Thread Number: 89236  /  Tag: Modern Dryers
Why the heck did Frigidaire Discontinue the Bearing-Hitch/Ball-Hitch/Rear Coil dryers?
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Post# 1138232   1/2/2022 at 22:41 by MaytagNeptune (FireAlarmTechGuy4444 on YouTube. Interlochen MI)        

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Sure I understand that some of them ran too hot but I think most of it is on user error. What's weird to me is that they still make them on their laundry centers. I don't like the new style Whirlpool 27" Dryer copy. I am currently tinkering with one and it broke on me twice within a 2 week period. The Bearing-Hitch dryer is old and proven. Produced 1980's-2011. I think most of the fires were caused by LINT. The lint builds up in the cabinet. Then clogs the blower, Later the lint begins to build up in the shroud were the heating coil is. When the airflow is restricted. The Element is able to ignite the lint, And You're done. This can be prevented by: Not Overloading the dryer, Don't excessively use High heat, Disassemble and clean the unit every 12-18 months, Clean the dryer vent out every 6-12 months. The High Limit thermostat usually does it's job but it's not failsafe. I am considering giving one a chance and trying it's matching washer again. GLTR1670AS1/GLTF1670AS1 & GLER642AS1/GLEF642AS1. Give me a Bearing-Hitch Frigidaire Dryer or a Whirlpool 27" Front filter dryer anyday over modern junk.

Post# 1138249 , Reply# 1   1/3/2022 at 04:55 by henene4 (Emden (Germany))        

Any appliance should be reasonably safe even with user error.

And lint build up is within reason.
So having a system resistant to lint build up just seams obvious to me.

Don't forget Hotpoint had to recall a couple hundred thousand dryers over here due to lint related fire hazards.

Also, wasn't there some new regulation regarding fire safety in dryers a couple of years ago?
Fisher & Paykel had to stop makeing and selling the SmartLoad TL dryer due to those new regulations, so Electrolux dropping that design from the line would make sense aswell.

Perhaps those regulations only applied to dryers, not stacked laundry centers.

Post# 1138266 , Reply# 2   1/3/2022 at 11:30 by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

Honestly because they were terrible.. The electric versions ran far too hot at the back (we owned a TOL front control model from 2009 and had many items scorched), gas models were painfully slow, small capacity and lint filters compared to other brands. Lint buildup was also an issue, ours had massive lint buildup in the cabinet after only a year. That would definitely be a fire hazard. We had issues with build quality (door handle and latch) and we were never hard on it. The ball and socket mount for the rear of the drum was decent, yes, but the felt slide to hold the front of the drum was terrible.. I've come across several over the years that have worn out the plastic slide and the drum is riding directly on either the felt strip, or worn through that as well and grinding directly against the front of the machine. Produces a horrible screeching noise for sure. In any case, I feel like Maytag and Whirlpool just made much better dryers, in so many ways.

Post# 1138288 , Reply# 3   1/3/2022 at 15:24 by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

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They had too high of wattage of element too close to the drum which scorched clothes and caused fires. I am sure those dryers went up in flames more than any dryer since lint built up in them in little time as mentioned in the post above mine and werent built very well. The newer ones probably only have a 4500 watt element, and better sealing of the drum along to prevent lint from building up inside the machine.

Only dryers that never had major issues were the Whirlpool 29 dryers since the design dates all the way back to 1966 and pretty much has stayed the same with the exception of a few variations in the designs since then. Reason why its never changed since its design is more than proven and can be easily disassembled and reassembled without too much difficulty not to mention parts are still available for them since Whirlpool still makes them. Yes, the Whirlpool 29 dryers do need repairs and service done to them from time to time but when a problem does occur its usually very simple and inexpensive to fix.

If you were to ask people who own a Whirlpool 29 dryer vs GE, Frigidaire, Samsung, LG, and many others, you would find that Whirlpool 29 dryer owners are more than happy with them compared to the people who own all the other brands of dryer out there. If you were to ask service techs, they would say the same thing since Whirlpool 29 dryers are that good.

Post# 1138395 , Reply# 4   1/4/2022 at 11:35 by nmassman44 (Brooksville Florida)        

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Unless one has used a very recently made Whirlpool dryer you might be shocked at how Whirlpool has cheapened the 29 inch dryer. The one that I bought back in November of 2020 was by far the worst build of a Whirlpool dryer I have ever encountered. The dryer was noisy right out the box, the drum was out of round which caused this lovely thumping sound and no the back support wheels were fine. The cabinet is very cheaply made and very thin feeling. Sensor system, had much to be desired and not as sensitive as the Whirlpool dryer I had bought back in 2006. The lint filter even cheapened removing the metal bands that gave the filter some body and stiffness. And not to forget how loud the exhaust fan was and everyone in my neighborhood knew I was doing laundry.
Compared to the new LG dryer that I have, the LG is much better made and the sensor system much more accurate. The LG is much, much quieter and dries a load of laundry quickly, evenly and never bakes the clothes like the Whirlpool could. Methinks that eventually the 29 inch Whirlpool dryer maybe discontinued later on down the road. If they keep cutting corners to save themselves some money and charge $700+ for a dryer that might give maybe 5 years of service, if that, then people will look at other brands that rate better and has a much better reliability rating and performance rating as well like LG. This is my option, your milage may vary...

Post# 1138396 , Reply# 5   1/4/2022 at 11:59 by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        
The FD dryer probably dates back to when it was a WH dryer..

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Back when it was a Westinghouse dryer, wash loads were not as large and someone who knew what they were doing was doing the laundry.  Now that people overload so much that is causing the overheating and the scorching.  Probably made out of thicker metal back then too.


As for the Whirlpool, what else would they make, as the 27 inch dryer of theirs is pretty flimsy too.  I have also noticed a lot of appliances at Home Depot and Lowes have dents in them just from being on display. 

Post# 1138408 , Reply# 6   1/4/2022 at 13:47 by Egress (Oregon)        
to be fair...

I think a lot of those dents are caused both by high speed cart collisions and moving the demo appliances around.

Post# 1139002 , Reply# 7   1/11/2022 at 11:53 by Jben (AL)        
You got my attention

Is this an example of the dryer and heating element that is being discussed - that I need to be concerned about which may be prone to fires ?

This is a Kenmore model 417.84042500 which was purchased about 15 years ago, or from around 2005.

I had to tear it down to replace the blower wheel which disintegrated and I cleaned it up good at that time.

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Post# 1139007 , Reply# 8   1/11/2022 at 12:43 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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GE dryers have the element behind the drum like that but the drum bearing is a different design. (This is a 22yo F&P, rebadged GE.)

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Post# 1139020 , Reply# 9   1/11/2022 at 14:57 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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Glenn got to it before I did, as GE dryers had a similar setup....any drum you come across like these, there is the potential for scorching, especially if overloaded....

more so if they were electric, not so much of an issue if gas....there were some units that moved the electric elements to a box under the drum similar to a gas setup...

versions like Whirlpool/Kenmore with the rear bulkhead that allowed clothing to pass over the heating area were a better design....

on many dryers, much of the lint/dust build up inside comes from the incoming air and its surroundings than from the clothing....

even my gas water heater has a filter/screen around the bottom that must be cleaned from time to time....pretty sure the dust is not coming from the water!

not to mention the amount of dust collected by the fins under the refrigerator...

Post# 1139023 , Reply# 10   1/11/2022 at 15:22 by rinso (Meridian Idaho)        

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In 1998, I bought an Electrolux-made Frigidaire Gallery front-load washer and matching dryer set. The dryer at that time reversed periodically. I understand the later ones didn't. The washer did a superb job and was reliable for 5 years until the rear bearings and seals went. Electrolux replaced the rear unit, I paid the labor.
The Bearing-Hitch/Ball-Hitch/Rear Coil dryer was a superb performer and its dryness sensor was light-years more accurate than my current LG, which can't seem to get it right with small loads. The thing I loved about the Frigidaire, it was easy and simple to disassemble for a quarterly or semi-yearly cleaning.

Post# 1139057 , Reply# 11   1/11/2022 at 20:35 by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        

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I have a Whirlpool 29" dryer bought in summer 2019... I have to agree about the cheapening of it...the lint screen and the cabinet...that being said, it's still miles better than my first generation whirlpool duet dryer in terms of drying evenly...Sheets especially... I'm not sure why but my matching duet dryer would ball sheets up like crazy and they would never dry evenly - even with tennis balls.. this 29" WP dryer I can throw them in balled up and they come out dry.. I think it will last as long as it's not abused

Post# 1139063 , Reply# 12   1/11/2022 at 21:28 by MaytagNeptune (FireAlarmTechGuy4444 on YouTube. Interlochen MI)        

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Just because of the design. Don't buy a new dryer if you have one of these. There's nothing wrong with them. Just don't overload and keep them clean and you'll be OK

Post# 1139281 , Reply# 13   1/13/2022 at 21:07 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Anyway ... Reply #8 ... the F&P/GE dryer was disassembled to replace the broken belt, and I also replaced the two top/support drum slides which were justifiably worn. That is the only repair it has had in 22 years, not including the door handle which the nephew broke 4 years ago (he and wife were using it until August 2021).

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