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Routine Maintenance of Tumble Dryers

Tumble Dryers: Chapter 2


Routine Maintenance of Tumble Dryers - I


By the end of this module, you should be able to describe:

The importance of routine maintenance procedures.

The standard routine maintenance procedures of different types of tumble dryers. Skip to quiz!


Importance of Routine Maintenance


Before learning about routine maintenance procedures, we must know the importance of routine maintenance. From 2014 to 2018, US local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 13,820 home structure fires per year due to dryer ignition.

These fires caused seven civilian deaths, 344 civilian injuries, and $233 million in property damage annually. One-third (33 percent) of dryer fires were caused by a failure to clean. This appears to be mainly lint build-up, as 27 percent of dryer fires started when dust, fiber, or lint ignited.


Among all the dryer fires, mechanical failures caused 27% of them, and Electrical failures caused 16%.


According to the American Housing Survey, in 2017, 79% of household dryers involved in home fires were powered by electricity and 21% by gas. Therefore it is suggested to perform routine maintenance procedures regularly. It will reduce downtime and keep the dryer clean and lint or dust-free.


We need to remember that some routine maintenance procedures are standard for all types of tumble dryers. So, we will first learn the standard maintenance procedures.


Cleaning the Lint Filter


Let’s learn the process of cleaning the lint filter. In some older dryers, lint filters are located on the top. In modern dryers, lint filters are located at the bottom of the door.


To clean the lint filter first, locate the lint filter. Slide the lint filter upwards to remove it. If the lint filter is enclosed, open it and rub your moistened fingers from one corner of the filter, wiping it down to the other corner of the filter.


You may rub the lint filter using a brush. After thoroughly cleaning the lint filter, return the lint filter and close the door. Next, we’ll learn to clean the lint filter housing.


Cleaning the Lint Filter Housing


The user must also clean the lint filter housing periodically. We’ll learn the process of cleaning the lint filter housing. After cleaning the lint filter, you will need a vacuum cleaner and a crevice tool.


Attach the crevice tool to the vacuum cleaner and turn it ON. Remove the lint filter and insert the vacuum cleaner into the housing. Move it across the housing to clean it properly.


After cleaning the housing, turn the vacuum cleaner OFF and detach the crevice tool. Replace the lint filter and close the dryer door.



Cleaning the Dryer Drum


It is also necessary to clean the dryer drum after each drying cycle. We may need a microfiber cloth and a stainless steel cleaner solution to clean the drum. Spray the solution on the cloth and wipe it inside the drum.



Cleaning the Door Seal


The door seal is prone to bacteria and microorganisms due to the warm and damp surroundings of the dryer. To clean the seal, drop some white vinegar on a cloth. Wipe the door seal using the cloth to prevent the development of bacteria.



Draining the Water Container


After each drying cycle, it is necessary to drain the water container of the ventless dryers. You may find it on the top left of the dryer. Slide it out of the housing and hold it upside down in a sink until it drains completely.



Cleaning the Dryer Exterior


It is necessary to keep the dryer clean and dust-free. After usage of the dryer, let it cool. Turn off the dryer, unplug it, and pull it away from the wall.


Unscrew the back panel and clean the inside using a vacuum cleaner. Replace the back panel and tighten the screws. Take a damp cloth and dip it in a washing liquid.


Wipe the damp cloth over the dryer. It is an excellent practice to keep the dryer clean.



It is very important to perform routine maintenance procedures to:

  • Avoid downtime,

  • Prevent house fires, and

  • To keep the dryer clean.


The common routine maintenance procedures of a tumble dryer are:

  • Cleaning the lint filter,

  • Cleaning the lint filter housing,

  • Cleaning the dryer drum,

  • Cleaning the door seal, and

  • Cleaning the dryer exterior.

A common routine maintenance procedure for ventless dryers is to drain the water container.


 

Routine Maintenance of Tumble Dryers - II


By the end of this module, you should be able to describe:

The routine maintenance procedures of different types of tumble dryers. Skip to quiz!


Cleaning the Vented Dryer - Duct


The exhaust duct is mainly filled with lint and must be cleaned periodically. First, we will learn to vacuum the exhaust duct. You may need some tools to vacuum the exhaust duct.


The tools that you may need are:

  • A vacuum cleaner,

  • A crevice tool,

  • An electrical/duct tape,

  • A broom,

  • A dustpan,

  • A dryer duct cleaning kit with a synthetic brush head, and

  • A power drill.


Turn OFF the dryer and unplug it. Turn OFF the gas valve and disconnect the dryer duct located at the rear of the dryer.


Pull the dryer out of its location. Attach the crevice tool to the vacuum cleaner and vacuum around the duct hole. Poke it inside the duct and vacuum everything you can.


You can extend your reach by 12 feet using the duct cleaning kit. Attach the rods provided with the kit and tighten them to the power drill. For added assurance, you may use duct tape over the joints to ensure security.


Insert the brush in the exhaust vent and turn on the power drill at medium power clockwise. Push and pull back and forth slowly. As you pull the brush outwards, you will see lint, dirt, and debris spilling out of the exhaust duct.


Note to spin the power drill clockwise. If you spin it counterclockwise, you may accidentally disassemble all the attachments. Next, we’ll clean the exterior duct after cleaning the lint spilled out of the vent. Clean up the dust and use soapy water if you see residue.


Insert the brush into the exterior vent and pull and push back and forth, as we learned while cleaning the exhaust vent. You will see the dust spilling out of the exterior duct. Next, you can reconnect the gas valves and duct and plug in the dryer.



Routine Maintenance of a Condenser Dryer – Lint Filter


Next, let’s learn the routine maintenance procedures for condenser dryers. We’ll learn to deep clean the lint filter. You will require a screwdriver and a vacuum cleaner.


First, open the door and remove the lint filter. Next, you’ll have to put your head inside the dryer drum. Using a screwdriver, unscrew the lint filter trap.


Push the lint filter trap inside the lint filter inside the dryer to loosen the trap. Remove the lint filter trap and mounting carefully. Attach the crevice tool to the vacuum cleaner and turn it ON.


Insert the vacuum cleaner into the lint filter trap area to clean all bits and pieces stuck inside the trap. Vacuum it properly. The lint trap is clean, so return the mounting in place carefully with the dryness sensor.


Return the lint filter trap and screw it back on the dryer. Return the lint filter and close the dryer.



Routine Maintenance of a Condenser Dryer – Condenser


Next, we’ll learn to clean the condenser unit. It is essential to clean the condenser unit of the dryer. It is located on the bottom left of the dryer.


If your dryer has a front panel, open it. Unscrew all the locks by turning them properly. Slide-out the condenser unit and clean the lint using moist fingers.


Place the unit inside a sink and run the tap water through the gaps inside the unit. The running water will take the lint and fluff out of the condenser. After the unit is lint-free, let it dry.


While the condenser unit is drying, we must clean the condenser cavity. Check for lint and fluff in the cavity. If it is present, use a vacuum cleaner to clean the cavity. Return the condenser in the cavity after it is dry enough.


Secure the condenser unit by screwing the locks. Close the front panel.



Routine Maintenance of a Heat Pump Dryer – Primary Lint Filter


Next, let’s learn the routine maintenance procedures for heat pump dryers. A heat pump dryer contains two lint filters:

  • Primary and

  • Secondary lint filters.

First, let’s learn to clean the primary lint filter.


To clean the primary lint filter, you may find it at the bottom of the dryer door. Slide out the primary lint filter to remove it. Open the primary lint filter and rub your moistened fingers from one corner, wiping it down to the other corner of the filter.


You may rub the lint filter using a brush. After cleaning the lint thoroughly, return the lint filter and close the door. Next, we’ll learn to clean the secondary lint filter.


The secondary lint filter is located at the bottom left of the front panel. It collects all the lint that passes through the primary lint filter. Open the front panel and unscrew the locks to loosen the secondary lint filter.


Slide-out the secondary lint filter using your hand and moisten your fingers. Rub your fingers over the filter in the downward direction. Hold the filter under running water in a sink.


Wash it properly with soap and water. Let the filter dry. After the filter is dried completely, you can return the lint filter and secure it with the locks.


Also, return the front panel.



The routine maintenance procedure for the vented dryer is to clean its duct. The routine maintenance procedure for condenser dryers are:

  • Cleaning the lint filter and

  • Cleaning the condenser unit.


The routine maintenance procedure for heat pump dryers are:

  • Cleaning the primary lint filter and

  • Cleaning the secondary lint filter.


 

Question #1: From 2014 to 2018, local fire departments responded to an estimated average of _________ home structure fires per year.

  1. 11,280

  2. 11,820

  3. 13,820

  4. 13,280

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Answer: 13,820

From 2014 to 2018, local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 13,820 home structure fires per year.


Question #2: Why is the lint filter supposed to be cleaned after each drying cycle? (Select all that apply)

  1. To prevent the accumulation of lint

  2. To avoid blocking airflow

  3. To avoid a potential fire hazard

  4. To accumulate lint

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Answer: To prevent the accumulation of lint

To avoid blocking airflow

To avoid a potential fire hazard

It is suggested to clean the lint filter to:

  • Prevent the accumulation of lint.

  • Avoid blocking airflow.

  • Avoid a potential fire hazard.


Question #3: Which of these is used to clean the lint filter? (Select all that apply)

  1. Water

  2. Fingers

  3. Brush

  4. Carbonated drink

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Answer: Water

Fingers

Brush

The lint filter is cleaned with moist fingers, or one may use a brush.


Question #4: Why do we clean the door seal? (Select all that apply)

  1. To avoid bacteria formation

  2. To filter lint

  3. To keep the exhaust clean

  4. To keep the seal clean

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Answer: To avoid bacteria formation

To keep the seal clean

The door seal is cleaned to avoid bacteria formation and to keep it clean.


Question #5: How does the water gets accumulated in the water container? (Select all that apply)

  1. The condensed moist air is accumulated

  2. Due to atmospheric temperature, water gets condensed in the container

  3. The water in the clothes is drained to the container

  4. The rainwater is collected in the container

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Answer: The condensed moist air is accumulated

The water in the clothes is drained to the container

The water in the clothes is drained to the condenser. The moist air is condensed and transferred to the water container.


Question #6: What happens if you spin the power drill counterclockwise?

  1. Tighten the attachments

  2. Loosen the attachments

  3. Over-tighten the attachments

  4. Clean the duct

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Answer: Over-tighten the attachments

If you spin the power drill counterclockwise, it will loosen the attachments.


Question #7: Where is the condenser unit located?

  1. Top left of the dryer

  2. Top right of the dryer

  3. Bottom right of the dryer

  4. Bottom left of the dryer

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Answer: Bottom left of the dryer

The condenser unit is located on the bottom left of the dryer.


Question #8: You may return the wet secondary filter to the dryer.

  1. True

  2. False

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Answer: False

You may dry the secondary filter before returning it to the dryer.

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