Gas Dryer - Continuous Flame but Low, Low Heat


  #1  
Old 01-25-05, 04:20 PM
stackhouse
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Gas Dryer - Continuous Flame but Low, Low Heat

I recently got a used Kenmore Laundry Center (8-10 years old), and the gas dryer (stacked) is generally working but not getting hot enough. I've pulled the thermostat so that the unit has a constant blue flame for the full 2-4 hours it takes to dry clothes, but even when the clothes are dry the unit heats up to only 85 or 90 degrees...

Here's what I've tried:
I took apart and cleaned the intake and exhaust systems. (The exhaust feels strong.)
I've disconnected the exhaust and tried the unit pulled away from the wall.
I've duct taped the front door in case that was leaking.
I've disconnected the thermostat on the exhaust system so that the flame never cuts out.
I've checked the gas unit number to be sure that it's not a propane unit.

Any ideas?
Is it possible that there's not enough gas pressure in the line?
Can the gas/flame output be adjusted?
 
  #2  
Old 01-25-05, 04:33 PM
M
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When you say the flame never goes out, I'm wondering if the input is to low. Most gas dryers are rated at 22,000 btu's. Are you able to call your local gas co. & have them clock the input for you. Might also be a spider nest in the burner orifice. Another thing that comes to mind, are your close to wet when you put them in the dryer. Maybe your washer spin cycle is not removing enough moisture.
 
  #3  
Old 01-25-05, 05:03 PM
stackhouse
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The clothes are going in fairly dry--plus even when they approach dry, they still don't heat up beyond 85 or 90 degrees. What should take a 10 minute touch-up takes a full cycle.

The same gas line runs our stove and a wall heater and those seem to work fine, but the gas input level could be low on the dryer line I suppose? Is it cost effective to have PG&E investigate? Is there a way to test the gas flow of the line?

Is it possible to clean out or test the burner orifice?

Should there be any type of blower unit forcing the hot air into the dryer or does the exhaust blower do the work of pulling air through the system?
 
  #4  
Old 01-25-05, 05:05 PM
themechanix
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?

too many times I have seen units converted from 1 type of gas to another with no professional indication of such! first ? is where did you acquire unit and what type of fuel might have been used there? next is there a pre-existing regulator on unit or did you install one? if pre-existing look for a range of numbers printed on regulator and let us know what it says or if you installed the regulator was a pressure test done to assure optimal flow to appliance?
 
  #5  
Old 01-25-05, 05:16 PM
stackhouse
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I'll check the unit when I get home tonight for the burner #'s. I bought it used from an apartment complex in Walnut Creek, CA and have installed it in our house in Oakland, CA. I'm thinking both would be natural gas?

I installed the unit to the existing line in my house without any testing. The house is from the 20's but I don't know when the lines were installed. Perhaps I should have the line tested?
 
  #6  
Old 01-25-05, 05:30 PM
themechanix
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geography?

not sure where walnut creek is but sounds like it could be in the middle of nowhere!{ i'm from NY}. here any place more than 30 miles from a populous of 30k people is considered remote and is usually on lp. maybe the rules in cali are different!
 
  #7  
Old 01-25-05, 07:17 PM
M
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Call PG&E They will come out for no charge (part of rate) and have them check it. If it is set up for LP they can convert it for you (if no parts required). Chances are it is nat gas if it was in Walnut Creek , but you never know.
 
  #8  
Old 01-26-05, 09:51 AM
stackhouse
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First off, thanks guys!

So the number on the burner assembly is 3393917, which corresponds with the newer part number 279734. But after looking at conversion kit parts online, it looks like they just swap out the orifice at the tip of the burner assembly, so the information on the burner sticker is the same in either case.

It looks like valve tip is the important part: a small pin hole = LP, a larger hole = natural gas ?

I guess I'll look at the valve tonight. If looks like LP, just convert it to a Natural Gas valve, and the dryer should finally burn hot. Otherwise have PG&E come out to take a look and test the line pressure.
 
 

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