Friday, October 28, 2016

What is the sound of a 17yr old dryer?

The question of the day is "What sound does a 17 year old Kenmore dryer make? "

Answer:  You might describe it as the screeching cube of squeezed cats.  Or perhaps the shriek of tortured metal that refuses to die?  Either way,  it was positively painful to be in the house while it was running!

Being who we are, neither DH nor I are unwilling to get our hands dirty, especially if it saves us some coin.  We bought our dryer back in 2000, when we bought our first home together.  The washer long ago succumbed to its age and wear despite our efforts to keep it running, as did its replacement.  But the dryer ran on, and on, and on...

Periodically it would get noisy, a squeek that usually meant the felt  and teflon glides needed replacing.  This also afforded us a chance to vacuum out the 17 dogs worth of dog hair that seems magnetically drawn to the inside of the dryer.

About a year ago, we ordered a new repair kit, from Repair Clinic.  It is a great resource for appliance repair for the do-it-yourself crowd.  Between their onsite videos and Youtube, you can get instruction on how to fix just about anything appliance-wise!  We had some trouble installing the felt and glides last year, so when our dryer began to make screeching howling noises early this year, we assumed the felt and glides had shifted and that the drum was rubbing on the frame, causing the cacophony.

We were wrong.  The felt and glides were fine.  In fact the unorthodox adhesive worked very well, so what was the cause of the din?  Below is shown a new drum bearing plate.  This is the point around which the drum of your dryer spins.  It rides in a sheet metal and nylon race, bolted to the back of the dryer box.

New dryer bearing. Note the round head to it.
When we opened up the dryer last night to install the new felt, this is what we found.  This was the bearing.  Note the distinctly different shape to the bearing surface!
Dead bearing!
It was sitting inside what was left of the metal and nylon race.  The nylon race was totally destroyed.  The metal housing for it was heavily damaged too.
See how worn the metal support housing is?
This is the melted bearing race.

This is how the race and housing fit together.
Houston, we have a problem!  Yes, this was the source of the screeching metal howling box of death-metal cats!  Since we had the dryer all apart anyway, we replaced the drive belt, the belt tension pulley, and of course all the parts destroyed above.

Cost of a new dryer from the store: $500+
Our Do-it-yourself costs:
One repair kit from Repair Clinic: $37.91
Cost of the lesson in do-it-yourself work for the kids: Priceless!

Oh and now my dryer doesn't howl either!

1 comment:

  1. That is totally awesome! We have a Kenmore dryer that came with the house when I first bought it in 1991. Our house was originally a cabin built by a returning WW2 vet back in the 40s, and then he just added rooms on... Our dryer is from 1977. And we've gone through several washers, but we have a fix-it guy who knows how to get the right parts for our antique. New dryers cost about $1200 around here so I'm not planning on parting with it any time soon. ;-)


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