The Time I Fixed My Dryer

Dryer Final

Of all the household chores, laundry is my favorite. I know it seems nuts but I truly enjoy the entire process of sorting, washing, drying, folding, putting away and organizing. The only thing I dislike about doing laundry is the amount of TIME it takes to do it all. Time is something I don’t have a lot of.

So, the weekend before we left for vacation, our dryer broke. It was still blowing air but there was no longer any heat coming out of it. Clothes don’t dry in a dryer without heat…believe me, I tried. Hubby had been out of town for a golf tournament for the weekend and when he got home on Sunday, I delivered the bad news.

Now, I love my hubby. He is fairly handy but is not the best problem solver. And, since he’s never been presented with a broken dryer before, his first thought was to try to find someone to fix it. And, if someone couldn’t fix it, gosh darn it, he’d buy a new one. Since it was Sunday evening, we obviously weren’t finding someone to fix it immediately. As our vacation was less than a week away, timing was going to be crucial to get this issue resolved. We needed to pack clean underwear for Alaska.

Monday morning rolls around, I report to the office as usual and I share my dryer woes with my coworkers. A few of them suggested local repairmen. One of them, bless her heart, very bluntly told me to watch a YouTube video and figure out how to fix it myself. I was instantly empowered. I was going to fix my dryer. And then, for good measure, I’d send my husband an invoice. We didn’t need to hire anyone to fix it…I could do it myself dammit!

Hubby called my cell phone a few minutes after my epiphany to report that he’d already checked with one local company and learned that they wouldn’t work on our Samsung dryer–only brands they sold in their store. I told him not to worry, I had a plan. I was going to fix it myself–over my lunch break.

My lunch break arrived, I returned home. I was on a mission. After a little google research, I learned that the issue was likely with the heating element in the dryer. No problem, I got this. I found a video that showed me, very clearly, how to disassemble my model of dryer. It was not as simple as removing a few screws in the back and pulling off a panel….it was a bit more complicated. This video was like 13 minutes long. But, I was only intimidated for a moment. It was go time. I only had an hour. I started unscrewing screws and carefully setting aside pieces, mentally noting where I laid the screws throughout my laundry room, pausing the video and re-watching parts as I methodically ripped apart my dryer. I was going to have epic bragging rights.

The disassembly has begun:

Dryer 1

She’s worried I’ve lost my mind at this point…

Dryer 3

I was nearing the metal looking box that housed the heating element when hubby called. He must have known things were getting messy. There were several wires coming out of the box and they wouldn’t just pop out. I had not yet found another video to show me how to remove the heating element. Hubby, guessing my plan, had already watched a video specifically on this part of the process. He called to see how things were going. I texted him a picture. He asked if I wanted him to run home. I conceded.

See the metal box on the lower right? The heating element is in there.

Dryer 2

Hubby’s dormant handyman skills awoke as soon as he returned home. He removed the element like a pro. Within 2 minutes, we had located a replacement part on Amazon and ordered it with 1 day shipping. The total cost…$24. We left the dryer in pieces and I returned to work…only 15 minutes late.

Hubby the handyman. Removing the heating element…like a boss.

For the next day and a half, we danced around the dryer parts spilling out of the laundry room into the kitchen, nervously awaiting the UPS man. Would the new element work? Was that the real problem? Will we be able to put the dryer back together? Was I a crazy person? How much would a new dryer cost again?

The part arrived the day before we left. Hubby was already on his first vacation day. I was at work. When I returned home from work, he had reassembled everything and there was a load going in the washer. I got the honors of switching the load to the dryer and starting it….then checking it 5 minutes later to see if there was any heat and…..THERE WAS HEAT!!!

So, we’re basically HVAC experts at this point. I’m considering a new career.

Your lesson for the day: Feel empowered. Show your appliances who is boss.



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