It ain’t that hard. Any of it.
How to Fix your Dryer

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.


69 Comments

  1. Shauna says:

    Way to go girl!!

  2. Suzy says:

    why didn’t the person taking the pictures help you?
    if you have no vent where does the lint go?

    • Karen says:

      Suzy – Heh. That’d be the timer on the camera taking the pictures. And the lint goes in each of the 2 lint traps, like any other dryer. 🙂 ~ k

  3. Pam'a says:

    Brava, Karen!

    Is there a way to put the fuses in backwards, like a battery? Or does either way work? Because if there’s a backwards way, I’ll choose it…

    • Karen says:

      Pam’a – These particular fuses work either way. When in doubt, pay attention whilst you’re ripping stuff apart. ~ karen!

  4. SK Farm Girl says:

    And all the while you were wearing the cutest little flats!!! You are my kinda chick, Miss Karen! From one fashionista to another, shoes can make or break not just an outfit, but the whole situation!! Way to rock that repair job! Girl power!! 🙂

  5. Sharon says:

    I love your “can-do” kindred spirit. And your right. It never hurts to ask. One of my favorite outfits (back in the ’80s) was a madras plaid skirt with a turquoise knit top. When I bought the skirt, the shop had no tops to match, but the sales lady was wearing one that matched perfectly. So I asked if she’d like to sell it to me, and she did! I walked out of the store with a whole new outfit. So “it never hurts to ask” applies to fashion as well as home repair.

  6. Farquist says:

    Now I want a chandelier in my laundry room.

    • Liz S. says:

      I was about to comment on that.
      Karen – Take a good pic of the chandelier. I want to see what kind of chandelier you have in your laundry room!

  7. Joni Nawrocki says:

    Awesome! However, I’ve never had a repairman tell me how to fix it. They’ve ALWAYS wanted to make the call and get their money. Must be a Canadian thing. Ya’ll are so nice. :o)

    • Sara says:

      Joni – There is hope to find this sort of kindness elsewhere! A washing machine repairman in Austin, Texas talked me through a simple repair on the phone a couple summers ago. I knew there was a reason he had multiple great reviews on Yelp!

  8. Donna says:

    so smart! That means your choice in appliances, self repairing and your shoes in that one shot. Love them!

  9. Brenda says:

    Bravo bravo bravo!! And may I add another benefit of doing things yourself? I bet your arms and legs got a mini weight-lifting session shimmying the washer/dryer combo out a few feet. I’ve been on a mission to keep my home with hardwood floors free of dust bunnies and I don’t think my arms have ever looked so good since I am moving furniture every week!

    PS: LOVE the Slumdog Millionaire reference!! LOL

  10. Susie says:

    You go girl!!! : )

  11. Hmmm…we’ve been having dryer issues – it might very well be a fuse. I’m sending this post to my husband. Maybe we can fix it!! Thanks. =)

  12. Rachel says:

    LOVE you!!

  13. Go you!!

    I am always afraid of fixing large appliances, but my husband and I have managed to fix both our washer and our dryer all by ourselves.

    I’m always so proud of us when we manage to get something like that done.

  14. blake says:

    I adore your faith in me!

  15. Wendy says:

    I love that you’re fixing your dryer in heels!

  16. Samantha says:

    LOVE the shoes you chose to fix the dryer in. Super awesome! You make my day, everyday. We have coffee you and I. Sounds creepy stalkerish, but really, I just enjoy reading your thots, which make me think I can do just about anything. I spray painted stuff this weekend. It was awesome. Thanks for keeping it real and being a becon of encouragement to women, well, and guys too. Anyway, just, thanks.

  17. Pat says:

    As I was reading this my husband was passing by and said, “What’s she doing? Changing a fuse?” Yep. His reply was, “Fuses shouldn’t blow under normal conditions…. unless there is an issue” Like what? “Possibly overloading the dryer or a fault with the internal electronics/electrical or….something else.” He is NOT an appliance repair man but a guy who teaches electronic and computer engineering at a post secondary institution. Howver, he is pretty handy dandy at solving problems with appliances and saving us loads of $$$. Just a tidbit of info. to file in your mind for future reference.

    • Karen says:

      Pat – Agreed. I asked the electronics people I bought the fuse from and they said the same thing (that fuses don’t normally blow). However, the fuse is 12-13 years old, so they also agreed it was possible for it to blow. We’ll see … Fingers crossed it’s O.K. now. Say thanks to your husband! ~ karen

  18. Barry says:

    I love you a little more each day. Not in a creepy way, I swear.

  19. Lisa says:

    My dad is an appliance repairman. Fuses just blow sometimes. Mine cost $3.00. It’s amazing how simple it is to fix things sometimes, although some appliance repair takes special sized tools, and some take manufacturer-specific tools that people don’t normally have. I took my furnace apart last year. And most repair manuals are available online.

  20. Marti says:

    Ugh. Having a Monday here, so reading this blog is great. Amazing. And perhaps will motivate me?? Maybe??? Maybe?? YES!!! UP I GO!!! OFF THE COUCH!!

    Thanks Karen! (Really, I’m a “can do” woman, but I don’t know I would have tried this. Now, if it ever happens, I definitely will give it a shot!)

  21. Elise says:

    I was surprised (and a bit disappointed) to not find a picture of your Bangladesh/Slumdog Millionaire house at the end of the post. Still, I am satisfied with today’s post, as always!

  22. Katy says:

    I recently found myself at a stand still with my house decor, my old lampshades (now painted 🙂 ), and my dirty cutting board (which i cleaned thanks to you!) Your posts are inspiring and get me up off my lazy behind and make me feel like I can do it all! Even though I’m a busy stay at home mom trying to run my own company, your simple projects make it all so quick and easy. THANK YOU. I’m officially obsessed. (but not in a stalker, creepy way) haha

    🙂

  23. Kharina says:

    Wehay! We like the power! Thanks for the educational tidbit!

  24. Shauna says:

    Love it! This reminds me of the time my husband leaned on our washer pressing a bunch of buttons at once and the whole thing wet caput. We tried unplugging/replugging (you know like IT people always tell you to turn off the computer to fix it), we tried pushing all sorts of buttons – no help. So, we called the repairman who gave us some crazy quote to come out. I said, “Wait,just wait, someone else out in this crazy world had to have this happen to them” so I googled like a mad woman and indeed did find others with the same issue. Turns out, there was a series of buttons we had to push in a certain order and whallah the washer worked again. FREE. I love the internet (sometimes, just sometimes, it doesn’t lie to us) 🙂

    Way to go Karen!

    • Shauna says:

      p.s.: We bought our wood/supplies this weekend to start our chicken coop build. How’s your plan to find a plan to think about building coming???? At some point, we have a plan to plan on finding chickens to live in our chicken coop;)

  25. Micol says:

    Definitly love your attitude. Great job!
    How are the chicks? I think they are growing very fast!

    • Karen says:

      Micol – Thank you! The chicks are growing very quickly by the way. Being chickens they’re hard to get a picture of! I”ll try this week. ~ karen!

  26. kate says:

    Good going and Really good post! and good pictures of the procedure. There is only one thing I would have done differently and that is –change BOTH fuses — especially on a 12-13 year old appliance. My experience has been that if there is a problem with an old fuse, hose, light, whatever and there are multiples of same item then in 6 months or maybe a year or so, I’ll have to do it all again for the/an/other one — cause they’re all OLD.
    Thanks for your site!

    • Karen says:

      Kate – It’s all taken care of. Don’t you worry about a thing. I got a spare fuse which I taped to the side of the dryer. I didn’t include it in my “cost” because if the dryer repairman had come I wouldn’t have bought an extra fuse. It was an option that I decided to partake in that wasn’t necessary. ~ karen!

  27. Amy in StL says:

    I love your watch! I’ve promised myself a watch when I’m at the 20 pound weight loss mark. (ten pounds is this great pair of slingback platform shoes)What brand is it? I’m hoping pictures of my goals on the fridge will help. (30 is a pair of jeans from the custom jean shop in the next town)

    • Karen says:

      Amy – Ooooo custom jeans! That sounds like fun! My watch is a Michael Kors white ceramic watch. I got it for Christmas. Only I didn’t. My fella actually bought me a diamond watch which I promptly returned so I could buy this one. I liked the diamond watch but I don’t need a diamond watch. I did however, NEED, a white Michael Kors watch. 🙂 Good luck with your goal! ~ karen

  28. Talia says:

    You had me laughing throughout the entire post. Job well done! Don’t you just love the feeling of being able to do something yourself. Nothing better!

    BTW…love the shoes!!

  29. Tracey says:

    This is pure handy to know good stuff!

    I fixed my dryer last year by reaching in the dryer hose from outside the house and pulling out wads of lint. While praying there were no dead animals in said hose.

  30. Rhonda N. says:

    A few things come to mind:

    1) That skinny heifer can fit in that little space between her washer/dryer and the wall.

    2) Thank God someone else has random crap hanging around their laundry room.

    3) I have fixed my dryer’s ignition coil – or something like that. Bought the part and my own personal repairman (I married him 16 years ago on Friday the 20th) walked me through the repairs over the phone. If I were as funny as you and had the gumption, I could start a blog and write about this stuff, too. Hmmm.

  31. Your laundry room looks exactly like mine! Way to go! I like the “unplug” advice. I was just cleaning my dryer today and wondering if I should unplug before I stuck my vacuum cleaner nozzle inside. I survived.

  32. Pam'a says:

    I finally remembered what I meant to put in my first comment! If you discover your dryer will run but won’t heat up, that can also be a blown fuse. (Probably depends on which fuse blows.)

  33. CJ says:

    Okay so I guess I should look at how to fix my washing machine. It stops at the deep rinse cycle on the normal wash side. My current solution, spin the dial round to deep rinse on the gentle wash side and start the machine again…

    Also I regularly move our washing machine to clean under it (kitty litter knows no bounds) so I’m not likely to discover a little pot of gold underneath my appliance – so sad.

  34. Christina says:

    This makes me wonder if I can fix my own dryer. It operates, but it routinely traps smaller items in between the rotating barrel and the stationary outer part. To remove said items I have to yank them, often causing holes, and they’re always left with icky black marks where they were stuck. The dryer also leaves black marks and occasionally holes in other garments that I don’t find stuck. Which is even more frustrating because I’m not sure what exactly is causing it. Perhaps its the same thing and they unstuck themselves before I get to them. Stupid dryer.

    I’ve been planning to just live with it until I can afford a new one. That’s what I get for buying a dryer for $60 at a second hand shop.

  35. Lin N says:

    Love yer blog! Excellent work on the dryer and once upon a time I was as thin as you. So stylish with the shoes and all. One observation on making a profit on the repair…you need to factor in the $125 dollar cost of gas to get you to the ‘fuse’ store….pretty sure you still come out ahead tho….lol. Keep doin what ya do cuz ya do it so well!

  36. Our dryer stopped drying in the middle of a 3-load wash day. It was still spinning, but there was no heat and after 2 hrs of running, the load still wasn’t dry (duh). I actually had a sweet old repair man come all the way out to the apartment without checking the breaker box (which I shall never do again), and he was smart enough to check that box before taking the dryer apart. Turns out my stupid apartment maintenance man had partially tripped the breaker for that dryer outlet, which caused only the heat to turn off on it. I still had to pay $40 for the kind old repair guy’s time, but I’ll never make that mistake again!

  37. Aoi says:

    This post was exactly the kick in the pants I needed! I’ve been waiting almost a year for my husband to fix our washer and dryer. Then I saw this. Yesterday I took the washer apart and fixed it, and today I fixed the dryer. Thanks for the motivation, Karen!!!

  38. Marie says:

    Way to go!

    I showed my husband how to fix the kitchen sink on Sunday.

    It’s the simple things in life.

  39. Jasmine says:

    Lovely post! When I bought this house you couldn’t use the front door cos it was piled to the ceiling with microwaves, tellies, cassette/cd players, heaters – all of which had blown fuses. So the idiot bloke who lived here stuck it on the to-do pile and went out and bought a new whatever. All my friends got new stuff for the cost of a new fuse – I didnt cos I was too busy renovating.
    Hey take all those lanyards and hang them on a wall somewhere as a little memory board piece of art. Lovely blog, thanks heapsly for it. Jasmine in Oz

  40. Bill C. says:

    Home improvement made simple!

  41. Sandi says:

    You’re amazing … and so brave. I can’t bring myself to do anything “electrical”. I’m currently having dryer issues too, with my LG. They won’t even send a repairman until you do all sorts of trouble-shooting. I banged my head on the inside of the drum three times in the process and am still hanging my panties all over the house.

    • Karen says:

      Sandi – My sister has a set of LG. They are the worst appliances on the planet with the absolute worst repair history and the absolute worst customer service. She bought the top of the line washer and dryer and they both broke immediately requiring something like $1,000 in repairs which weren’t covered. Even after repairing it, the dryer has never worked. It plain old doesn’t dry clothes! She’s only had them for 3 years and last week she finally threw them out and bought new Maytags. Oh! And you’re right to be frightened of anything electrical. Even I won’t do a lot of electrical things that I know are dangerous. I’ll install lights, dimmer switches etc. etc. and I always, ALWAYS turn on the breaker (sometimes even all the power to the house!). My general rule is, If it can kill you if you do it wrong … call a professional. This includes anything to do with gas lines. 🙂 Good luck w/ your dryer! ~ karen

  42. Kristi says:

    I just bought my first house… and what do you know! First load of laundry = fail. It’s not the dryer though– it’s the washing machine. It starts making this terrible, awful grinding noise when it’s supposed to start the spin cycle. One of my friends said it was likely a broken belt, or something like that… any thoughts?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kristi – My first thought is broken belt too. Either that or it’s off balance. ‘Cause I’ve never fixed a washing machine before, so I’m just guessing. Call a repair company and ask them. Chances are they’ll offer the answer and let you know if you can fix it yourself. Some shops are more helpful than others so you may need to make a couple of calls. Good luck! ~ karen!

  43. Jenni says:

    This is a late comment as I just stumbled on your blog via Pinterest, but we just fixed our dryer this past weekend. On Thanksgiving Day our family got hit by the stomach flu and of course, the next couple of days were filled with washing all kinds of linens/blankets/towels/etc. And of course that’s when the dryer made this awful grinding noise. I was doing the Bangladesh thing too, but thanks to the Internet I was able to figure out how to take apart our dryer with my husband, and we’re not sure what it was, but once we ran it with the cover off the noise was gone. We think it was a penny that fell out while we opened it up. So I guess you could say that we earned $.01 for our efforts.

  44. Teri says:

    Dryers are the easiest to repair because they are so basic. I have replaced (over my 59 yrs) several heating elements in dryers and the belt for the drum . Now washers are a bit more complicated and unless you really know how to do those I would leave it to a repair man.
    I too noticed the cute shoes but thought they looked like open toed heels. O the things we do to be gorgeous! Just subscribed to your blog but so far I love it. Thanks for taking the time and for being so damn funny! Any one offended by your words should opt out ( loved the asshole buttons on the dryer)….keep it up!

  45. Tanja says:

    Oh yes, you are awesome! Love the shot behind the dryer!

    • Karen says:

      Tanja – Thanks! It’s been several months since that post. I cleaned behind the dryer at the time … I’m sure it looks exactly like the before picture again by now. ~ karen

  46. Vanessa says:

    Hi, Karen – I found your website after a random google for something home-owner related which I can’t remember now. However, you are now on my “favorites” page – I am having a blast reading all about our trials and tribulations – so fun! Thanks for sharing, and making it all so fun and entertaining.
    I DO have a question about your washer/dryer – we have a very tiny space too and are limited to “compact” models for our kitchen. I’ve heard that the Bosch dryer you have makes the room “hot” since it doesn’t vent outside – is that true? Is it that annoying, or hardly noticeable? We have a Bosch dishwasher which I LOVE, just wondering if the washer/dryer are a good buy. Thanks for sharing any/all thoughts!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Vanessa. Welcome to my site! I really like my self venting Bosch. My kitchen is always a little cold so I don’t mind the extra heat in the winter, LOL. In the summer I have noticed the odd time that it’s hot but it isn’t something I ever think about. It’s not even like “Oh well … I’ll have to live with it”. It just isn’t really an issue. I’d recommend it. There you go. My endorsement. I also endorse plain potato chips. ~ karen

  47. Bob says:

    Karen,

    You are much more bold than many. When it comes to electricity, perhaps rightfully so. However, a fuse is a simple one. Thanks for helping many others get over the fear of fixing things on their own.

    WNY Handyman

    • Karen says:

      Hey Bob! You showed up in my comments at just the right time. Know anything about refrigerator repair? LOL. My fridge died. Thawed out the evaporator coils, fixed the fan that had actually fallen off it’s peg. Freezer cold, blowing a bit in refrigerator but not COLD. Just replaced the thermostat hoping that’ll do the trick. If not … what else could it be do you think? I realize I’m asking someone that probably doesn’t even deal in refrigeration repair, LOL. Oh well. ~ karen

  48. Kirsten says:

    I know you’re still relaxing at the cottage, but I wanted to comment anyway to thank you! I had this post in mind when I decided to crack open my laptop and clean it out myself (something I was considering sending it to a repair shop for). I would never have even considered doing that if it weren’t for your blog, and this post in particular.
    So, thank you for giving me the confidence to take things apart and put them back together again!

    • Karen says:

      You’re welcome Kristen. 🙂 I’m glad I’ve given you the umph, confidence, hutzpah … whatever you want to call it, to do stuff. 🙂 ~ karen

  49. Megan K says:

    I am so glad I found this! I am going to try and fix my own. it has not worked for the last 5 days uuuugggghhhh

  50. coupon says:

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  51. kreed says:

    Nice tutorial :). I need one for a newer dryer. Wish they were still like the old ones!

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