How to maintain a washer and dryer

How to maintain a washer and dryer

How to maintain a washer and dryer

Your washer and dryer have the most potential to cause flooding and fire. Here are some ways to reduce the chances of flooding and fire.

Tools & Materials

  • Pliers

  • Paint brush

  • Copper fitting brush

  • Flashlight

Unattended, a washing-machine hose that bursts can cause water to gushes hundreds of gallons per hour. If lint builds up in the dryer’s ducts or inside, it can cause a dryer to burst into flames. According to the most recent data, dryers were responsible for 14,600 fires and 20 deaths in 1999. They also caused $86.8million in property damage in the United States.

It’s as simple as changing the washer’s rubber hoses with steel-jacketed ones. This will prevent any mishaps. You can also throw out the dryer’s fragile and flammable vinyl duct and put in a metal one. Regular lint trap cleaning is necessary but won’t prevent lint from building up in the duct.

After you have made the two major upgrades shown in the pages below, start checking your hoses and cleaning the ducts at least every six months. You should replace hoses every five years. Tag them with the date they were installed so that you don’t forget. Appliances will last longer, use less energy, and run more efficiently. Richie Isaacson, from Affordable Appliance in Randolph (Massachusetts), shows you how to maintain a washer/dryer safely and efficiently.

Step 1

Take out the old hoses

Turn off the hot/cold water valves. Unplug the washer’s power cable. Then, remove the drain hose. If the drain hose is cracked, replace it with the exact same type. To catch water, place a towel or tarp underneath the supply hoses. Then remove the hoses using a pair adjustable grooved-joint pliers.

Step 2

Clean the filter screens

The machine will not run as smoothly if there is sediment or debris. Clean out the filters with a bristle brush.

Step 3

Install new, braided hoses

Attach the hose fittings to the machine’s threaded nuts using your fingers. Then, tighten the pliers gently with pliers. You should ensure that the hose is sufficiently long to be able to move the machine, 60 inches is ideal for most installations.

Step 4

Connect the water supply

As in Step 3, connect the other ends of braided hoses with the water-supply rings. As in Step 3, connect the other ends of the braided hoses to the water-supply bibs. Check for leaks by opening the valves. Connect the drain hose back to the drain. If you are installing a drip pan (Step 5) then reconnect the drain line after the pan has been installed.

Step 5

Add a drip pan

A drip pan underneath the washer will catch any leaks. This is also required for second-floor laundry rooms. A drain pan can be purchased at plumbing supply stores and home centers. This will allow water to drain to the floor. To lift the washer onto the pan, you will need helpers and possibly a dolly. This will prevent it from cracking. Next, ensure that no water is leaking out after you have run a load.

Step 6

Clean the Lint Trap

Take out the lint screen, and slide a snorkel brush down into the trap. To remove any lint globs at the bottom of your trap, wiggle the brush. A shop vacuum can also be used to clean the trap. To ensure it is clean, shine a flashlight on the trap.

Step 7

Clean the Ductwork

The dryer exhaust and exterior vent should be disconnected from the ductwork. Toss any duct that is made of plastic or ribbed steel. If the duct has smooth-wall metal like the one shown here, you can take it outside to clean the entire thing with a round dryer vent brush.

Step 8

Clean the outside vent

Start from the inside. Turn the vent brush to reach the outside duct. Then pull the brush back to clean the bristles. Continue this process until the bristles reach the exhaust hood at the outside wall. You should not try to push the lint out of the brush with it; this could cause a blockage. Next, go outside to check that the vent hood has not become blocked. Take off the hood if necessary, clean it, then place it back.

Step 9

Attach the Duct

Assemble the metal ductwork, and seal it with aluminum tape. Don’t attach the sections to each other with screws. This can trap lint. No tape or clamps are required for the ends of the ductwork to fit snugly on the dryer’s exhaust and vent.

Are your appliances protected? To find out if appliance warranties are right for you, read this article.

  • Sears Appliance Warranty
  • Bosch Dishwasher Warranty
  • Whirlpool Warranty
  • Samsung Washer Warranty
  • Home Depot Extended Warranty
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