Thread Number: 37430
Electronic Sensor dryers: then and now
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Post# 556472   11/14/2011 at 10:22 (4,401 days old) by Pulsator (Saint Joseph, MI)        

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Running a 220V electric Whirlpool dryer (27 inch machine to be exact) that runs entirely on a computer on 110V... I've done it with a mid to late 90s Kenmore dryer (pic below) but, it seems to have trouble calculating the estimated time remaining. It generally shuts off too soon. I've tried running it on high heat, extra low heat, heavy duty, delicate, etc. And I can't seem to find a way to make it run through a cycle and dry everything all the way the first time around. If I run the same cycle 2-3 times, it can dry everything.

My question is, has anything changed in dryers between then and now in terms of calculating when the clothes are dry? If I bought a new electric dryer and ran it on 110V, would it run into the same problem? I am planning to have both a washer and dryer next year in my apartment but there is no gas or 220V power available. I'd still like the capacity of a full size machine, I don't mind the longer drying times.

Post# 556478 , Reply# 1   11/14/2011 at 10:36 (4,401 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

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While these machines will run safely on 120 volts, they are programed to shut off after about 90 minutes of running time as safety feature. Older and current electronic control dryers that have a timer controlled by the sensor system will run till the clothes are dry no matter how long it takes.

Post# 556543 , Reply# 2   11/14/2011 at 15:47 (4,401 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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You could convert a gas dryer to propane and run it from a grill bottle - much faster and energy efficient.

Post# 556553 , Reply# 3   11/14/2011 at 16:41 (4,401 days old) by Pulsator (Saint Joseph, MI)        

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Indeed I could but, the dryer is vented into a bathroom with an exhaust fan... I'm not to eager to do that, especially since the vent fan is somewhat weak.

Let's just say it's one of those situations where I have connections that have agreed to turn their heads for me... I'm pretty lucky with this one! :)

Post# 556576 , Reply# 4   11/14/2011 at 18:01 (4,401 days old) by eronie (Flushing Michigan)        
dry er

when you run a 220 dryer on 110 it never gets hot enough to get into the paramater of the controles weither humidity sensor, short out wires, or temp time circut. better off just using old fashond time cycle. sorry !

Post# 556749 , Reply# 5   11/15/2011 at 09:40 (4,400 days old) by Jsneaker ()        
For Jamie...

While I am not admitting to knowing every detail about washers & dryers, I have about all of my cognitive life in experience & appreciation of them. I would never suggest venting ANY electric dryer into a room, even with an exhaust fan. My friend in Philadelphia area has a 110V electric Whirlpool mini-dryer on a stand above her Avanti washer, in her utility room. Her whole apartment is electric, from heat up. There is no vent or fan in her utility room, and the dryer is vented into one of those ultra-stupid "water pots"! Her whole apartment smells of dryer when it's on, and despite the high-speed spin of her washer, the dryer takes about 2 hours to dry a load.
I have a portable Sanyo impeller washer at my apartment, but I don't use it any more. For another example, unless your bathroom vent is actually ducted to the outside, you run the risk of having mold develop. My bathroom at my apartment has a window, blissfully, but the fan is not ducted, but goes into the "drop-ceiling" space!!! I despise using that fan, and will disconnect it, it is connected to the light switch. There is a big, sodium vapor light attached to the outside wall, and it lights-up my bathroom, so I don;t have to use my light at night! Again, you are using more electric to vent the dryer, as well as running it! Be wary, and be smart, Sir!

Post# 556769 , Reply# 6   11/15/2011 at 10:33 (4,400 days old) by Pulsator (Saint Joseph, MI)        

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This is something I have been experimenting with for a while at home. A full size dryer on 110V produces less vapor than a humidifier, the exhaust air is only about 10 degrees warmer than the room. It will be in a bathroom with a vent fan that goes outside. The current setup which I have been experimenting with is next to the gas water heater at my boyfriend's house. Even the venting from that water heater is enough to clear any moisture from the room. I don't foresee any mold issues, if there were any to arise, it would be from taking a shower, not from drying clothes.

Post# 556904 , Reply# 7   11/15/2011 at 21:36 (4,399 days old) by Jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        
So Jamie

jetcone's profile picture

you're  a member of the "dark machine club"! Welcome & NYCE!

You want to run a 220V dryer at 110V is that correct?If so it should take almost twice as long to dry if you are using a timed cycle. I bet John's got the answer here, its in the programming. Because the sensor is always going to detect the moisture from the clothes and send that signal to the CPU. And the clothes are only going to dry at the rate the heater element can set.

Post# 556916 , Reply# 8   11/15/2011 at 22:00 (4,399 days old) by Pulsator (Saint Joseph, MI)        

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Indeed I have joined! They are not the first and WON'T be the last! I do wish I could avoid using the timed dry cycle. I hate hate the whole guess and check crap! Once I get a system down, it's not too bad but, it takes me months to nail it down and several more months to refine it! I'm hoping getting a mechanically operated dryer will change the situation. If I can find one! I REFUSE to buy a 29 inch Whirlpool machine! I hate them! I will ONLY accept a 27 inch Whirlpool machine. End of story! I've got my eye one with though with a Calypso washer to match... That could be fun!

Post# 556918 , Reply# 9   11/15/2011 at 22:13 (4,399 days old) by supremewhirlpol ()        

When using that Black Kenmore Electronic 90 series dryer, I had similar issues. It ran on 220V, every time I run it on Automatic AU,no wrinkle guard,high heat, the clothes would end up damp at the end of cycle. Maybe something is up with the thermostats, or dryness sensors. Almost my least favorite dryer!

Post# 556928 , Reply# 10   11/15/2011 at 23:10 (4,399 days old) by Pulsator (Saint Joseph, MI)        

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Interesting, I shall have to investigate this issue further!

Post# 556972 , Reply# 11   11/16/2011 at 07:34 (4,399 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

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Jamie all you need is a 27" dryer with a sensor strip on the lint filter housing that has a mechanical timer and no thermistor. I wish you were closer I would give you one today they are very common. This dryer will run until the clothes are dry, you can even disconnect the heater and let things dry with air alone and it will not stop until they are dry.


I am sure you know that when you go from 240 volts to 120 volts the heater only produces 1/4 the heat that is produced on 240 volts. Yet in spite of this it usually only takes three times as long to dry not four times. This is because that more of the drying is being accomplished with the ambient air temperature, so the end result is getting the job done with about 15% less total electricity consumed than drying the load on 240 volts.


Keep in mind that I have never seen any 110 or 220 voltage in this country in my life time, I would be curious to know if someone actually has these voltages at thier home?

Post# 557041 , Reply# 12   11/16/2011 at 13:19 (4,399 days old) by Jsneaker ()        
Dryer Voltage & Venting

I am told that a dryer with a motor made for 220-240V should NEVER be used on 110 volts. It will burn-out the motor! The motors are specifically made for the designated voltage. One will still spend more money running both a dryer AND an electric fan to remove moisture-laden air. Believe me, my friend's utility room really gets hot and humid with that stupid "vent-pot", it's just as bad as a shower's steam.

Mr Combo52, I am quite puzzled about this statement you made:
"Keep in mind that I have never seen any 110 or 220 voltage in this country in my life time, I would be curious to know if someone actually has these voltages at their home?" My apartmnt has 110V outlets, and one was re-wired this summer for my new air conditioner which is 220V. Otherwise, you really know a lot about our favorite topics, and I am impressed.

Post# 557048 , Reply# 13   11/16/2011 at 13:38 (4,399 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

110 and 220 are obsolete voltage designations in North America, as for the last 40 years or so, utilities have aimed to supply 120 and 240 volts to residences and small business using single phase systems. If your home or business place has three phase service, it may be 120/208 volts. Larger commercial-industrial buildings may have 277/480 volts and higher.

For a time (late 30's to mid 60's), common voltage designations were 115 and 230. However, many elderly people speak of 110 and 220 because thats what it was when they were small children.

The last time I used a meter to check the voltage here, it was 118/236.

If you are in fact measuring 110/220 at your place, you either have insufficient wiring, or your utility needs to update its system.

Post# 557049 , Reply# 14   11/16/2011 at 13:38 (4,399 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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I think Combo52 is referencing that household voltage is 120v and 240v, although it's commonly referred to as 110v and 220v.

Aren't dryer motors 120v, receiving power from one leg of the 240v circuit?  An electric dryer with one breaker tripped may still run the motor while not heating.

Post# 557057 , Reply# 15   11/16/2011 at 14:16 (4,399 days old) by jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        
Yes Dadoes,

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there are no 230V 240V or 220V appliance motors in the US.


All are 110V or 115V or 120V or 130V


Its only the heating elements that run 220-230-240



Post# 557091 , Reply# 16   11/16/2011 at 18:21 (4,399 days old) by stevet (West Melbourne, FL)        

One breaker tripped???? That is scary! In the case of any protective device like a circuit breaker protecting a "220" volt machine, those breakers should ALWAYS be tied together and not wired into a distribution box with 2 separate breakers protecting that device. If one side of that circuit trips, then both legs MUST trip to insure the safety of the user primarily and the machine second. I know many of us have seen both but we all know what is the correct way of doing it!

Post# 557146 , Reply# 17   11/16/2011 at 23:45 (4,398 days old) by supremewhirlpol ()        

Be very careful about what you ask for John(combo52). Those voltage readings are VERY possible in my house.

Post# 557148 , Reply# 18   11/16/2011 at 23:52 (4,398 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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Won't hurt the motor at all. Runs on one leg of the 240v line with the lights, timer, etc. I used to test dryers all the time in the garage before I had the 240v line out there.

I've seen houses with fuses (not breakers) that can blow on one side of the circuit, saw a range line with that trouble not that long ago.

Post# 557152 , Reply# 19   11/17/2011 at 00:10 (4,398 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
"There are no 230V 240V or 220V appliance motors in the

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Well domestic versions no, but IIRC most if not all commercial appliances have 220v (or whatever) motors. Wascomat and some other brands do have 110v motors in a narrow "homestyle" range of products but those are intended for semi-commercial use such as in a beauty salon or say a small nursing home that does not have heavy usage requirements.

Seem to recall somewhere that 220v/240v powered motors are more robust than their 110v/120v cousins.

Post# 557175 , Reply# 20   11/17/2011 at 06:06 (4,398 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        

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As the country was being quickly wired in the early 1900's, a trade association of electricity producers and distibutors decided on their goal: Absolute max of 125/250V if you lived right next door to an electric plant, and an absolute minimum of 110/230 if you were way out of town, on a farm or something at the very farthest limits of the distribution network. This was further written in stone in the 30's with the TVA and REA. In my home, it fluctuates from 116.6 to 117.8 at different times I've been doing a wiring project.

Post# 557200 , Reply# 21   11/17/2011 at 08:39 (4,398 days old) by Jsneaker ()        

Wow, I definitely am feeling OLD now! (: Thanks for all of the explanations, it is appreciated. Now, I just have to re-program my brain. I now wonder if, in fact, my apartment's new 230V Frigidaire air conditioner's motor runs on 230V itself? If anything in that unit runs on 120V, I would like to know for myself. CircleW, I was in Fairfield in 2007-my cousins live in Mason.

Post# 558742 , Reply# 22   11/23/2011 at 10:11 (4,392 days old) by Jsneaker ()        
Post# 556916, Reply# 8 11/15/2011 at 22:00 by Pulsator

Hey Jamie! I am not a big fan either of the old-fashion design Whirlpool-made dryers. First of all, they are 2" wider than most modern machines, second and most importantly, is that I believe they blow the air into the drum, but from the back, then send the the moisture out from the back! I don't know if there are two motors for that! LOL I just don't like the "hamper-door" either, it makes loading and unloading a chore. I literally have to get on my knees and retrieve stuff from the back of the drum. The little latch-pin on the top of the drum opening always seems to snag wash as I either toss or dump the load in. I have a 1989 27" top-line Lady Kenmore natural gas beige dryer with electronic sensor and "Soft Heat". It is the BEST & quietest dryer we've ever had to date, and has NEVER require one repair! It runs so well, I sure hope it continues to run for a long time, as I have no money to buy a new one.

Post# 558755 , Reply# 23   11/23/2011 at 10:49 (4,392 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Whirlpool "classic" 29" dryers do not blow air into the drum.  Air is pulled in through the heating element or burner, through the drum, through the filter housing, then blown out the exhaust.  There's one motor which drives both the drum and blower.

Post# 558762 , Reply# 24   11/23/2011 at 11:20 (4,392 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Post# 558994 , Reply# 25   11/24/2011 at 18:34 (4,390 days old) by DirectDriveDave ()        

That is my favorite design, the lint filter on top, makes the inside so much more simpler and convenient.

Ya know what would have been cool, if they designed louvers on the front panel below the door to get better air flow for the heating coils or the burner. Now knowing me, since I brought it up, it probably already exists through a modification. haha.

Post# 559039 , Reply# 26   11/25/2011 at 04:41 (4,390 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

Greg is correct about the fuse situation,  usually encountered in older homes that senior adults have lived in since the end of WWII.  Lots of  electric stoves, dryers (many hard wired) and water heaters. Most heated homes with fuel oil (sometimes coal) until the city completed their natural gas lines. 

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