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Thread: [FIXED] GE dde5900ralwh caught clothes on fire.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Florida
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    29

    Default [FIXED] GE dde5900ralwh caught clothes on fire.

    My brother in law is throwing out his GE dryer after a towel and a pair of shorts caught fire. He said that he was outside and saw some smoke coming out of the dryer vent. He ran inside the house to check on it and opened the dryer. He said that smoked poured out as soon as he opened the door. The towel and shorts were not actually in flames, but had embers all over them and as soon as he threw them outside in the garage, the air caused them to burst into flames.

    I went to his house to check it out, and after pulling it apart, we could not see anything that would have caused this to happen. The lint vents were fairly clean, and nothing was caught in the drum. The dryer itself does not have any damage to it with the exception of a small burn mark on the back inside of the drum.

    Just curious as to what could have caused this to happen?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Jun 2006
    Location
    Florida
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    Default

    Any idea as to what could have failed on the dryer? What can I check / look for?

    Thanks!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    McMullen Valley, Arizona
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    Default

    Hi ifoxbox,

    The only way to tell what caused it is to completely dis-assemble the dryer.

    Jeff has a good "HOW TO" on his site to show you how to take it apart:
    http://www.applianceaid.com/take-apart.html
    Also click the slide show-Older Style Take Apart.

    It likely come from the front lint duct assembly that mounts inside the front panel below the door. Thats why its very important to use a vacuum cleaner and a long skinny attachment to suck all the lint up from below the filter once a year at least.

    Jake
    Appliance Repair School 1987-1988
    Star Appliance Tech. 2 yrs. 1988-1990
    Wards Appliance Tech. 11 yrs. 1990-2001
    Sears Appliance Tech. 4 yrs. 2001-Oct. 2005
    Jake's Appliance Repair Nov. 2005-present

    Look-Up & Order Parts

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Florida
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    Default

    We took it apart and there was some lint behind the back of the drum that looks like it could have been the cause. My brother in law told me that about 4 months ago he did vacuum the lint duct out. I guess he must have missed some and it made its way to the back of the dryer.

    I took everything apart and I vacuumed all the lint I could see. I now have everything back together and am going to run the dryer through a few cycles in the garage and see how it goes.


    If all goes well, do you think that it is safe to put it back in his house? If the drum spins and the timer turns the dryer off, what else could go wrong that might cause a fire?

    Thanks for your help!
    Last edited by ifoxbox; April 29th, 2009 at 04:18 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    McMullen Valley, Arizona
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    Once all the lints cleaned out, it should be fine.

    Thats all I know that could cause a fire.

    Jake
    Appliance Repair School 1987-1988
    Star Appliance Tech. 2 yrs. 1988-1990
    Wards Appliance Tech. 11 yrs. 1990-2001
    Sears Appliance Tech. 4 yrs. 2001-Oct. 2005
    Jake's Appliance Repair Nov. 2005-present

    Look-Up & Order Parts

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Florida
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    Default

    Hey Jake,

    We ran the first test load for a little while today, and the clothes got very hot after about 25 minutes. He said that the clothes were almost too hot to touch.

    The drum consistently spins and the timer seems to work fine, but the clothes get way too hot.

    Is there a part that controls the heating coils that could be malfunctioning?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    McMullen Valley, Arizona
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    Well, then either the cycling thermostat is bad or the heating element is grounding out, thus keeping the heating element on ALL the time.

    You would check for a grounded element by using your ohm meter and checking the element to ground(metal heater housing) for continuity with the dryer unplugged. Here's the heating element for this model:
    Manufacturer's Number: WE11X103
    icon
    icon
    iconWE11X103

    If the heating element is fine, then you would need a new cycling thermostat. Here's the one for this model:
    Manufacturer's Number: WE4X600
    icon
    icon
    iconWE4X600

    Its mounted inside the front door assembly below your lint filter.

    Jake
    Appliance Repair School 1987-1988
    Star Appliance Tech. 2 yrs. 1988-1990
    Wards Appliance Tech. 11 yrs. 1990-2001
    Sears Appliance Tech. 4 yrs. 2001-Oct. 2005
    Jake's Appliance Repair Nov. 2005-present

    Look-Up & Order Parts

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Florida
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    Thanks Jake! The heating element is not grounding out, so it must be the thermostat. Is that part fairly easy to replace?

    Thanks again for your help. This forum has been a huge help to our families.
    Keep up the great work!
    Last edited by ifoxbox; May 3rd, 2009 at 08:51 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    McMullen Valley, Arizona
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    Default

    Its located under #305 here, your metal shield. #315 is it, #316 is also another thermostat, but it says your model only has the one.:


    Jake
    Appliance Repair School 1987-1988
    Star Appliance Tech. 2 yrs. 1988-1990
    Wards Appliance Tech. 11 yrs. 1990-2001
    Sears Appliance Tech. 4 yrs. 2001-Oct. 2005
    Jake's Appliance Repair Nov. 2005-present

    Look-Up & Order Parts

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
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    Default

    Many thanks! I took the front of the dryer off and saw that I only needed to remove the 3 screws for the thermostat. It was very easy.

    I will order the part today and let you know how it works after the install.

    I do have one more question. I know that the clothes getting too hot was because the malfunctioning thermostat, but shouldn't there be a thermal limiter, or something to keep the heating element from over heating like that?

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