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Simpson Clothes Dryer wont start without assistance

Hi everybody, I have a Simpson 39P400 Clothes dryer that is only two years old and has stopped working.

I can get it to work by manually starting to turn the drum, but then when it stops and tries to reverse I have to manually start it again.

I have taken the belt off and the motor spins very strongly.

Any help would be much appreciated


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There is a large 8uF 450VAC capacitor on top of the motor that attaches with a 13mm nut. I picked one of these up for NZD16 and dryer is now up and running again. To replace, get a 16mm socket > unplug from wall > undo the rounded back cover > undo the two heater unit nuts (bottom left) and carefully unclip the power lead clip and lift heater unit out > look through the hole and take note of the belt configuration so that you can put it back together the right way later > reach through and detach spring on motor > undo main back panel and carefully slide out (the drum will come with it) > detach leads to capacitor and undo bolt that holds it on (the capacitor is the grey/white tube thingy) > install new capacitor and put it all back together (make sure capacitor is an 8uF 450VAC).

Posted on Dec 17, 2012

  • leroy Dec 17, 2012

    Ooops, it should read "6.5mm socket", and before removing the main back panel, there is a philips head screw that holds the main power lead in place that needs to be removed before taking the back panel off


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Your dryer has a start assist compressor go to this site to see it and that could very well be the problem.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009


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1342481_f260.jpgBasic inside of a dryer, picture from hometips.comClothes Dryers Problems

I decided to start this hub due to the amount of problems I have been having with my current clothes dryer , and what I went through to fix a few problems I had with my dryer including a broken tumbler belt and loose tumbler drum.

So the basic design of a dryer hasn't really changed much and most people will find that there dryer will last a long time and wont generally need a complete upgrade and a few fixes every now and then will keep it running for a very long time.

So depending on the design of your dryer it will look pretty much similar to the picture on the left and contain all the main components. The main parts that usually require fixes or maintenance include

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The first thing is to make sure everything is unplugged before starting to tinker inside your dryer, and depending on the style of your dryer pull the back door or hatch off slowly so you dont accidentally rip off the wires.

Some old dryers also have very loose tumbler drums so when opening the back door hold the drum in place to stop it from banging around inside the dryer compartment.


Cleaning is very important for your dryer, and after opening up my clothes dryer after about 10 years of use I could tell it really needed some regular maintenance and cleaning.

There was an amazing layer of dust covering everything and the actual box compartment was dull of dust and little bits of sand and dust. For newer dryers this may be less of a problem but sometimes if you hear your drum spinning a bit loudly it may just be a large layer of dust and dirt.

Common Problems

1. The Clothes Dryer Drum is not spinning or not spinning correctly ( loud noises and screeching sounds)

- The most common reason for the dryer drum to stop spinning is if your drum belt has snapped or has been worn down completely. This is an easy fix and simply involves buying a replacement belt and feeding it through the pulleys and on the roller and then back around the middle of the drum.

- The rollers could have worm out causing the drum to spin in a bumpy and noisy manner , these are the little circle shaped objects your dryer actually sites and can usually be replaced depending on how old your dryer is. The pulleys could also be broken causing problems.

- The motor could have died after many years of use if the drum is not moving at all and if it is moving the motor bearing could be off causing to spin around very roughly and sometimes scratch against the sides of the dryer compartment.

- Noises coming from the dryer when its plugged in and spinning could also be due to a huge amount of dust built up around the dryer drum. Sometimes cleaning out the inside of your dryer and returning the drum to the correct position can fix this problem.

Screeching noises are not a good sign and sometimes its a sign that you drum is slowly cutting into the sides of your dryer which could permanently put your dryer out of use if its continues.

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Another common problem is that your dryer will either run too hot or too cold , and sometimes take many cycles to simply dry a few items.A useful device that could in handy for testing that each component is working is a simple multimeter or volt meter you can buy from an electronics store.

The way you test the functionality of each component is to get your multimeter or voltmeter and put on the lowest Resistance setting,

Temperature Switch - Leads on switch terminal should read zero or infinity

same for thermostat, heating coils and timer testing.

The most causes of these sorts of issues are

- The temperature sensors could be dead or fried and need replacing, they look like little silver dollars and are usually located under the drum.

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- thermostat or heating coils could be defective and need replacement

- There could also be problems with the timer, if the timer is not working correctly this may cause the heater and blower to remain inactive.

- The fuse is dead and needs to be replaced.

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So your dryer wont start at all this can be caused by the failure of one or more components and is sometimes hard to pin point.

The most common are below apart from problems relating to your power mains

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