Daily Archives: July 6, 2020

Another Day, Another Kludge . . .

Recently the dryer part of our 21 year old Splendide washer/dryer quit drying. Well, kind of.

The heater part was still heating, but the blower part quit blowing. So I pulled the unit out of its cubbyhole and popped the top off. Then the first thing I did was to spin the little fan on top of the blower unit, expecting it to be seized up like the last one was about 10 years ago. But it spun freely.

So maybe the motor was burned out. But when I checked the continuity across the motor terminals, I got the 7.5 ohms that the manual specified. So I hooked my voltmeter up to the wires coming into the motor. And got only about 50 volts, not the 120VAC I was expecting.

Tracing the wires back, I found they went right to the timer switch that directly controls the dryer. So now it was time to get on the phone with Westland Sales, the Splendide tech support/parts people to ask some questions, and order a new 88°C thermostat.

When I told the guy my problem he first ask me if the dryer timer was working and counting off the correct amount of time. When I told him yes, and that it was also turning on the heating coil like it was supposed to, he told that it was a known problem and that the contacts inside the timer had started to come apart. And he said that new timers were not available anymore, which is what I already figured.

And that even if I did find one, it was really a PITA to change out. Then while I had him on the line, I ordered a new thermostat from him. Which they did have in stock.

The reason I was replacing was that I noticed that one of the terminals was kind of loose and burnt-looking. And when I got it in a few days later and tried to pull the wire off, it just came apart like this.

Dryer Thermostat 1

So I took out the two screws holding it in, leaving just this.

Dryer Thermostat 2

And then popped the new one in place and fastened it down.

Dryer Thermostat 3

But while I was waiting on the thermostat to come in, I worked on my blower problem. The first thing I did was to put 120VAC directly to the motor to test it, and it worked.

And after thinking about it for a while I came up with a solution. A kludge, but a solution. I wired a power cord directly to the motor terminals like this,

Dryer Switch Wiring

and then ran it out the back panel of the dryer.

Then I plugged it into the same outlet the washer is plugged into through one of the these Alexa WiFi controlled switches.

TanTan Alexa Computer Switch

Now when Jan uses the dryer, she just sets the timer on the panel as normal, and then says, “Alexa, Dryer On’ and the blower motor starts up. Then when the clothes are done, she just says, “Alexa, Dryer Off’.

And if she forgets and leaves the blower running for a while it won’t hurt anything. Plus as soon as you open the washer door, you can feel it blowing so it’s hard to miss.

A kludge, but it works. And I didn’t have to spend $1300 for a new one.

At least not yet.

 

This was just last year when I was in the middle of my first, and so far only, sciatica attack.


July 6, 2019

So Far, So Good . . .

About 4pm Jan and I drove over to the Victory Lakes/League City Denny’s for dinner/breakfast.  Normally I just have the 2 eggs, bacon, English Muffin, and fruit, but for some reason I’ve had kind of a sweet tooth the last week or two, so, uncharacteristically, I went with the Cinnamon Roll Pancakes.

Denny's Pancakes

Really good, but I think I’m in Sugar Overload Mode.

Then it was across the street to WalMart for a couple of things, but mostly for a temporary TENS unit like this one.

IcyHot TENS Unit

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve got one on order from Amazon that should be here on Monday, but after reading all the raves online from people with Sciatica using a TENS unit with great success, and having such a rotten time trying to sleep last night, I didn’t want to wait two more days.

Getting home, and unusual for me, I opened the box and read the directions. But then I am connecting my body up to a battery.

But it turned out to be pretty simple. Just connect the control unit to the electrode patch, stick it in place, turn it on, and press the + button to set the output between 1 and 63.

I increased the level to about 15, to the point where I could start to feel it. But it was not a shock but more of a vibration, or buzzing. The unit runs for 30 minutes and then shuts off. They recommend letting the battery rest for 5-10 minutes before restarting.

The unit seems to cycle in 15 second intervals, starting slow and light, and getting stronger and quicker.

I did start it up, and laid down for a couple of hours, and felt fine. But tonight will be the real test. I’m going to bump it up to 30 and see if I can get through the night without the burning pain?

We’ll see.

By the way, I also picked up a package of the refills.

IcyHot TENS Unit ReFills

Turns out the refills are just new electrode patches to use when the sticky wears off the first one. Seems like that’s what duck tape should be for.

Also, when I was checking this unit out online, I found a wide variation in pricing. While WalMart had it for $28.88, Walgreen’s had it for $39.99. And WalMart has the refill pack for $9.88, at Walgreen’s it’s $15.99.

So shop around.

If these things work, I’ll probably use both of them at various times, especially since the IcyHot version has no wires to get in the way when I’m out and about.


Thought for the Day:

Nobody realizes the tremendous energy I expend every day merely to appear normal.

 

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