Used Dryers: Ask yourself these questions before you buy your next used dryer
Buying a dryer can be nerve racking; new or used. Sometimes the things that cause our dryers to go out are simple when you know what to look for. But if you don’t know what to look for, you can quickly fry the next one. Even the seemingly simple task of picking out a dryer and hooking it up can go wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. This article will make your used dryer purchase smooth and painless. Always ask yourself the following five questions before you buy a used dryer.
Did I Trip The Breaker?
A lot of dealers and techs are going to get mad at me for this, but I’m going to say it anyway. Every year we get calls from people who tell us their dryer isn’t heating. We tell them to check their breaker; they tell us it’s not tripped, and ask us to come out and take a look.
We do, and when we get there, we check the breaker. Now at this point, we have to charge because we’ve just eaten up an hour or two of our day and burned our gas. The breaker was tripped. You see, on the breaker for an electric dryer, there are two breaker switches. If only one of these switches is flipped the dryer will turn on, it just won’t heat. Before you buy a new dryer or pay for a service call, be sure to reset your breaker.
Is the dryer ducting clean and free of any and all kinks?
A plugged dryer vent can cause your dryer to overheat. On some dryers overheating causes, a little fuse called a Thermal-Cutoff to blow. When this happens, the dryer will not turn on. If you buy a new dryer and hook it up to a plugged vent, the same thing will happen.
You can kill a brand new dryer by hooking up to a plugged vent. To avoid this, simply use a broom handle and a vacuum to remove as much lint as you can from the dryer ducting.
How much room do you have for your new dryer?
The thing that trips most people up with dryers is the depth. The height and width are pretty much standard, but the depth can vary considerably. When a dryer is too deep for space, it can prevent closet doors from closing. And when people can’t close their doors the first thing they do is push the dryer back further, which kicks the vent hose and causes the Thermal Cut-Off to blow.
Which way does my current dryer door open?
Some doors open straight out in front of the dryer, and others open from left to right or right to left. Generally, washer hookups will be on the left which puts the dryer on the right and means the doors should open up to the right.
Sometimes the door will open from right to left. If your dryer is going into a closet space, this type of door may get hung up on your closet door. This can also be annoying when you’re moving clothes from the washer to the dryer because the door will be in your way.
There are enough dryers available that open properly that you should need to settle for one with a door that’s going to get in your way.
Was this dryer serviced properly?
You should never buy a dryer that hasn’t been thoroughly serviced and vacuumed out. Not only is lint highly combustible, but it also works as a form of insulation which will cause a dryer to short cycle and your clothes not to dry.
So how can you tell if dryers been serviced? There are a couple of ways to do this without taking it apart. First, pull the lint filter out and look down the hole that it came from. If a dryer has been recently serviced, you shouldn’t see any lint down that hole.
You can also observe the back of the dryer including the slits in the back, and the hole where the vent hose will connect. If you can see lint in the highly visible places, then you can only imagine what the rest of dryer looks like inside.
Before you go shopping for a used dryer, be sure to check your breaker and ducting. If you still need a dryer, be sure to examine your opening. Write down all dimensions and observe your current dryer door swing. Then find a reputable dealer who offers a warranty and checks their dryers for evidence of proper servicing. Follow these tips and your next dryer purchase is sure to be an enjoyable one.