Dryer not Drying but Gets Hot
Many dryers we service and repair have the same cause for breakdown; the venting system is typically restricted or clogged with lint somewhere in the system. Venting is the biggest problem, and right behind that is blocked lint-filters. Both of which can dryer fires. According to a FEMA report on dryer fires, approximately 2900 dryer fires are reported every year, causing an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries and 35 million in property damage. I want to bring to attention some of the main reasons dryer fires happen and what you can do about it.
First let's talk about the venting. We see a couple different problems with the venting. We see venting that has come apart in the walls and we find it smashed and disconnected behind the dryer. We also see allot of the venting systems clogged with lint. All of these problems will stop you dyer form drying properly and it also becomes a fire hazard! Whenever the dryer is getting hot and not venting properly the lint build up in the dryer and house venting can catch on fire. The best way to avoid these problems is to have your venting cleaned and inspected regularly. This is especially true in condos. Condos typically have longer venting and they usually terminate on the roof. The longer the venting the more often it should be cleaned and inspected. We also see some problems when the laundry rooms are upstairs by the bedrooms. Not always, but sometimes the venting for these are pretty long as well. Good length for dryer venting should typically not exceed 25 feet, with each 90 degree elbow counting as 5 feet.
Lint filters that are clogged with lint causes problems too. Lint filters should be cleaned after every load. But don't be fooled. If you use fabric softener sheets they can sometimes cause problems. We do find them stuck to the back of the dryer blocking the air-flow inside the dryer, but most of the time the problem arises because the same softener that softens your clothes releases into the the lint filter and clogs it. Now you can't necessarily see this so the best way to check it is to run water through it at the sink. If any water stays in the filter at all, your lint filter is clogged with the softener. The good news is that this is an easy dryer repair, just use a scrub brush and gently scrub the filter clean.
As far as dryer fires go, keeping your dryer and venting cleaned and inspected regularly will significantly reduce the risk. But not only does it reduce the fire risk, it will also save you money. You see when a dryer venting system is free from problems the dryer will dry your clothes more efficiently with less dry time, and that will save you money!
There are inexpensive vent cleaning brushes available on the internet and they work great for do-it-yourself person. Basically there are two different styles I see. One is a 10 foot long brush with a handle, you would just push it through the venting. Being only 10 feet long they work well with short vents 10 feet or less. The other is a brush and rod system up to about 25 feet. The rods connect together and you stick the last one in a drill and use the drill to drive the brush on the other end through the venting. Just be careful, so that the rods don't come apart in the venting. If the rods come apart in the house vent it can be a bear to retrieve it.
If you don't want to do-it-yourself there are dryer vent cleaning company's that work at an affordable price. As far as cleaning the dryer it would have to be taken apart to properly clean it. Most of the time the technician who cleans the dryer is different from the dryer vent cleaning technician.
For more information on dryer repairs, give Trinity Services a call, we are here to help! We service and repair all appliances in Denver, Boulder, Westminster CO, Thornton CO, Arvada CO and everything in between.