Anth's Computer Cave

Clothes Dryer Teardown

Today we'll find out what we can recycle from an old clothes dryer.

A Simpson dryer

The victim is a Simpson dryer, which - as usual - I found on a nature strip. It turns on but has a loud bearing noise.

The back of a Simpson dryer.

Firstly we remove the filter cover from inside the barrel and removed four screws. After removing all the screws from the rear of the dryer we removed the rear panel.

The barrel and motor of the dryer.

I had expected to find some quality bearing assemblies holding the barrel in place but I was disappointed. The bearing and belt setup looks more like something built in 1899 than 1999.

The rear bearing for the barrel.

There is a wonky plastic bearing for the rear of the barrel, but the front of the barrel just has a protruding ring of sheet metal that fits loosely into a round channel in the front of the cabinet.

The channel for the front of the barrel.

No wonder it was noisy.

A close up image of the rear bearing.

This is the only bearing holding the barrel in place and it's made of plastic!

The belt assembly.

The drive belt simply loops around the motor pulley, then around an adjacent plastic idler pulley then wraps around the middle of the barrel. I'm amazed these things even work!

The screw hidden behind the logo.
There's always a secret screw.

The timer knob came away from the front of the dryer with a bit of force. Next we removed the plastic panel from the lower front of the dryer. That was easy enough once we found the secret screw hidden behind the Simpson logo.

We now removed six screws to detach the timer and switch assembly.

The control panel.

The timer is a beauty. In the image below, the small red and brown wires turn on the motor, and the thicker brown wire activates the heating ring.

The timer from the dryer.

The switch on the right selects the temperature settings for the dryer.

Temparature sensors.

There were a couple of temperature sensors at the rear of the unit. They look like cycling thermistats, the type that have continuity while cold, then disconnect when they reach a certain temperature.

The fan from the rear of the dryer.

There is a plastic fan on a heavy-duty steel roller bearing mounted to the rear panel of the unit. It is attached to the pulley protruding from the rear of the unit, which is generally driven by the rear shaft of the motor. We had to lever away the metal cover to get to the fan then there were three screws to remove the assembly from the back panel.

The rear of the motor.

Now we removed the motor. It was mounted using two metal plates. There was one rear mount fastened by the screws from the rear panel, and a front mount, which was riveted to the top casing of the drier. There was also a spring attached from the centre of the motor to the dryer casing. After drilling out the rivets and releasing the spring the motor was free.

The front of the motor.

This motor makes the teardown worthwhile. By switching one of the plugs I was able to bypass all the switches and power it up. It runs smooth and at a perfect pace: not too fast and not too slow. It is a double-sided motor so it can drive two loads at once.

So what do I do with it all?

While I have no need for a 240V motor, one my other projects, the AAIMI project, does. The home-automation side of AAIMI needs to control devices like mains-powered motors. I will mount this motor in a box and use it to test AAIMI's 240V functions.

A nice heavy-duty switch.

There are a couple of heavy-duty switches I can definitely use. The one pictured above was from the door safety cut off. It is rated to 16 Amps at 250V, and the button mechanism is silky smooth.

A two-way switch.

The second switch is a two-way unit from the front of the dryer, used to select medium or high settings. It is rated at 12 Amps at 250V. This switch also has a smooth mechanism.

The fan and bearing assembly from the rear of the dryer I will probably use as part a portable wind turbine project. The bearing assembly is strong enough to increase the blade length of the fan significantly.

One side of the fan bearing. The other side of the fan bearing. The fan from a dryer.

Wires with crimped plugs..

There is some wiring with quite solid crimped plugs, only some of which I need for the motor. Wiring is always handy.

The front of the barrel.

The barrel could be used for many things, and I am undecided at this point what I will do with it. It is not quite heavy enough for a fire barrel but with a few holes ground out of it you could make a herb garden, a cray pot or who knows what.

The door from the dryer.

Um, the door... Anyone need a port-hole?

The filter.

This filter is superfine and may be usefull one day. It has a matching size grate.

The filter cover.

The dryer's outer casing is actually quite sturdy when reassembled.

The casing from the dryer.

Like the barrel it could be used for many things, maybe a cabinet for the garage, or some sort of pet enclosure. For now I'm going to use it as a box to store the metal I get from all these teardowns I've done in this series.


All in all, this was a good teardown. I got a few things I can definitely use, and the only waste is a small plastic strip and a port-hole.



Previous: Hair-straightener teardown

Next: Teardown: Halogen heater



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