Hello all -
I recently started using this resource for some HVAC issues and had great success with the the supportive members of this website. So I thought I would try again with some help regarding a new item of needed repair.
My wife and I purchased a home about 3 months ago which came with a Kenmore Washer and Dryer. By the looks of these units I would venture to guess they are original with the house (2001-2002). They are basic units - which I prefer - and seem to be mechanically quite sound. Since moving in, however, we have noticed some of our clothing getting small tears/holes in them. We would notice these new holes while folding the laundry and they typically would be found in thinner clothing (i.e. socks, undershirts, etc. - never towels or jeans). After doing some research I determined that the most likely culprit was a failed felt seal causing the clothing to become pinched between the drum and the dryer back wall. As such, I ordered a replacement rear felt seal from sears parts direct along with a kit which would replace the belt drive, idler pulley, and rollers (just to do some preventive maintenance). Once I got the dryer opened up it was apparent the old seal was defective and providing no cushion/protection at all. With some effort I removed the old felt seal, scrapped the glue off, and installed the new seal. I also replaced the other mentioned components before buttoning everything back up. I did this repair about 4 weeks ago.
Since then, I was blissfully happy that I saved myself from having to hiring a repair tech or, worst case, not buy a new dryer. However, it appears my repair didn't fix the issue; or all of the issues at least. Last night when folding laundry we discovered one of my wife's favorite shirts fell victim to the dryer and had several holes in the left shoulder.
At this point, feeling fairly defeated, I contact Sears again to see what else could be the problem. They are now recommending I replace the entire drum assembly for a cost of $170 shipped. This is rather frustrating as this new drum assembly comes with a new felt seal so if I go this route I, in essence, wasted my time doing the felt seal repair earlier. Not only that, I will be up to about $250 (after adding in the cost of the parts I've already replaced) in repair costs on a 15 year old dryer. I called a local repair tech and they offered no real insight other than offering to do a diagnostic visit for $70. If I go that route, I'm out the $70 plus whatever repair costs which I would imagine would be at least $130 plus with labor and parts.
So I come to you all to seek advice. Do you have any ideas on what else may be causing these tears? Either my repair has failed (which I doubt as I can see the felt from inside the drum when assembled), the clothing is getting caught elsewhere in the dryer, or the washer is causing the damage.
If the fault lies with the washer, what would one look for? The agitator seems to be in good shape with no sharp pieces or anything obvious causing a snag. I have looked into the dryer in greater detail too and there are no other obvious signs of failure: the baffles are in good shape and the front seal (attached to the front wall of he dryer) is in good shape.
I'm hesitant to put much more money into this machine since a new, basic dryer can be had for $450 and possibly less when on sale (such as with the upcoming President's Day weekend). Let me know what you guys think.