Hello I just bought an older gas GE clothes dryer from a yard sale. I got it all hooked up except for the exhaust duct. I turned it on just to test it and it started up and ran fine. Only ran it for a short amount of time (a few seconds) but there weren't any odd noises. I went and got the duct and put it on, added a load of clothes and then it wouldn't start. The electrical works since the I can hear the timer running but the "push to start" lever does not turn it on. I also checked inside the contols panel to see if a wire came loose but it all looked fine minus some cobwebs.
Any ideas or tips? The model number is DDG4580GDLWH.
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You already have discovered the problem. Lint has built up in the vent / exhaust ducting. Most of the time the through the wall vent flapper gets lint build up on it outside the house and then as that restricts airflow you get condensation in the ducting. The condensation causes the lint to form a cake like paste inside the ducting. THOROUGHLY Clean out your vent ducting from the dryer connection all the way thru the outside wall and your dryer will be fine. If you need to replace the ducting please do so. Ducting is cheaper than the electricity you waste on clogged ducting. You proved your dryer will work correctly when you dried a load of clothes with the ducting removed.
How old is this dryer? The older ones would do this when the vent was clogged with lint near the outside exhaust area, or if the belt is worn or stretched. (this allows too much heat inside the dryer at one time, and forces the unit to shut down to prevent a fire hazard)
If the dryer is heating up, and clothes are being partially dried, then your dryer may be overheating. Check the ducts for lint balls / clogs, pay attention to the exterior opening, as well as the duct tube on the back of th e dryer itself. If everything appears normal / clear, you may have a limit switch that is acting up.
If the dryer is not heating up, then likely air movement (through ducts) is not high / fast enough to trigger that indicates that air flow is okay. Check all the duct work. If clear, then sensor / vane switch for air movement may not be closing like it should, which won't allow the igniter / gas valves to function.
I recently solved this problem on my ELECTRIC dryer by taking apart the lint
collection area. Some dryers allow you to do this by removing a couple
screws surrounding the lint screen holder. Others require some
dis-assembly of the top and front panel.
Once you have access behind or below the lint screen, use your hands or a
strong vacuum (shop-vac) to clean out any collected lint that has
fallen below the collection screen and settled in the exhaust duct. I
pulled out about 100 cubic inches (~1.6 liters) of collected lint, cat
hair, and debris that was obstructing air flow.
Obstructed airflow can cause metal parts near the electric heating element to
overheat and scorch clothing and is a serious fire hazard. I expect similar problems can occur with gas dryers.
Hello. W/D here. The problem with your dryer usually isn't too serious, and the most likely cause is easily remedied. If it'll run, and heat up, that's great. It sounds like you have a restriction in your exhaust circuit.
Unplug your dryer and scoot it out to where you can get to the vent ducting. Lots of times there are loops and humps in the ducting behind the dryer that just love to collect debris. Disconnect it and, holding the duct like a "U", take it outside and clean it out. While the duct is off, clean the dryer exhaust cavity and the vent where the dryer exhaust exits your house. Remove the lint screen and inspect/clean the cavity below it. A dryer brush (looks like a giant bottle brush, ~$10 at Lowes, H/Depot, W/Mart) is really handy for this type of cleaning. This should correct your problem.
Hope this was useful to you.
Are you sure that the duct is clean and free flowing? If the duct is partially blocked the dryer's efficiency drops dramatically. I would double check the duct at both ends and clean out as required - air flow is very important - with the dryer on - go check the air coming out of he duct outside - if it is very forceful - then the problem is elsewhere - however if only a little bit of sir is coming out - your all plugged up!.
your blower motor is probably not working. enter the troubleshooting mode by pressing and holding my cycles and help at the same time for 3 seconds. this will tell you the problem. if blower is not getting up to speed you'll have to replace it.
Did you clean the entire length of the vent ducting? Or, did you only clean the lint trap on the dryer and the exhaust vent outside? If you didn't clean the ducting as well, you may still have a clog somewhere causing your dryer to be "starved" for air. A dryer needs proper air flow to dry properly. One way to check is to turn the dryer on and go outside to the exhaust vent opening. Feel to see if you have sufficient air flow. If the air flow is weak, you have a clog. If not, you may have a high limit thermostat cutting off prematurely, not allowing the heating element to heat long enough. Check your ducting first and let me know if this helps.