Instead of automatically calling a professional to install your new dryer for you, why not try installing it yourself? Not only is self-installation a cheaper option, but it’s also pretty simple to do, even for the non-DIY’ers.
While the installation instructions for electric and gas dryers are a little different, both of them can be done with a few tools, a bit of patience and some great directions.
Turn It Off
The first thing that you’ll want to do is shut off the power to whatever area of your home the dryer will be in so that you don’t accidentally shock yourself during the installation process. To avoid working in darkness, bring a lamp and extension cord with you.
If you’re installing a gas dryer, you’ll also want to cut off the gas at the shut-off valve. It’s best that you only hook up to a gas line that has a proper shut-off valve near the room where the dryer will be installed. Position the dryer close to where you plan on placing it.
The Proper Connections
In order to connect the gas line, the first thing that you’ll want to do is use joint compound or pipe-wrap around the threads of the valve that supplies the gas. Both joint compound and pipe-wrap tape are made for gas connections as a way to make sure the seal is airtight.
Once that is done, use a stainless steel adapter as an attachment to the gas dryer’s supply pipe. With this step, a pipe elbow might prove effective in keeping the gas line from bending too much. Insert a flexible gas line into the stainless steel adapter before attaching the other end to your gas line. Use your compound or pipe-wrap tape to tighten the connections and make them airtight.
Test the Connection
In order to properly test the gas connection, you’ll want to blend together a mixture of one part water and one part mild dishwashing soap. Switch on the gas and check for leaks by spreading a thin solution coating on the connection. You’ll need to do your connection over if you see any bubbles.
Next, position one end of the flexible dryer exhaust tube over the exhaust tube vent that’s in the wall, making sure that you have a metal or foil tube. Avoid plastic exhaust tubes since they have been known to cause carbon monoxide leaks and fires.
You can use either duct tape or a metal bracket to make sure the tube is secure. Metal screws can be used to keep the tube in place, and duct tape can be used to wrap the tube. In the event that you don’t have a flexible dryer exhaust tube, you’ll have to use an elbow at the dryer and wall vent. After all of that is done, attach a rigid metal dryer exhaust tube and bind the joint connections with duct tape.
Plug and Push
Now you’re ready to plug in your dryer and push it into place. Gas dryers have traditional electric plugs while electric dryers have large, three-pronged 240-volt plugs. You might have to use a level in order to make the necessary adjustments to the legs of the dryer. Once the dryer has been positioned evenly, it won’t vibrate as much and you will also get more use out of your dryer.
Before you fill your dryer with its first load, make sure that it’s working properly by running it on empty for about 20 minutes. Pop open the door, reach inside and see if you can feel any heat. If you don’t or if the dryer isn’t working as it should, take a look at the owner’s manual to see if you can identify the problem. If you’ve tried all you can and it still isn’t working, it might be time for you to call an experienced and reputable appliance technician to see if they can give you a hand.
Once your dryer is up and running normally, you’ll want to make sure that you thoroughly clean out the exhaust tube once every six months. The reason you’ll want to do this is that lint can collect in the exhaust tube, which can lower dryer efficiency. Not only that, but dryer lint is extremely flammable and can lead to fires, and that’s especially true when it comes to gas dryers.
If you plan on buying a new dryer, make sure that you also buy quality tools if you plan on handling the installation yourself.
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