Introduction: How and What to Salvage From Clothes Dryer (tumble Dryer)

About: I find it impossible to enter information "about me" on sites.... Please ask me if you would like to know.

This is my very first instructable!

How and what to salvage from a clothes dryer (tumble dryer).

Hopefully this will be of some use to someone.


(Please excuse any spelling and grammar mistakes, English is not my first language and also not my home language)

Step 1: Safety

My dad had an old saying: "Using the RIGHT tool/s for the job, not only makes it easier and faster but also SAFER".

Make sure that you disconnect all the power to the clothes dryer (tumble dryer).

Almost all clothes dryers (tumble dryers) have a big starting capacitor.

Discharge this capacitor and any other capacitors before you start cutting, hacking, ect.

Use eye protection!

Get a comfortable seating position that will allow easy access to all sides of the clothes dryer (tumble dryer).

Step 2: Tools


1) 3 X different sizes Phillips screwdrivers;

2) 3 X different sizes flat screwdrivers;

3) side cutter;

4) strong plyers;

5) holders to sort wires, screws, parts, etc;

6) safety glasses.


1) Power drill;

2) Power jigsaw.

Step 3: Opening Up.....

Before you do anything.....make sure you buy your wife (or yourself) a new clothes dryer (tumble dryer), before you strip the current one!

Personally I started stripping at the back, bit I guess you could start in the front or back.....

Take photos or write down any and all information (if any) that is located on the back cover, like model number, Watts, Volts, etc. You never know when you might need it....maybe when you want to use the motor for something else.....

Take out all the screws (some might be hidden) from the back cover.

Put them in a container of some sort.

Step 4: Remove the Door

On my model I simply pulled out the plastic cover located on the front of the door (the one you take out to remove debris, dust, etc). I also removed the "filter thing" lacated behind it.

Photo 4 and 5 shows this.

Take out any debris, dirt, etc. you might find and also any seals, rubbers and so on as well.

Photo 9 and 10 shows the screws you need to take out in order to remove the door.

Step 5: Door Switch

The next thing you should remove is the safety switch located in the door.

This is the switch that shuts the dryer off when you open the door to throw in the socks your wife so lovingly washed for you but you ignored the request by her to put it in the dryer with the rest of the washing........

Photo 1 shows the hinge on the left and the switch opposite that on the right.

Photo 2 shows the screws you must remove.

Remove the plate that holds the switch, BUT DO NOT CUT ANY WIRES YET!!!!

You need to note the wires and the connections before you start cutting.

This is only of you would like to use the switches and motor together again....

Step 6: Front "control" Panel

First remove the dial (timer thingy) by pulling it out.

Remove the screws.

You will notice that the front panel does not want to come off.

Do not force it.

You need to take out screws from the back in order to remove the front panel.

see next step.....

Step 7: Removing Screws to Loosen Front Panel.

Photo 1 is from the back of the dryer.

Note the marked screws in photo 2.
I actually had 3 screws, but only 2 is showing in the photo.

Remove the screws and head on back to the front of the dryer.

Gently pull on the front panel (from the top, downwards) to get the panel about halfway out.

Remove any screws (if any) holding buttons, dials or wires to the panel.

Photo 4 and 5 shows the power light and buttons.

The front panel should be completely free and you van remove it.

Again....if you want to use the wires and buttons all together after the strip, note the colors, locations and connections before cutting.

Step 8: Removing Wires From the Back

Photo 1 shows the broad view of photos 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Note that I drew a circle in photo 1 to show where the wires are located that I will be removing in photo 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

To make things easier, cut all the cable ties (not the wires, if you want to use the entire harness) that is holding the wires to the metal structure of the dryer. This will help when you need to move wires out of the way without cutting tje wires in smaller and useless lengths.

I find ot better to salvage and organise longer lengths of wire than short pieces. But thats just me.....

Start with the plate where the power cable goes into the dryer. this is also the location of the Earth wires (on my model. Note the indicated sticked on the plate)

First undo the screws that holds the small plate to the metal structure of the dryer.

Then remove the Earth wires. You will find lots of them connected to the same connection.

Now remove the main power cable from the plate.

You will now have a nice long wiring harness without any cutoff pieces.

Move the harness (bunch of wires) out of the way while you remove the rest of the wires (Earth wire connected to the element back plate and also the element wires) Both these can be seen in photo 9. Photo 10 is of all the wires removed. I placed the wires on top of the drum towards the front. see photo 10.....

Step 9: Remove the Drum

Photo 1 is more or less what you should be seeing at the moment.

The drum is connected to the heating element that is connected to the heating element back plate.....unscrew the screws as shown in Photo 1 to get to Photo 2.... I circled the screws. Again I could not fit all the screws into that photo.

When all the screws are out, the drum might rotate a bit to the left or to the right. Don't panic! Its not a ghost and not the motor that got power actually loosened the drum completely en the movement is due to the tension and or lack thereof between the moter, the belt and the drum.

Photo 3 and 4 shows the belt. Remove it by sliding it towards the front of the dryer (the same location you moved the wires to).

Then pull out the drum from the dryer.

You should be seeing more or less a result as shown in photo 5.

Step 10: The MOTOR!!!!

Remember the part about the CAPACITOR.....?

My capacitor was located on the bottom of the motor with 4 pi s and 2 wires connected to only 2 of the pins.

Don't panic it can be discharged by following the following steps:

1) Take a long screwdriver (must have a rubber or other unconductive handle);

2) Make sure that no part of your body is touching any part of the dryer;

3) While maintaining the above mentioned in point 1 and 2.....simply touch with the screwdriver on both connectors of the capacitor at the same time. In other words....create a short!

You might hear a zap and might even see sparks.

Repeat the above mentioned steps untill no more zap or sparks are heard or seen.

90% of the time, nothing will happen and no charge will be in the capacitor. But never take a chance! You never know when it's your turn to be in the 10%.

Now we can proceed.

Photo 1 shows the motor in the left corner and the wires and belt to the front of the dryer.

If you missed any of the cable ties (like me) cut them and remove the wires and belt.

Photo 3 shows the wires and, buttons, dial, etc removed but still connected to the motor.

This is where you will have to make a choice.....

1) take the motor out with everything connected and keep it like that;


2) Take photos and notes of the connections and cut the motor wires.....

I went with option 2 because I used the wires, buttons, switches and other stuff in other projects.

Photo 7 shows the motor with the wires cut.

My motor could not be taken out from the inside.

Photos 8 and 9 shows the screws on the bottom of the dryer that you need to remove in order to remove the motor. When removing the last screw, hold the motor with one hand to prevent it from falling and damaging when the last screw is removed.

Photo 10 is of the motor completely removed.

In photo 11 I placed my Zippo (red) in front of the motor to give you an idea of the size of the motor.

Step 11: Removing the Heater Element From the Drum

The front of the drum os where the clothes go in....

The back of the drum is where the element is located.

In the centre of the back of the drum, you will see a white cap with 4 screws and a nut in the centre.

Remove the screws.
The nut was a size 13.
Remove that also.

This all is shown in Photo 1.
After the screws and nut is removed, the heater element plate should slide/fall off from the drum.

Photo 2 shows the nut, plastic cap, washer end bearing.

Photo 3 shows the heater element and I marked the 2 heat sensors with white circles.

Photo 4 and 5 are closeup shots of the sensors.

Remove the sensors.

Step 12: Removing Metal Cone From Drum

On the back of the drum (after you removed the heater element) there is a white almost cone shaped metal/aluminum cover.

This cover is attached to the drum with (yes, you guessed it....pop rivets),
so.....time for the drill...hehehehehe.

I used the number 4 drill bit (metal drill bit).

If your drill has a speed control, set it to low speed. If not....don't be "trigger happy". Go slow and steady.

Drill all the rivets out. Take care with the last rivet....make sure that you have a grip on the cone with one hand, if not, the drill might bite into the cone whe you drill oit the last rivit and the cone might spin and hit you with a sharp edge!

Slow and steady....

Step 13: Salvaged Items.....

Photo 1 shows the wires that you salvaged as well as the dial, buttons, connectors, etc.

Photo 2 shows (I could not get everything into the photo) the wires and also the other parts you salvaged and that you can use in your other projects! can use a jigsaw to cut the dryer frame into manageable is good "sheet metal".

The drum (I will put the instructable for that on tomorrow), I have turned into a mini incinerator, using only a drill and jigsaw.

The motor (I will put the instructable for that on also), I have connected to the power supply and I am planning to use it for polishing/grinding wheel in my workshop.

lots of free stuff!

I hope that my instructable helped one of you.

Sorry for any spelling and grammar mistakes, English is not my first language.