If you find that your clothes are finishing hot and wet in your washer dryer, there are three main reasons for your clothes failing to dry properly:
- There is no water arriving into the condenser
- There is a blockage in the condenser, stopping water dripping down
- The fan is not working or is blocked
If water is failing to pour into the condenser, this is often because the valve has broken. This means the replacement of the valve. It is possible to test the valve’s functionality with a multimeter – a reading of zero will not be a good sign. Once other problems have been eliminated, this will require the services of an engineer.
Likewise, you can confirm a broken fan using a multimeter, but a trained technician or one from your washing machine insurance provider will be required to fit a new one. However, if your washer dryer is leaving clothes hot and steamy, then it is likely the result of a blockage somewhere.
If you want to clean the condenser yourself – and it is easy enough even if you are not a DIY-bod – this is often a plastic enclosure that lives at the back of the washer dryer. Refer to your manufacturer’s diagrams and advice. The layout of all washer dryers are all similar, although the screw shape can vary and be found in different places. To get inside, the top and the rear covers will need to be carefully removed. Before beginning, turn off the machine at both electrical and water supply. The washing machine will need to pull your machine forward to get access.
The top comes off easily. Once the screws are out, the top can be pulled away – it may require some force. The rear panel is held in place with a series of screws: remove these and the panel should fold down.
Inside the machine, you should see a metal box on top of the washer-dryer with a series of cables plugged into it. This contains the heating element, which will be connected to a vent at the front or rear of the drum. It is from here that hot air is pumped into the appliance. Beneath this, you should see a long plastic box that has a water tube connected to it. This is the condenser.
Getting the condenser out, with exact instructions differing from one appliance to the next, could make things difficult. In some cases, you may first have to undo the screws holding the heating element in place, and next the screws holding the condenser in place. Often, a set of pliers will have to be used to remove the water hose.
With all screws removed, we could pull out the plastic condenser unit by first lifting out the heating element box. The condenser should pull out of its connection at the base of the washing machine, then move upwards to come clean away.
Inside, you are likely to see build-up of dirt and lint from your clothes, which is likely to be the cause of the problem. Using a hose or tap, rinse out the condenser until all the dirt is removed. You may find it useful to use a pipe cleaner to get in and dislodge any dirt that is stuck. Make sure that the water inlet is clean, so that water can flow in and through the condenser.
If the condenser and valve are working as they should, there is a chance that the fan is also clogged with dirt, which inhibits the proper circulation air. If you want to clean the fan yourself, an easier way about going about this is to remove the entire heating box from the washer dryer.
Before starting, take a photo of the cables, so you return them to their proper location after. The cables should just unplug. However, watch out for those that have a clip. With the cables removed, the connection between the heating element and the drum will need to be loosened. Be careful here. A cable tie may need to be released or, as on our machine, hard-to-reach screw may need to be unscrewed depending on your appliance. Feel free to move around. It is also possible to use set of pliers to loosen the screw, before using fingers. After this, you should be able to lift the heating box out of the appliance.
If you flip it over, you will be looking at the fan. It may be choked in dirt. You can remove the dirt using a pipe cleaner or a wet wipe. Wipe dry – you do not want to get the fan’s motor, or the electric connections, wet. We recommend opting for a dry clean here. Give the fan a gentle turn when after cleaning. It should spin easily, which means your work there is done. A tiny, distant spray of WD40 will do well for its ongoing lubrication.
Once done, you can begin the reassembly. It is logical to place the condenser back in first, securing it in place using the screws. Ensure that there is a tight connection between the base of the condenser and the drum. After this, reconnect the water hose, making sure it is securely clipped into place.
You can now sit the heating element back into the appliance. There should be a rigid connection between the heating element and the condenser. Remember to tighten up the connection between the heating element and the drum, and to reattach the cables as shown in your photo. Ensure all screws are holding items tightly in place.
You can now fit the lid and rear panel, then reconnect the appliance back into the electrical supply and turning the water back on. When you next attempt to dry clothes, they should come out dry. If they do not, it is likely a broken fan or water valve. A trained technician will need to inspect further.