My squeaky dryer problem started probably about two years ago. At some point, an appliance repairman told me it would cost $150 to $200 to fix my clothes dryer, including parts, labor and trip charge.
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After researching the problem on RepairClinic.com, I decided my squeaky dryer probably needed the drive belt and/or blower wheel replaced. Neither of these parts costs much – probably about $70 for both.
Around the time my parents came to visit from Pennsylvania, the squeaky dryer had become so loud and obnoxious that I couldn’t run the clothes dryer at night or it would keep everyone awake. My parents thought we should go shopping for a new dryer given that our GE Profile electric dryer is over 17 years old.
However, I wasn’t ready to give up the ghost yet. Even if I had to pay $200 to fix it, that’s cheaper than a new dryer would cost. My mom and I watched RepairClinic.com videos showing how to replace the drive belt and blower wheel, and neither of us was comfortable with the level of disassembling and reassembling involved.
I had been wanting to vacuum the dryer lint out of all the tubes and crevices, not really thinking this would do anything to help with the noise. Built-up dryer lint does decrease the dryer’s efficiency and can even pose a fire hazard.
My mom and I cleared off the dryer and broke out the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball with its wonderful attachments. First, we vacuumed everywhere we could reach through the open door of the clothes dryer.
Then, we gently pulled out the dryer, unplugged the power and disconnected the dryer vent that leads to the outdoors. We took turns vacuuming the vent hole in the wall and vent hole in the dryer.
Feeling like we’d done a good job of de-linting the dryer, we reconnected everything and put the dryer back where it was. Then, I did a load of laundry to make sure the dryer still worked.
Miraculously, the squeaky dryer sound was noticeably reduced. We figured we’d somehow stumbled onto the right track by vacuuming lint, so we went back to it the next day. From the RepairClinic videos, we decided that the sound was definitely coming from the blower wheel inside the very back of the dryer.
My mom tried vacuuming lint through the holes in the back of the dryer, since we weren’t planning to tear the whole dryer apart to get back there. She thought it looked like there was a lot of lint trapped back there and asked me to take a look.
I stuck my head inside to eyeball the back of my dryer up close and could see that it was absolutely caked in lint. There was no way for the vacuum to suck hard enough to get the lint out through those tiny holes.
Not about to give up yet, I used a toothpick to very gently poke at the lint through the little holes to break it up while vacuuming with the Dyson’s thin furniture attachment. This was a very long and tedious process, and I knew I had to be very careful not to poke anything important or drop the toothpick through a hole.
I was also in a very awkward and rather painful position for a long time and eventually had to give up. We reconnected everything once again and pushed the dryer back into place, then started another load of laundry.
Amazingly, the squeaky dryer was MUCH quieter. It sounded almost like a normal dryer and continues to sound the same several weeks later.
If I’d not waited many years to vacuum my dryer, I might have never gotten into this situation. Even if your dryer isn’t currently making noise, it’s worth your time to vacuum it thoroughly every year or two. Even vacuuming every five years would be an improvement over my track record.
How about you?
Do you vacuum your dryer or dryer vents? How often? Have you fixed your own dryer problems?