Dryer takes long time to dry

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Well-Known Member
Jan 15, 2020
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Not mine, but my friends kenmore electric dryer is taking forever to dry clothes. It still produces heat but just takes a long time.
Could the heating element be going out? Do they fail somewhat and not produce as much heat or is it all or nothing?
What else could be the problem?
Check the vent piping from the discharge end all the way to where the lint trap is inside the dryer. Lint builds up and the moisture can't escape. On ours, the trouble spot is below the (vertical) lint screen. It turns 90-degrees and lint builds up.

A long bottle brush or a sight glass brush will reach in where the lint screen goes & snag the lint for easy removal. If there is a GFS Store or a restaurant supply near you, they have long coffee urn sight glass brushes. I use: Server Part Number SER81009 ($1.99 at Zoro Com)

On ours dryer, a trouble spot is the dry sensor strips. They get a film on them and won't sense that the clothing is dry, thus the dryer runs long after the clothes are cooked. Use of those evil fabric softener sheets accelerates the film build up.

A Test: Let clothes dry for how long you think it should take. If they're dry but the machine is running, perhaps the sensor(s) needs cleaning. I use 70% isopropyl alcohol to clean ours. (First aid alcohol)

None of the above is pro appliance fixer stuff- just what I've experienced.

Hoping For A No-Cost Fix For You!
Mine was taking forever, and it was the cover over the vent to keep birds out of my vent trapping lint. If the line is long, it could definitely be lint trapped in the length of the piping. For long runs you really want to use rigid pipe, with the joints taped (with foil tape) and no fasteners going into the duct. You want to limit the number of turns as well. Each turn is equivalent to several feet of straight duct.

The heating elements are kind of binary. They either work or they don't.
That sounds super annoying. If the dryer's still heating up, it might not be just the heating element. There could be other reasons it’s taking so long. I actually watched a great YouTube video recently that could help sort out what’s going on. Might be worth checking out! Here's the link:
All above posts are about right.. however, I have had to disassemble my dryer(s) over the years at about the 5 or 6 year marks to access the INTERNAL areas around the 'flight path' of the heated AIR. Lint clogs up in areas you wouldn't expect over time. I have pulled out some pretty big clogs of lint - some almost totally blocking the path.. and they can be anywhere along the way. It starts are the lint filter area and you can get significant improvement by just cleaning that area with a vacuum cleaner 'snout'. But best to take the front off the dryer and find the FAN that pulls the air. Clear EVERYTHING you can find. The front of most dryers comes off pretty easily - just google for the specific brand/model on you tube and you can almost always find a very similar model. Only takes a couple of tools and a couple of hours.
Last edited by a moderator:
That should be LINT cloggs.. for some reason I can't edit anything after I type it.
You should be able to edit for some time after posting. But you can't post after some amount of time. Maybe an hour?

Edit to add: I hit edit right after posting. Edit is at the bottom left of your post.
That should be LINT cloggs.. for some reason I can't edit anything after I type
Interesting discussion.
I've, since the 1960's, always treated the dryer exhaust vent, as an annual maintenance task, along with ref. equip, cleaning.

I guess that's why my appliances fall
apart, instead of prematurely fail/replace cycle.