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Condenser Dryer Alteration

  • 30-05-2022 11:58am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,627 ✭✭✭


    Just for some background before I go into my idea to see if it sounds doable. I will say I'm very much a DIYer, not an electrician/plumber so apologies in advance if anything here sounds stupid!

    Our condenser dryer recently started throwing an error to say that tank is full, even when the reservoir is empty. After some quick research, I found out the reason this typically happens is that the drain pump (that pumps the water from the bottom reservoir up the top one you empty) is usually either blocked or broken.

    Here's what I've tested to rule things out:

    • Tested continuity in the pump - all good.
    • Tested continuity in the float switch - all good.
    • Tested that there was power coming to the float switch - all good.
    • Tested that there was power to the pump - nothing.
    • Tracked the power cables for the pump back to the connector block on the board.
    • Tested continuity between the connector block to the pump - all good.

    All of that to say that I believe it's likely something on the dryers board like a relay or something that's gone awry and that's out of my comfort zone DIY wise.

    I want to avoid buying a new dryer right now at least and had an idea that or might now work - someone here will hopefully be able to tell me if I'm a visionary or a fool and why before I look into it any further.

    So the idea is to basically skip the reservoir altogether - our dryer sits on top of our washing machine - would it be possible to add a connection to the hose which fills the bottom reservoir, and connect it via a Y-piece to the drain hose for the washing machine, so that is shares that hose.

    Alternatively, is the above ridiculous and is there a less nuclear option worth considering?



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,326 ✭✭✭The Red Ace


    If the pump isn’t getting power from the pcb it can’t pump so I would presume the module is duff, some dryers have an outlet that is capped off where you can put a drain hose so if you can do that it will get you out of the woods



  • Registered Users Posts: 149 ✭✭Muas Tenek


    I would be very wary of tinkering with a dryer, there have been a lot of reports of them going on fire.

    Here's one from yesterday on twitter.

    Probably best to get a professional to repair.

    https://twitter.com/DubFireBrigade/status/1531381202195718152



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,147 ✭✭✭10-10-20


    "Tested that there was power to the pump - nothing."

    Did you test this over a full cycle? Ie, if the pump is on a relay, it won't get power until the relay is closed and that will depend on the float(s) being closed.

    "Tested that there was power coming to the float switch - all good."

    Is the float a three-pin device (or more), with power to it? The float is likely a fail-safe, so a closed position might be the low position. Can you electrically isolate the float by shorting the output (ie connecting common (C) to normally closed (NC) or normally open (NO)?)

    That's a valid concern, but the unit in that photo is a resistive element unit and not a condenser unit. Resistive element units are 'more prone' to thermal excursions than condenser units, but the warning still applies as is does to any DIYer working on any home appliance.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,627 ✭✭✭Bawnmore


    Good shout - I checked this out and not available on our model however. The only outlet pipe that you can access is from the top reservoir, so no go there.

    Yep, that's a fair point too. I was very close to just replacing it as couldn't find anyone to come take a look at it (we're fairly rural).


    Thanks for that - that's all solid advice and sort of the route I went down in further testing. So just to close this one out:

    I was testing power to the pump while opening and closing the float switch - I tested this both in a cycle and out of cycle without any luck. I thought (incorrectly apparently) that I should have been seeing power to the pump when the float was at the top. With this in mind, I was toggling the float up and down to see if I could see a difference - nada.

    I joined a white goods repair forum (of course that exists...) and found out that the pump doesn't usually engage until the float switch has been up for awhile (maybe 30 seconds or so). Went back to test it and pump was getting power - success.

    Tested again to see if I can could get continuity across the terminals on the pump itself and wasn't getting anything - I don't know enough about pumps (or anything electrical in fairness) to know if this was enough to tell me that the pump was at fault, but it seemed like the right cause. Went to buy a pump and had filled out my payment details and everything but it didn't sit right with me that I was able to get continuity the 1st time I tested the pump, but not the 2nd time.

    Went back, took the pump out, opened the casing to check the impeller and there was a tiny stick stuck between 2 of the vanes that was completely jamming it. Took this out, put it back together and we're back in business. Lesson learned 🙂

    Thanks for the help folks.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,267 ✭✭✭bladespin


    New relay?They're not usually very expensive.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,627 ✭✭✭Bawnmore


    Cheers for the suggestion - I thought it might be that too, so was testing everything else before messing with the PCB. Sorted in the meantime though.



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