Typically, I'm good with calling a repairman or heading to the store for new appliance, but a dryer seemed... interesting ...and expensive. So I googled a few videos about dryer heating problems. Once I found my machine, it was clear where the problem was so imitating Wonder Woman, I grabbed my tools and faced the machine.
I discovered the secret of my 12 year old dryer.
You see, being the law abiding citizen that I am, about every 12 months I pulled out the vent tube and cleaned it thinking I had done my civic duty as a person with home insurance. Wrong!! I mean right, but that's not the whole story.
I found lint inside the dryer. Not just "makes you sneeze" lint. I mean piles and layers and floating lint. Handfuls of lint! I think I could have weaved three shirts from all the lint fibers in my dryer. Lint was everywhere inside the dryer. This was such a surprise because I thought the lint went out the vent.
Once I got past the lint, (actually under), I found more screws to remove so I could replace the broken heater. Fox Appliance Repair had the part in stock and ready to go. They even tested another part I brought in for a potential problem, but all good there!
So, after purchasing the new heating element for $90 minus the $4.21 found in the dryer (no whole socks though) and a total of three hours (accounting for drive time and obsessive vacuuming), I have a heating dryer and feel safer from the threat of a decade of lint. I also know how to open my dryer for an annual cleaning scheduled with Siri.
Oh- one last thing. When you plug your dryer back in, give it a minute if your dryer has a brain. Initially it appeared like there was no power, but after 30 seconds, the computer rebooted and things worked great. I hope this information is helpful. Happy house management my mortgaged friends!
Last Saturday, my husband contributed to the household
maintenance by turning on the oven's self-cleaning mechanism. With no good deed going unpunished, the cycle
cut short and the oven remained locked. The good news is we have a five year
warranty on the oven with six months left, so we called the technician.
This is where it really gets interesting. He explained
(off the record) self-cleaning can destroy ovens. He said the feature is added
due to popular demand by consumers; however, the components and computer board
are so sophisticated now that the self-cleaning oven mechanism can be hazardous
to your oven's computer board health.
He shared examples of shattered glass, fried electronics
and blown fuses. Sometimes it all happened and sometimes just one, but either way, the damage causes complete oven
failure. I was shocked to learn that the ovens really are not
designed for 900° for 2 to 3 hours even though the mechanism is there to do
So, I asked him, how
do I clean the oven safely because I hate the cleaning sprays? He said, first get a aluminum tray and put it in the bottom of
the oven to catch the spills. Do not use foil as a substitute because the foil will melt just
enough to ruin the oven's finish. Second, if you feel so inclined to use you're self-cleaning mechanism after
what he shared (and your warranty is still active), set a timer and turn on the
heat for only an hour. An hour is sufficient to ash anything on the surface, and,
hopefully, the heat will not fry the components.
He suggested this
three step method for the safest results:
1 - Remove the racks
2 - Heat the oven at the lowest setting with a small solution of water and ammonia steaming.
3 - After about 15 minutes, use soap and water on a soft scrub pad (plastic, not
steel) to wipe away the grime. Remember to use care with your hands/arms since the
oven will be around 200°.
If you want more information about this topic, check out this website with
all the details. http://www.thekitchn.com/why-you-should-almost-never-use-the-self-cleaning-function-of-your-oven-175110 I hope this knowledge makes your life a little bit easier.
PS - The oven in the photo is not my oven. It just a good photo for blogs.