I just HAD TO REGISTER and RELY.

I guess I beat the dryer lifetime by a longshot.  I'm still maintaining my parent;s gas dryer made in 1968..  That's 48years old.

I have been doing preventive maintenance (PM), probably every two years.  That;s basically been cleaning, inspecting and painting  Igniter replacement is a given, but they last a long time.   Lint liked to collect in the burner over temperature thermocouple.  I did characterize the time it takes the burner to ignite and wrote it on the bottom cover.

I totally missed a PM spot.  It; was the fan bearing assembly.  The grease was hard as a rock.

About 2 years ago, it died from multiple failures, but I still decided to fix it and made some design changes along the way.
The blower bearing assembly failed (the grease was yucky). As a result of that, the drive belt failed.  The drum belt has never been replaced and it was cracked in places.  Two trust bearings failed on the drum idler, so I replaced them with an upgraded part/   A hinge was made of Nylon as exposed to heat, so i got new ones and epoxy painted them.  I found a couple of NOS (new Old Stock bearing assemblies for like $15.00 each, but I had to select an appropriate grease.  I did that an installed two thrust bearings (my design change).  Replaced  both belts.  I had to epoxy paint one side of the dryer.  I lubed and cleaned the front of the timer.  I upgraded the rubber bumper on the filter door.

The next design change was to change the setscrews to brass tipped ones.  If the shaft should seize again, the drive pulley should loosen.  I made a felt gasket that was used in the exhaust.    I upgraded the drum bulb to LED.

I still have a few things I want to do:
(Make the PM easier)
1. Install rivet nuts and possibly thumbscrews so the dryer vent assembly can be removed easier.  Currently it uses sheet metal screws (6).  The dryer back uses (2).  The exhaust duct uses (3).
2. Install a dust seal on the timer shaft.

(Rebuild the lint filter from scratch)

A few things could help this dryer:
1. An elapsed time meter for PM's.
2. A method to detect slip on the blower drive pulley.  That's real messy.
3. Characterize the ignitor so they can be made from scratch with a capacitance welder.  I have two replacements which should be plenty.

Pretty much bought a new dryer - maybe.








Offline Thorning

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Re: life span of a dryer
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2016, 09:23:32 AM »
I have worked on about 300 dryers over the past couple of years of various brands and will rate them in my estimation as to life and problem areas.
Best is older Maytag or Whirlpool or Kenmore or Speed Queen. Easiest and probably cheaper to repair due to the design. Electric units usually need a new heating element about every 5 years. Gas units need cleaning but not much in terms of parts. Sometimes the valve coils need replacing. Weakness over many many years is the small 110 volt pancake motor that turns the mechanical timer. Many will last 40 years with minor repairs such as already mentioned. I prefer Speed Queen and have worked on several that were at least 35 years old with lots of life left .
Worst of the ones I have worked on is GE or Frigidaire. A real problem with the front drum support and the drum rear baffle holding lint and is very difficult to get it out.
All of the newer electronic panel types are expensive to repair and very difficult to troubleshoot. I avoid these and usually salvage parts as I can and scrap the rest. Some of these are able to last quite a long time but I find they are prone to failure due to the electronics.
A life of 10 years or less is what I would expect from these as compared to the older design which I usually see a life of 20 to 40 years.

Offline Maintech

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Re: life span of a dryer
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2016, 09:26:24 AM »
The Consumer Products Safety Commission has a flyer that can be printed out that covers cleaning ducting and dryer interior. They just say get the interior done periodically. I recommend yearly, although a brand new dryer can go 2-3 years no problem if you keep the lint filter cleaned and all your felt seals are good, an older dryer may have lots of build up in just 8-12 months. As part of cleaning I also remove drum rollers and clean the bearing and shaft then  relube with graphite, do the same with removable idler rollers. also add a few drops of oil to bearings on the motor and scrub the lint filter with soap and water.  and inspect and functional check, for the same price while I am there I check over the washer and do functional checks on it. I consider this part of the service aspect of business and charge the same as the price of a diagnostics charge, I also have put out discount flyers for this service in my neighborhood as a introductory offer

I just recently found this flyer at CPSC but plan on working the information into my local advertising

CPSC FLYER https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/5022.pdf

Offline Maintech

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Re: life span of a dryer
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2016, 09:38:16 AM »
https://www.nachi.org/life-expectancy.htm Link is a average life expectancy of household items by NACHI they have a chart just for major appliances that looks like it is close. The thing to keep in mind is that major appliance manufactures design around the fact that on average a consumer replaces appliances every 5-8 years. Gone are the days where you bought new appliances in your late 20's and early 30's and expected them to last the rest of your life.  Major appliances  and cars are suffering from the attitudes of the throw away generation.

Offline theoldstoveguy

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Re: life span of a dryer
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2016, 09:45:56 AM »
I have to laugh at the chart as I am seeing the average about half of what they say. And where do people live that remodel and change the appliances every 5-8 years? I have asked the service trainers that and they don't know either.

Offline Thorning

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Re: life span of a dryer
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2016, 10:02:14 AM »
The worst unintended lint trap is the bottom of the lint ducting under the lower part of the lint screen area. Yesterday I took apart a nice gas  dryer that looked fairly clean but I cleaned out about 2 large handfuls of caked dirt and lint from this area. It tends to accumulate in this area due to the hot air cooling slightly and the flow has to turn 90 degrees. It is very difficult to clean unless it is removed from the dryer .

 

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