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Dryer Service - My faith in youth is restored......
Old 09-15-2008, 01:27 PM   #1
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Dryer Service - My faith in youth is restored......

My GE dryer stopped working suddenly last Friday. I had a Sears tech come out and look at it. Turns out the dryer has a thermal fuse that trips when the dryer runs too hot. He quited me $18 for a new fuse he just happened to have with him (overpriced), and then said he would have to charge me $90 to put in the switch. Then he paused, and said he would show me how to install the new fuse, and if I signed a waiver I could do it myself and save the $90.

I signed the waiver, put in the switch, and it works fine. The young man laughed when I asked how much of the $90 he lost out on by letting me install the switch myself........

Maybe I can request him by name next time I need service........
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:52 PM   #2
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I've had very bad luck with appliance service calls, especially sears. Didnt they charge you a non-refundable service fee of about $80 just to show up?

My kenmore dishwasher crapped out 1 month past the warranty. I was pretty sure it was the fill valve. $80 for the guy to come out, said he couldnt tell if it was the fill valve or not, but for $220 he'd install one and find out.

I ordered a fill valve from a web site for about $20. While I was taking the dishwasher apart the service diagrams and paperwork fell out of their hidden compartment. Those showed you could measure the resistance between two points to identify if the valve was good or not. It wasnt. Ten seconds with an ohmmeter and the service expert didnt know that.

New valve in, worked like a charm.

Given that I had bad experiences (high cost for cheap fixes) with my last 3 appliance service calls, I decided if I couldnt fix it myself I'd just buy a new one and sell the old one as a fixer on craigs list.
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Old 09-15-2008, 03:26 PM   #3
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Good results on the last call. Under warranty GE Fridge. Ice maker was really slow and taking forever to make ice. Guy came out and gave us the song and dance about what he was allowed say about GE products. So he swapped it out with a new ice maker it worked fine. Could have done without the GE song and dance of what he can or could not say Just fix the damn thing.
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:03 PM   #4
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quick, check the washer for a fuse.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:22 AM   #5
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I'm an ex-Sears repair guy from 1971-72 on heating & refrigeration stuff. I often was "reminded" that it was "better" to replace an ailing motor rather than oil it and show the customer how to do it in the future. (Back when motors had oil ports in them.)

Those kind of guys still exist, but they're probably, like I was, headed for a different career. The "career guys" replaced the motor.

Then there are the customers who don't believe anything you say. One, for example, didn't believe me when I told her that an A/C condenser motor that worked after I oiled still needed replacing. The thing was wobbling so much on the worn bearings that it was coming close to hitting the condenser coils.
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:27 AM   #6
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So FinanceDude, how much did you tip the guy? A Comcast guy came out to check my crumby reception and replaced my gold splitters with silver (steel or aluminum?) and fixed several of my lousy DIY connections - all gratis. Now my reception is great. He initially declined a tip but I pushed $10 on him. He saved me a lot of aggravation and I am certain Comcast could charge me for fixing my mistakes. All in all I thought it was a fair thing to do since Comcast never had to do the "free" in-house installation I was entitled to when I purchased the service but still, it was my work that failed.
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:43 AM   #7
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We recently had the satellite TV guy out because we could not get one of the satellites. There was no charge because we "upgraded" to add local channels. Turned out it was a really fussy problem. The guy finally had to leave for another job 75 miles away and he said he would come back when he was done. On the other job he slipped on the roof and hurt his hand. He called from the hospital and said he would be late. We said don't worry about it, come another day. No, no, he came out that evening and finished the job, hand in a big bandage and all.

We tipped him twenty dollars.
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:21 AM   #8
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....... Turns out the dryer has a thermal fuse that trips when the dryer runs too hot.
Appliances that generate heat have these. In the old days, these were thermal circuit breakers and reset themselves after a time. Now they use these cheesy little fuses that cost a few cents. After my rice cooker died, I took it apart and found one of these. Got a new one for a couple of bucks at Radio Shack and it is good as new. Hairdryers have 'em, too.
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:58 AM   #9
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Appliances that generate heat have these. In the old days, these were thermal circuit breakers and reset themselves after a time. Now they use these cheesy little fuses that cost a few cents. After my rice cooker died, I took it apart and found one of these. Got a new one for a couple of bucks at Radio Shack and it is good as new. Hairdryers have 'em, too.
NOW that I KNOW that, my next fuse won't cost $18.00......... Even the service guy said that was way too much........
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:11 AM   #10
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NOW that I KNOW that, my next fuse won't cost $18.00......... Even the service guy said that was way too much........

I'm sure that GE doesn't pay more than $0.18 for them, but then there is overhead....
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:15 PM   #11
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A couple years ago we had our Taurus in for A/C repairs that topped $1500. The auto repair shop is part of a retail store that was running a merchandise coupon, but I didn't think to ask whether it'd be valid for labor & service.

The 20-something at the register asked if I had my scratch & win coupon card. When he persuaded me that it really was valid for this repair, I asked him to hold the bill while I went back home to get the card (it'd take about an hour). He said "No problem, you can pay now and take your car, then just bring the card back later for your discount."

When I brought the card back and we scratched off the coating to reveal the discount, it cut $225 off the bill. I split it with him. He had the grace to appear embarrassed by the whole thing.
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:14 PM   #12
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I'm sure that GE doesn't pay more than $0.18 for them, but then there is overhead....
Gotta keep those Immelt stock options humming along......
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:03 PM   #13
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If you have a Mr coffee type coffee maker there is a fusible link in the bottom portion of the coffee maker to prevent it from going up in smoke and burning the house down. It is inline with the heating element. So if your coffee maker quits check the fusible link first and replace. Last time I did this the cost was $2.50 for the link vs $30 for a new cheepy coffee maker.

YMMV
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:36 PM   #14
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So FinanceDude, how much did you tip the guy? A Comcast guy came out to check my crumby reception and replaced my gold splitters with silver (steel or aluminum?) and fixed several of my lousy DIY connections - all gratis. Now my reception is great. He initially declined a tip but I pushed $10 on him. He saved me a lot of aggravation and I am certain Comcast could charge me for fixing my mistakes. All in all I thought it was a fair thing to do since Comcast never had to do the "free" in-house installation I was entitled to when I purchased the service but still, it was my work that failed.

COMCAST.....Yikes. They charge me $20 to come out and do nothing. They hate me cause I just have analog service and won't upgrade to digital. The reception is terrible. Glad you're getting better service than me.
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:07 AM   #15
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So FinanceDude, how much did you tip the guy? A Comcast guy came out to check my crumby reception and replaced my gold splitters with silver (steel or aluminum?) and fixed several of my lousy DIY connections - all gratis. Now my reception is great. He initially declined a tip but I pushed $10 on him. He saved me a lot of aggravation and I am certain Comcast could charge me for fixing my mistakes. All in all I thought it was a fair thing to do since Comcast never had to do the "free" in-house installation I was entitled to when I purchased the service but still, it was my work that failed.
$20 tip............
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:37 PM   #16
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I thought I'd piggy-back on this one as being tangentially related.

We had a service guy come out to look at our loudly squeaking dryer. He told us that the bearings were shot and that there's some broken stuff in there -- short answer, not worth fixing, so we didn't.

So we need a new dryer (no way we're going Khan's route ). But as an added quirk, we're considering redoing our 1st floor laundry room in the next couple of years. If we were to do so, it would be more convenient to have a stacked set rather than side-by-side.

Dumb question -- can stackable washers/dryers of different brands be stacked? Or do they need to be designed for each other?

Anyone think it's worth getting rid of a working top-load 10-year-old washer at this time for a front-loader, which would presumably lower water/energy consumption?
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:55 PM   #17
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We had a service guy come out to look at our loudly squeaking dryer. He told us that the bearings were shot and that there's some broken stuff in there -- short answer, not worth fixing, so we didn't.
Motor/belt bearings can squeak in dryers, but so can the circumferential felt rings that the drum rides on. If you're fearless about taking the front of the dryer apart and pulling the drum out, you might be able to find the material that's squeaking around the drum, as well as have all sorts of access to lubricate bearings. That's what we did with an older dryer, and it fixed the problem right up-- after an hour's labor and a couple sets of barked knuckles. Depending on the "some broken stuff", the dryer might have a lot of life left.

The reason I bring this up is because new dryers aren't much more efficient than old ones and generally not worth "upgrading". But if you decide to ditch the old one then you can get a great cheap deal on Craigslist.

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Dumb question -- can stackable washers/dryers of different brands be stacked? Or do they need to be designed for each other?
Sure, as long as they're both front-loaders or you have a really tall ceiling and a stepladder!

But seriously, some complain about reaching the upper front-loading appliance and others complain about bending over to reach the bottom front-loading appliance. Your avatar may give you problems with the lower machine.

The stackable machines are generally smaller and integrated to stay together despite uneven loads. I don't know how you'd secure the bottom of the top appliance to the top of the bottom appliance, especially if one decided to start walking. But no doubt it could be done.

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Anyone think it's worth getting rid of a working top-load 10-year-old washer at this time for a front-loader, which would presumably lower water/energy consumption?
Absolutely. That 10-year-old machine is an energy hog (by comparison) and it's scraping your clothes to death on its agitator. Your local utility may even pay you a rebate to buy an EnergyStar front-loading washing machine. The washer lowers its water consumption and its spin-dry greatly lowers the dryer's energy consumption-- just not as low as Khan's approach...
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:19 PM   #18
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I think I'd like to see a comparison of the caloric intake required to engage Khans method, vs a high efficiency dryer with a moisture sensor drying a front load washers load after a high speed spin.

If its more than half a sandwich, I think theres some game here.
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Old 10-01-2008, 05:26 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Kronk View Post
I thought I'd piggy-back on this one as being tangentially related.

We had a service guy come out to look at our loudly squeaking dryer. He told us that the bearings were shot and that there's some broken stuff in there -- short answer, not worth fixing, so we didn't.

So we need a new dryer (no way we're going Khan's route ). But as an added quirk, we're considering redoing our 1st floor laundry room in the next couple of years. If we were to do so, it would be more convenient to have a stacked set rather than side-by-side.

Dumb question -- can stackable washers/dryers of different brands be stacked? Or do they need to be designed for each other?

Anyone think it's worth getting rid of a working top-load 10-year-old washer at this time for a front-loader, which would presumably lower water/energy consumption?
We had the squeeking problem on a Kenmore that was about 12 yrs old at the time. I had recently put an expensive timer/control module in it so my repair vs. replace threshold was pretty high. I was amazed at how easily the sheet metal disassembled, requiring just modest amounts of brute force. Before I knew it, I had the drum out. What was most shocking was the flimsy plastic roller bearings.......I could not believe they had not failed yrs before (family of 5). As Nords said, it's pretty easy to get at the bearings and felt, so if you really want to repair it, should be no big deal. Problem is if you can't or don't wish to do it yourself, it could easily cost $200 in labor including the service call to replace a $20 part. That was about 7 or 8 yrs ago.
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Kenmore experience
Old 10-01-2008, 06:47 PM   #20
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Kenmore experience

We had a Kenmore electric dryer from '73 to '05 (wow - 32 years!). Very easy to fix once you get over the fear of prying off panels by brute force.
Replaced 2 belts with new idler pulleys and one element over the years. Finally, my DW bought a Bosch a couple of years ago - The old one looked "OLD".
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