Washer and dryer maintenance tips to prevent floods and fires
We don’t usually think much about our washing machines or dryers…until they stop functioning. But these essential workers require regular maintenance to avoid dangerous mishaps like fire and water damage. Michael Kuznecov, owner of Mike’s Quality Appliance Repair in Winnipeg, shares some advice on how to keep your machines rinsing and spinning smoothly.
About once a year, check to make sure the water supply and drain hoses are securely connected, don’t have any kinks, and aren’t showing signs of wear. This is particularly important in condo buildings where a leak could spill into multiple units—potentially leaving you on the hook for expensive damages.
Some washers have a filter along the drain line to catch objects. If the filter gets clogged—typically with coins and other items left in pockets—your machine won’t drain properly. To clear it, open the access panel and twist the filter trap counter-clockwise to remove it. Keep a bowl and towel handy to catch any spillage.
Front-loading washing machines have a rubber seal between the door and the drum. Unfortunately, water accumulates in the bottom, which can cause mold. After the wash cycle, leave the door and soap dispenser open to allow the seal to dry out. Likewise, leave the lid open on top-loaders to prevent moisture build-up.
In Canada, dryers are a leading cause of house fires—and costly insurance claims. And a clogged lint trap is the culprit in the majority of those cases. It’s critically important to clean your lint trap, located just inside the door, every time you use the dryer. Otherwise, the machine can overheat and potentially catch fire.
If the machine is taking longer than usual to dry clothes, it could indicate a clogged vent hose or exterior vent cap. Disconnect and vacuum out the hose once a year or more often, and clean the vent cover every few months. If you have a plastic vent hose, replace it with a nonflammable metal version.
If your dryer is in a small space like a closet, leave the door open while it’s running for air circulation. It must also vent outside, otherwise humidity build-up will lead to mold. Install a smoke detector close by, and a carbon monoxide detector if it’s powered by natural gas. And never leave the washer or dryer running when you’re not home.
Did you know CAA offers Home Equipment Breakdown Coverage? Learn more.