Thread Number: 82701  /  Tag: Vintage Dryers
Is it possible to convert Halo-of-heat to gas?
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Post# 1068344   4/20/2020 at 17:52 (1,071 days old) by Oliger (Indianapolis, Indiana)        

I have an HDE-806 dryer that is electric. My house was built in 1910 and there is absolutely no way to have an electric dryer. Is it possible to convert it to gas? If so, what all would be needed? I have read that the electronic control needs 220 to operate, is this true?

Post# 1068353 , Reply# 1   4/20/2020 at 18:51 (1,071 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

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But you really need a harvest gold HOH gas dryer for all the donor parts including the cabinet to do it correctly.


The controls in both the DE806 and a DG606 are identical, so you do not need 240 volts [ there is actually no such thing as 220 volts in the US ]


In fact if you can not have a 240 volt circuit for your dryer it will operate on the regular 120 volts your home probably has, you just need a separate 120 volt 20 amp circuit, and it will take about three times as long to dry a load, you could get a SpinX to give heavy items an extra spin to speed thing along.


It is very unusual not to have 240 volts in a home in the US, you will not be able to have things like central A/C an electric oven etc.


John L.

Post# 1068354 , Reply# 2   4/20/2020 at 19:29 (1,071 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

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If you do find a gas HOH you will more than likely will need to replace the felt seals, and repaint any surface inside that has rust from the constant burning pilot light. Had to replace all the felt seals on my Maytag DG606 I converted to a DG306 timer dryer and had to paint the surfaces that had rust on them.

Post# 1068360 , Reply# 3   4/20/2020 at 20:09 (1,071 days old) by Oliger (Indianapolis, Indiana)        

I kind of figured I would need a donor dryer. At that point, why not just use the other dryer?
I do not have 240. I have ancient knob-and-tube wiring, and screw in fuses with 60 amp service. Adding a circuit for the dryer would mean rewiring the entire house.
So, it is not possible to buy a gas burner from a halo of heat, and retrofit it into an electric dryer?

Post# 1068364 , Reply# 4   4/20/2020 at 20:25 (1,071 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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You're better off finding an earlier HDG-808 dryer (later models went from harvest gold to harvest wheat) and using that. Converting an HOH from DE to DG would be a nightmare and common gas replacement parts are getting extremely hard to find (seals, burner, standing pilot thermocouple, ect). The gasser version of the Halo wasn't really a good design, even in its heyday. If you do decide to go through the hassle of going from DE to DG, install an electronic ignition system from a later SOH dryer and your cabinet/wiring will disintegrate at a much slower pace.

Post# 1068368 , Reply# 5   4/20/2020 at 20:36 (1,071 days old) by pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        

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why not invest and have an electirician install 220 electic power for your dryer?

Post# 1068378 , Reply# 6   4/20/2020 at 20:49 (1,071 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        
Knob-and-Tube Wiring

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I know it would be expensive, but you might consider having the house rewired.  Unless K&T wiring is carefully maintained, the porcelain insulators can crack from years of exposure to heat and cold and the rubber sheathing in the wiring will get brittle and crack.  All of that can create a fire hazard! 

Post# 1068382 , Reply# 7   4/20/2020 at 20:52 (1,071 days old) by Oliger (Indianapolis, Indiana)        

Due to electric code, to legally make any changes to my electric, all of the wiring has to be replaced. Not to mention the fuse box would need to be replaced with breakers, and the service upgraded. I have been quoted $15,000 and a bunch of holes left in the plaster walls. I'd rather find a gas dryer. I made a post in shoppers square, hopefully something will pop up.

Post# 1068384 , Reply# 8   4/20/2020 at 21:00 (1,071 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

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As someone who uses a gas HOH on a daily basis, I will say the gas HOH is slower than the electric, and if all the felt seals are compromised it will be even slower since the high limit thermostat will be tripping since there isnít enough air being pulled through the burner cone and air mixer assembly. My average drying time is about 70 to 75 minutes for a extra large load of towels and 65 minutes for a normal load of towels.

Post# 1068403 , Reply# 9   4/20/2020 at 23:48 (1,071 days old) by robbinsandmyers (Conn)        

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Is knob and tube even up to code and legal? I dont think it is in these parts and would need to be replaced before an insurer would even give coverage.

Post# 1068491 , Reply# 10   4/21/2020 at 12:59 (1,070 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

lowefficiency's profile picture
For house wiring, insurance availability is completely separate from code compliance. Different industries, different goals, and different motivations.

Knob & Tube wiring is still in place and in use in substantial numbers of homes, factories, and businesses across the country. The national electrical codes don't mandate removal/replacement unless necessary, as K&T wiring is considered to be safe if circuits are unmodified and not overloaded. In many areas, local codes dictate that fuse boxes should be replaced with breaker panels, and that K&T circuits should be protected by arc-fault breakers at that point, but stop short of mandating circuit replacement. And even for houses that have been "rewired", you may find a modern breaker panel in the basement with exclusively Romex wiring leaving the box... yet pull an outlet or fixture on the second floor and Bingo, there's the K&T. Partial rewires are/were very popular, as unfinished basement runs (and the short legs up to first-floor receptacles) are substantially easier to replace than the rest of the wiring buried in plaster walls on finished upper floors.

Post# 1068494 , Reply# 11   4/21/2020 at 13:04 (1,070 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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>> In fact if you can not have a 240 volt circuit for your dryer it will operate on the regular 120 volts your
>> home probably has, you just need a separate 120 volt 20 amp circuit, and it will take about three times
>> as long to dry a load

I'll second John's post. We ran our DE806 on 120V for over a year, and were quite happy with how well it dried, other than the longer drying times. The electronic control handled it beautifully - it just keeps going until it is dry, no issues at all.

So if you don't find a gas dryer, or want to experiment in the mean time, switching the power cord and running it on 120V could be a good option.

Post# 1068502 , Reply# 12   4/21/2020 at 13:55 (1,070 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I also ran my DE806 on 120 volts until electrical work was done in my house many years ago. Due to the moisture-sensing auto dry system, it performed beautifully, if slowly. I was using a Frigidaire washer to give high water extraction which helped and I also placed the dryer in front of a radiator and that really boosted the heat input for the drying process. The whole machine was always warm that winter.

I agree that a Stream of Heat gas dryer would be a wiser choice than a Halo of Heat gas dryer if you have to have semi-matching machines. If matching machines do not matter, you will probably have an easier time finding a Whirlpool-made gas dryer and have an easier time restoring and maintaining it.

Post# 1068503 , Reply# 13   4/21/2020 at 14:06 (1,070 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Jon Oliger, how many wires are coming into your house from the pole? (I'm assuming it's above ground instead of underground service). Are there only two conductors (which would be 120), or are there three (for 240)? I ask because I've never personally seen 60 amp 120 volt service. 120 volt is usually either 30 or 40 amp.

Does this 60 amp panel have main fuses, either in it or in a separate enclosure? If the main has two fuses it has 240 volt capacity.

Also, you mentioned the box has six fuses. Do you actually have six separate circuits, or is it only three circuits that are double-fused? (meaning the neutral is fused in addition to the hot wires). If any circuits have fuses on the neutral side, that is a dangerous situation, and needs to be corrected immediately. That method was outlawed in the 1928 version of the NEC.

Post# 1068518 , Reply# 14   4/21/2020 at 15:29 (1,070 days old) by Oliger (Indianapolis, Indiana)        

I am not 100% sure that it is 60 amps. It is a metal box built into the wall original to the house. The innards could have been replaced at some point, I really don't know. It has 8 fuses. To the right of that is a smaller box made by Square-D with a throw switch on the side. The smaller box has two fuses. One I believe is the main, and the other one goes to a light in the garage. They might both be the main. As far as I know, it is 8 circuits.
I don't like the idea of messing with it. I have found a gas dryer that should suit me fine.

Post# 1068525 , Reply# 15   4/21/2020 at 16:16 (1,070 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Jon, good to hear you've found a suitable gas dryer.

It would be interesting to see pictures of your electrical installation. The smaller Square-D brand box is likely newer. If the wires from the meter go into it directly, then into the other panel, it is the main disconnect. Are those two fuses round that screw in (plug type) or long that fit in clamps (cartridge type)? Also, if pulling down that handle turns off everything in the house, it is the main.

Since your house was built in the very early 1900's, there is the possibility there may be other fuses located in odd places in other parts, such as the attic. This is common especially in larger homes with two or three floors. My cousin's house had multiple fuse locations; some were just porcelain fuseholders screwed to framing in unfinished locations. Another was on a pantry ceiling. Once it took them hours to find a blown fuse.

Regardless, I'd get an electrician to verify that you don't have any fused neutral circuits. They are a shock hazard if the fuse blows in the neutral side, but not the hot. This makes it appear that the circuit is dead, but it is NOT.

If you're planning to stay in that house long term, you'll eventually need to do something with the wiring. Since having an electrician is so costly, you might consider taking a course at a vocational school to learn how to do it correctly, and therefore safely. I did that back in the 70's. It was money well spent.

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