Thread Number: 94256  /  Tag: Vintage Dryers
1957 GE Washer & Dryer project thread
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Post# 1189434   9/6/2023 at 09:36 by Delco1946 (Oregon)        

Thought Iíd move over to this forum as I start the tinkering process.

Focusing on the dryer first as thatís the easier project to (slowly) tackle. I looked on this website and I do not see a 1957 dryer service manual which would be very helpful. Iím wondering if anyone has one they are willing to share, or have a service manual from a late 50s GE that they know is going to be similar enough.

1. The wiring looks to be in excellent shape, not corroded etc. a service manual would be nice to identify any grounding/ current tests on the motor that I could run to verify safety before firing up.( Iím generally safe but could have electrocuted myself on the old dishwasher Iím working on if I had taken shortcuts!)

2. I spun the belts / motor by hand and after an initial difficulty they spin easily now - curious if there are lubrication points I should look at?

3. The fuse is missing and the schematic doesnít say what the fuse capacity should be. Any guesses?

4. The fun part - the fragrance tray on this puppy is what attracted me to this setÖ..but Iím wondering what form the fragrance took - aqueous solution? Oil? Solid? The tray wasnít too dirty but is certainly not the smell Iím looking for lol. The reason it was so difficult to remove is that some nitwit somehow poured glue all over the movement. The finger activated piece is snapped of but Iíd be open to geeking out and trying to replicate this part, get a spare ( in the unlikely event that someone should have one) and either way would love to see what it looked like - this would have been some sort of tab (not visible) but easily accessible by sticking your finger under the tray and sliding it left or right.

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Post# 1189437 , Reply# 1   9/6/2023 at 10:53 by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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I have a copy of the Use and Care Guide for this dryer (not a service manual).  Here is what the U&CG says about the Air Freshener.  I also have a copy of the 1958 dryer U&CG but the air freshener set up is completely different; uses an aerosol bottle of the perfune.



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Post# 1189453 , Reply# 2   9/6/2023 at 14:04 by Delco1946 (Oregon)        

I was able to get a late 50s GE dryer service manual which seems pretty similar to my dryer upon first glance, so that coupled with the above images is incredibly helpful. Again, thanks to everyone and the collective knowledge here!

The fuse seems interesting as based on the service manual provided, itís function is connected to some sort of ďnot to exceed tempĒ within the heater housing and not so much a function of current passing through it. It melts when itís hits 360 degrees.

Post# 1189457 , Reply# 3   9/6/2023 at 15:21 by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
I think I have the service manual for the "P"'s

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Check the Archive first; I may have already scanned it and submitted it to the Webmaster. While you do that, I'll look for it. Congratulations on getting this beautiful pair; I have them as well, but they aren't in anywhere near as good condition as yours.


Even during the short production period for the DA-820P's some parts were changed. The Air Freshener slide control was at some point metal; at another point some kind of plastic. I don't know which came first.

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Post# 1189462 , Reply# 4   9/6/2023 at 16:11 by appnut (TX)        

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Christopher those are just beautiful. So happy for you!!!

Post# 1189520 , Reply# 5   9/7/2023 at 05:24 by turquoisedude (.)        

turquoisedude's profile picture
I have the service manuals for the washer and dryer. I am currently traveling in Latvia however and won't be able to scan or send anything until I return to Canada on September 15th.

Post# 1189525 , Reply# 6   9/7/2023 at 08:23 by Delco1946 (Oregon)        

I already checked the archive I purchased what was available :). Nothing is available for the dryer.

Latvia sounds like quite the trip! Iíll be slow to work on these so no rush, just appreciative of the offer!

Post# 1189526 , Reply# 7   9/7/2023 at 08:36 by turquoisedude (.)        

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Christopher, I learned a great deal from restorations of my 57 GE set - I hope I can help.
I saw that the thermal fuse from your dryer was missing - I have the original and a substitute part number back in Canada but I will post it for you as soon as I can.
In Latvia to finally get my late father laid to rest...

Post# 1189660 , Reply# 8   9/9/2023 at 00:09 by Delco1946 (Oregon)        

Shorted the fuse with a wire just to see if the thing even turns on, until I can get a fuse. It seems to run/spin, however the light doesnít work and I have no indication of heat. Guessing itís not just a bad bulb and is probably the starter, but will investigate.

Post# 1189685 , Reply# 9   9/9/2023 at 14:11 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
1957 sunny yellow, GE washer and dryer

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Hi Christopher, congratulations on the safe arrival of these very cool machines.

The thermal fuse above the heating element that has failed can be replaced with a 300įF high limit thermostat, I believe GE even had a kit to do this later on.

I donít have a wiring diagram in front of me. I donít know if that cuts off the machine motor or the heating element circuit easy enough to trace and figure out

This dryer used to heating elements, WE 11 X 60. What is the 240 V version You need two of those if the elements are bad.

In the picture of the dryer, it looks like somebody was messing with the operating thermostat because the serial plate has been moved the voltage adjustment is behind the serial number plate. You can adjust this dryer so the automatic cycle works on either 120 V 208 V or 240 V

The dryer doesnít really need much lubrication. Most of the bearings are plastic so you can use a good lubricant for plastic on the shaft. It has the roller that drives the drum, itís just a simple belt drive and two rollers in the front to support the front of the drum. A small amount of plastic safe lubricant can be used on those.

If you want to get more involved, you can take the motor all apart and lubricate it or drill holes in the ends, and add turban oil .

If you want to use this dryer a lot, you should probably add heat related to protect the timer contacts, and the main control thermostat contacts. Both of these parts are very NLA.


Post# 1191527 , Reply# 10   10/7/2023 at 23:53 by Delco1946 (Oregon)        

Hi Paul/ turquoisedude,

It doesnít look like you have youíre email posted - hoping you see this regarding sharing the service manual if youíre back from Latvia?

John. - looks like your very last sentence is missing a word or two, or at least Iím not following. I should add heat related what? More info (what, why, how) would be appreciated.

If Iím lucky Iíll be getting the matching fridge for these, too and possibly a GE wonder kitchen although Iím not entirely sold on it ( not the right design direction for my era home).


Post# 1191534 , Reply# 11   10/8/2023 at 08:02 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
1957 GE top-of-the-line laundry

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Hi Christopher, glad youíre getting a chance to work on these.

My last sentence was supposed to say you can add a heat relay to the heater to protect the timer contacts motor centrifugal switch and operating thermostat. If youíre going to use the dryer a lot these are high failure points on old electric dryers , we often do this on old electric dryers to protect the critical parts that are so hard to repair or replace.


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