Time To Wake Up And Smell The Fabric Softener

This post was originally published May 28, 2014.

Before we could start painting the house, we had a couple of other emergency tasks that arose: the water heater stopped working, the dryer stopped working, and water from the bath tub supply line in the upstairs bath began to leak about a bucket a day of water through the ceiling into the living room. Last weekend, we tackled fixing the dryer, and got started fixing the leak in the ceiling. But today I am just going to talk about the dryer.

We have a 10-year-old Kenmore Elite HE3 front-loading washer and matching dryer.

control_panel

Last November, we put in a load of clothes, pressed the button, and nothing happened. The display panel at the top lit, but the dryer would not start turning or drying. The interior light came on, but that was it. We did a little research on the internet and found that this “symptom” is generally caused by a burnt-out thermal fuse. A little more research was required to track down the right part number for our dryer model. Luckily, there are lots of these dryers still around. In our case, the part number was 3392519. We found the fuses on Amazon from McCombs Supply Company in Lancaster, PA. The fuses run about $2.75 a piece, and McCombs provided free, quick shipping. When the fuse installed in November blew a couple of weeks ago, we ordered two more of the same fuse. Side note: I think that the first fuse that we installed blew due to the fact that the dryer vent needed to be cleaned, which has been rectified.

The first thing that we did was unplug the dryer.

dryer_front

Next, we propped the front of the dryer up with a 3″ X 3″ fence post remnant, so we could better reach the access panel.

propped

Then we removed the two screws on lower corners of the access panel.

front_cover_screws

We slid the outer access panel off to reveal the blower wheel housing.

motor_cover

There are three screws that hold the blower wheel housing cover in place – one on the left, seen below at the top:

moter_cover_screw1

one on the right:

motor_cover_screw2

and one underneath that secures a clip:

motor_cover_screw3

We slipped the blower wheel housing off, and cleaned the blower wheel with the vacuum.

cleaning

The fuse is located above and to the right of the blower wheel.

fuse

We loosened the screw that held the fuse in place and slipped it backwards out of the slot.

fuse_uninstalled

Then, we slipped the two connectors off the fuse.

fuse_connectors

We got the new fuse from the package.

replacement_part

new_fuse

We connected the connectors to the new fuse and installed it in the slot.

new_fuse_connected

Then, we tightened the screw that holds the fuse back into place.

tightening

We replaced the blower wheel housing, and the access panel, and removed the fence post used to prop up the dryer. Then we plugged the dryer back in and – TADA – it works!

it_works

The whole process only took about 45 minutes, and most of that was spent looking for the right size hex wrench.

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