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Dryer runs intermittently

Recently we had a water problem in our laundry room which resulted from a drain clog. Water backed up in the drain and gushed out behind the washer and dryer onto the floor to a depth of maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch. The water likely splashed onto the back of the dryer and washer also. After cleaning up the water on the floor, and throwing some very wet towels in the dryer, I pushed the dryer's on button and the dryer started but then almost immediately shut down. I could find not find a "reset" button anywhere on the dryer and have tried various "tricks" to restart it since then, e.g., turn the time knob clockwise 2 or 3 times, unplug and replug the dryer's electric cord. The first time I unplugged the dryer, I noticed that the plug looked like it was somewhat scorched. I have also noticed an "electrical" smell on occasion when the dryer is actually working. I have been able to dry a couple loads of clothes but the most recent use resulted in a very strong "electrical burning smell" and I have not used it since. I removed the small access panel where the electrical cord goes into the back of the dryer but did not see any signs of shorting at the terminal. Could the cord/plug and/or receptical be bad and need replaced or is it likely to be something in the dryer's internal wiring?

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  • slpurcell1 Dec 21, 2008

    Thanks for your prompt reply rpbuice. After I posted the above help request, I disconnected the flexible 6 or 7 inch vent hose which exits the back of the dryer and found tons of lint in it. I removed what I could but think I'll buy a replacement hose. After removing the lint from the vent hose the dryer started right up but, after running for 10 or 15 minutes, I again noticed the same burning smell although now I'm not sure it's electrical. As you suggested, I'll get a replacement cord/plug, and vent hose and install them before I begin using the dryer again. If the burning smell persists after replacing those, I'm not sure what else to look for. Any other thoughts would be appreciated.


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"Could the cord/plug and/or receptical be bad and need replaced or is it likely to be something in the dryer's internal wiring?"

Yes, that electrical smell and the dryer not working are all signs of a bad motor.

"I noticed that the plug looked like it was somewhat scorched."

I would replace that plug. This is how electrical fires start.

Posted on Dec 21, 2008

  • Ron Buice
    Ron Buice Dec 21, 2008

    The vent hose shouldn't be clogged like that, make sure the hose is not kinked real bad and you have good air flow on the outside.

    Since you have so much lint, I would clean the dryer on the inside especially around the heater coil. This may be lint you smell burning. You may have to call an appliance tech to take it apart and vaccum real good.


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