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[#] Fri Jan 26 2007 12:30:23 EST from nadia @ Uncensored

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iirc calcium chloride is what is usually used as road salt, not sodium chloride.

[#] Mon Feb 12 2007 23:43:18 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Hello handypersons...

I'm trying to fix a clothes dryer that is blowing cool air instead of hot air.

I've got continuity across all of the thermal cutouts I can find. On the other hand, I've got zero ohms across the heating element. The schematic says that the element is 7.8 to 11.8 ohms. Is it reasonable to assume that if I don't have a reading in that range when a continuity tester is placed across the supply pins, that the element is burned out?

(NO GUESSES PLEASE. I'm looking for an answer from someone who knows for sure. I'm not spending $50 for a new element based on a guess.)

[#] Mon Feb 12 2007 23:59:35 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Disregard previous message. I opened up the heating element assembly and found a break in the coil. It looks pretty straightforward to replace, and the parts are available online.

I'm still somewhat curious as to what would make the heating element burn out before any of the thermal cutouts. The air path was not blocked anywhere either.

[#] Tue Feb 13 2007 00:09:05 EST from 2Dog @ Uncensored

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Sounds like you have a burned out element. Same thing happens with electric water heaters
more frequently than one might think. If you're gonna fix it yourself check the price(s) at I get all my appliance parts from them.

On a different note - our heat pump took a big dump. Bad timing to say the very least.
Starting tomorrow the nighttime temps are going to be in the lower 20s for a while.(or so they
say) I'm gonna call tomorrow and try to have it checked out soon, but we have plenty of firewood
if it comes down to that. Also have a couple of electric heaters but I'll make sure they go to
whatever room the animals choose to sleep in. (then again, I'm sure they'll choose to sleep in
whatever room I put them in) Here's looking forward to that cold naked rush to the shower in
the mornings.

[#] Tue Feb 13 2007 00:58:46 EST from triLcat @ Uncensored

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I'm impressed, IG.

My personal approach would be to call a repairman and say "heeeeelp"

Then again, my impression is that repairmen take less here - when my dryer died, he took about $20 to tell me what was wrong. The part + installation would have been about $150. Since the whole dryer was only worth about $200 new (and it was 5 yrs old) and we had a spare dryer, we just chucked it. 

pretty funny how that works when you combine the stuff of two people who've been living on their own for a while. We had 2 washer & dryers, 2 microwaves, 2 sandwich toaster grill thingies, and 2 VCRs, but no TV...

[#] Tue Feb 13 2007 09:16:10 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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My dryer is about 11 years old. A good dryer can last for decades ... although the newer ones have computers in them, so I don't know how user-serviceable those are. Mine just has switches and sensors.

I find that the biggest hurdle in repair jobs is just getting to the point where you can look at a problem and say ... "yeah, I can fix that." If you're the type of person who learns by observation (like me), the big thing is to have been around people who are handy. I give most of the credit for that to my father, of course, because I spent my childhood watching him fix stuff, and more importantly, displaying a "we can fix that" attitude. After that, you've just got to be brave enough to keep stretching just barely beyond your comfort level (but not to the point where you do something unsafe).

Anyway, yeah, the element was burned out. It was pretty obvious once I had it disassembled; there's a break in the coil. I ordered a new part online and the reassembly procedure appears straightforward.

[#] Tue Feb 13 2007 09:16:17 EST from nadia @ Uncensored

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does anyone know how long electric hot water heaters are supposed to last before a problem (like the heater element)?

the water heater in our sister apt (oh, the irony, as in the one half of out apt is still hooked up to) seems to have died. but it's not that old, so that's very strange, isn't it? does that mean ours could go very soon too? (iirc it's identical, except somehow set so that the water is never hot per se, which is something we'd like to change)

[#] Tue Feb 13 2007 09:19:49 EST from nadia @ Uncensored

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although the newer ones have computers in them, so I don't know how
user-serviceable those are. Mine just has switches and sensors.

sort of depends on what the problem is, doesn't it? if it involves the electronics then probably not, but something like the heater element, wouldn't that be similar?

we had a problem with a new gas dryer not heater and it was the electronics, they just swapped out the board. of course that was under warranty. we made sure to make sure our new one heated before we needed to use it (couldn't check at delivery as we needed a plumber for the gas line).

[#] Tue Feb 13 2007 09:52:13 EST from nadia @ Uncensored

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one of my neighbors got a $300 gas bill. her apt is maybe 750 sq ft, and she claims she has electric heat, and doesn't cook much. either she has a gas leak, or the gas lines in this building are messed. my immediate reaction was that somehow either our gas meters are swapped, or that some of our lines went to her meter, but i just don't see how the latter is possible.

but people with houses, is a $300 gas bill a lot for a house? if it's not then really maybe they're reading our usage not hers (though our $100 gas bill sounds like a lot for an apt without gas heat, so i don't know.

[#] Tue Feb 13 2007 09:53:34 EST from wizard of aahz @ Uncensored

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Nadia - She could get Ragnar's gas bill.. But honestly.. $300 is not huge for a house gas bill these days.. unfortunately.

[#] Tue Feb 13 2007 09:56:13 EST from Peter Pulse @ Uncensored

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The real question in my mind is why you were getting a 0 ohm reading from an open coil.

[#] Tue Feb 13 2007 09:58:51 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Bad writeup on my part. I meant zero as in zero response from the meter.

[#] Tue Feb 13 2007 10:03:45 EST from nadia @ Uncensored

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aahz, still though, then it might be large for a 1200 sq ft apt, no? even a house the same size should take more to heat because it's got no common walls. of course i often think we're heating everyone else (being at the bottom, and the 3rd and 4th floor south side apartments are quite warm without intentional heating, on the north side of the building it gets chillier)

so maybe the $300 could be our usage. i guess only the gas company will be able to tell us for sure.

[#] Tue Feb 13 2007 10:04:17 EST from Peter Pulse @ Uncensored

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Well, that makes a big difference.

[#] Tue Feb 13 2007 10:14:25 EST from Ragnar Danneskjold @ Uncensored

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Hot water heaters usually last 10 to 12 years. More if you're lucky.

[#] Tue Feb 13 2007 10:15:05 EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

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I do not ever recall spending $300 on a gas heating bill.

That's rather a lot of money for gas. I know it has become more expensive, overall, but unless she has paper walls or a lot of cooking going on, I should think there's some kind of misreading (because you'd smell a gas leak, I'd think).

But then, I've lived in a mostly small house. Girthta might have some better insight here, as her home is rather larger.

[#] Tue Feb 13 2007 10:16:32 EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

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Hmm... I really should prepare to replace my appliances soon.

I've replaced the range, so that's still good. But I have never touched the hot water heater, and my home is about 7 years old. If I make sure to start saving now, I'll definately have the money for the heater when it goes.

[#] Tue Feb 13 2007 10:22:52 EST from Ragnar Danneskjold @ Uncensored

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A hot water heater isn't too expensive in terms of household appliances. There's not a lot to them.

[#] Tue Feb 13 2007 10:28:31 EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

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Heh... and I keep plenty of money available for surprises anyway, so I'm really quite covered.

Air conditioners are the same sort of thing... very simple, and can fairly easily be maintained, but a lot of people don't know beans about them. I still get a professional to look at it every so often anyway, though, because I like these guys, and they're very reasonable.

[#] Tue Feb 13 2007 11:30:32 EST from nadia @ Uncensored

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there's no way i think the $300 gas bill could be for her apt. i mean it's either a mistake (ragnar style), there's a leak, or it includes some usage that's not hers.

i do smell gas sometimes, but i'm not dead yet.

i was just trying to figure out if our $100 bill was too low. now granted we try not to keep the place warm enough to be comfortable all the time. downstairs goes down to 65 during the day, upstairs 68, and we just turn it up when the need arises. (like, you want warm air blowing on you).

slipper socks are a great invention, although i did almost run out to buy a diet coke in my slipper socks yesterday (and blamed cayce for not telling me i was about to do that. no matter how nicely i ask her to point these things out to me she never obliges).

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