Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Single Mom Life and Dryer Woes

One of the biggest trials of my single mom life is taking care of my home. Now I don’t mean cleaning, yard work, and general maintenance. Painting, caulking, no problem. But I am not a handy person for fixing things. I don’t have money to pay someone to fix things for me. Frankly, I’ve just learned to live with a lot of dysfunction. I have a bucket in my attic to catch the leaking water. I’ve learned to live without power in the bathrooms because none of those outlets work. For many years I was fortunate to have a husband who could fix nearly anything. But when he left, all that changed.

Generally, when I’ve tried to fix things, I’ve regretted trying because it just ends in frustration. I’ve fixed leaky faucets (an easy repair), but it takes me hours to do. A couple of weeks ago, when my dryer stopped heating, but still tumbled, I looked on the internet for what the problem might be. I was surprised to see several possibilities, all of which seemed easy to repair. So I took a chance and tried.

  1. Check the filter and duct for clogging. All was fine, here.P1050327
  2. Check for 220V at the dryer. Apparently the dryer will run, but not heat if it is only receiving 120V. I flipped the circuit breaker off and on a few times. Nope. I wasn’t about to plug in the dryer and check the voltage. I don’t do electricity! I did read that the timer and heater are on the same circuit, so if the timer progresses, then the dryer should be getting the proper voltage. The timer worked, so I assumed all was fine here.
  3. Check the thermal fuse. This took me mere minutes to locate and remove. I checked it with the volt meter and it didn’t seem to work. Woo hoo! I ordered a new part from Amazon ($3.60 with shipping) and waited for it to arrive. When it arrived, I put in the new part. Still didn’t work. I checked the old part again and found that it was good after all. Oh well.P1050331
  4. Then I checked the thermostats. They both were fine.P1050329
  5. Last option—the heating coils. I checked them and got no conductionP1050334 reading. I ordered a new part ($15) and waited again. While I waited, I spent hours trying to figure out how to remove the coils from this case. The very helpful you-tube videos failed me here. The dryers shown did not look like mine. I finally discovered (through reading Amazon reviews of the part I had ordered) a couple of hints about how to remove the heating coils. Only one screw, but it was attached from the back, wasn’t visible at all, and was difficult to reach. Eventually that happened, I installed my lovely new heating coils, and my dryer worked!

P1050341

I am very proud of myself. I actually fixed an appliance! Yay for You-tube. Now I’m just hoping that nothing else breaks for a while!

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