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Don't Get Soaked When Your Dryer Doesn't Dry

February 14, 1993|GARY ABRAMS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES: Abrams is a West Los Angeles general contractor who writes on home improvement topics for The Times.

The following scenario has happened to almost every homeowner with laundry appliances:

It is beginning to take too long to dry your laundry in a gas or electric dryer. Thinking you have a problem with the machine, you call an appliance service company for help. The serviceman arrives, checks the dryer, reports that everything with it is OK but that the vent line out of the house is clogged with lint, causing excess drying time. He says he can't help you because it is a plumbing problem, but still, of course, charges you for the service call.

This problem is extraordinarily common with electric or gas dryers, so to help avoid wasting your money by calling someone who will be unable to help next time your dryer takes too long, take the following easy steps before you pick up the phone:

1) Move the dryer away from the wall and use pliers or screwdriver to disconnect the large plastic or metal tube that is connected to it at the lower rear portion. This is the vent line.

2) Follow the vent line to where it connects to the flange at the wall and disconnect it there as well.

3) Take the disconnected vent line outside and shake out as much lint from inside it as possible. If necessary, use a garden hose to flush out the lint. Reconnect it as it came off. Do not worry about moisture left in the line, it will soon dry out.

Test the dryer with another laundry load. Odds are that it will work like new. Repeat this procedure twice a year to keep the machine working in top form.

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