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This is good for all of us to know for our home safety

I wish I had posted this a few days ago.

Maybe this wouldn't have happened to KOLWDWRKR.



I just read about this the other day.
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The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load clothes.) He told us that he wanted to show us something; he took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material .. I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like. Well … the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn't go through it at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that's what burns out the heating unit. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It's what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free … that nice fragrance too. You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box … well this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen.. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your house down with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about that? Learn something new everyday! I certainly didn't know dryer sheets would do that. So, I thought I'd share!
Note: I went to my dryer and tested my screen by running water on it. The water ran through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen. I washed it with warm soapy water and a nylon brush and I had it done in 30 seconds. Then when I rinsed it .. the water ran right thru the screen! There wasn't any puddling at all! That repairman knew what he was talking about!
 

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oh wow, thats interesting. luckily we don't use dryer sheets anymore, but I know others that do and will most certainly let them know about this.

thanks for the info!
 

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Thanks Dick. I'm definitely going to take this into consideration when I get the new dryer. Just so everyone knows, once it's on fire it doesn't take long before it's out of control. Heidi poured buckets of water on it, but the fire kept burning inside it where she couldn't get. The fire department literally carried the unit outside still on fire. They still pulled a line and sprayed water in the house. Imagine turning on a fire hose in the house. Its quite the mess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Keith,

I'm sorry that I procrastinated with posting this article.

It may have saved you from that awful fire.
 

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Charlie - I actually DO have a clothes line that I strung in the back yard…lol we use it for misc stuff during nice weather (read - not that often around here).

but other than that - we rarely get static in our clothes - just some specific articles like certain fleece sweaters. but once taken out of the dryer and grounded (by me) it's all gone.
 

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What a great tip!

Even though this one sounded legit … I checked, and Snopes.com declared it legit, too!

I use a computer-based calendar program for my schedule. Being the slightly anal type that I am, I calendar things like "time to check furnace filters." I'll add this one to it!

Next to "clean Shop Vac filter" ;-)

I try to be pretty on top of those silly things: vacuuming under the refrigerator, making sure the coils are fairly dirt-free, cleaning my whole-house humidifier, annually, de-mineralizing the coffee maker, etc.

It's great if you can "cluster" them, so that … one or two days out of the year … you have about 2hrs of that sort of home maintenance to do.

.... and another THREE hours of SHOP maintenance LOL!!

Thanks, Dick!
 

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Thank you for this information. I suspect it has something to do with the quality of the dryer cloths you are using, or something that ended up in your dryer. I checked ours and there was no such buildup. I would, however like to add the following.

1. Cloths dryers are the number one cause of house fires. This was relayed to me by a retired professional fireman who served in Washington DC for over 20 years.

2. Never use corrugated dryer pipe, plastic or aluminum. Lint builds up in the corrugations. Use smooth bore sheet galvanized heating pipe. Most outlets take 4 inch pipe, readily available at big blue or orange (hint cut it to size before you lock it into a tube. Make sure you have a good pair of snips, or buy aluminum pipe.)

3. use the shortest possible self tapping Hex Washer Head (HWH) screws to assemble your pipe. About 1/2 inch will do. I recommend HWH for ease of assembly/disassembly.

4. Limit the run to the outdoor exhaust port as much as possible, and use as few turns as possible.

5. Never, ever, ever use a wall cap with a screen of any type, they clog up in a week. Why they even sell them is anybodys guess. If you are worried about mice, get a cat.

6. Unplug the dryer. Using a small hose attached to your vacuum cleaner equipped with a new bag, remove your lint filter, and snake the hose down into the blower plenum and work in and out for a few minutes. Do this about every 6 months, depending on frequency of use and type of lint you create.

Dryers are perhaps the simplest appliances ever built. They basically consist of a single fractional HP motor with a fan on one end and a pulley on the other end to drive the drum via a very narrow grooved belt. The fan sucks air heated by a gas burner or electric resistance element (Like a Toaster) through the drum (and your clothes) and exhaust it to the outdoors. The drum runs on a set of rubber wheels or glides in the front and one or more bearings in the rear. The race for the drum is in the front panel. It is extremely easy to really clean your dryer of lint built up in the bottom of your dryer as follows:

1. If the lint filter is on top f the dryer, remove the lint filter.
2. Remove the two screws that secure the top to the flange of the blower plenum. Usually Number 2 Phillips Head.
3. Take a flat tip screwdriver, chisel or other flat bar and pop up the front lip of the dryer on the right and left side between the top and front panel. The wider the tool the better to avoid chipping your paint.
4. Hook a bungee to the front lip of the top to hold it up and away from the front panel about 12 inches is enough. Hook the other end to a shelf or eye hook installed for the purpose.
5. Remove the two screws that secure the front panel to the side panels, one top left in the channel, one top right in the channel.
6. Hook a bungee to the front of the drum and back to the previously mentioned point. The front panel can now be removed by tugging upward as it is held to the base with tabs in slots.
7. Using a damp rag remove all of the lint you find in the dryer box. You can use a vacuum later but not first, as a static spark can ignite dust and lint.
8. By the way, now is a great time to replace the belt, glides, or bearings if you ordered them online from appliance parts .com or someplace like that.

Re-assemble in reverse order.

Disclaimer: I am offering this a a public service. All of the dryers I have taken apart are similar or close to this. If yours is different, it is probably not by much. If mechanical things are beyond your ken, or you own one of those little tool kits made in China, dont even try this, call a pro. If your dryer is less than about 4 years old don't bother, unless you are fielding a football team. If it is over 8 years old, and you have kids, do this.

By the way most dryers have a little inspection port on the lower left side covered by a plastic tab. Pop out the tab. If you can see through there to inspect the inside of your dryer, or you own a see-snake or other type of scope you can check out the interior condition of your dryer, maybe you are OK.

Good Luck, and God Bless.
 

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uugghhh… Barry, I finally found a thread that didn't propagate that brand and you had to ruin it for me… lol

besides - there's nothing that can get caught in the blade. safety first!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Our new dryer won't start unless you check the lint screen first, but it doesn't say anything

about washing with soap, & water. We don't use the static cling sheets, because of my wife's allergies.

If you want to prevent static cling, pin a small safety pin to your garment. I guess it works
like a ground strap on a gas truck.
 

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Or you can just not have a dryer..haven't owned one for 7 years. Clothes gets dried on the line, using solar power - no electricity, no dryer sheets, no static, no dryer sheet waxy buildup. No fires. Clothes smell wonderful and fresh.

Dryer sheets were designed to simulate that natural freshness you get from the sun. It is a clinical solution to fix a design problem of a poor technological solution which replaced what was already perfect (the sun and fresh air). You can get rid of it all and just go back to the original, which is hard to beat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Steve

My wife used to hang out the clothes all of the time, but when you contract allergies like

she has, the pollen can get on the clothes.
 
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