Friday, September 27, 2013

The Handyman

It's amazing all the things you'll learn to do when motivated by money. Being a homeowner gives you lots and lots of opportunity to advance your handyman skills. I've installed everything from faucets to chandeliers, repaired all from toilets to pianos, and improved my decorating and organizational skills.

Last week I put a load of clothes in the dryer before going to bed. Sylvie woke me up around 2am and after I got back in bed I suddenly realized I could still hear the dryer running. Visions of charred clothing danced through my head as I sprinted downstairs to see what sorts of evil spirits had invaded my dryer.

When I opened the door I was shocked to find clothes that were completely dry, but cool... just tumbling away with no heat. I looked at the timer to see it had only advanced a sliver from where I had set it originally. Huh. That's odd.

The next day I did what anyone would have done in my situation: Googled the hell out of my problem. From what I could tell a cycling switch and possibly a heat fuse had broken. I then watched a video on how to fix the problem which looked incredibly easy, so I ordered up the parts.

A couple days later when they arrived, I got myself setup to make the repair. When I unplugged the dryer I was surprised to find one of the prongs looked burnt/melted, but, I figured since the dryer was still running, it must be OK. So, I installed the new switch and fuse and fired her up. No dice. There was still no heat. Hmm..

I did some more Googling and wasn't 100% satisfied that ordering other parts would fix the issue. I finally decided I needed to stop guessing and actually test all the components in the dryer to see which one was broken. So, I broke out Seth's trusty multimeter and proceeded to test all the dryer parts. Imagine my shock when they all tested good. What the heck was going on?

I think I finally must have decided to check on the burnt power cord and I'm glad I did. Apparently those crazy power cords will keep running the dryer, but the prong that goes to the heat just won't work. Most likely the connection in the outlet was bad or loose and it arced and damaged the plug.

Well, at this point I decided this was a job for the professionals. We called in a real electrician to replace the outlet and check the wiring to make sure it was OK. I replaced the fried power cord on the dryer and that was that. It scares me to think what could have happened. The laundry room is right beneath Sylvie's room and something like that could have easily started a fire. Needless to say I'm never going to run the dryer at night again.