A burning smell coming from your washer or dryer is nothing to ignore. A burning smell means that something is overheating, and this makes the appliance a fire hazard or at least capable of causing irreparable damage to its internal components.
You should stop using a dryer or washer if you detect any hint of something burning inside. However, beyond that, it's also important to get to the bottom of the issue and figure out what is causing the smell.
Causes of Burning Smells from Washers/Dryers
There are several things that can cause a burning smell to come from these appliances. These include:
Worn Belts: Belts can be used to connect certain internal components to a motor such as the drain pump or the agitator (for washers that still use these parts). A worn belt will be rubbing against other parts hence the smell of burning rubber when the appliance is running.
Blocked Vents: The vents in a dryer need to be clear. If they are blocked by lint or something else, the appliance can start to overheat. Lint can get stuck in some sections of the dryer, and this creates a fire hazard.
Damaged thermostat: A damaged thermostat may cause the dryer to operate at temperatures that are higher than is advisable.
Overloading: When these appliances are overloaded, the motor will be forced to work harder than it's supposed to, and this will cause it to start overheating.
How to Handle a Burning Smell Coming from Dryer or Washer
The best thing to do if you detect a burning smell from washer/dryer is to look for washer repair services. It's important to figure out what the exact cause of the problem is, and you may not have the expertise to do this.
It's also possible that you may only correct part of the problem and not the root cause. This means you could be living with a potential fire-starter.
Preventing Heating Issues in Dryers
Many of the reasons why dryers overheat are quite avoidable. Some of the measures you can take include:
Don't overload the appliance. Overworking the motors or belts will lead to high temperatures.
Don't let water come near electrical components. Water can cause these components to short, which can result in a fire.
Ensure the appliances are in a properly ventilated area to prevent heat from the components from accumulating when the device is running.
If you are having problems with your washer or dryer, contact an appliance repair service such as A-1 Appliance Service.