Washer & Dryer Maintenance Tips
For Washing Machines
Fabric softeners are waxy and can gum up in the washer if introduced undiluted with water before dispensing, so mix them with water before use. If there’s a fabric softener dispenser on your machine, add the recommended amount and then top off with water to further dilute. If you’re pouring from a cup, use a 3-to-1 ratio of softener to water. Avoid overloading the washer. Add clothes until the unit is filled to just below top of the agitator axle without packing down the clothes. An overloaded washer strains the motor and transmission, shortening their lives. Once a month: Remove and clean intake screens where water-supply hoses enter the washing machine as the screens get clogged with sediment and/or mineral buildup. Because they’re difficult to reseat—improperly installed, they can jam open an internal valve—replace them with flat screened washers (available at most hardware stores) in the end of the hose. Be extra careful when removing and replacing hoses, as the plastic threads on the intakes at the back of the washer are easily stripped. Every five years: Replace rubber water-supply hoses if they’re splitting, cracking or are losing flexibility. Rubber replacement hoses last five years, but hoses that use a braided-jacket of stainless steel, although more expensive, last at least twice as long. Replace pinch-type hose clamps with more reliable worm-driven clamps.
For all dryers:Admiral, Amana, Jennaire, Speed Queen, Whirlpool, Amana, Maytag, Tappan, Frigidare, KitchenAid, Bosch, Hotpoint, Viking, GE, Westinghouse, General Electric, Sears, Kenmore.
Clean the lint filter after every dryer load. Replace the door seal if it’s loose, worn, damaged or hardened. If you don’t, the warm dryer air will escape, forcing the unit to work harder. Check the seal by holding a tissue near door while the dryer is running. If the tissue is sucked toward the door, replace the seal. Replace flexible plastic exhaust ducting with aluminum or steel. It’s more efficient and reduces the risk of fire. Limit the length of duct runs if possible, and keep sags out of longer runs if you have to use them, because they collect lint that can restrict or even block the flow of warm exhaust air. This puts a strain on the dryer fan and reduces overall efficiency. Two times a year Clean the lint filter with soap and water to remove built-up soap and fabric softener. Clean the lint filter with soap and water to remove built-up soap and fabric softener. Once a year Disconnect the exhaust duct from the dryer and remove accumulated lint. This should really be done a couple of times a year if possible. Vacuum lint from the dryer heater box. To get to this area, remove the access panel. Most are held in place by clips or screws, but check the product manual. Always unplug the machine or shut down the gas connection before you remove the panel.
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