Asked on May 23, 2012

Dryer doesn't get hot?

Kelly FHandyANDY - Handyman & All Repairs, LLCMeagan W


New to hometalk and hoping someone can help me out! Just moved in to an apartment that came with a Whirlpool Heavy Duty Thin Twin stackable washer and dryer and my clothes don't seem to ever get dry. I asked my landlord and he just said that it isn't a powerful dryer, but my clothes aren't even warm when I take them out after 3 hours. Does anyone know if this is something I can fix myself? Thanks!
8 answers
  • One of two things can be the issue. If its a gas dryer, the ignitor may not be lighting the gas. But the #1 answer most likely is. The dryer vent is clogged. There is really no difference in POWER between units. Only size of drum to hold clothes. Quite often with an apartment, there is a lack of proper services. One is dryer vents. As the dryer vent becomes clogged because of poor maintenance from prior tenants not cleaning the lint trap enough, and length of vent pipe going out of building, which often exceeds what is considered proper by the units manufacture. AS the vent clogs less and less air moves through the dryer eventually stopping the air flow entirely. I would request that the landlord have this dryer vent checked and cleaned. If not I would either have it done myself and send him bill or not use the unit. Dryers that are plugged are one of the leading causes of house fires in the U.S. In NJ there are laws on the books that require multi family homes, town houses, etc to have yearly dryer and chimney checks performed as part of the continued occupancy laws. Not sure about NY, but I think it follows the same rules. If the dryer is not even warm, and its gas, then the ignitor is faulty. Although it is something you could fix. its a bit tricky and because your a tenant, your landlord really should be having this done professionally by an appliance repair person. As if you did it and did it wrong, you could end up being responsible for any damage that you may cause.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on May 23, 2012

    The second most common problem is a dead "heating element" in electric dryers. Some of these small units are only 120 v and not the bigger more powerful 240 v. testing the machines "draw" under load may tell you if the heater is even coming on.

  • Lisa D
    on May 23, 2012

    Tell the landlord asap can be very dangerous

  • Sherrie S
    on May 23, 2012

    Meagan W, no matter what the problem is - it is a big problem and your landlord should take care of it. Do you have a signed agreement. I can't imagine a dryer not being the landlord's responsibility. Where is KEVIN our Hometalk lawyer?

  • Meagan, it sounds to me that there may be a problem with the dryer or the vent as prior answers indicate but in most lease situations this should be the landlords responsibility. Now I realize that NYC is a unique rental market all to itself but in most situations the landlord should be required to fix. So I would start with a review of your lease. If the landlord continues to refuse I would check with some local agencies to see if they can help. There are a lot of tenant advocacy support groups that may direct you to the right resources.

  • Meagan W
    on May 24, 2012

    Thank you for all of the great responses! I am definitely going to talk to my landlord about it today!

  • Is it a gas or electric dryer? Check the dryer duct and vent to the outside and make sure it is completely clear of debris. We have so many clients who forget to clean the outside vent that we started adding it to our quarterly maintenance service. Check at the exterior to make sure if the outside vent has a cover...many of them are plastic gridded covers that clog. If it's not the vent...and it's electric...don't load it up slammed packed with clothes. Most apartment sized dryers can normal only handle less than a dozen items. If the vent is clogged and it's electric, it will burn out the element which you can replace yourself. If it's gas, a clogged vent can lead to a fire so it's a pretty serious thing. Hope this helps!

  • Kelly F
    on May 29, 2012

    I got rid of my stackables because the dryer never gets hot enough.. especially the apartment sized ones. :(

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