Dryer Installation
or
10 hours of patience pays off

back view

Figure 1. View from the back of the dryer, fully assembled

Today the washer and dryer arrived from Sears. We ordered the LG Tromm Steamwasher and LG Tromm gas dryer. After several years of living in apartments with crappy laundry machines, we were really looking forward to something better, especially to a front-loading washer, which is supposed to be much more energy efficient.

Front with control panel off

Figure 2. Front with control panel off

Much to my surprise, the delivery guys were planning on installing the appliances as well, which was very nice. However, they will only install natural gas dryers, not propane. So they installed the washer and tested it, and then I got to work installing the dryer once they left. I had known ahead of time that I would need to convert the natural gas (LNG) to propane (LPG), and Ellen had already ordered the necessary conversion kit. The kit is actually just one little part (see Figure 11 below). Swapping this part out is in theory pretty easy, but in practice was quite difficult. I thought it would be worthwhile to put my experience on the internet.

Top view with top cover removed

Figure 3. Top view with top cover removed

Now that I have done it once, I probably could do it again in less than an hour, but the first time was very tricky. The real tricky part was figuring out where this little piece should go. The part came with some instructions, including a diagram of the relevant parts, but this was by far only a tiny bit of the necessary information. First of all, the instructions said to hire “qualified technician”, but not only did I have no clue of who to hire, since we had just moved, but I also did not want to pay for it. So, I read the instructions:

  1. To avoid personal injury, disconnect power before servicing this dryer.
  2. Gas supply line shut off valve must be in off position
  3. Disassemble the dryer
  4. Replace orifice as follows:
    1. Remove 2 screws
    2. Disassemble the pipe assembly
    3. Replace natural gas orifice with propane gas orifice
  5. Close the “change screw”
Closeup of screws to remove

Figure 4. Closeup of screws to remove

Backup there a second!!! “Disassemble the dryer”??? What exactly is meant by that? Well, that was a good question. I initially started down the wrong path, trying to open the back cover of the dryer, but after an hour or so realized that was the wrong place to look. I asked Clare for some help, and she suggested taking off the bottom. We put the dryer on its side to check into this option, and discovered some access panels on either side of the dryer near the bottom. After prying off the access panels, we were able to see a bit more of the inside, and lo and behold, we saw the part shown in the diagram in the instructions — all the way at the front right bottom corner of the dryer. Now the question was to figure out how to access it.

More screws to remove to get off front cover

Figure 5. More screws to remove to get off front cover

Normally, in this situation, we would turn to the internet. The problem was, that we still have not gotten internet hooked up at home. So, we ended up going to the public library to use the internet. And that turned out to be little help as well. I spent at least half an hour searching the internet before I found any helpful advice, which was in a forum called fixya.com, and consisted of the following steps (paraphrased):

  1. Remove 2 screws on each end of control panel frame
  2. Disconnect control panel harness. Pull up and forward
  3. Remove 4 screws on top of front cover
  4. Disconnect harness for the door switch and pull forward
Front view with front cover off

Figure 6. Front view with front cover off
Front view with lint cover removed

Figure 7. Front view with lint cover removed

These instructions started to make sense to me. I wrote them down, and we headed back home, where I continued working on it. I had already taken the top panel off, by first removing the small bracket which connects the top panel to the back panel (6 screws total), and then the top cover slides back a bit, then lifts off. The next step was to remove the control panel (with the LED, buttons, knobs and all that. The first step there is to remove 2 screws from each side of the back of the panel (note that each side includes one pointy screw and one flat screw). Then, you must disconnect all the wires to the control panel. If you ever installed a hard drive in a computer or anything like this, this should not be too scary. Just make sure you don’t have excess static electricity built-up, by touching something metal. All of the connections clip in, which means you have to press in on a tab to get them out. Once you have disconnected the wires, the whole panel should come off fairly easily (there are also some plastic tabs to be careful of).

Once the control panel is off, you will see 4 screws at the top of the front panel which were hidden by the control panel. You will want to remove these. This step took me well over an hour, because one screw was in so darn tight. After removing these screws, the door latch must be removed, as well as the screws next to it and the screws holding in the lint trap. Now the front cover should come off very easily, and the part we are interested in should be visible.

Figure 8. Wires from control panel

Figure 8. Wires from control panel

The next step that I took is probably not necessary, but I found it helpful. The lint cover partially obstructs the path to the orifice housing, so I also removed it, as shown in Figure 7.

Housing for the orifice

Figure 9. Housing for the orifice
The part that holds the orifice

Figure 10. The part that holds the orifice

Now one simply has to have a short screwdriver to remove the two screws on the top side of the piece that shields the orifice (Figure 10). Once this part is removed, it should be possible to unscrew the LNG orifice (I used pliers to get it started), and put in the LPG orifice. Once this is done, it is important to switch the regulator screw from open to closed.

The two orifices

Figure 11. The two orifices. Propane is on the left. Gas is on the right. Ruler shows approximate size.

Finally, just put everything together again, and that is it. Once I had everything back together, I plugged it in (since there are electronics, it requires electricity as well as gas (or propane) and nothing happened. A moment of shock! But, I kept my cool, and decided to re-check all the wires. Sure enough, I had overlooked one. I plugged it back in, and then everything was working like a charm.

Figure 12. Regulation Screw

Figure 12. Regulation Screw
Control panel wires reconnected

Figure 13. Control panel wires reconnected. (Except for one that I missed. Can you see it?)

So, after about 10 hours (including the time to search the internet at the library, and to do the normal hooking up of the gas line and the vent), we had a working dryer, which should not cause the house to blow up.

Hopefully someone else will find this information useful.

One Week in June

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Rob and Clare and Dave and Ellen and Harold and Fran all arrived at the Spencer house property late in the day June 12, 2007 after a 7 hour trip from Ann Arbor. Clare did a wonderful job driving that big truck!

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This picture shows the gravel driveway to the house looking away from the house.

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This next picture shows the same view looking towards the house. You can see the gate, the main house the small house and, behind the trees the garage. We have arrived!

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The six of us spent the rest of the week unpacking the truck, fixing up the main house, and having some fun along the way.
Fran and Harold were in charge of cleaning the kitchen. Here Fran scrubs down the old refrigerator which will be used for storage since it doesn’t work.

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Harold put his efforts into cleaning the stove. Is it clean enough?

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Ellen ripped off the wallpaper in the alcove where the new refrigerator will go – only to find MOLD!

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So, Rob took down the the old, moldy drywall …

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… and Clare and Dave put up new green drywall. Harold will apply a couple of layers of drywall mud before the week is over.

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By Sunday June 17 the kitchen was ready for cooking. Rob made pancakes for breakfast and a rice dish for supper. Delicious as usual.

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One of the highlights of the week was attending a Hog Roast/Pitch-in at the Fender’s home. This is the hog that Louie Fender roasted. He makes his own special sauce to go with the delicious meat. The neighbors brought their specialties for a potluck dinner.

At the end of the week the six of us posed for this picture. It was a week of work, of fun and of creating many memories. Harold and Fran learned a lot about the history of the house(s) and Clare’s family and their friends. If we look tired, well – we were. But it was still a great week. One we will remember for many years.

The two sets of parents left on Monday, June 18. Now Rob and Clare can put their own touches on this special home.