How a tumble dryer works

A tumble dryer is a very basic appliance, and is reasonably easy to understand, even without any kind of technical or engineering knowledge.There are really only 3 types of drying (apart from the fresh air of course):

  • Blow drying
  • Condensing drying
  • Auto-sensing drying

 

To be fair, they all follow the same kind of operation, with a few minor differences.  Which one you should buy really depends on your budget, and the amount of useage the appliance will have.  Also the look will be important, especially if it will be fitted as a free standing appliance in your kitchen, or utility area.Tumble dryers, if treated well and cleaned after each use, are good work horses and apart from either a damaged filter or maybe a broken belt, should give you many years of service.

Modus Operandi

  • Cold air is drawn into the dryer via a fan, which passes the cold air over a heater into the laundry
  • The rotating drum allows the laundry to pass through the hot air during the cycle
  • The result of this, however, is that the air is now cooler and damper.  This is dealt with by being blown out through a venting hose, passed through a condenser to be converted back to water for collection or, as with an auto-sensing appliance, a resistance circuit determines the level of moisture remaining in  the laundry, and will increase or decrease the timer accordingly.
  • Once the heat sequence is complete, the air is cooled and the last part of the process is to gradually cool the laundry.  The purpose of this is supposed to decrease the amount of ironing required.
  • Once the heat sequence is complete, the air is cooled and the last part of the process is to gradually cool the laundry.  The purpose of this is supposed to decrease the amount of ironing required.

During this whole sequence, the timer will be running down to zero.  

Your appliance will be fitted with at least one thermostat, which will obviously be controlled by a safety device – such as a thermal fuse.

Common Faults

The most common fault reported with a tumble dryer is there is no heat.  The main reasons for this fault can be:

  • Insufficient cleaning of filters
  • Where the filter is located in the door, not clearing the channel
  • For a condenser dryer – not cleaning the monobloc condenser
  • Overloading – this will block the airflow
  •  If you need to check how the drying is going and you open the door, thereby interrupting the cycle, you should select the cool option for a couple of minutes, before re-setting the timer.  This will take the heat out of the element.

 


  

 

 


Disclaimer: The information provided has been prepared as a guide only and the steps taken are likely to vary for different appliance models. We strongly recommend using a qualified engineer to undertake major repairs and fault finding.

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