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Old 02-19-2013, 05:47 PM   #1
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Check your clothes dryers. Safety hazard!

I was drying clothes yesterday in a 7 year old Kenmore Elite HE4 gas dryer. After about 20 minutes of drying time I happened to walk into the laundry room to get something and smelled a slight odor of something burning. I opened the dryer door and could tell it was coming from there. The clothes were almost dry so I turned it off and decided to open it up the following day (today). I had already cleaned the dryer exhaust vent last year (sheet metal, not the cheap foil or plastic kind) so I knew that was probably not the issue. Attached are two pictures taken as soon as I got the back panel off, and two pics after I cleaned it up. They speak for themselves. I should have had a smoke detector in the laundry room before but never did. I'm on my way to the hardware store to pick one up as soon as I post this.
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:53 PM   #2
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I think we have gas driers in my building's laundry room. I went upstairs after putting the clothes in the dryer. A while later I checked the security camera and saw that it looked cloudy in there. I figured there was a problem with the camera, but when I went back down there I smelled gas in the lobby and laundry room. If you have a gas dryer you should probably get a CO detector too.


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Old 02-19-2013, 07:33 PM   #3
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I take my dryer apart once a year to clean out any lint in the cabinet. I also remove and clean the area where the filter resides. Damp lint sticks to everything.
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:01 PM   #4
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I should have taken a picture of my gas dryer last month when I discovered it was full of lint. The lint screen chamber (or whatever it's called) got clogged with lint and caused humidity and carbon monoxide to be exhausted into the laundry room. I got that cleared using a long brush and then took the back off the cabinet. What I found was the cabinet was PACKED FULL of lint. Not just coated like the original poster's dryer - it was packed to capacity. Couldn't even see the motor or any of the components.

The dryer is 18 years old and had obviously never been cleaned out before. I bought the house 1.5 years ago and never even thought to check the dryer for lint. Now I will make sure I inspect/clean every 6-8 months. Not taking any more chances; that was a major fire hazard and I feel terrible for not even thinking to inspect it. The previous owner was elderly and did not do one tiny bit of cleaning or maintenance to her appliances.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:57 AM   #5
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Operating a "HandyMan" type business I do get calls concerning appliances. I get calls occassionally about dryers not heating "properly" and find that most of these calls involve the dryers exhaust ducting system is clogged. While I am cleaning the duct work I do inspect the inside of the cabinets and find a build-up of lint such as this. It amazes me how some people are sitting on a potential fire hazard although they do not know it. Let's face this: We use our clothes dryers as needed, not thinking about a problem, such as lint build-up until there is a problem. Another potential problem I see is that there are some of those dryer sheets which have certain chemicals within them that will coat the screen of the lint screen so that air cannot move through them efficiently. I place the lint screen under the kitchen faucet, add a little water to show them how the lint screen will hold water with this coating. I then show them how to wash this screen and recommend that they do this about every four (4) months or so. Actually, I put mine in the dishwasher to clean it, works for me.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:24 AM   #6
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If you have pets, better check and clean the dryer out frequently, because not only the lint collects in the flue and cabinet, but dog and cat hair from your clothes and especially blankets have static that really attracts loose hair.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:07 AM   #7
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Your smoke detectors are probably not the Photocell type. I would suggest going with those over the others that that can take up to 35 min's to go off. Photocells only take up to 17 min's max before going off.


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