I have a piece of knowledge to impart. A tid bit. A nugget.
Don’t ever wait to do the laundry until you literally don’t have a single thing left to wear. Do not leave it until you’re so desperate for underwear you are forced to wear, not only the uncomfortable ones but the novelty, ripped and worst of all … Valentine’s Day gift ones.
Because if you do that, on the day you finally exhaust all underwear possibilities, and are forced to do laundry … your dryer will break. And you will not notice until you’ve already washed a huge load of laundry. At midnight.
My fella came downstairs on Saturday morning to a house dripping in underwear. There were jeans, socks and tee shirts hanging off of every possible knob and rail. My kitchen looked like someone bombed Bangladesh.
What happened, was I pushed the button to turn my trusty Bosch dryer on and it kind of lit up, but not really. The buttons were kind of faintly trying their best to light up … and then they went out. Asshole buttons.
Now a normal reaction to this problem would be to scream like a stuck pig, curse the dryer God’s and then call a service repairman in the morning.
Which is exactly what I did. However, I didn’t call the service reapairman to come and fix my dryer for me. I called to ask him if I could do it myself.
As it turns out … I could.
And you can too. Here’s how.
Step #1. The dryer repairman told me it was likely a blown fuse causing my dryer issues so I Googled where the fuse box on this particular dryer was. It was at the back. Of course. Move your dryer inch by inch so you have access to the back of it.
Step 2. Assess whether or not you can squarsh yourself into the space between the wall and the dryer to gain access to the back of it. Decide you hadn’t had lunch yet so you probably could.
Part of my problem with getting a repairman (aside from the cost) was finding a repairman that could fit into this space. Unless I happened to get ahold of some repair service that happily disregarded child labour laws, my chances were slim.
I decided I could fit, so I squished through to get to the back of the dryer and find the fuse box. The plastic baggie you can see in the foreground at my head level is filled with backstage passes from when I hosted an entertainment show. I’m not sure at all why I keep them in a plastic baggie hanging in my “laundry closet”. I don’t have to have a reason for everything, do I?
Step 3. Disconnect power to the dryer. Immediately. Before you do anything else. You can turn off the breaker, or just unplug the thing. I unplugged the thing. If you do not unplug/disconnect the thing there is a chance you will regret it in a large way. And so will those who are forced to plan your funeral.
And then I took a look around. This is what I found behind the dryer. A few towels that had fallen back, a lot of dust and a whack of change which fell behind the dryer several years ago. Oh. And a bunch of hoses and stuff.
Step 4. Locate the fuse box. It was pretty obvious to me, the literal “box” at the back of the dryer with the power cord going into it was the fuse box. Plus it had the words “All Fuses 15 A” on it. That helped too.
I opened it up by unscrewing a couple of screws and sure enough … it looked like it was filled with something that could be fuses. I’m pointing to one of them there.
To gain access to the fuses, you have to unscrew the knobs on the side of the box.
The fuse comes out with it.
Step 5. Remove the fuse. Remove both fuses actually, so you can test them to see if they’re bad. If a fuse is bad, then you know it probably IS the source of the whole broken dryer, Slumdog Millionaire decor problem.
Step 6. Get out your trusty Ohm meter. An Ohm meter tests things like batteries and fuses among other things. They’re around $40. Unless you buy things on sale, in which case they’re around $14.99.
The instructions for the Ohm meter will tell you how to set it to test a 15 amp fuse. I set my meter to Ohm “20” to test my 15 amp fuses. Simply touch the probes to either side of the fuse to test it. If the fuse is good the meter will beep. If the fuse isn’t good, there will be no sound and no change in the display.
The first fuse I tested didn’t beep and showed no change in the meter reading at all. Bad fuse. Which is good news!
The second fuse I tested registered there was current running through the fuse. It wasn’t blown.
Step 7. Buy a replacement fuse. So off to my local electronics/fuse store I went to pick up my new fuse. If you do this, remember to bring your old fuse with you. I even had the store test my fuse to double check that it was indeed bad. It was.
Remove your old fuse ….
Step 8. … and insert your new one.
Put your fuses back in their spots in the fuse box at the back of the dryer, close the fuse box back up, plug in the dryer and push everything back to where it was. Do so in the most attractive manner. Like so …
Everything is back where it started. My dryer cost a fortune by the way. It’s the only one that would fit in my laundry closet. However, with that high price came unbelievable conveniences. For example, it’s a condensation dryer. That means, there’s no venting. The water is whisked away in a tube and drains down the same drain pipe as the washing machine. It’s the kind of engineering and technology only a smart person could have come up with.
Turn your dyer on. Ta da! We have power.
And when I say power, I don’t just mean power to the dryer. WE, you and I … have power.
As I often say, It ain’t that hard. Any of it.
You do NOT have to rely on a service repairman for everything. Oftentimes they can’t be bothered to come out and fix your stupid dryer. They’re more than happy to tell you how to do it. All you have to do is ask.
Asking never hurts. I once asked my friend Renee for a pair of gold Norma Kamali shoes on a whim and she gave them to me. So get over the whole embarrassment thing and ASK. Free shoes and inexpensive dryer repair await.
So let’s look at the totals here.
If I’d had a repairman come, it would have cost approximately $130 for the visit and the part.
Instead I diagnosed and fixed it myself, which cost me the price of the fuse. $14.63 including tax.
And as luck would have it, I found $15.76 in change behind the dryer.
Which means, by fixing my own dryer … I made $1.13.
I don’t expect too many of you out there to fix your own major appliances, but I want you to know you CAN. You can fix/install all kinds of things all by yourself. It ain’t that hard. Any of it.