Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Do You Know What This Is?

It is the first load of laundry in months that went from totally soaked to bone dry in 36 minutes. Not impressive, you say? Well, I'm ecstatic!

It has been several weeks now that our dryer has taken two to three hour-long cycles to completely dry a small load of lightweight fabrics. Whereas my usual routine is to do one load of laundry a day (it's a big one--thank God for front-loaders!), the routine has twisted slightly into taking an entire day to do one load of laundry.

Sometime in the spring (not surprisingly, as you will soon understand), our (ahem) one-year-old dryer began taking longer and longer to dry loads of laundry. By summer time, it had gotten bad enough that I had to notice (I am not the most observant person, and often doubt my impressions until the facts are undeniable).

So, about June-ish, I vacuumed out the place where the lint catcher sits and took a look at the foil hose behind the dryer. How relieved I was that I had decided not to grab that huge wet ball of lint at the bottom of the hose, because it turned out to be a dead bird. I was more than a little disturbed and grossed out; had to take a break for a moment and compose myself.

A dead bird. In our house. And me daily supplying the carcass with tons of wet air, making a very good situation for nastiness. But it wasn't that nasty. Not that I breathed deeply as I was dealing with it, but I was a little surprised that it hadn't gotten our attention by means of smell. Perhaps it had just fallen in a few days ago, but then why had the dryer been having problems for months already?

Anyway, fast forward another month and I notice (being no more observant than I was before) that cleaning out the airways did not seem to do much to improve the dryer's performance. So, like a good, responsible person, I decided to take a gander at the owner's manual.

My hubby and I have many things in common. One of the perspectives we do not share is when we crack open the user's manual. When he recieves something, before (or as) he uses it, he will take a big chunk of time--like hours and sometimes over days--to review the manual; reading about and testing different aspects and capabilities, no matter the item.

I, on the other hand, will rarely open the manual for any object, unless at least one of these criteria are met: a) I have absolutely no frame of reference on how to use it/what it's for or b) It is not working properly.

As you may have guessed, since I have been using a dryer regularly for nigh these 25 years, I had not to this point had a reason to open said manual. I found some helpful troubleshooting hints, but none of them made a difference.

In the perusal of the manual, I discovered the installation had been done incorrectly last year, so we set about arranging the replacement of a part that was not recommended to be used with our dryer. Today, they came to replace the part. I tried not to get too excited that maybe today would be the day that I didn't have to re-start the dryer two extra times to get a load dry, only slightly hopeful that this could be the reason for our dryer woes.

So, I was only a teensy-weensy bit disappointed this afternoon to come home and find the load laying heavily and obviously wet in the dryer. I turned it on for another hour and expressed to Casey that apparently, the foil tubing was not the only problem. Our dryer saga continues . . .

Case, not that surprised himself that putting a different type of ventilation on the back of the dryer didn't solve everything, decided to look outside again (which we had each done before on different occasions) and see if he could snake out the house venting. Perhaps there was something in the wall venting that caused the lack of air flow (which we knew was at the bottom of this problem).

Getting a ladder, he climbed up (it is strangely placed--about 8 or more feet above ground. Not the best thing for air flow itself, I'm sure) to peer in and fish about with a hanger, and in so doing, found . . . a nest.

A really big nest. With sticks and grass and plastic wrappers and feathers and two rotting eggs.

Which makes perfect sense with June's bird and all, but there was no sign from the outside (debris) that the birds had chosen it to be their home, and the vent has a flap (presumably to keep this kind of thing from happening) that was only about a half-inch open anytime we had checked.

So, it may seem like small potatoes that my dryer can dry a load of sheets in less than three hours now, but to me, it is SO EXCITING!!!! There's nothing like having lost the use of an appliance that makes me appreciate it that much more. These things really do make life easier!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The loss of an appliance really does make me thankful. After line drying clothes from February to November, I was ecstatic to get a dryer. In the winter, clothes wouldn't be dry after the whole day, so would be strung over chairs or whatever to finish the process. What a luxury to do laundry on a wet day!!!
Glad you figured it all out. Our dryer vent in Alb vented up, too. It seems like a recipe for trouble.