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Fix your tumble dryer at home

You're running late for a meeting and your only clean shirt has just been washed - straight out of the washing machine and into the tumble dryer only to discover it won't switch on! We know how irritating it is to have your most treasured home appliances break down, which is why we've collated the top tips below to assist you with fixing your tumble dryer at home.

If you can't find what you're looking for, we can still fix your tumble dryer for you.

Tumble Dryer

What to do when...

My tumble dryer isn't working as effectively as it used to

If you suspect that your tumble dryer is not as efficient as it used to be, you need to be checking a series of non-mechanical problems such as:

Ensure that the vent hose is not blocked or crushed and that the lint filter is free from a build up of fluff. If your appliance has a water container, ensure it is empty. Make sure your tumble dryer is not being overfilled with clothing as this will impair its performance. Double check the heat switch on your dryer is set to the appropriate position. Ensure that the condenser unit has been washed using running water.

My tumble dryer smells like it's burning

A smell of burning could be electrical, or it could be caused by fluff inside scorching or even catching fire. Some tumble dryers have their heating element at the back (many Hotpoint and Indesit dryers for example) and it's accessible from behind the back panel.

If so, excess fluff can be vacuumed out. Remember to always unplug the dryer before looking inside! A worn or damaged filter allows fluff inside the dryer, which accumulates inside the motor and around the heating elements. To avoid this you must regularly clean any filters and replace any filters that are torn or warped. With vented tumble dryers, always make sure the vent hose is not kinked.

It should be fitted to a grill with one way flaps that prevent air and fluff being blown back inside the dryer. If you are just hanging the hose out of a window then let the end hang down from the window pointing to the ground. This will lessen the chance of any strong winds hindering the venting of the humid air or blowing fluff back into the dryer.

Caution: Tumble dryers can and do cause house fires. They mustn't be left running unattended. House fires caused by tumble dryers will not always be preceded by a burning smell; conversely, a burning smell is not always an indication of a pending fire incident. It should go without saying though that any burning smell should never be ignored. If in doubt get a qualified professional to fix tumble dryer problems.

My tumble dryer is dead and won't start

Fast fix 1:

The first thing to establish is whether your power supply is running efficiently to your appliance. If there are any indicator lights working then obviously there is power to the dryer, but you can check the socket by plugging in something else. Check the 13 amp fuse in the dryer itself.

If the fuse has gone you can try another, but if it goes again there is likely to be a fault that needs an engineer to fix. If you know the fuse has blown or the electric has tripped (because you heard a bang from the dryer) then it needs checking out properly as there may be a short somewhere.

Fast fix 2:

If power is getting to the tumble dryer and the socket is definitely in perfect working order, then it could be that the door micro switch has failed, or the catch on the door that operates the switch has either broken or is no longer activating the door switch. Check for broken door catches. There is usually a plastic peg on the door that pushes through a hole in the tumble dryer's casing where the door catch is. Closing the door should operate a simple micro switch. If the plastic peg is broken or bent it might not operate the switch properly.

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Please note that these hints and tips are provided for your interest and ease of reference only. We cannot accept any responsibility for any advice or information contained in them.

If you are in doubt about how to fix a problem with your appliance, you should always book a repair by a qualified repairer.

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