Tumble Dryer MaintenanceYour tumble dryer is one appliance which for half the year goes relatively unused, yet as soon as winter arrives is put through its paces as you fight with the weather and a short space of time to get your freshly washed clothes dried for the next week.

Pushing your tumble dryer to the limits however can take its toll on your appliance and lead to faults occurring, and ultimately your appliance giving up the ghost and you looking for alternative ways to dry your clothes, which is far from ideal.

Thankfully there are a number of steps which can be taken to keep the tumble dryer working to its full potential, and the first is to understand how your tumble dryer works, and this will vary depending on the type of tumble dryer that you have.

For example, a vented tumble dryer works in a very simple manner, by blowing warm air through the clothes as they are spun around, before the warm air is than passed through ducting out of the appliance and out of the home.

A condenser appliance on the other hand is often more complex in its process, as although the hot air blows through the drum in a similar manner to a vented dryer, but instead of passing the air out through ducting, the exhaust air is then passed through a heat exchange, allowing the moisture created to condense and drain into a reservoir. This water is then pumped into a collection tank or out through external plumbing.

Understanding how your tumble dryer works is only the first step in minimising the risk of your appliance gaining a fault at the worst possible moment, the next step is being aware of the common tumble dryer faults.

Two of the most common faults which you’re likely to find with your tumble dryer are:

  • Drum doesn’t turn but the motor is working
  • Failed heating element

At first glance, fixing any one of these issues may seem like a complicated and tricky task, but they with the knowledge and right tools, each fault can be repaired with relative ease and for little expense; helping to keep your tumble dryer running.

Drum Doesn’t Turn, But the Motor Works

The drum is one of the biggest elements of your tumble dryer, and as such you may believe that if the tumble dryer drum stops turning but the motor is working, the cost of repairing the appliance will be expensive. Thankfully, it won’t be.

Chances are, if the tumble dryer’s motor is still working but the drum isn’t turning, the fault lies with the tumble dryer drive belt. To test if this is the case, attempt to manually spin the drum. If the drum turns easily the belt is likely to be badly worn, if the drum is stiff and difficult to spin, the belt is fine.

Replacing the belt within your tumble dryer is a relatively simple procedure, which can be done in a matter of steps, the first being to remove the lid and side panel off your machine, to gain access to the current drive belt.

With the belt located, remove it by simply lifting it away before adding the replacement over the motor shaft, ensure that there is tension in the belt, before resembling the dryer – a much cheaper and quicker process than going out and buying a new tumble dryer.

Failed Heating Element:

If your tumble dryer fails to create heat when used, then you’re likely to have a fault with the tumble dryer heating element. To check whether the element is the fault, use a multimeter and look for a reading which is between zero and fifty ohms; anything outside of these reading means that the element is faulty and needs replacing.

As with replacing the drive belt on your tumble dryer, replacing the heating element is a relatively easy and inexpensive task, which you should be able to complete if you have ten minutes spare. To replace the heating element, locate the removable metal plate on the rear panel of the tumble dryer, before undoing the faulty element and replacing with a new one.

A final step to keeping your tumble dryer running is to make sure that it is regularly maintained, and this includes cleaning the filters after every use, to remove any lint or fibres which may build up and cause blockages, which if left can hinder the performance of your appliance.

Along with maintaining your appliance, you can also help the performance of your tumble dryer by adding tumble dryer balls into the wash, which will help separate the clothes as they tumble, enabling the heat to get to more parts and dry them quicker.

Understanding how your tumble dryer works and regularly maintaining it will help to limit the chances of faults occurring and keep your appliance running whenever it is called upon; whilst knowing how to fix the faults will help to save you money in both the short and long term, especially when purchasing the required spare parts from BuySpares.

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