Thursday, August 23, 2012

The appliance adventure

My dryer broke yesterday.  It was, of course, right in the middle of sheet-washing-Wednesday.  The only less convenient time would have been in the dead of winter.  Which I've done before, with a newborn.  The hormones, combined with an unhelpful repair man made for an interesting postpartum explosion in that instance.  But moving on.

So this time, I decided to fix it myself.  No experience in dryer fixing non-withstanding.  That's what YouTube is for, right?

The first instruction on each and every page was unplug the dryer.  Which I did, and ended up shocking myself so badly I was curled up in a ball behind the dryer for 5 minutes shaking.  Now the dryer was still partially plugged in, and I was too afraid to unplug it.  This was not a good start.

I did manage to get the dryer unplugged and shoved back into place.  Two helpful little kids ferrying me screwdrivers, and twenty screws later;  the top, and front were off, plus the drum.  Aha, that's what a heating coil looked like, and they probably weren't supposed to be charred and in pieces.  I believe I had found the problem.

One trip to Home Depot later I found out that you can't just go and buy these parts, they had to be ordered.  I wonder how many women in their gnarliest clothes tow two kids into a hardware store asking for heating coils?  I've gotta give people something to talk about.  So for now the dryer will stay in pieces until Tuesday, and people can simply stop wearing clothes until then, or the clothes line will get lots of use.

My apprentice.


  1. Charred and in pieces? And getting massively shocked? That sounds like a little more than just a heating coil going out--are you sure you don't want to check with someone to make sure there's not something more wrong with it? It sounds like a fire hazard...and I know you do NOT want a dryer fire...

    I'm nervous for you.

  2. The shock was my own fault, I wasn't used to that kind of plug and curled my fingers under it a little too far. I didn't realize how many prongs were on the other side. But my brother nicely explained how many volts of electricity coursed through my body. Double the amount of a normal socket, since it was a dryer.
    It is perfectly normal for a heating coil to be charred and in pieces (well, when their broken that is). I asked the guys at Home Depot just to be sure. With the dryer (finally) unplugged, the worst I can do is break my already broken dryer. No worries :)
    Dryer fires are usually caused by a built up of lint trapped in places. Since I had it already apart, I cleaned those out too.