Dryer Repair or DIY? Common Dryer Problems

By Ian | Jul. 12, 2014 5:09 pm PST

Tips for whether to fix or repair your dryer

Don’t get hung out to dry! Take a look at our helpful dryer repair infographic to find out if it’s time for a repairman…or a replacement.

We’ve all been there. After an hour of tumbling around in the dryer, your clothes are still damp. Or the buzzer goes off to let you know that your clothes are ready, but they actually aren’t. Perhaps the sensor never goes off, and your clothes are left in the dryer for way too long. Whether it’s removing lint, cleaning a dryer vent, or something more serious like a burning smell, we’ll help you decide when it’s time to fix the dryer yourself, and when it’s time to bring in the dryer repair experts.

common dryer problems

From dryer sensor issues to a full replacement, Sears can help. With our tips for how to take care of your dryer at home, plus a repair team who can fix your dryer-related problems, Sears is on your side, no matter where you bought your appliance. And if the Sears Home Services cannot repair your dryer, ask your technician about discounts on your replacement purchase. For more information, visit our dryer repair page.

(Text Version of Infographic)

Dryer: Repair or Replace

Common dryer problems, and whether the solution is a DIY project, a job for a repairman, or time for an upgrade.

DIY Dryer Repair - You can fix these issues yourself.

Dryer Has Lint Buildup

To keep your dryer running efficiently, clean the lint trap frequently. In addition, use a vacuum to suck out the lint inside the dryer and where the vent attaches to the machine.

Dryer Has Sensor Issues

If the timer of your auto cycle or sensor dry is rapidly advancing to off, locate the sensor bars – they’re the two metal strips by the lint screen. Use soap and water on them to remove any waxy coating that might be causing the problem.

Dryer Has a Backwards Door / I Want to Change the Door Direction of My Dryer Door opens the wrong way? Check the owner’s manual or installation guide. Most dryer doors can be reversed – just remove the screws, and swap the latch and hinge from one side to the other.

Repair – It’s time to call Sears Home Services for a dryer repair appointment.

Dryer Has a Clogged Vent

If it takes more than one cycle to dry, this could be the culprit. Run the dryer on high heat and check airflow where the vent ends. If you don’t feel hot air being pushed out, it’s time to call in the repairman for a cleaning. Not addressing a clogged vent could potentially lead to a fire, so don’t delay!

Dryer Has a Gas or Burning Smell

This is a safety issue that could be caused by a leaking gas valve, shortened harness, burning lint inside the dryer, or a burn-out heater. Stop use right away and call a technician.

Replace – It’s time to retire that dryer and get a new one.

Old Age

If your dryer is 15 years old or more, it might be time to consider investing in a new machine, which can increase energy efficiency

Dryer Has Smoke or Fire

If this occurs, it won’t be economical to repair. Make sure the fire hazard is under control, and start shopping for a new machine.

Quick Answers: Should I fix my dryer myself, have Sears Home Services fix my dryer for me, or replace my dryer?

  • Fix it yourself if you have lint buildup, sensor issues, or want to change the direction of your dryer door.

  • Call Sears Home Services for help if you have a clogged vent, or gas or burning smell.

  • Replace your dryer if it’s old, or if there is smoke or fire.

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