Dryer belt broken
Julia A. • Hampton, TN • March 31, 2014
Appliance: Frigidaire Frigidaire/laundry Center FEX831CS0
My Repair & Advice
This is how to replace the dryer belt on a combination washer/dryer:
FRIGIDAIRE model FEX831CS0
FIRST: Unplug the thing!!!! I also turned off the breaker.
I pulled out the washer/dryer from the wall and removed the square vented panel in the back lower right corner. Of course this was after spending about an hour cleaning the wall, the baseboards, and the floor behind the appliance since it had been 6 years since it was installed. This is another reason why I like to fix things myself! Repairmen don't clean -- and really don't want to give you timer to clean either! Anyway... after removing the panel in back I could see that the dryer belt was indeed broken and I pulled it out. I compared it to the new belt just to make sure I got the right part. Then I vacuumed inside everywhere I could reach. I had read another review on here and knew I needed to remove the front of the dryer in order to fit the belt over the drum so that comes next.
I got a chair and removed the 4 screws holding the front of the dryer to the top. I then realized that I would have to remove the control panel below before I could get the front of the dryer off. I removed the two screws holding the slanting blank panel below the control panel, and then lifted it off. Then I removed six screws holding the control panel on -- I'm not sure I had to remove all six of these -- but I did. There was one small screw on each side and then two larger screws on each side. The panel then dropped out forward. I didn't want to break or cut any of the wires on the sharp metal below, so I had to prop this control panel up on a big soft bag while I worked on the dryer front above. After removing two screws that were exposed (one on each side) when I removed the control panel, the front of the dryer came off towards me and the drum dropped down. This is the scary part! I wasn't sure I could hold everything together and get the belt over the drum at the same time -- all while standing on a chair. But I did!! It went surprisingly well and everything fitted back together pretty easily with some juggling. I made sure the belt was not twisted and pushed it towards the back before I repositioned the drum against the dryer front. The screws went back in and I had to take a break and be amazed for a minute -- hard part done! I forgot -- of course I vacuumed and cleaned everything I could see from the front as it was exposed. Lots of lint in there. Reattached the control panel next.
Around in the back I maneuvered the belt to its worn place in the back of the drum, made sure it was not twisted, and pulled the (idler?) pulley back and fitted the belt around the motor drive thingy (can't remember what to call all these parts!). There is a picture somewhere on this site I think showing how this should go, but it is pretty straightforward. The other review I read did give me the hint that the pulley pushes against the OUTSIDE (the non-ribbed) part of the belt, which helped.
Flipped back on the breaker and plugged it back up. Hit the switch to turn on the dryer and TAH DAH --- success!!!! Watched the belt in back and it looked like it was working correctly. It was squeaking slightly so I put one or two drops (only!) of 3-in-1 oil on the idler pulley. I don't think this is the correct thing to use to grease, but it was all I had and it fixed the problem of the small squeak. Unplugged everything again and reattached the louvered back panel and the slanting front panel. Then I dried some clothes!!!!! The clothesline is going to get a break until warmer weather!!!
I hope this helps someone, as I was helped by some earlier reviews. I especially hope this inspires some WOMEN to fix their own stuff. The feeling of satisfaction is HUGE and the cost savings almost as big. YOU CAN DO IT! This took me almost 3 hours because of all the cleaning, but also because I learned from watching my Dad (who could fix ANYTHING!!!) that the best way to work is mindfully and very carefully. THANKS DAD ;-) Julia
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