Is It Worth Fixing a Tumble Dryer: Based on Age, Cost, and Fault

Monday 28th February 2022
by Homeforce

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Mon 28th February 2022

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There’s nothing more inconvenient when you are busy doing the laundry and your dryer stops working! But is it worth fixing a dryer? 

Before you rush to hang that wet laundry outside or head to your nearest appliance store, find out the real answer. 

So you can make the best decision about whether your dryer is worth fixing, we will go straight to the quick answer. 

As there are few parts which might break down in a dryer, it’s usually worth repairing. If your dryer is over 10 years old and the cost of the repairs is over half the price you paid, it’s probably not worth fixing it. If it smells of burning, switch it off completely and call a dryer repair expert. 

Ok so with the brief answer in mind, let’s start to look at this topic in a bit more detail.

Is a dryer worth repairing?

Your washer and dryer are probably two of the most used appliances you have. So if you’ve begun to have problems with your dryer, you might be ready to buy a new one. The same might be said of your washing machine.

But before you start to look at your budget and start shopping for a new dryer, it might be worth discovering whether your dryer is at the end of its life or whether it’s a simple problem to fix by yourself or expert dryer engineers. 

The best way to start is by looking for any sort of problems you have and then deciding whether the repairs are cost-effective or if it’s not worth repairing. 

There are usually only a few parts in a dryer that might fail so it’s often worth repairing a broken dryer.

Parts of a dryer that can go wrong 

Dryers are fairly simple appliances. In a nutshell, it’s a rotating drum with a heating element. It also has a safety mechanism that stops it from overheating and potentially becoming a fire hazard.

The electric motor that powers it can run for a considerable number of years. So when your dryer stops working, unless it’s very old, it’s not likely to be the motor, usually, it will be: 

  • The heating element 
  • The belt 
  • A thermal fuse 
Tumble Dryer Performance

Check the performance of your dryer 

So although you might have had a one-off issue with your current dryer, which has caused it to stop working, it might still be working ok from that point on.

If it is still working, then you can still assess whether it’s time to buy a new one, or whether it will be worth repairing in future should anything else go wrong. 

It might be that you’ve noticed it’s taking longer than usual to dry the clothes, but that could be because you are drying heavier items or more porous fabrics. So, before you part with any money for a new one, check your dryer for any recurring problems. 

What dryer problems should I check for? 

One of the most important things to check for is if you can smell burning when your dryer is on. At this point make sure you switch it off and remove the plug from the wall too. 

At this point, it’s time to call an expert appliance repair specialist before switching it on again. 

Here are some other common problems to look out for before you decide whether your dryer is worth repairing. 

  • Dryer failing to start 
  • Drum rotating erratically 
  • Overheating or not heating up at all 
  • Shutting off during a cycle 
Tumble Dryer Problems

One of the most important considerations when deciding of a dryer is worth repairing or not is the age of your machine. 

Read on to find out how many years a dryer should last. 

One of the most important things to check for is if you can smell burning when your dryer is on.

How many years do dryers last? 

Paying out for household appliances can be one of the expenses that can make a difference to your budgeting. So trying to make the right decision as to repair or replace a dryer can depend on how old your dryer is. 

In general, a dryer can last between 10 and 15 years. This does of course depend on the brand and whether you opted for a budget or a more expensive machine. 

It will also depend on how your dryer has been maintained and looked after too. We recommend regularly cleaning out the lint trap and the outer vent to help prolong the life of your dryer.

Many manufacturers and those in the know recommend that if your dryer is close to 10 years old, it’s probably more cost-effective to replace the dryer completely

Here’s a quick table outlining what age your dryer should be repaired or replaced.

Washing Machine AgeRepair Cost vs new machine cost up to £400Repair Cost vs new machine cost over £400
0 – 3 yearsWarrantyWarranty
4 – 5 years£150£200
6 – 10 yearsReplace£150
11 – 15 yearsReplace£50
16+ years yearsReplaceReplace

This is especially true if the repair bill might be higher than you anticipated. 

If your dryer is close to 10 years old, it’s probably more cost effective to replace the dryer completely.

Why is my dryer not worth fixing? 

One of the main reasons some might not think their dryer isn’t worth fixing is down to how electronics work. 

This was advice that comes from the fact that as technology rapidly advances, many electronic products would be near enough obsolete after a few years. 

So many thought that it wasn’t worth repairing a dryer if for instance, it was around 2/3rds through its life expectancy and repairs may cost at least ⅓ of a new machine. 

This might be the case if your dryer is an older model and nearing the end of its expected lifespan. 

This does also suggest that the repair won’t last the rest of your dryer’s lifetime. 

So the real issue with whether it is worth fixing your dryer is often down to its age. As a fix even worth 1/3rd of the cost of your machine is most likely worth it, if your dryer has another 5 or 6 years of life left. 

So what about if any specific problem, such as the heating on your dryer no longer working, is that worth repairing?

Is it worth replacing the heating element in a dryer?

If you notice that your dryer doesn’t seem to be getting warm and your clothes aren’t drying properly, it could be that the thermal fuse isn’t working properly. You might also notice this if your dryer’s heating element burns out a few times within a fairly short space of time. 

It could also be that the temperature in the heating chamber may also be too high, and that may be caused by poor venting.

How do I know if my dryer fuse is blown?

To check whether a dryer fuse is blown, follow these few simple steps:

  • Unplug your dryer 
  • Locate the thermal fuse – to access this you will need to remove the pack panel to as it will be on the dryer’s exhaust duct
  • Disconnect the thermal fuse 
  • Test the fuse with a multimeter
  • The fuse will have blown if the needle doesn’t move 

This type of check should only be performed by those with experience in home DIY and electrics. 

If you suspect it may be the fuse, get in touch with one of our expert engineers who will be able to help. 

Tumble Dryer Fuse Problems

Why is my tumble dryer blowing cold air?

Overheating problems on your dryer are most likely the cause for tumble dryers blowing out cold air. 

This could be a quick fix with a reset button, but if your dryer doesn’t have one, you will most likely need to replace the thermal overload cut-out or thermostat.

We have a troubleshooting article devoted to condenser dryers issues – with some quick fixes – which is definitely worth checking out.

And to sum up…

We hope our helpful article has given you some answers as to whether you need to head for the dryer section or if it’s a problem you or someone else can fix! 

Here at Homeforce, we specialize in getting your laundry days back up and running again, fast! 

Our expert nationwide engineers will be ready to help you get back on track with no extra costs outside of your monthly plan. 

For more info on our appliance plans, click here to discover more.

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