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Need advice on a washer/dryer repair/replacement
Posted by: PeterB
Date: September 11, 2019 09:48AM
I STF'd first, and had seen some old threads on these kinds of issues... I'm a relatively new homeowner, so this is the first time I've had to deal with something like this.

I have a Frigidaire "laundry center" (integrated washer / electric dryer), where the dryer is no longer working (washer part is still working OK).

I've looked up and found error codes (on a Sears parts site) that the dryer is giving. I called a local repairman and told him about the error codes ... obviously he'd have to come out and look at it to figure out exactly what's wrong, but from what I was describing, he seemed to think most likely was the drive motor... which would not be a cheap repair. (He charges $80 for the service visit and said that if it is the drive motor, the whole repair could end up costing up to $500, $300 or so for the parts and $200 or so for the labor... could be less than that, depending on what's wrong with it.)

So ... I'm looking at a few different options, considering that I'm rather cash-strapped at the moment:

1) Trying to repair it myself; found a pretty good website which has all the parts for sale and tells you what could be wrong under each situation. The advantage here would be the price... the parts are all reasonably priced, and obviously I wouldn't be paying for repair. As you all know, I'm reasonably handy... but I did watch a video on how to take the thing apart, and it's really quite involved, maybe beyond my skill / patience level;

2) Getting the repairperson to just do the repair, and just coughing up whatever cash is required;

3) Maybe considering to buy a home warranty program, waiting a bit, then trying to claim it under that (this would have the advantage of also covering other appliances). Seems like most warranties fall around $500-600/year + $60-80 per service call. I'd previously had a home warranty when I first bought the house, but let it expire... wasn't too impressed with the company or their service;

4) Buying a new (used) dryer or possibly the combo washer/dryer ... these are being sold locally for very cheap, much less than the repair estimate. The problem here of course is that you don't know what you're getting with a used appliance, and also ... since I have an integrated washer/dryer now, if I bought just a dryer, it would mean having to find space for an extra dryer somewhere in the house;

5) Buying a whole new washer/dryer (stackable, would have to be compact to fit in the space where the current laundry center is) ... I have a relative who is willing to help me out with buying new, and I've done some initial research that suggests that LG is a pretty popular brand, but I also notice that the compact versions of washer/dryers seem to get not as good reviews as the normal sized. (The problem for me is that I don't really have anywhere else in the house that I could easily put a whole normal sized washer/dryer...)

What do you all think? Any useful advice appreciated... TiA




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2019 09:59AM by PeterB.
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Re: Need advice on a washer/dryer repair/replacement
Posted by: Dennis R
Date: September 11, 2019 10:05AM
Maybe post the model and codes and link to the repair site. Someone else might have better insight like on your other project with the battery. If the washer works would they really have a separate drive motor when it goes to dry? That seems strange. Maybe some relay isn’t telling the drive motor to turn on?
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Re: Need advice on a washer/dryer repair/replacement
Posted by: 3d
Date: September 11, 2019 10:08AM
Like trying to shoehorn a round peg into a square hole. Find a better spot for the new washer and dryer. Yeah, it'll cost some cash upfront. You deserve it. Make the house your own.

I hate corner sinks in the kitchen.
I hate too few closets.
I hate laundry areas that are "hidden" or way too small.
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Re: Need advice on a washer/dryer repair/replacement
Posted by: Speedy
Date: September 11, 2019 10:13AM
Quote
3d
Like trying to shoehorn a round peg into a square hole. Find a better spot for the new washer and dryer. Yeah, it'll cost some cash upfront. You deserve it. Make the house your own.

I hate corner sinks in the kitchen.
I hate too few closets.
I hate laundry areas that are "hidden" or way too small.

This^. You won’t regret it.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Need advice on a washer/dryer repair/replacement
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 11, 2019 10:28AM
I do think you could likely fix it yourself buuuut - what if you buy a part and it doesn't fix it? What if you run into trouble fixing it? Are you okay with those outcomes?


but to echo what others are saying - what would you prefer? If It were me, I'd find room for a new separate washer and dryer and spend more than you're willing, but we're a family of four so we might be doing a lot more laundry than you.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2019 10:59AM by mattkime.
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Re: Need advice on a washer/dryer repair/replacement
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: September 11, 2019 10:51AM
Number 3 may be considered insurance fraud in your state.
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Re: Need advice on a washer/dryer repair/replacement
Posted by: mikebw
Date: September 11, 2019 12:19PM
Get a new washing machine, keep the drum from the old one and use it as a fire pit. /realtalk
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Re: Need advice on a washer/dryer repair/replacement
Posted by: GGD
Date: September 11, 2019 12:27PM
Model numbers and error codes would help. Dryers are very simple appliances, just something to produce heat and something to turn a drum.

Factory manufacturing has gotten pretty good so that everything coming off the assembly line is pretty much identical, and they are all likely to fail in similar ways. Some of the appliance parts sites I use lists the parts by "popularity", so it's a pretty good indicator of what parts will fail first.

Since I don't know the exact model, I just searched on Frigidaire Laundry Center and came up with this page. For the dryer, the drive belt and thermal limiter seem like the most frequent to fail. The drive motor didn't make the first page.

[www.appliancepartspros.com]
[www.repairclinic.com]

So, tell us how it's mis/behaving, and more details on the model number and we might be able to diagnose it better than the guy you called and point you to a DIY fix.
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Re: Need advice on a washer/dryer repair/replacement
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: September 11, 2019 01:56PM
Over 20 years I fixed various problems on my old-school Whirlpool dryer:

1. dead heating element (also required new sheet-metal enclosure)

2. dead thermostats (regular, high-limit, and safety all seemed to go at once)

However, when the motor finally died I chucked it for a new one...replacing the motor would have required near-complete disassembly of the dryer, and as I had found during previous repairs the internals were composed of stamped, SHARP sheet-metal (sliced up my hands on previous repairs) so I said" forget it."
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Re: Need advice on a washer/dryer repair/replacement
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: September 11, 2019 02:20PM
You said the washer works but the dryer doesn't, and you are short on cash... So two options.

1) Get a used dryer, for now, figure about $150. Continue to use the washer you have. Then start saving and buy both when you can. My son bought a used Whirpool dryer three years ago and it is still going strong.

2) Hang your wet clothes out or take them to a laundromat to dry them for a while. Either will be cheaper than buying and you can save for a new combo even faster. I have taken clothes to the laundry when the ignition on my gas dryer went out. It wasn't that bad and actually faster than doing it at home since I could put all my loads in at once and be dry and folded in about 45 minutes.

you know you want the new units but if you can't afford it right now then just wait a bit.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
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Re: Need advice on a washer/dryer repair/replacement
Posted by: davester
Date: September 11, 2019 03:48PM
If I were you, the parts were inexpensive, and the appliance is not ancient, I'd definitely try DIY repair first. I've repaired may washers, dryers dishwashers and refrigerators over the years and would rather risk the cost of a few parts instead of throwing away money on a white box that washes or dries clothes. On top of saving money, think how good you'll feel about yourself if you get it fixed...that's worth something right there.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Need advice on a washer/dryer repair/replacement
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: September 11, 2019 04:35PM
Fix it. It's likely a $10 part available on eBay. You tube can probably show you how to do it.
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Re: Need advice on a washer/dryer repair/replacement
Posted by: PeterB
Date: September 11, 2019 06:35PM
OK guys, sorry I was at work and am now just getting back to this thread...

Here's the model: Frigidaire FFLE4033QT0 -- a 2015 model, so it's 4 years old.

The error codes it's giving (number of beeps): 5/1, 5/3, 6/5, 5/3, 6/5. (It automatically stores the last five error codes, in order.)

Link to diagnosing error codes here: [www.searspartsdirect.com] ... so the most recent error code would be E51, "Motor relay is open".

The issue for me, where else would I put a full size washer and dryer? I would need both the AC and water hookups, which would mean significant rewiring / plumbing changes that I really probably can't afford right now. I could probably just buy a used dryer (only) and plug in by a regular 120V outlet somewhere, but of course that might trip the breakers if the circuit can't handle it.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Need advice on a washer/dryer repair/replacement
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: September 11, 2019 07:01PM
A standard dryer running on 120v is going to be incredibly inefficient. You'll be looking of drying times in the 4-5 hour range per load.

So let us look outside the box at solutions used by people living off the grid or in RV's. - the Spin Dryer.

A spin dryer simply ramps up the spin cycle of a washing machine. A typical washer spins at 300-600 RPM, a spin dryer goes in the 1800-3000 RPM. It will remove just about all water from your wash and allow for a dryer to be done in just a short time or complete air drying in under an hour (even a hairdryer will finish the job in a few minutes).

The units are small and run off minimal power.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
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Re: Need advice on a washer/dryer repair/replacement
Posted by: Harbourmaster
Date: September 11, 2019 08:30PM
Looking at the codes you listed it would appear that the dryer has been overheating. first thing to do is go through this set of steps.

Clean the lint screen and the exhaust vent duct system to the outside of your home. A clogged screen or exhaust vent duct can cause the dryer to overheat. If the exhaust system is clear, unplug the laundry center and check the resistance of the thermistor (temperature sensor). You should measure around 50,000 ohms at room temperature (77 degrees F). Replace the thermistor if you measure over 60,000 ohms. Unplug the wires from the heater relay on the dryer electronic control board. Measure the resistance through the prongs on the heater relay. You should measure infinite resistance. If you measure near 0 ohms of resistance, replace the dryer electronic control board because the heater relay is stuck closed.

If all that is OK then next go through the troubleshooting for steps 5/3 and 5/1.

Seems pretty straight forward to me.



Aloha, Ken


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Re: Need advice on a washer/dryer repair/replacement
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 11, 2019 08:48PM
Quote
PeterB
which would mean significant rewiring / plumbing changes that I really probably can't afford right now.

you said you're reasonably handy!



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Re: Need advice on a washer/dryer repair/replacement
Posted by: PeterB
Date: September 11, 2019 08:51PM
Quote
mattkime
Quote
PeterB
which would mean significant rewiring / plumbing changes that I really probably can't afford right now.

you said you're reasonably handy!

Reasonably is a relative term. I think some things are better handled by a qualified plumber and electrician.

Quote
Harbourmaster
Looking at the codes you listed it would appear that the dryer has been overheating. first thing to do is go through this set of steps.

Clean the lint screen and the exhaust vent duct system to the outside of your home. A clogged screen or exhaust vent duct can cause the dryer to overheat. If the exhaust system is clear, unplug the laundry center and check the resistance of the thermistor (temperature sensor). You should measure around 50,000 ohms at room temperature (77 degrees F). Replace the thermistor if you measure over 60,000 ohms. Unplug the wires from the heater relay on the dryer electronic control board. Measure the resistance through the prongs on the heater relay. You should measure infinite resistance. If you measure near 0 ohms of resistance, replace the dryer electronic control board because the heater relay is stuck closed.

If all that is OK then next go through the troubleshooting for steps 5/3 and 5/1.

Seems pretty straight forward to me.

The lint screen / exhaust vent duct system, that's pretty easy, though I don't think that will magically cause the dryer to start working again because of the 5/1 error. To do the rest of what you suggested in that paragraph means disassembling the dryer, which from the video that I've seen, is NOT a minor undertaking.

Quote
Ombligo
A standard dryer running on 120v is going to be incredibly inefficient. You'll be looking of drying times in the 4-5 hour range per load.

So let us look outside the box at solutions used by people living off the grid or in RV's. - the Spin Dryer.

A spin dryer simply ramps up the spin cycle of a washing machine. A typical washer spins at 300-600 RPM, a spin dryer goes in the 1800-3000 RPM. It will remove just about all water from your wash and allow for a dryer to be done in just a short time or complete air drying in under an hour (even a hairdryer will finish the job in a few minutes).

The units are small and run off minimal power.

Recommendations? The ones I'm seeing on Amazon are practically more than a used full-size dryer price-wise.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2019 08:55PM by PeterB.
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Re: Need advice on a washer/dryer repair/replacement
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: September 11, 2019 09:05PM
Quote
PeterB
Recommendations? The ones I'm seeing on Amazon are practically more than a used full-size dryer price-wise.

Those full-size dryers are 240v. You can run them at 120v but they will only give you about 1/4th the drying power. You'll be looking at 4 hrs to dry a load and huge electric costs. If you can run 240v then a full-size is a no brainer, but at 120v you need something to make it work and that is the spin dryer.

You say you are handy - then you can easily build one. Here is a video to use as inspiration (but you can easily do better) -- [www.youtube.com]



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
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Re: Need advice on a washer/dryer repair/replacement
Posted by: PeterB
Date: September 12, 2019 10:06PM
Quote
Ombligo
Quote
PeterB
Recommendations? The ones I'm seeing on Amazon are practically more than a used full-size dryer price-wise.

Those full-size dryers are 240v. You can run them at 120v but they will only give you about 1/4th the drying power. You'll be looking at 4 hrs to dry a load and huge electric costs. If you can run 240v then a full-size is a no brainer, but at 120v you need something to make it work and that is the spin dryer.

You say you are handy - then you can easily build one. Here is a video to use as inspiration (but you can easily do better) -- [www.youtube.com]

Seems like those things have nearly no capacity though. I think I'm back to square one, folks...




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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