If laundry on a drying cycle comes out of a washer dryer hot and steamy there is a problem with the condensing process. Condenser washer dryers don’t have a vent hose so they need to convert the steam back in to water.
A fan blows the steam through a plastic chamber on the back of the outer drum. During the drying cycle a steady trickle of cold water runs into the top of this chamber. When steam hits the cold water it condenses back into water. The water runs into the bottom of the outer drum and is pumped down the drain as normal.
What causes the excess steam?
If the laundry is hot and there is excessive steam in the drum then clearly the heating element is working ok. It’s just that the hot steam generated by drying isn’t being dealt with. This is likely to be caused by one of two problems –
- No cold water is running into the condenser chamber for the steam to hit and condense
- Or steam is condensing but the water that’s condensing can’t get into the main drum to be pumped away
Read on for explanations of these two different problems.
No Cold Water is Running Into the Condenser Chamber
There’s a dedicated condenser water valve (with a built in flow restrictor) supplying water into the condenser chamber. Water should be trickling into the chamber from this water valve during the drying cycle. If it isn’t you need to find out why – starting with ensuring water is getting to the valve. It’s easy to see the dedicated condenser water valve (solenoid). It is attached to a small hose leading to a large plastic compartment (the condenser chamber) at the back of the outer drum.
If you know what you are doing you can check that the solenoid hasn’t gone open circuit. Water valves have a very high resistance and might appear open circuit depending on what type of test meter is used. If I remember correctly they are often around 200 Ohms. If you have an appropriate test meter compare the resistance with the other valves. They should be very similar.
The water flow into the condenser chamber is usually only a trickle. This is not a fault. For the steam to be condensed into water there should be some water constantly running into the chamber on the drying cycle.
The Condensed Water Can’t Run Into the Main Drum to be Pumped Away
Another fault is when water is trickling in, but a blockage at the bottom of the condenser chamber is stopping it from running into the main drum to be pumped away. Faults with the main pump would produce the same symptoms – but they would also cause faults in the wash cycle. It might be possible to observe that water is slowly rising up inside the bottom of this chamber. Water should run straight through into the outer drum.
Poorly designed condenser chambers can accumulate fluff inside or can accumulate gunge blocking the path from the chamber to inside the main drum.
Dryer fan not running
Finally, the steam generated on the drying cycle needs the dryer fan to blow it through into the condenser chamber to be condensed. If the fan is not running for whatever reason then obviously this will prevent drying, and may result in hot and steamy laundry. It should be very simple to observe if the dryer fan on top of the main outer drum is running or not when it is on the drying cycle.
This article was inspired by a question which I answered on my Washerhelp forums. You might be interested in seeing the conversation here
Clothes Coming Out Of Washer Dryer Hot And Steamy, Still Wet (goes to washing machine forums).
Laundry Hot After Just Wash Cycle
If the laundry is coming out hot after just using the wash cycle you need this article – Should the washing come out warm or cold?