Need appliance parts? Call 877-803-7957 now or use the parts search box:

Parts Search

Learn appliance repair at online the Master Samurai Tech Academy.  Learn more.  Earn more.

FAQs | Repair Videos | Academy | Newsletter | Podcast | Contact

cathy4328

Kenmore dryer possessed - help!

38 posts in this topic

We have a Kenmore dryer , model # 110.96590820.  We've never had a problem with it, until last night.  I went to dry a load of clothes, and it wouldn't turn on.  Checked the fuse box, saw the fuse was blown.  There was also scorching by the outlet, so I unplugged it and called a friend.  He came over and pulled the outlet.  He said there was something that looked like soap on the outlet, and that was why the outlet blew.  He replaced it with a new outlet, cleaned everything up and tested it.  Everything worked fine.  I then dried my clothes, and it worked perfectly.

Now, less than 24 hours later, I went up to do a load of laundry.  I smelled the scorchy smell and there was a bigger mark on the wall, so I tried to turn on the dryer.  Wouldn't work.  Went to the fuse box, fuse was again thrown.  Went back up and unplugged the dryer, and there's a whole bunch of gunky stuff on the plug.  There's also a small line of something that looks like soap coming out of the outlet, but here's the thing - I haven't done any laundry or used any soap since last night.  The walls are dry and no soap or liquids are stored above the dryer.  My friend also looked inside the outlet while he had it open last night, and there was nothing inside to indicate that there was a leak from inside the wall.  Any suggestions?  Please?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Need appliance parts? Call 877-803-7957 now!

Very odd indeed, Grasshopper! Was this soapy stuff wet and runny or a waxy, sebacious secretion? Can you post a photo or several?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I left my cord to download from my digital camera at work:(

It's dry and crusty to the touch, almost crystallike.  It's light green.  It's run down the wall from the bottom prong of the outlet, and there's a lot of it on the part you plug into the wall (sorry the word is escaping me at the moment).  From the marks on the wall, I'd say it was liquid, but has dried.  If this doesn't help, I'll post the pics on Monday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a roof leak, water is dripping on the romex (the wire behind the wall that powers the outlet) and running down into the outlet.

Is your dryer outlet located on an outside wall?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, it's in the middle of the house.  There's at least one room, if not two, in every direction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just went up and re-checked the walls and ceilings on both sides of the wall around where the dryer sits.  No water spots or discolorations.  We had some issues with water about two years ago in a nearby room, but on the far side of it away from where the dryer is.

So, if it is water in there, how do I find it, or stop it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did the water issues originate from a leak in the roof?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a wood shingle roof, and when we moved in there were a couple that were shook loose by a tornado.  Some water seeped through, and caused a water mark in the ceiling of the room next door.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect you have another leak in the roof, possibly at an eave. You didn't answer my previous question about whether the dryer outlet is on an outside wall, but I'm guessing it is. Am I right or am I right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I answered,  unless I don't understand what an outside wall is.  The dryer area is in the dead middle of the house.  It's in the stairwell area on the second floor, with rooms on every side of it.  It's at least 14 ft. away from any outside wall of the house.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, missed that one; so it's not leaking eaves. But since your roof has been impacted by a tornado, it wouldn't surprise me if it had developed another leak roughly over the location of your dryer outlet.

Or, the roof could be fine; might be a leaking pipe.

Bottom line: You got water where it ain't supposed to be and it's coming from somewhere! Your dryer outllet problems are just an early warning sign that there's big trouble in little China.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, so now the stupid question:  who do I call?  A roofer?  An appliance guy?  A plumber?  Or all three?

You're great, by the way!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Won't know who to call until we know the origin of the leak. You (or someone) will need to cut some exploratory holes in the sheet rock and use illuminated periscopes to try and discern the point of origin. Maybe a home inspector dude? Maybe a carpenter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, that'll be my first call.  Thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a photo of the outlet.

post-474-129045084772_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And here's one of the prongs.

post-474-129045084798_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Severe problems there. Unplug, call electrician.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I'm gonna apologize up front if I sould whiny.  But I started with an electrician.  He put in a new outlet, and it did this within 24 hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree with the Mad One; we've already been the electrician route and all he can do is fix the symptome (corroded outlet) but not the root problem (water leak).

Those pictures are freaky! The circuit breaker has done its job by preventing a major electrical fire in your house.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I told you it was bizarre.  Almost reminded me of the ecto stuff from Ghostbusters.  That's why I think it's possessed...

 

Also, and this was very strange, can't remember if I've said this or not.  The first time it blew, the stuff was sticky and wet to the touch  which is why my electrician friend thought that soap had gotten on it.  The second time - dry as can be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah...apologies, I hadn't noticed that you'd already had the outlet replaced, needs roof leak investigated. As our illustrious leader states, we need to treat the cause rather than the symptom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have someone coming this week to check the shingles for anything loose.  If they do find some loose, and fix them, should I still have someone tear out the sheetrock, just in case?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One obvious question that I feel has not been asked is this:

How far from the dryer outlet is the washer drain? If the drain tube is slightly restricted and is near, there may be some overflow (possibly inside the wall even) that could be the culprit. I had a problem a few months ago when a porrly soldered water valve broke loose and started leaking. I had to remove a section of drywall and do some fast torch fu in order to get She Who Must Be Obeyed to stop asking "When are you going to turn the water back on??". If there is water present, there must be a source; in a laundry room the logical suspect is the washer or its' supply. Thing like this aren't supposed to happen, but...:yikes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When the electrician was here, he pulled out both the washer and the dryer, and checked it out.  he didn't find any type of water source from the washer.  he even checked my vent on the dryer, to make sure it wasn't clogged up.  He was pretty thorough, probably because his wife is a good friend and I could make his life miserable if I wanted to.  :);)

Anyway, I don't think that's the source.  here's where I'm really starting to get frustrated.  My roofing guy is reluctant to come out and get on the roof, because he says that, I had a leak, I would know it.  the electrician doesn't want to put in another outlet or tear out the sheetrock to dry anything out, until the roof is checked.  His theory is, that if there is a leak, fixing it isn't going to work because I'll be screwed as soon as it rains again.

My roofing guy wanted to know if there is a wurge of power to the dryer when it turns on or off?  he's thinking that, if so, maybe that surge is what's throwing the breaker and shorting the outlet?  I don't think that could be it, but I told him I'd ask.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[user=474]cathy4328[/user] wrote:

I told you it was bizarre.  Almost reminded me of the ecto stuff from Ghostbusters.  That's why I think it's possessed...

 

Also, and this was very strange, can't remember if I've said this or not.  The first time it blew, the stuff was sticky and wet to the touch  which is why my electrician friend thought that soap had gotten on it.  The second time - dry as can be.

I've seen this slime once and it was due to a broken liner on a hot water heater, any pipes running above the outlet that could be leaking(ozzing)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites