John's Musings


Yeah, Me Neither

A Strategy For Fixing Your Own Appliances

Just fixed my dryer and I'm always a proud poppa to know I DID IT MYSELF and saved big money. My symptom this time was a massive CLICK, CLICK, CLICK sound as the dryer was running. After popping the hood I could easily see the belt was breaking and causing the noise. Then when I took it apart and removed the drum I found a seized up roller mechanism which probably caused the strain which broke the belt.


Let's talk about appliances first. If you are reading this blog you know I'm a geek. I like geeky things that can be controlled over the internet or via wireless. Even though that's my style I refuse to buy white goods (Refrigerators or Washers and Dryers) that contain computers. YOU DON'T NEED IT. A washer agitates and spins, and fills up and empties water. A dryer gets hot and goes around and around in one direction like a NASCAR Driver.


Back in the day when us Americans were 'Muricans we made our own stuff. And we made it with big wire wound motors that could last beyond the Second Coming of Christ. We made our own bearings, Washers and dryers were made of steel. Components were simple, robust and they made millions of spares.


Whirlpool made refrigerators and washers and dryers with exactly the same parts and then put them in various enclosures with different styles and paint schemes and sold them as multiple brands. Maytag, Admiral, Whirlpool, etc. But make no mistake, they were the same item.


Even today the world is full of spare parts for these things and they are CHEAP. The belt I just bought for my dryer was $8 and I paid too much. Probably could have gotten it for $3 on eBay but I bought from Amazon because I needed it fixed quick.


Don't buy something from Korea that has a computer in it. Just don't. You need your refrigerator to work for years and you need it to not blow up when the power flickers. Think about what those dimming lights then sudden surge of power back to the house does to sensitive electronics.


Now lets talk strategy. Your appliance has failed.


First get the model number of your appliance. Note the Revision number (mine is 11). That matters.




Now what is the symptom? Washer won't drain. Dryer doesn't get hot. Refrigerator isn't cold.


Then google "LNC8764A71 Clicking Sound" or whatever the symptom is. I PROMISE YOU there are a dozen or a few dozen videos on how to troubleshoot. If you watch a couple of those videos you'll be a stone cold appliance repair expert. One of my symptoms was "da belt be breaking" so I spun the tub by hand and sure enough the belt was a wreck, barely hanging on to life. So now I know I need a belt.


Go to a site like http://www.appliancepartspros.com and then put in your model number and then you'll see something like this:







Scroll down to the Tumbler section and find the belt. It is item 5. NOTE: There is a tumbler section for Rev 12. Remember I told you the Rev number mattered? In my case I DON'T want Rev 12.







Now scroll down to item 5. BAM $13 and it is yours. You can order the part right there.







See the Whirlpool part number there though. Google that part number or go to eBay with it. I found it for $6 on eBay all day long. Try to stick with genuine OEM parts and please know that if you buy a GENUINE OEM PART on eBay from China..........well it probably isn't a genuine OEM part. Use your common sense. if the seller is some old appliance repair guy (as most of these are) you can have confidence.







Again find that YouTube video for changing the belt. Many of these repair web sites like https://www.partselect.com have repair videos as well. Watch a video like this one below and you won't be scared to try to change the belt yourself.




In my case it was literally

  • lift top on dryer and lay it back
  • remove two screws on the frame
  • disconnect dryer door switch
  • pull off door
  • remove drum
  • remove old belt
  • reverse process


15 minute job with NO PROBLEMS at all. Except one of my rollers wasn't rolling smooth. I removed it and cleaned it and greased it.





Anyway if you call the repairman you're going to pay him $100 just to show up. He's going to replace the belt that he probably paid $3 for and charge you $150. Meanwhile you can buy a new dryer for $300 or so as long as it isn't a fancy aluminum one with computer boards in it.


Here's my dryer with a shiny new belt installed.







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