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How to Open a Clothes Dryer for Repairs

Get your dryer working in no time by handling your own repairs. For the secret of how to open up your dryer for easy repairs, just follow these steps.

Although a clothes dryer looks like an almost impenetrable appliance, it is fairly easy to open up to gain access to the working parts for repairs. In fact, because it’s pretty simple once you know how, it is a great way to gain a clearer understanding of how this appliance works.

Remove the screws from beneath the lint trap.

You can remove the top, the front, and the back, depending upon what you’re trying to do. Be sure to disconnect the electrical power and, if it is a gas dryer, turn off the gas before doing any repair work. As you work, pay attention to the sequence and gather each of the screws and parts in one place so reassembly will be easy.

The steps here show how to open a front-loading Kenmore dryer; if your dryer is a different make, the steps are probably reasonably similar, but refer to your owner’s manual.

Removing a Dryer’s Top

Use a putty knife to release the clips that secure the top.

To remove the dryer’s top, lift out the lint trap and, underneath it, unscrew the screws that secure the dryer’s top, as shown at right. For some dryers, you’ll need to remove screws at the top of the back panel.)

Push a stiff, thin putty knife between the top and one side, about 2 1/2 inches from the front corner, as shown at left.

Once you release the dryer's top, you can lift it off.

Once you release the dryer’s top, you can lift it off.

On some models, you will be able to just pry the top up; with others, you will need to release a locking clip at this location by pushing it with the putty knife. Then do the same at the other corner.

Lift the top up and tilt it safely against the wall behind the dryer. Wires will prevent you from removing it completely.


Removing a Dryer’s Back

Removing the back is trickiest, not because of the way it is attached (it is just held in place with screws) but because you usually must wrestle the dryer away from the wall, detach the dryer vent, and so forth. Fortunately, however, opening the top and front will suffice for most repairs.

Support the drum and remove the front panel.

Disassemble the lower kick plate panel.


Removing a Dryer’s Front

To open the front of the dryer, start with the lower kick plate panel. Unscrew this and take it off (as shown at right) and then support the bottom of the tumbler drum (as shown at left) with a couple of blocks or bricks so that, when you pull the full front of the dryer off, the drum won’t drop.

Find the screws and/or locking clips that secure the front panel to the sides and remove them. Also disconnect the wire module between the main body of the dryer and the door. Then you should be able to just lift off the front.

With access to the dryer belt, idler pulley, gas valve, and other parts, you can accomplish many repairs.


About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort developed his expertise more than 30 years ago as Building Editor for both Sunset Books and Home Magazine. He has written more than 30 home improvement books and countless magazine articles. He appeared regularly on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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1 Comment

  1. My dryer has a small cover at the base and i cannot get it off, can you help me?


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