February 15, 2010

Our dryer saga and a sweet little girl story.

About a month before we moved, so in April or May I guess, our dryer started taking a really long time to dry our clothes.  About twice as long, I guess.  In the midst of all the other craziness, it just wasn't high priority so we just let it go.

When we unhooked it to load the moving truck, we found a bird's nest (with eggs) in the dryer vent!  Well, no wonder it wasn't working!

Expecting that to be the fix, we moved it in here and hooked it up.  It did okay for a few weeks, but quickly seemed to be dying again.  And in the midst of all the craziness, we've just let it go because in the long run (ha... no pun intended), I had dry clothes.  Lately it's been taking 3 rounds through the dryer, and I'm starting to have to hang them up.

Anyway, the other day I got determined and went behind the dryer and unhooked it all, thinking there must be a clog that needed to be pulled out.  Boy did I get a surprise!!  (We've never had a dryer that wasn't right next to an exterior wall, so dryer venting ductwork was all new to us.)  We knew we had to clean it all out and finally decided today just to replace it all and start fresh.  So we had quite a romantic Valentine's Day!

This was what I found in the dryer Sunday when I took it all apart to vacuum it!

And Robert's find in the ductwork!  No wonder...
I think the bird's nest must have clogged up the vent so that the dryer filled up with junk unbenknownst to us. Combine that with a 20 ft long, really full vent duct and you get 3 hour drying times and a high electric bill.  Thankfully dryers these days are built so that the heating element shuts off if the dryer is not exhausting properly.

Lessons learned... Vacuum out the bottom of your dryer more often than every 9 years.  Check your ductwork and clean it out too before you assume your dryer needs to be repaired.  And praise the Lord for google!  He saved us a new heating element and house fire!  The funny this is the dryer actually sounds different now.

And there is a sweet reason to post this very boring dryer story...

Mattie walked into the laundry closet while Robert was working at the other end (in another room) and he started talking to her.  When she asked where he was, he told her a fairy named Lucia had taken him into the pipe.  She so desperately wanted to go too!  She wanted the fairy to come and get her too, so she told the fairy (Robert had that voice goin' on too) that she was her most beautiful favorite fairy and she wanted to meet her.

It was so sad to see her genuine longing to go with the fairy and daddy.  I was so sad for her that he was just pretending!  Doesn't that face make you wish she could go too?


Leslie said...

Way to go on getting it fixed - and yes, that sweet face does make me wish she could meet the fairy. Did she ever find out it was her Dad?


Paula said...

She is beautiful! Love the innocence!! Why can't it just stay that way???

Kjirstin C said...

That sweet little face and story almost brought tears to my eyes! She's so beautiful, and has such a great imagination. So sweet.

Marcy said...

precious....the fairy tale and the girl.

Eric Powell said...

Aww. She looks sweet! I hope you’re now doing regular maintenance on those dryer vents. Haha. Imagine having nine years worth of lint clogging up that long dryer vent. Having a well-cleaned dryer vent really helps your machine dryer perform better and last longer.

Eric Powell

Barry Chavez said...

That’s some lint buildup right there! It sure will cut your electric bill by a lot if you have them constantly maintained and checked for buildup. Also, it’ll save you from having to buy a new dryer in the future. It really is a good thing that your dryer has one of those heating sensors; if it didn’t, it might already have caused an ugly fire. Hope you guys learned your lesson and are doing regular maintenance now.

Barry Chavez