Thread Number: 74937  /  Tag: Vintage Dryers
Keep or Sell? Vintage GE Dryer, need more info.
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Post# 987598   3/21/2018 at 21:55 (182 days old) by girlnextdoor (Sarasota, Florida)        

Hello all!

Newbie here, sometime lurker, first-time poster. Hoping you'll be so kind as to share your expertise with me, and that you won't be too irritated by the length and level of detail of this post.

I recently acquired this GE dryer. Based on what I could find online, it appears to have been manufactured in January 1980, but I'm hoping someone can confirm that for me. Model # DDE7208MCLWH and serial # AG205513G. Sorry that my photo of the operating panel is so crummy. I'll try to get a better one tomorrow.

I am torn about whether to keep or sell this.

My husband is more of a "buy new" mindset, whereas I'm more of the "older tends to be made better" mindset - especially with appliances. He isn't **adamant** about having newer items, though, and while he's not an appliance guy, he is an electrician by trade, a tinkerer by nature, and is pretty adept at figuring out and fixing almost anything mechanical that is thrown at him. If this is a model that can be kept in good running order with not too much work, AND won't cost an arm and a leg to run, it would be worth keeping. The problem is figuring out how much work is "too much" for him, as he tends to enjoy fixing stuff for other people more than fixing stuff for our own use. ("The cobbler's kids have no shoes" would be an apt reference.)

We don't know the usage or maintenance history. It came with the condo a friend bought about 2 years ago. We haven't opened it up to check it out yet; it was working when it was removed a few weeks ago. I wish it had a matching washer but alas, that had been upgraded at some point to a c. 2006 Maytag. I currently have 2006 Frigidaire Affinity stackables that do a pretty good job of cleaning. I would be willing to sacrifice my shelving in my laundry room to fit a non-stacking set, but only if they're worth it. So, to that end, I have questions I hope someone can help me with so I can decide.

1. Does this model have a marketing name or something it is known by, and if so, what is it? Are any specs on capacity or run times available?

2. Does this model have known problems or repairs and if so, are they expensive to fix, and are parts generally available or scarce? (for example my current washer is known for having the door lock go bad)

3. Is the design one that is known to be either particularly easy or especially difficult to work on? Hubby is less inclined to work on something that is difficult to service.

4. Is this model known to be a "good worker"? Does it dry efficiently or take forever?

5. Is this model expensive to run? Since it pre-dates the energy efficiency regulations, I'm wondering if it will be significantly more costly to use. We are on a budget so some increased cost is ok, but not a huge increase. There are only 2 of us but with his work clothes we do a little more laundry per week than the average couple.

6. How difficult might it be to locate a washer of similar vintage? Until I do I would have to keep the Maytag (which I know uses more kwh than the Affinity) as it will be easier to sell my Affinity units as a set than separately. What might I expect to pay for an 80s washer and will that cause electricity usage to skyrocket?

7. What savvy and pertinent questions have I forgotten to ask? :)

Thanks a whole lot to anyone who is willing to help me with this.

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Post# 987600 , Reply# 1   3/21/2018 at 22:06 (182 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

pulltostart's profile picture

Nice, well-thought post; no dumb questions here!


I have little experience working on appliances, but am a YUGE fan of GE.  This dryer IMO is a great, all round dryer.  It's origins go back to 1957 when GE introduced their "high speed" dryers, and was changed some in 1961 to correspond with their larger 12-lb washing machines.  It's wasn't really changed much over all the years of production until the mid 1990's when GE dropped their Filter-Flo washers and introduced their Quiet-By-Design models.


The controls are simple, operation is straight-forward, maintenance is minimal.  It would probably benefit from a clean-out (lint build-up).  If it seems to run fine, it should be good-to-go.


Others here can offer more technical advice better than I.  It does appear to be in great physical condition - that's an excellent start.


I say clean it out, plug it in, and use it; see what you think.  As long as it doesn't screech or klunk and the clothes get dry you should be good.


Congratulations on your purchase and good luck with you vintage appliance adventure!



Post# 987602 , Reply# 2   3/21/2018 at 22:21 (182 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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More like January 1992.....

this is of the "Filter-Flo" washer match....Hotpoint is the sister match to the GE lineup...

pretty simple design to work on....

Post# 987607 , Reply# 3   3/21/2018 at 23:10 (182 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Keep it. The washers are still out there, check Craigslist, used appliance stores, junk shops, etc.

Post# 987614 , Reply# 4   3/22/2018 at 00:23 (182 days old) by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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I observed and assisted in changing out the drum bearing for a similar model dryer and it wasn't a big deal.  If the bearing is bad, it would make the screeching sound mentioned above.


I agree that if you de-lint it, plug it in for a test and it passes, go ahead and use it.  It looks very low mileage, and dryers in general tend to last forever compared to washers.


I doubt energy use would be much different from a current model dryer.  If anything, a current model would use the same amount of energy, but a lot of its components would be cheaply made and the machine wouldn't last as long as an older model.


It could take you a while to find the matching washer, and you should consider parts availability and likely having to make repairs yourself because most "repair" techs will simply tell you it's too old to fix.  You could deal with extended down time if a part fails that isn't readily available.  If you do a lot of laundry, consider these factors when deciding whether or not a vintage washer is right for your household. 

Post# 987615 , Reply# 5   3/22/2018 at 00:26 (182 days old) by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        

Keep it.

Those GE dryer models are well built work horses and will run a long time, enjoy.

The nylon drum bearing is a common wear item and is easily replaced when opened for cleaning.
Also, inspect the belt, drum glides and a put a little turbine oil on the belt tension pulley.

Post# 987664 , Reply# 6   3/22/2018 at 12:04 (182 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

If this is a large capacity dryer with the deeper drum, it would have the heating element in a can underneath the drum instead of behind it as GE did for decades. If it's old enough to have the very durable porcelain drum which is no longer used, it should be a very good dryer.

Post# 987666 , Reply# 7   3/22/2018 at 12:09 (182 days old) by girlnextdoor (Sarasota, Florida)        

Thank you all for your replies so far!

Yogitunes, funny you should mention that. I forgot to say it was either 1980 or 1992 in my post. I couldn't edit it because I'm not a premium member. I tried to reply and post that...but as a new person I can't post more than once every 30 minutes. I tried waiting for the 30 minutes to pass and then reply and add that info, but I got involved in other tasks and forgot! LOL.

So is it definitely 1992? I couldn't be sure as the model photos tagged for 80s and 90s I found online (mostly here, frankly) look so similar!

Thank you good-sheperd and RP2813 for the notes about the drum bearings. I will need to look in the library to see if there are any operating or service manuals available for this dryer...once I know 100% whether it is 1980 or 1992. Unless any of you can direct me to an appropriate link or pdf?

RP2813, that is why I'm asking these questions. First I need to know about this dryer right here, then I need to look up a matching or somewhat close to it washer and find the same info. I don't have the space to just collect cool vintage appliances - I need them to work for me too.

Pulltostart thank you for the compliment, you are kind. I keep seeing mentions of these Filter-Flo washers and have to look up what that actually means in terms of design. And whether one might work in my household given our usage.

I found mention of a report from a few years ago that showed that energy consumption on dryers has not improved significantly since the early 80s, while energy consumption of refrigerators, washers and dishwashers have improved significantly. I've attached a link. (Don't take their finger-wagging personally, btw.)

Google also managed to find a report from the DOE showing reported energy consumption of 2006 washers - my current Affinity uses 240kWh per year, while the Maytag is at 668 kWh per year. I haven't done any math yet to figure out associated costs, though the math is just for nerdy fun and won't have much bearing on my choice since I wouldn't be keeping that washer long-term.

Also, where would I find turbine oil and is it like automotive oil where there are different weights/viscosities? I'm out of my depth on that.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO girlnextdoor's LINK

Post# 987674 , Reply# 8   3/22/2018 at 12:24 (182 days old) by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

ACE Hardware carries Supco Zoom Spout turbine oil in their stores.  Walmart carries it, but I don't know if that's in store or only on line.


Here's a picture of it:


Post# 987677 , Reply# 9   3/22/2018 at 13:10 (182 days old) by girlnextdoor (Sarasota, Florida)        

Tomturbomatic - I have no idea what size it is in the GE linueup. I am new to this vintage appliance.

I tried to take photos of the inside but the sun is in the wrong spot right now. It is a speckled interior, white spots on dark gray. Does that mean it is the porcelain you mentioned? How can I find out if this is the deeper drum or not?

RP2813 - Thank you for posting that. The photo helps! I find ACE hardware carries many things that the big box stores no longer do.

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Post# 987678 , Reply# 10   3/22/2018 at 13:20 (182 days old) by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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That looks like old school porcelain enamel to me!  No idea if it's the larger size drum, though.


Also, that is definitely not an '82 dryer.  The control panel is different, and on an '82 the panel's color scheme would have included yellow and orange around the timer dial in addition to red.  I think '92 is correct.


Here's a picture of an '83 Filter Flo washer:


Image result for 1982 ge dryer

Post# 987685 , Reply# 11   3/22/2018 at 13:42 (182 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

ken's profile picture
Here's a video showing a 1990 GE Filter-Flo washer in action. Filter-Flo refers to how the water is filtered through the filter pan during wash and rinse cycles to filter out lint.

Here's another video showing use of the mini basket for extra small loads. Not all Filter-Flo's were equipped with the extra low mini basket water setting. But that doesn't mean you can't use one in the machine anyway.

Post# 987686 , Reply# 12   3/22/2018 at 13:54 (182 days old) by girlnextdoor (Sarasota, Florida)        

Tomturbomatic -

Stupid me. It says Heavy Duty Large Capacity right on the panel. So is the heating element behind or underneath, and which is better to have in terms of failure and replacement?

Post# 987695 , Reply# 13   3/22/2018 at 15:41 (181 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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Don't be fooled by the "Large Capacity" label.  I believe the larger models were called "Extra Large Capacity" or some other nonsense.  If this were the larger of the two sizes there would be a "bulge" on the rear of the machine, not a simple flat back (with recess at the bottom where the duct exits the cabinet).  Pretty sure this is what is commonly referred to as a standard capacity model.


Update - realized that I have a catalog from 8/91.  In there it confirms that this is the smaller (standard) size.  DDE7208M is the electric version with:


Large Capacity with automatic dry control

5 cycles

4 heat selections


The Extra Large Capacity Dryers were DDE9500M, DDE8508M, and DDE8000M.



Post# 987705 , Reply# 14   3/22/2018 at 17:15 (181 days old) by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
Does that mean it is the porcelain

Definitely a 1990's built machine.

Circa 1980 would mostly likely have a brushed stainless control panel, not black plastic as when the cost cutting was under way.

I believe porcelain drums were standard until the redesign when the Filter- Flo washer was discontinued and all were "large" capacity except the big drum Americana models.

Earlier models had porcelain top covers as well.

If energy usage is a big issue I'd consider a natural gas dryer. Those GE dryers are out there in NG versions also.

Post# 987706 , Reply# 15   3/22/2018 at 17:24 (181 days old) by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
any operating or service manuals available for this dryer

If you can open up the back of the control panel hopefully the factory service sheet is still there with part #'s, service info, diagrams, etc.

Post# 987708 , Reply# 16   3/22/2018 at 17:28 (181 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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yeah, that is a 1992 model.....the all black control panel with red/white graphics is also a dead give away...just about any washer with that black panel would be a match....some have more options/knobs than others...

this is the standard size tub...or as they call it by this time frame, Large Capacity.......both size washers were matched to this for the 70's they did offer a HUGE square door larger capacity to match the larger washer....

in any shown in this pic of mine, from 1985, the dryer would have as mentioned the bulge out the back, and a silver label connected to the door handle....this would be the deeper concave drum, and the heat source would be underneath....the vent output would be centered on the back, on yours the vent is located to the far left as looking at the back...

the only disadvantage to your model, is the heating element is located behind the rear panel of the drum, THAT can get hot on HIGH temp, so if drying something like large blankets, best to set the temp to LOW....normal mixed loads don't have an issue...

the washers use a bit more water, but scrub clothes very well, excellent at rinsing, extraction is very good, and that FilterFlo is great for catching pet fur if you have animals...

I don't think they offered a RimFlo self clean filtering ring for these any case, you WILL want that filter pan that sits on the agitator, that moving pan makes all the difference of sifting out the lint

note: you can never have too many machines...

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Post# 988464 , Reply# 17   3/27/2018 at 13:04 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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and what luck.....a match to your dryer turned up......


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Post# 988491 , Reply# 18   3/27/2018 at 15:18 by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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...and not terribly far away....

Post# 988560 , Reply# 19   3/28/2018 at 06:12 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
1992 GE Electric Dryer

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These were reasonably good dryers and there is little difference in energy usage compared to any other American full sized 240 volt electric dryer.


The matching washer is entirely another matter when it comes to cost of operation, GE washers were easily the highest consumers of water and hot water of any US washer. This coupled with an electric dryer you can really burn up some power trying to dry clothing that is only spun out at 600 RPMs. In addition all US washers of this time period used 3-4 times as much electricity to run as newer FL and TL washers do.


The matching washer is also far less durable than other US TL washers of this time period, major service calls include leaking & flooding, oil leaks, small items caught in the pump, serious outer tub rust issues, costly clutch problems. Better reliability choices during this time period would KM-WP or even Maytag TL washers if you want a vintage non computerized washer.


Note: There is nothing on this dryer that should be oiled with turbine oil except the metal feet if they are stiff when you try to adjust them.


This machine has a plastic rear drum bearing that does NOT get lucubrated the front plastic slides can be lucubrated with a silicone light lubricant on the felt pads if you like and the plastic idler pulley can be greased a little if you like.


John L.

Post# 988823 , Reply# 20   3/30/2018 at 11:20 by mtn1584 (USA)        
I had that exact 1991 GE washer

In 1991 I paid 449 dollars for that 2 Speed 7 Cycle Extra Large Capacity Washer with Mini-Wash!
A true workhorse! Much better in a basement than a second floor closet installation which was our set up! When that baby went into a normal spin cycle, it sounded like an airplane going through the house and then the loud KA-DUN!!!! spin brake Lol.... she still worked after nine years without a repair but I traded her in for a TOL 3 Speed Kenmore in 1999.

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