Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dryer Switch

I haven't posted anything on this blog for a while. Fortunately, your garage door opener doesn't fail that often. But, there are other similar problems that happen around home that are similar, require similar fixes, and similar patterns of dealing with technicians. I decided to talk about them here too.

The latest was with the GE dryer. While turning the start switch on, it didn't start and some smoke came out of it. I was able to smell burn next to the start switch, so I figured that was the problem. As typically the case with these type of problems, the most challenging is figuring out how to open it and reach the bad part. Again, similar to what happened with the garage opener, I called a service to come and take a look at it. A technician came, removed some nails from the back and inside the dryer and opened it. I already told him the problem is in the start switch, so he didn't have to use much brain power, but he was more disciplined and nicer than the garage door guys, so I was ok with him. His service call was supposed to be $45, but in order to replace the switch he quoted $140 labor + the cost of switch and knob from his vendor. He mentioned that he will call me the next day and tell me the exact price and asked for $100, then taking the rest after fixing it. I fall for that and gave him the $100, although should have paid only the $45 until he fix it. After he left, I searched online for the start switch and found that I can get both the switch and knob for ~$20. I found also that I can easily replace the switch myself, now that I know where it's. I was interested to know about his quote; he called the next day and mentioned $69 in addition to his labor, so I thanked him and told him that I am going to order it online. It arrived in 2 days and I replaced it and got the dryer working again.

The steps for the fix:

  • First thing is to unplug the power before doing any work.
  • Then find the nails to remove, some of them are challenging and require effort, a good screw driver helps here.
  • Remove the cover and find the bad switch.
  • Remove the wires connected to the switch, remember exactly how they were connected, in my case a red wire was up and a black down.
  • Turn the switch around remove its clips from the dryer panel.
  • Put the new switch in the panel, turning it around in the counter direction until it clips.
  • Put the wires back in the same way.
  • Put the nails back, make sure to close everything, otherwise the dryer won't start or could be risky.
  • Plug the power and start.


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  7. This is a great thing to try before calling for professional repair. Sometimes there is such a simple fix to a problem that you can do it on your own. If it gets more difficult or requires electrical work, though, I would recommend leaving the repairs to a professional.

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