Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Our Dear Dryer in Dire Need

 

On Saturday morning we made our move from Spruce On The River RV Park to Rocky Mountain High RV Park.  A drive of a whopping 2 miles.  We have a much nicer and prettier site here.

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On Sunday we started getting everything cleaned up from our trip from Missoula.  We hit a short section of road construction and a very brief shower at the same time only to really mess up the truck, trailer, and scooter on back.  While I was out cleaning the sides of the trailer, Miss Carol came out and asked me if I wanted to hear the good news.  FLASH!!!  RED FLAG!!! went up immediately.  I asked, “Are you sure this is GOOD news?”  She said: “The dryer has quit working!!!, It’s making a horrible racket and it’s quit tumbling”.  Not good news anytime but the reason we’re here in Kalispell is for repairs/adjustments to our slides.  The ol’ saying: When it Rains it Pours” comes to mind.

So after finishing up with cleaning the trailer, I spent the rest of the afternoon breaking down the dryer to see what all was wrong with it.

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  Our Splendide stacked Washer/Dryer sits in a very confined closet in which they barely fit. There is less than a 1/4” clearance on both sides of the door frame. Bare with me on the following.  Above them is a shelf where our wireless router, satellite modem & receiver resides.  When Miss Carol first mentioned the drum not turning, I immediately figured the drive belt had broken.  In order to get to the area to replace the belt, the front of the dryer has to come off. In order to take the front off, you have to remove the top. In order to remove the top, you have to have access to the rear of the dryer to remove two screws from the back.  In order to get the washer & dryer to move through the door, I had to remove the shelf so I could grab the rear of both units (they are attached to each other) and start walking them back and forth through the door opening 1/4” at a time. Once I had it out into the middle of the floor, I went ahead and removed the back panel where the heat elements and the blower blades are located. I spotted what was causing the horrible noise. Evidently the drive belt had stretched enough over the last 4 years to allow the dryer drum to drop just slightly allowing the blades of the blower to start scraping against the back housing. The belt then stretched just enough to allow the belt to slip that eventually heated the belt in one spot until it heated it enough to burn through the belt. I found the belt laying in the bottom of the dryer.

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It being Sunday, I figured I’d have to wait until the next morning to find an Appliance Parts & Service Center.  After a little research, we discovered there was only one here in Kalispell. So we drove the belt there and inquired about a replacement.  Bad News: didn’t have one, couldn’t get one. Our next effort was to go to the RV Repair place where we’re having our slides adjusted later. More Bad News: They didn’t have one, could order us one but would take at least 3 weeks to get it. More Bad News: It would be a “Special Order” item and the belt would be $116.00.  Now folks, this belt is only 1/2” wide and only 1/8” thick. Sort of like a big Rubber Band on Steroids.  This thing couldn’t cost more than $5.00 to make so I said no way.  I told them I’d go back and get online and locate the manufacturer and try ordering it direct from them.  I did, More Bad News: It still cost us $45.00 plus $12 shipping. Finally, Good News: It will be here in 3 days and we can get the washer/dryer out of the middle of the floor and back into the closet.

Now, I just hope when the new belt arrives I can put Humpty Dumpty back together again!!!

 

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