This past weekend my very old Kenmore Clothes Dryer died. It was showing distinct pangs of death during the Halloween Movie Marathon of course but I ignored those. I couldn’t ignore the hum, no start, and hot electrical smell. When the machine had well and truly died I figured I would go out and get a replacement machine.
I started looking at Sears. They had a Whirlpool, pretty much an updated replacement for what just died on sale for $404 bucks. Before plunking down my cash to buy it, I thought I would wait for Black Friday sales to begin. Then everyone pretty much joined the same chorus together and said it was silly to wait and that those sorts of things aren’t usually included in Black Friday sales. Of course I was also a little irked by Sears because they wouldn’t haul the old machine away for free, they charged $10 for that.
I went to Lowes and found they had the same machine, same price, and they had free delivery and free take-away. Already a better deal than Sears. Of course while we were looking at machines we noticed one for sale that had more bells and whistles than the one we were looking at first. Another Whirlpool of course, but bigger and more eco-friendly. The list price on this new one was $699 but since it was the last one Lowes had, it it was “Last Years Model” they knocked the price to $491. I added a 4-year warranty to the mix for $99 and bought a 3-wire electrical hookup to boot.
Before the new dryer arrived I decided that I should pull the old one out and tear into it to see how it was set up. The vent came right off the back, as I half-expected it to, and I was able to clean the 40 pounds of lint-bunnies out of it. I then tore the electrical panel off (unscrewed it, there wasn’t any tearing really) and it was the same industry standard block there that was on every other dryer I looked at. Altogether a very dull arrangement, anyone with eyes and hands could do this work. This thing required absolutely zero skill.
There are some oddities in my home, the laundry service has a breaker and a fusebox. It’s overkill. But there it is. The wires are directly tied in, there isn’t a plug at all anywhere for “plugging the dryer in” to, so I took the wiring off the old dryer and simply re-attached it to the new dryer. I have to return the plug-bit for a refund later today. So when they dropped the dryer off they offered to set it up for me and I declined. When they got into my basement, they saw why I was willing to do it myself, mostly because of the wiring and vent and nodded and left. I popped the vent on, moved it back to where it belonged and assembled the wiring. I screwed it all together, screwed on the service entrance shield and that was that. I turned on the breaker and I closed the fusebox control so it was on as well. I turned on the dryer and the lights came on, the chime sounded, and I ran some clothes in it just to see and the drum went around.
All in all a very exciting and then very dull thing altogether. Upon reflection I could have probably hauled the dryer home all by myself in the Santa Fe and done all this work on Saturday, but at least this way I don’t have to deal with the dead dryer and have it clogging everything up or have to haul it somewhere to get rid of it. Lowes took it away, and frankly, for all the rigamarole I had to go through, it was worth it just for that.
The one thing I did learn was that buying new hookup wiring for these devices is dumb. Just unscrew the old stuff, pull it out, and then put it back together afterwards. Save yourself an easy $20. It’s not like old copper wire is somehow less worthy than brand new copper wire. If it was aluminum, then fine, yes, but copper? Come on.