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.
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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.
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
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?
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!
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.
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!
Oh yes, you are awesome! Love the shot behind the dryer!
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
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!
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
Bosch also makes N electric version of this dryer!
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.
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
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!
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
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
Link exchange is nothing else except it is only placing the other person's website link on your page at appropriate
place and other person will also do similar in support of you.
Karen, I'm an old guy and I'll bet that you don't get a lot of us on your site, but I just had to tell you that I absolutely "love" your entire attitude and approach to problems. Can you please call my wife and enlighten her as to your secret?
Nice tutorial :). I need one for a newer dryer. Wish they were still like the old ones!
Love your sense of humor! Last summer, my dryer began making some horrible screeching cries for help. Researching what a new dryer would cost, and recently having left my 70+ hr/week career in I.T., I decided to tackle the repair myself. With my assistant, Nurse Google, I carefully started trying to diagnose my ailing friend. To make a long story short, I carefully disassembled the dryer, taking pictures and labeling pieces as I went. The culprit of the noise, a $7 part hidden deep behind the guts of the dryer, took 2 weeks to arrive. During those quiet 14 days, the dryer drum rested comfortably on my family room floor. I was amazed, once I resuscitated the dryer, how little there really was to its construction....and how much it would have cost to hire a professional.... or, as I probably would have done had the breakdown occurred while I was working, ordered a new dryer.
Congratulations Mary Ann! That's great. I finally got rid of my washer and dryer after having fixed both of them for 20 years! My new set is now a year old and I expect things to start breaking in them within the next month or so, lol. ~ karen!
awwww- smart AND classy! you fixed it in your PRETTY shoes! i am lovin' it!