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Dryer malfunction
Old 08-28-2007, 04:28 PM   #1
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Dryer malfunction

OK you appliance gurus out there, help me diagnose a problem with our Maytag electric clothes dryer.

The dryer heats and dries OK, but will not shut off automatically. In automatic mode, the dial moves as the clothes dry, but once it gets to "cool down" cycle the heating element shuts off but the timer/dial stops moving and the dryer continues to run. Same when in manual (timer) mode - it dries fine, shuts off the heating element but continues to run until manually turned off.

I've checked to be sure the vent is clear of lint. The airflow coming out of the vent is very strong and the drying time seems normal.

Ideas?
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Old 08-28-2007, 04:46 PM   #2
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REWahoo,

Have you tried asking on Appliance Blog? Here a thread with a similar problem:

Maytag Dryer won't stop running. - Appliance Blog Forums
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Old 08-28-2007, 04:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by WanderALot View Post
REWahoo,

Have you tried asking on Appliance Blog? Here a thread with a similar problem:

Maytag Dryer won't stop running. - Appliance Blog Forums
Thanks, I've not checked that site but have looked at several others. What I've found is the problem that's discussed on the thread you linked - the dryer keeps running and heating probably due to a clogged vent. Not the problem I have.

I did pose the question to RepairClinic.com but haven't gotten a response yet.
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Old 08-28-2007, 05:00 PM   #4
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Speculation on my part: Sounds like the moisture sensor is working properly, but the temperature sensor is not.

Howstuffworks "How Clothes Dryers Work"
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Old 08-28-2007, 05:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
OK you appliance gurus out there, help me diagnose a problem with our Maytag electric clothes dryer.
The dryer heats and dries OK, but will not shut off automatically. In automatic mode, the dial moves as the clothes dry, but once it gets to "cool down" cycle the heating element shuts off but the timer/dial stops moving and the dryer continues to run. Same when in manual (timer) mode - it dries fine, shuts off the heating element but continues to run until manually turned off.
If I understand the symptoms correctly, it sounds like the timer knob is getting stuck near the end of its cycle.

First, how old is this machine? If it's more than five years old then you may be able to find a good used dryer on Craigslist for a couple hundred bucks. (Most of them are sold because they don't match the renovated decor, if you can believe that.) That gives you plenty of time to futz around with the old one, and fix it if you want to, without your spouse standing behind you holding an armload of wet clothes and offering helpful suggestions. Once you fix it you can decide which one to sell.

Of course this tactic may backfire on you if she decides that it's time to buy a brand-new high-end matched-set frontloader combo.

Dryer timer switches are also about $75-$100 at appliance parts stores. This is the preferred alternative to cleaning because if you had to clean it once then you'll probably have to clean it again in a few years. If you're going to spend that much on a timer switch instead of a used Craigslist dryer then it's usually to avoid spousal coercion into a four-figure retail upgrade.

If you do decide to try to fix the timer switch, it may be full of peanut butter accumulated dust, lint, & corrosion. (And in your neck of the woods, perhaps a few heat-seeking chiggers.) After soaking yourself in chigger repellant (plus injecting the appropriate amounts of scorpion & rattlesnake anti-venins) you could pull the module out of the control panel. Shake it to see if there are any broken parts rattling inside. (And to disorient any diehard chiggers.) If it seems to still be in one piece (the switch, not the chigger) then spray electrical-contact cleaner through its casing (or take the casing off), and finish the cleaning by beating the crap out of it vigorously rotating it several times through its entire cycle. It'll need some time to dry out before you re-energize it. (Still talking about the switch here, not the chigger.) Hopefully there won't be any remaining critter parts fouling the mechanism and the dryer will work fine again... but as a marriage veteran you know it's only a matter of time before she notices those Kenmore ads.

My favorite site is the Samurai Appliance Repair Man.
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Old 08-28-2007, 05:55 PM   #6
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If I understand the symptoms correctly, it sounds like the timer knob is getting stuck near the end of its cycle.
Listen to Nords. He appears to know what he is talking about, here.

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First, how old is this machine? If it's more than five years old then you may be able to find a good used dryer on Craigslist for a couple hundred bucks. (Most of them are sold because they don't match the renovated decor, if you can believe that.) That gives you plenty of time to futz around with the old one, and fix it if you want to, without your spouse standing behind you holding an armload of wet clothes and offering helpful suggestions. Once you fix it you can decide which one to sell.

Of course this tactic may backfire on you if she decides that it's time to buy a brand-new high-end matched-set frontloader combo.
Oh, he DEFINITELY know what he is talking about!!
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Old 08-28-2007, 05:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
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First, how old is this machine?
It's 6 years old - which I consider to be brand-spankin-new! But yeah, the Craigslist option may be way to go.

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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Of course this tactic may backfire on you if she decides that it's time to buy a brand-new high-end matched-set frontloader combo.
What!? Have you two been swapping emails? She likes the cobalt blue set.

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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
If I understand the symptoms correctly, it sounds like the timer knob is getting stuck near the end of its cycle.
It is doing just that, but I'm suspicious it's more than a mechanical malfunction since in both the two automatic modes and the manual timer mode, the knob stops moving only after the heating element cuts off. Makes me think the problem may be beyond the timer switch.

But, it may be worth a shot to remove it and see if it can be dechiggeredbugged using the subtle and delicate adjustments you described.
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Old 08-28-2007, 06:13 PM   #8
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The dryer heats and dries OK, but will not shut off automatically. .....Ideas?

Brilliant! This is a fabulous ruse to get out of doing the laundry. "... um no I don't do laundry anymore, my dryer is possessed on the fritz"

Not only does it elicit pity for the impending repair/replace bills but it totally excuses a somewhat rumpled appearance (not that I'm saying you are rumpled).....

I'm filing this one away for future use
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Old 08-28-2007, 06:23 PM   #9
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Brilliant! This is a fabulous ruse to get out of doing the laundry. "... um no I don't do laundry anymore, my dryer is possessed on the fritz"

I'm filing this one away for future use
Can I get a copyright on an excuse?

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... it totally excuses a somewhat rumpled appearance (not that I'm saying you are rumpled).....
Looks like Nords isn't the only one who's been in contact with my DW...
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:25 PM   #10
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Do you really need a dryer?
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:25 PM   #11
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The timer is turned on by either the moisture sensor on auto or the thermo (it's been over 20 yrs since I troubleshot one of these bad boys). Look at the wiring schematic and it should be pretty easy to see what closes to power up the timer. If you have a voltmeter, hook it up to the timer and see what happens when you get to the trouble spot in the timer. If you have juice, it's a bad timer. Otherwise I'd use a test light screwdriver (Sear's special to check for voltage) or my voltmeter and work my way back according to the schematic to see where the voltage drops. Make sure your polarity is correct at the outlet.

Oh yeah, I air dry. An advantage to our 95 degree So Cal climate. But we do have a 25 yr old Maytag for my wife. Works like a champ. Haven't had to tear into it yet.
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:43 PM   #12
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Thanks for the troubleshooting info.

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Oh yeah, I air dry. An advantage to our 95 degree So Cal climate.
Gotcha covered on the 95+ temps. Unfortunately, air drying in this country can be hazardous to your health. Fire ants love damp laundry, plus chiggers and scorpions are apparently attracted to the smell of clothespins.
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Old 08-28-2007, 09:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
timer/dial stops moving and the dryer continues to run.
Considering the possibility that it is a mechanical thing...

1. Does the dial always stop in the same place?

2. If you physically move the timer dial, can you feel any change in resistance as you pass that point?

3. Can you open it up so as to look at the gears to see if there's a mouse's body there, for example (as I found in a stove once)?

4. Have you tried percussive maintenance?
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Old 08-28-2007, 09:16 PM   #14
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Considering the possibility that it is a mechanical thing...

1. Does the dial always stop in the same place?
Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
2. If you physically move the timer dial, can you feel any change in resistance as you pass that point?
No, can't feel anything when I move across that point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
3. Can you open it up so as to look at the gears to see if there's a mouse's body there, for example (as I found in a stove once)?
I'm planning on a chigger/fire ant/scorpion/mouse search tomorrow.

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4. Have you tried percussive maintenance?
Soon.
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:52 PM   #15
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I'd be thinking the timer itself also. The tumbler shut-off switch is stuck closed. That would be separate contacts from the heater switch, so it makes sense that they could fail independently.

And don't discount the 'percussive maintenance' approach. It can be particularly effective on stuck switch contacts in a dirty environment.


Funny timing. My 20 YO Maytag dryer stopped tumbling Saturday.

Took it apart, belt was broke, found the belt online for $20, arrived today (!)

While I had it apart, I noticed the bushing wear plates (pieces of cork and a teflon sheet) were ready to go. Ordered at the same time, another $20.

Then $17 for a rivet gun (can't believe I got along this long w/o one).

Will it last another 20 years? I replaced the heater element 5 years ago.

Saves me the trouble of locating and moving a new/used one. Pretty easy to work on these things.

Washer is 20 YO too. Never did a thing to that. But if that died, I'd look into the front-load ones that use less water and spin the clothes drier. I question if they are worth the extra $ (I'm sure there is a thread on it in here), but it seem that it could be.

I don't understand the fascination with 'new' dryers? Ours is tucked away behind bi-fold doors. I'd be as motivated to replace a working unit as I am to replace all the unclogged P-Traps under the sinks in our house.

Call me old fashioned.

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Old 08-29-2007, 09:52 AM   #16
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14 yr old washer dryer set here.
DH has replaced the timer with good result.
We are now having drum problems where it has separated from the front wall, sometimes entangling clothes and pinching them in the space (no more clothing with loose strings or straps allowed now!).
I wonder if this is the bushing wear plates that ERD50 mentioned? How did you diagnose that was your problem?
We did do some JB Weld on the washer drum about 6 yrs ago that is holding up pretty well.
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:03 AM   #17
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Do you really need a dryer?


DW seems to think it is important.
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:14 AM   #18
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Dryer repair update.

Repair attempt #1: Removed timer. No varmints found, but contacts were somewhat corroded. Cleaned contacts and reinstalled timer. Result - No change.

Repair attempt #2: Removed timer. Applied gentle percussive maintenance and reinstalled timer. Result - totally inoperative.

Repair attempt #3: Removed timer. Applied vigorous percussive maintenance. Result - great stress relief.

Repair attempt #4: Ordered new timer.
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:24 AM   #19
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#5: get DW the Cobalt Blue machines.
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:42 AM   #20
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Harvest Gold, Avacado, and Coppertone are nice colors too!
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