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Old 01-13-2009, 06:43 AM   #1
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Frigidaire dryer DIY repair


Okay, this is a Fridigaire 5.7 cu ft electric dryer (model FER311FS) that quit working (again) last night. It is 6 years old and has had the heating element replaced 3 times already.

I promised my wife that she could get a new one the next time it broke down because it eats everything. So I figure if I can fix it myself to get us by for a little while longer until we have the extra cash for a new one, why not give it a go.

It is definatly the heating element that is bad, as a 3" section of it broke right off. So I know I will need to replace that. Where can I buy one? Will the big box stores carry them? Appliance stores?

Also, there is a felt type seal/gasket where the drum slides over the door opening that seems to be torn (maybe the cause of the dryer eating everything?) is that replaceable?

Finally, the spindle that hold the rear end of the drum seems to have excessive play in it, should it? Is it expensive to replace?

With all these issues, is the dryer even worth fixing or should I just watch craigslist for a cheapo $50 one till I can buy a brand new one?

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Old 01-13-2009, 09:56 AM   #2
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Frigidaire dryer DIY repair


With that many heating elements in so short a time I would suspect that you have a problem other than the heating element. I wouldn't spend any more time or money repairing a clothes destroyer.

Keep an eye on craigslist or check out some used appliance stores. I spent 50$ on a dryer that lasted four years. If you are anything like me, keep the old one and when time/money are available tinker around with it. Worst case scenario: you fix it and then you have two working dryers (which is AWESOME!).

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Old 01-13-2009, 12:28 PM   #3
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Frigidaire dryer DIY repair


I agree something is goofy with it, my Kenmore dryer was 23 years old without a single problem, had to leave it because of moving truck space, but if you want to buy the parts online this is a good place to start.
http://www.repairclinic.com/SmartSea...ER311FS-%3d%3d
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:29 PM   #4
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There's also Sears Parts Direct but they can be somewhat higher in price. (may not have older models but the site has built in diagrams.)

Try searching the net by your dryers model number and find parts manual. More than likely a PDF file.

Best of luck.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:47 PM   #5
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Frigidaire dryer DIY repair


I have replaced several round coil heating elements for myself and neighbours, as well as the rear bushing kit at the back if the drum. Excessive vibration could be causing a bit of a problem but more importantly if it is a coiled element be sure to install it gently and evenly linked between the insulated supports. Remember this element expands and contracts continually. If not evenly supported or if it is stretched unevenly it will likely break. Before removing it I would look at the coils between the insulators and see how evenly it was installed. Touch wood mine that I installed is still running after 8? years maybe 10 or 12 and the dryer was well used when it came with the house in 1990.
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:38 AM   #6
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Well, I decided that I am going to repair it to see how it goes. I was able to get just the coil from a local appliance store for $25 and the rear bushing for the drum for another $5. The old bushing seemed pretty warn out. After a conversation with the repair guy from the local appliance store we pretty much determined 2 contributing factors:

1) my wife likes to dry sneakers (probably 2-3 times a year) and that is reaking havoc on it because of the vibrations.

2) my wife likes to do the largest loads possible, thus taxing the dryer to the max.

I told her that she needs to cut her loads in half and NO MORE SNEAKERS!


Now, a question. The bushing seems to have grease in it, what type should I use?
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:10 PM   #7
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Seems to me that the bushing came as part of a kit, sleeve, c clamp, and shaft which bolted on with 3 screws on my drum. The bushing was pre lubed. I have done these several times and the kits were different between mine and the neighbour's. I would replace the shaft and bushing together to be certain. While you're in ther flip your belt inside out to inspect for cracks and check the glide pads that the drum rolls on...
There is a basket which you can attach to some dryer doors? I think to hold sneakers...... Keeps the wife happy and might save a few repair bucks to spend on fishing that way.
Oh ,when she dries half the load size,thats twice the work, remember you get to do the other half!
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Old 01-15-2009, 08:36 AM   #8
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Well, it was a success. Got the element replaced and the bushing too. Got it put back together and didn't have any extra parts!
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Old 01-15-2009, 08:56 AM   #9
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You may consider it a success but I don't, pocket parts are essential to building up your spare parts bin.
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Old 01-15-2009, 09:49 AM   #10
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Don't forget the sneaker basket, that could earn you an extra day of fishing! Also suggest to your wife that smaller dryer loads will mean only half as much to fold.

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Old 01-20-2009, 07:14 AM   #11
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Well, the dryer seems to not be drying as fast as it used to. Where should I start to check for this?
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:22 AM   #12
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Thermostat or the controls. Possibly what has caused the past elements to burn up prematurely.
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:03 PM   #13
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CB,
Any time I've had dryer issues I start by disconnecting the vent from the wall and run two cylces, one timed one on auto cycle with similar items in the dryer like a couple of towels. If you start there you can determine how the dryer timer is functioning as well as when the element is working. Put an old nylon over the exhaust and see what happens with two loads.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:08 PM   #14
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You can also clean out a dryer duct with an electric leaf blower.
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chemist1961 View Post
CB,
Any time I've had dryer issues I start by disconnecting the vent from the wall and run two cylces, one timed one on auto cycle with similar items in the dryer like a couple of towels. If you start there you can determine how the dryer timer is functioning as well as when the element is working. Put an old nylon over the exhaust and see what happens with two loads.

And what exactly am I hoping to accomplish by doing this? I just replaces the heating element so I had the whole thing apart and cleaned every last corner of it, including the duct...

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