Thread Number: 70807  /  Tag: Vintage Dryers
Frigidaire DCIF-64
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Post# 937744   5/11/2017 at 12:34 by jgrey (pennsylvania)        

Hi, I've got a vintage Frigidaire DCIF-64 dryer that I'm trying to get working. It runs and gets warm but doesn't dry my clothes. Any ideas of what the problem might be?

Post# 937753 , Reply# 1   5/11/2017 at 13:50 by RevvinKevin (Between Mickey Mouse & the Queen Mary (So. Cal.)        

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I assume this is a vented dryer. Have you checked air flow and the temp out the vent? Also does the drum turn? Can you post photos please?


Post# 937754 , Reply# 2   5/11/2017 at 13:52 by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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^^what he said^^

Post# 937765 , Reply# 3   5/11/2017 at 14:11 by steved (Guilderland, New York)        

The "F" in the model number indicates a Filtrator dryer that is vent-free.
I imagine the internals could be clogged with lint and such. PhilR would know better.

Post# 937805 , Reply# 4   5/11/2017 at 17:11 by jgrey (pennsylvania)        

Yea there's no vent, just a collection pan of sorts in the bottom and a small hose coming out the back of the dryer (not sure where that's supposed to go, a drain maybe?). I'll check the internals for lint and such when I get home.

The drum does turn and it gets warm. It's either just not heating up enough or it's not pulling air out of the drum properly.


Post# 937807 , Reply# 5   5/11/2017 at 17:19 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

It does not pull air out of the drum. It dries in a closed system where the same air is recirculated, heated, cooled (which causes it to give up some moisture) and reheated. Yours has a complicated air-cooled condenser and the interior air is forced through it by a fan, all of which is prone to clogging so there is going need to be a good deal of taking apart and cleaning to ever get it to work. Even when it works properly, it is a slow dryer.

Post# 937809 , Reply# 6   5/11/2017 at 17:22 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Could also be a bad connection - the 240v leg may not be making proper contact with the heating element.  Do you notice any odd smell or sizzling noises that could indicate a loose wire somewhere?  


Also, had a problem like this years and years ago that caused me to scrap a perfectly good vintage Kenmore dryer - it turned out to be a bad circuit breaker!

Post# 937822 , Reply# 7   5/11/2017 at 17:51 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
1964 FD Vent Free Dryer

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First thing to check is the blower belt for the belt driven blower, your dryer has two blowers, one attached to the front of the motor and one driven off the back of the motor by a belt.


Other than that if it is heating up it may need a good cleaning, the easiest thing to clean is the removable heat exchanger behind the removable front panel below the loading door. Be sure all the 1/2 " tubes are completely clear and the fined section as well, you can use an air hose and finish with hot water.

Post# 937848 , Reply# 8   5/11/2017 at 19:54 by TrainGuy (Charlotte, Pittsburgh, & Key West)        

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I'm in Pittsburgh this weekend and will gladly stop by to check it out of you're nearby.

Post# 937977 , Reply# 9   5/12/2017 at 09:54 by variflexpghpa (Pittsburgh, PA)        
Service Call

Hey Rich

Waaaaaay long time since we crossed paths. If this dryer is in the area, I'd
enjoy going along on that service call. My 65 is resting quietly in storage.

Post# 938008 , Reply# 10   5/12/2017 at 11:33 by jgrey (pennsylvania)        

I appreciate the offer. I'm on the other side of the state though, in the Poconos. I'll have time this weekend to tear it open and give it a good cleaning; hopefully that will fix it.

Post# 938625 , Reply# 11   5/15/2017 at 09:00 by jgrey (pennsylvania)        

Well, I opened the dryer up yesterday and found a significant amount of lint and several mouse nests creating a number of blockages. After cleaning everything out it still isn't really drying anything and is only getting slightly warm; nowhere near hot enough. There is also a bit of a musty smell when it's running.

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Post# 938650 , Reply# 12   5/15/2017 at 11:45 by jgrey (pennsylvania)        

Is it possible that trying to run it with those blockages caused the thermal fuse to blow?

Post# 938684 , Reply# 13   5/15/2017 at 15:33 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
According to my Frigidaire service manual

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Cannot Obtain Desired Temperature:

Incorrect thermostat setting. Remedy - Adjust or Replace thermostat

Drying Time Too Long -

Lint obstructing exhaust holes in Filtrator base. Remedy: Clean lint from Filtrator base holes.

lint obstructing Filtrator holes. Remedy: Clean lint from Filtrator holes.

Air leaks at Filtrator seal and or door seal. Remedy: Check seals; adjust or replace as necessary.

As another poster stated previously it cannot be over stressed that these Filtrator dryers need to be kept quite clean inside. Don't know how "deep" your previous cleaning (and rodent nest removal) went, but sometimes only a good tear down will do. While in there make sure that the thermostat bulb/sensor is clean and not covered in lint.

Sadly musty smells can came from any condenser dryer due to the build up of moisture in an enclosed warm environment. You may want to wash the Filtrator parts (if possible) in a mild disinfectant solution and or carefully wipe down interior parts as well to get at source of the whiff. If you've had mice living inside that dryer then most certainly they left a bit of themselves behind (droppings and or urine), which will also give off a smell when dryer heats up.

You might want to purchase/download a copy of service manual from this site. There you will find troubleshooting, repair and other useful information for your dryer.

Post# 938746 , Reply# 14   5/15/2017 at 21:47 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
1964 FD Vent Free Dryer

combo52's profile picture

Hi Jacob, tell what you found, are both blowers running? Rear blower belt good? You should feel some air blowing out the rear top openings in the black rear panel.


Try running the dryer with the door open, you should feel some suction through the holes below the lint filter area. If you put your hand toward the top rear [ inside ] of the drum you should feel some good heat within a minute, if not check the amp draw while the machine is running [ should be around 20 amps on both hot lines.


If amp draw is way low you either have a bad heater element or the dryer is not connected to the power source properly.


There is no thermal fuse in this dryer.


Very little of the information in replay #13 is useful, I have had two of these FD no vent dryers for over 25 years, one in each house. They do not need much routine cleaning and neither has ever developed any musty smells. Your dryer may need repairs and cleaning however.

Post# 938816 , Reply# 15   5/16/2017 at 11:45 by jgrey (pennsylvania)        

Thanks for the replies. Both blowers are running. The rear blower belt was actually broken but I've got some heavy duty rubber bands in place that are working fine for the time being.

There was a considerable amount of lint build up on the inlet side of the condenser as well as inside the filtrator tubes. I gave it a thorough cleaning with some disinfectant and large pipe cleaner. The musty smell has gone away now that I removed all of the caked on lint.

I've checked conductivity across the temp safety switches and both of them seem fine.

There is a small bulb next to the interior light, any idea what that is?

After work tonight I'll check for heat inside the drum and the amp draw as well as air pulling through the lint filter holes. I'm guessing that's working though as I do see a slight bit of new lint & dog hair.

Btw I wasn't able to find a manual for the '64 model; '60 was the latest I could find and there appears to be quite a few differences between the model years.

Post# 938817 , Reply# 16   5/16/2017 at 11:47 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
small bulb next to the interior light

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That's a germicidal lamp (an ozone lamp).  You can still find these, but in a pinch, you can sub an outdoor Christmas light bulb - the C9 base ones.  

Post# 938895 , Reply# 17   5/16/2017 at 19:04 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
1964 FD Vent Free Dryer

combo52's profile picture

Some good progress, Yes the 1952-60 FD vent-free dryers are completely different machines, 1961-68 are all about the same, repair manuals are out there.


If the heater is working properly it should dry clothing.


Keep in mind these dryers are 50% slower at drying clothing and use 25% more total power than regular vented electric dryers.


Let us know how it checks out.

Post# 939157 , Reply# 18   5/18/2017 at 05:59 by jgrey (pennsylvania)        

Well I'm fairly certain I've got it narrowed down to the heating element. The measured power draw while it's running looks fine and continuity across all of the components looks good. But there's definitely no noticeable heat at the back of the drum while it's running.

Now the challenge comes in finding a replacement. Does it need to be an exact match or could a similar looking modern element be hooked up in it's place?

Post# 939163 , Reply# 19   5/18/2017 at 07:39 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
1964 FD Vent Free Dryer

combo52's profile picture

These dryers used a little different element than standard FD dryers, it was a little lower wattage for one thing around 3900 watts I believe.


The element is an open style strung through ceramic insulators, depending on the condition of yours they can sometimes be repaired or a new similar wattage coil installed. I may even have a good used one for one of these dryers.

Post# 939175 , Reply# 20   5/18/2017 at 10:27 by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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The 1961 and late Filtrator dryers are quite different from the 1960 and earlier models.

The belt for the lower blower is similar to what Whirlpool used in their old dryers and still available. It's a bit shorter than the original but it works. They are clear rather than black.

This video is from a 1967 Filtrator but it's quite similar to a 1964.

I also have a 1964 Deluxe dryer but I wish I had a Custom Imperial like yours! Do you have the matching washer?!

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 939180 , Reply# 21   5/18/2017 at 10:45 by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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Here are some pictures I took from my 1964 Tech Talk, the heater in Filtrators is 4100 watts, slightly less than the heater in the economy vented model which is 4400 watts.

I took pics of the wiring diagrams, not very clear but I hope it helps.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 6         View Full Size
Post# 939351 , Reply# 22   5/19/2017 at 10:43 by jgrey (pennsylvania)        

I believe I've found the problem. The heating element is definitely broken.

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Post# 939357 , Reply# 23   5/19/2017 at 11:38 by Jetcone (Schenectady-Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        
i can just hear the sound of Launderess

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clutching her pearls !!


Post# 939411 , Reply# 24   5/19/2017 at 19:38 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Broken Heating Element

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Yay, you found it, if the broken element looks good otherwise and is not too brittle where it failed you can mend it with a small steel nut and bolt and a couple of steel washers.

Post# 939631 , Reply# 25   5/21/2017 at 08:03 by Helicaldrive (St. Louis)        

Smart. Very smart. Not to mention creative.

Post# 939877 , Reply# 26   5/23/2017 at 11:54 by jgrey (pennsylvania)        

Hey, I had an emergency come up this weekend and didn't have time to do any work on the dryer. What do you mean by using a bolt/washer/nut to fix the coil. Do you mean to thread the bolt into the coil so the ends line up again and using a washer and nut to hold it in place?

Phil, no I don't have the matching washer. I wish I did though; the pair looks pretty slick together.

Post# 940081 , Reply# 27   5/24/2017 at 18:59 by TrainGuy (Charlotte, Pittsburgh, & Key West)        
Checkin' In

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Did you get the dryer working yet?


Post# 941702 , Reply# 28   6/4/2017 at 09:05 by jgrey (pennsylvania)        

Hey guys. I finally had some time today to work on the dryer. I used small metal crimp over the broken ends of the coil. There's a small load in there now and it seems to be working (ie lots of heat).

Who knows how long the crimp will last but at least it's working for the time being.

Post# 941882 , Reply# 29   6/5/2017 at 12:18 by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

philr's profile picture
Lots of heat and steam when you open the door in mid-cycle is normal!

You might see some water dripping from the right side of the dryer which isn't normal but a common problem with these dryers that's fairly easy to fix if it bothers you!

Another common problem is the small blower fins that expand and make a scratching noise when the temperature rises in the dryer. This noise should disappear as soon as you turn off the heat (by pressing the "no heat" button). It's less likely to happen on "Delicate" setting. You can always bend the fins of the blower to avoid getting that noise for a while if it happens...

Post# 941929 , Reply# 30   6/5/2017 at 17:12 by jgrey (pennsylvania)        

It actually runs super quiet; no scratching of any kind. There is a little bit of water that leaks from the right side of the condenser. Not a lot, just enough to dampen the cardboard slightly.

Rich put me in touch with a vendor that happens to have a new heating element as well as a few other parts I need to get it into perfect working condition. I'm going to place an order just as soon as I get back from vacation.

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