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GE Electric Dryer suddenly got loud

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2012, 08:58 PM
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Question GE Electric Dryer suddenly got loud
Model Number: DDE7500GAL   Brand: GE   Age: More than 10 years   

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I got great advice on this forum about 9 months ago and was able to diagnose and restring my heating element, so I'm back with a new problem with the same dryer.

The other night when I was drying a load of clothing, my dryer suddenly got really loud. I'm having trouble describing it, because it's not a banging, screeching, sqealing or thumping noise. Just significantly louder. When I press the Start button, it sounds terrible, and takes about 3 or 4 presses before it starts for good (I press the button, it starts, but when I let up, it stops--I do this 3 or 4 times and finally when I let up, it keeps going).

I took the front panel off to see if there was something obvious, but nothing jumps out at me. So I put it back on and put in a load to dry, and boy is it loud!

Any advice gladly received. Thanks!


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2012, 09:40 PM
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Question I stopped it and now it won't start, just buzzes

I wanted to check if the clothes were getting dry at all, so I opened the door, stopping the dryer. There was a faint burning smell in the laundry room, present before I opened the door. The dryer is heating and tumbling, and the clothes are getting dry, but...

When I closed the door and pressed the switch to start it up again, it just buzzes and won't start. I imagine it has something to do with it being hot, and I checked through other threads about buzzing start buttons. I haven't opened the back to look at the motor yet, but from reading the other threads, I'm guessing the motor might be having problems.

I need these clothes to get dry, so I'm going to see if it starts up again after it cools down, and then maybe tomorrow I'll have time to pull the back panel off and take a look at the motor from there.

Still hoping someone else will have some good advice too. Thanks!
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:54 AM
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I think you are on the right track with the motor.

The motor has 2 centrifugal switches that activate when the motor gets close to operating speed.
One of them switches out the start winding since leaving this in circuit would cause the motor to overheat. It also provides a parallel circuit path for the start switch so that you can release the start switch and the unit stays running.

The latter would explain why it would not stay running when you released the start switch.
Perhaps it is now screwed up so that the start winding is not in circuit when the motor is at rest, that would explain why it just buzzes.

FYI: The motor does have an internal thermal protect in it. It opens when the motor gets too hot and then you have to wait for the motor to cool down (protect reset) before it will restart. This is not the problem with your unit as the protect kills power to both motor windings so you get nothing (no buzz etc.).
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:45 AM
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Question It's well and truly dead

Thanks for the reply, denman. After waiting for it to cool down, even overnight, there's absolutely no life in it any more. I press the start button and there's no buzz, no starting, just nothing. Is it a DIY thing to replace the motor? Is that all it could be? Or are there more diagnostics I should do before ordering parts? And does the motor part come with everything I'd need, or do I need to order screws, wires, washers, etc.?
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:07 AM
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Open up the control console to see if the wiring diagram is in there.

Some units have a thermal cut-off in line with the motor perhaps this has blown.

I do not have any tech info on this unit.
GE likes to keep tech info a secret.

Also check the power.
Try flipping the breaker off/on slowly a couple times, sometimes you can loose half the line without actually tripping the breaker.
If this does nothing, check the voltage at the plug
L1 to L2 should be 240 volts
L1 to Neutral and L2 to Neutral, both should be 120 volts.
If OK
Unplug the unit and check the wires at the terminal strip in the machine to make sure none are loose or burned out
If OK
Check the power at the terminal strip.
Be careful as 240 volts is lethal !!!
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:55 PM
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Default Bearing is shot

I think the lack of response when I pressed the Start button was as simple as the fact that the timer had run down to zero!

I took the drum out and the bearing on the shaft had worn down to almost nothing. I'm pretty sure that was the cause of the sudden loudness. The bearing was shredded and coming out the back of the unit right around the shaft, looking like very thin cloth.

I think I'm going to replace the bearing, once I'm sure which part number it is, then I'll see if it starts at all. There is a wiring diagram in the control console, but I'm no expert on wiring, so I really don't know how to read it. Nor am I sure what parts to point my multimeter probes to in order to check if the motor is OK or dead.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:03 PM
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Default Additional questions...

I replaced the drum bearing on the shaft and reassembled it all. Setting the timer to run, it's now back to buzzing when I press start. The motor does not turn normally, and it smells a little like it's burning. The drum also feels unusually difficult to turn manually.

I'm sure I put the belt back on correctly, based on diagrams and pictures, and I now have 2 main questions:

1. Related to the bearing I replaced, the instructions said "remove and discard" the steel and fiber washers that were next to the drum, so I did. They also say "it is not necessary that you replace the 3/4" steel washers and the retaining ring on the rear of the drum shaft." That could mean either "don't put them back on" or it could mean "you don't need to get new ones, just use the ones you have". I'm assuming it means the latter because I can't imagine just leaving the drum shaft sticking out the back without clamping it on some how, but because the drum feels harder to turn manually, I wonder if I misunderstood this ambiguous instruction.

2. What's my next step in diagnosing and fixing the "buzzes and nothing else" lack of action when I press the start button? I know there's power there now, since my previous problem was just not realizing the timer was at zero.

Thanks for all your help!
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:36 PM
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Question Having trouble being patient...

I disassembled it again, to see if I could figure out why the drum doesn't turn easily. First I undid the belt from the tensioner, and it turns quite nicely. So I took off the front panel and manually spun the blower wheel and it sticks a little at a certain point. I can push past that sticking, but I hear some kind of rubbing. I took out the drum again, to get a closer look at the motor, and when I spin the motor manually, using the little plastic prongs that go around the metal windings, there's a point where it sticks and something is rubbing. I've cleaned off all the dust and lint I could, and I can't see in there to see what's sticking. As I've mentioned elsewhere, I'm not an electrician, so don't know instinctively how to check wiring and switches, but I can follow directions, so if there's something else to check before I shell out the big bucks for a new motor, please tell me! Thanks!
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:48 PM
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Question Okay, this might be my last question tonight.

With the drum out, I plugged it in and pressed start. The motor tries to turn, but only moves about 1/2 an inch. Lots of buzzing, and the lovely burning smell. New motor time? Anything else I need to do or get with that? Any expert tips on what to do and what to avoid when replacing the motor, assuming I'm doing that? Thanks!
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:52 AM
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Yes it does sound like the motor needs replacing.

Do not have any decent tips on replacing the motor other than take your time and when rempoving anything mark the position or make yourself a note so you remember how it was installed.
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