Thread Number: 82534  /  Tag: Vintage Dryers
'56 Whirlpool Imperial Gas Dryer
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Post# 1066034   4/5/2020 at 11:16 (1,420 days old) by 4bagger (Long Beach)        

Picked up this beauty locally on Fri. Couldn't pass up for $60. Missing one knob, otherwise complete. Haven't tried hooking up to gas yet, but tub turns when powered up. Had 64 years of lint build-up on the insides. Cleaning up nicely, though. I searched locally for a vintage gas dryer for years, now have found 2 in the last month.

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Post# 1066057 , Reply# 1   4/5/2020 at 13:23 (1,420 days old) by Kenmoreguy89 (Valenza Piemonte, Italy- Soon to be US immigrant.)        

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Wow. I did not know they were different from the typical WP-KM style with the bottom that stays still and the two "vents"...

Not sure if I like though.
I think the bottom that stays still gives a more even drying of the load.
Gorgeous machines though

Post# 1066060 , Reply# 2   4/5/2020 at 13:48 (1,420 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
Nice Dryer!

This was the basic design of the KM & WP dryers from the beginning until the early mid 60s. You are right that it was not as efficient as the newer design with the solid back bulkhead, but it does have the 37,000 BTU burner.  In a few years, Kenmore would have the modulating burner valve which contributed to faster drying because it held the temperature steady instead of allowing the peaks and valleys in drying temperature when the burner cycled on and off and the heavy metal disc thermostat had to cool before the burner would cycle back on. 


John, Combo52, rebuilt a Kenmore dryer of this design for me and he put felt strips behind the drum to help direct the hot incoming air through the perforated back of the drum and into the tumbling load and another set of strips around the exhaust port to hold the hot air in the drum longer. It really contributes to the efficiency and speeds up the drying.

Post# 1066067 , Reply# 3   4/5/2020 at 14:43 (1,419 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

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Definitely a interesting vintage Whirlpool dryer and is identical to the one I serviced for a friend last summer but that one had a 25,000 btu heat output and not the 37,000 this one has

Post# 1066078 , Reply# 4   4/5/2020 at 15:55 (1,419 days old) by 4bagger (Long Beach)        

Unit has 6 light bulbs! Put in a new flourescent and drum light bulb. Neither worked when powered or when pushbutton switched on.

Post# 1066079 , Reply# 5   4/5/2020 at 16:02 (1,419 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

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You wouldn’t mind making a video of the burner ignition sequence on this dryer? I am curious to see how the burner looks like when turning on this dryer

Post# 1066084 , Reply# 6   4/5/2020 at 16:36 (1,419 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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RickR has the 56 set, with an electric dryer.

Post# 1071174 , Reply# 7   5/7/2020 at 00:48 (1,388 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

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Here’s a question I have about the delicate fabric guide on the 1956 Whirlpool Imperial gas dryers. When you select the delicate fabric guide does it throttle the btu heat output or does it simply go by a thermostat? I definitely know the electric versions did switch to a lower wattage on the delicate fabric guide but I am not entirely certain how it would have worked on the gas versions.

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