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Old 07-03-2011, 08:04 AM   #1
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Gas Dryer - Install Flex Line and Also No Heat


I bought this house last year and it came with a Whirlpool gas dryer in it already. It worked so I kept it. Previous owner said it was there when they moved in (in 2005), so no idea how old it is. Anyways, two questions:

The home inspector noted that the installer used rigid gas pipe all the way to the dryer itself, instead of the flexible line required by code. I'd been planning on replacing it with the flexible line but forgot about it until now...

Yesterday the dryer stopped heating. It does heat when there are no clothes in it, but once clothes are in it it won't heat. I assumed it was a blocked duct but it is ducting fine as it always did. Any idea what could be causing this?

I've never worked on a dryer before and will probably just buy a new one but since this one is going to the scrap heap anyway I figured it can't hurt to tinker with it and try to learn what the problem is and, if it's a cheap part, fix it so it works until we can get a new dryer delivered.

But here's the problem - all my previous homes were all electric, not gas. So I'm a bit nervous about disconnecting the rigid natural gas pipe that goes directly to the back of this dryer. There are valves along this pipe, including one right before it is attached to the dryer itself. Problem is, there's no way to get to it because the pipe is rigid and I can't pull the dryer out to access it. So my thinking was to use the next valve up the section of pipe.

So, if my thinking is correct, to do this all I need to do is turn the valve to off at the end of the prior section, hope it works (this is a 60 year old house), and use 2 crescent wrenches to disconnect the section of pipe (about 3 ft) that leads directly to the dryer.

Does that sound right? Hope I'm describing it correctly. I'm obviously nervous about working with natural gas : ( FWIW...I'm not a smoker : )

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Old 07-04-2011, 08:06 AM   #2
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Gas Dryer - Install Flex Line and Also No Heat


Just a response to update my original post for future readers:

So my brother, who is knowledgeable in all things home repair, came over and stepped me through the process of replacing the rigid gas pipe that was hooked up directly to the dryer, with a flex line kit.

The bottom line is - natural gas isn't nearly as dangerous as I assumed. I just assumed the metal on metal grinding of pipe threads would generate sparks that could ignite and cause an explosion (irrational perhaps). Turns out that the amount of gas that comes through from the main supply is not enough to really cause that unless you let it go for quite a while and a large enough concentration of it occurs.

So...a simple $12 kit from HD containing the flexible dryer connect line and some connectors was easy to install. I did also purchase a new gas cutoff valve, as the original one was right before where the flexible line was going to go so it made sense to replace the ~50 year old original while installing the flex line.

TIP: before my brother showed up I ran over to HD to buy the flex line kit. To my surprise, even though he told me to make sure to get the yellow-coated flex line kit, I looked by where the washers/dryer parts are and they only one 'standard gas dryer flexible line hookup kit' and the flex line was braided stainless steel and not coated with the yellow stuff. It was the only one they had in that section, so I figured that's what it used nowadays and bought it for a whopping $25. My brother came over, saw it, and questioned its legality for use. We went back to pickup some thread sealant before installing the kit and looked over by the duct parts aisle and there were the yellow coated kits for half the price.

Oh, and make sure to change out or at least clean out the duct while you're doing this job.

Now for the dryer itself not working...I'm 99% sure, based on internet research, that the problem is the gas coils. I'll be ordering them today and replacing.

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Old 07-04-2011, 09:37 AM   #3
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Gas Dryer - Install Flex Line and Also No Heat


t you original post you said:

"Yesterday the dryer stopped heating. It does heat when there are no clothes in it, but once clothes are in it it won't heat. I assumed it was a blocked duct but it is ducting fine as it always did. Any idea what could be causing this?"

Now you say:

"Now for the dryer itself not working...I'm 99% sure, based on internet research, that the problem is the gas coils. I'll be ordering them today and replacing."

What kind of "gas coils" are you speaking of, gas dryers do not have anything I would call gas coils. And why would the dryer heat empty bit not with a load of clothes? I think you need to do some more troubleshooting before you blindly buy replacement pars.
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:41 AM   #4
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Gas Dryer - Install Flex Line and Also No Heat


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
t you original post you said:

"Yesterday the dryer stopped heating. It does heat when there are no clothes in it, but once clothes are in it it won't heat. I assumed it was a blocked duct but it is ducting fine as it always did. Any idea what could be causing this?"

Now you say:

"Now for the dryer itself not working...I'm 99% sure, based on internet research, that the problem is the gas coils. I'll be ordering them today and replacing."

What kind of "gas coils" are you speaking of, gas dryers do not have anything I would call gas coils. And why would the dryer heat empty bit not with a load of clothes? I think you need to do some more troubleshooting before you blindly buy replacement pars.
please let him buy it will help the economy
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:52 PM   #5
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Gas Dryer - Install Flex Line and Also No Heat


The dryer heated empty because it was cool. The problem is that, when the dryer is completely cool (i.e., not run for an hour or so), then when started it works fine at first for about 5 minutes, then when the temp is achieved and the flame is stopped (as normal) for a cycle, it never starts again.

I should have typed 'gas valve solenoids' instead of coils.

"These often fail intermittently, making diagnosis difficult. To test, watch the burner assembly while the dryer is heating. If the igniter glows for a while and then shuts off without the gas turning on, it usually means one of these coils is bad."

Source: http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDeta...et/279834/3479
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:52 PM   #6
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Gas Dryer - Install Flex Line and Also No Heat


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please let him buy it will help the economy
Wow, this forum has a peanut gallery, eh?
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Old 07-04-2011, 02:47 PM   #7
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Gas Dryer - Install Flex Line and Also No Heat


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Wow, this forum has a peanut gallery, eh?
Probably best not to irritate long time members.

Since you are replacing the dryer, why spend the money for replacement parts.
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:33 PM   #8
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Gas Dryer - Install Flex Line and Also No Heat


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Since you are replacing the dryer, why spend the money for replacement parts.
Since the part to fix it is so inexpensive, I decided to keep this one for a few more years.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:10 AM   #9
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Probably best not to irritate long time members.
Looked like a totally appropriate comment to me, and a funny one at that . I'm sure the other posters have a sense of humour and can take a bit of ribbing .

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