About 5 years ago, we had to replace our 20 year old dryer. It died and went to dryer heaven with all the other old, dead dryers. We bought a relatively inexpensive, non-bells and whistles dryer because I am not a fan of all the fancy dryers, I just want to stick my clothes in, turn it on and viola…dry clothing.
We bought an Admiral which is owned by Whirlpool. We figured it would last AT LEAST 10 years. Especially because it wasn’t fancy. At all. So, less to break.
The other day, I stuck my wet clothing into the dryer. I turned the knob to the “most dry” setting. I hit start. And…
It yelled and screamed at me. Not only that, it refused to blow hot air. No, that thing gave me the cold shoulder.
So, because I’m the Queen of Laundry Procrastination, I waited. And waited.
The laundry pile, however, refused to wait along with me. It grew into a mountain.
So, I gave in and called in for reinforcements.
The repair dude came out this morning. I explained the symptoms. He listened and pet my dog…and no, that’s not code for anything.
I swore up and down that I clean the vent out because I do. I hear too many horror stories about fires caused by the dryer. So, I’m a little neurotic. And by little…I mean little.
He listened to me a little more. And then, pet my cat…and no, that’s not code for anything either.
Then, he went to work.
He turned the dryer on and heard the same noise I had heard a couple days earlier.
Then, he did some stuff but I didn’t watch, I was too busy doing other things like Facebook.
He stepped out of the laundry room and showed me a giant, black, fuzzy wad of lint he had pulled out from the bowels of the dryer.
He raised a brow at me again, like he was thinking I was protesting too much. And you know what they say about ‘thou protestith” or whatev. But no, I really do clean out the lint, I SWEAR!!
I just don’t stick my hands into the dryers nether-regions because I’m afraid it will swallow me up and I’ll end up in a black hole somewhere.
Still holding the fuzzy black lump of lint, he told me that it looks as though we had ourselves a little bonfire somewhere inside the vents.
Hm…that could have explained the burning smell then, eh?
I gave him the garbage and he dumped his load. Of fuzzy dryer lint…sheesh.
After he washed the black soot from his hands, arms and face..he must’ve gone really far into the underbelly of the dryer to be that soot covered. I mean, he looked like he had cleaned a chimney!
He told me to come and look at something. On the dryer, you sickos!
I’m like…”how could I NOT see that? It’s from my son’s tennis shoes, they were filthy. And I couldn’t get all that shit off the wall.” Of the dryer. OMG you guys!
He raised a brow again and shook his head, “Ma’am, that’s not dirt,” he smirked, “that’s soot. And it’s going to be impossible to remove it without a lot of elbow grease. And even then, your white clothes will turn grey.”
“Oh,” I exclaimed with relief, “So, the white clothes coming out grey ISN’T my fault, then.” Note to husband…I told you I was separating the darks from the lights!
“Well,” the repair dude chuckled, “I didn’t say that. But, more recently, the fault isn’t all yours. Your dryer is ratchet.” (Okay, he didn’t say that, I’m just testing out my kids words. Seriously, what does that even mean?).
“Ratchet,” I shrugged my shoulders, “whaddya mean? It’s almost brand new.”
“Ma’am, it’ll cost you $300 to repair everything that’s wrong with it. You’re dryer aged rapidly. Blame it on the 5 kids.” He chuckled as he wrote down some stuff and told me how much I owed him.
I said, “I know the feeling. Trust me.”
He then went on to recommend we buy a new dryer, a Whirlpool is what he suggested. Although, Admiral is owned by Whirlpool but still.
So, our new-ish dryer, only about 5 years old, aged practically in cat years. So, we are going to be putting it out to pasture.
The thing that really was a shocker…
It appears we were lucky. The fire that had been inside the dryer was contained because the machine is metal based and, lint is like gasoline…quick to ignite and poof.
Others haven’t been as lucky, their houses have burnt down due to similar circumstances.
It really is SO important to make sure your vents and lint traps are cleared out. Check them every once in awhile to make sure. I mean, the last time we had issues with our dryer…similar issues where it made a noise and blew out cold air…there was a bird’s nest in our vent that leads outside. That could have been a disaster.
And yes, I am anal when it comes to cleaning out the filter before each use and also, I make sure there isn’t any blockage in the slot the filter slides into. But, that isn’t enough apparently.
It’s an expensive learning experience, that’s for sure.
But omg, I am so thankful that only the dryer is dying. Because it’s only a thing, it’s replaceable.
Check your vents and filters. Only you can prevent dryer fires!
disclosure: i may have taken certain liberties with the conversation but it sort of went down like that.