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DE21CA Maytag Dryer - Instructions

All installation instructions for DE21CA parts

These instructions have been submitted by other PartSelect customers and can help guide you through the dryer repair with useful information like difficulty of repair, length of repair, tools needed, and more.

All Instructions for the DE21CA
1-15 of 778
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The blower fan (nylon) stripped off the motor shaft (steel)

  • Customer: Stephen from Lafayette, IN
  • Difficulty: Really Easy
  • Time to Complete: 1- 2 hours
  • Tools Required: Nutdriver, Pliers, Screw drivers
  • 540 of 540 people found this instruction helpful
Removed the front cover (screws on bottom 0f face)...removed blower cover....spring pliers to remove and install blower fan. the rest of the time was spent cleaning the inside of the shell as well as the vent. Reassembled and dryer runs better than it has for many years.

dryer squeeking

  • Customer: gerald from park city, MT
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time to Complete: 1- 2 hours
  • Tools Required: Pliers, Screw drivers, Socket set, Wrench set
  • 469 of 493 people found this instruction helpful
removed front panel,lifted top, removed drum and drive belt,remove old rollers and acc and instlled new and reinstalled dryer parts.

Loud rumbling noise on dryer startup

  • Customer: Brian from Mechanicsville, VA
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time to Complete: More than 2 hours
  • Tools Required: Pliers, Screw drivers, Socket set
  • 212 of 285 people found this instruction helpful
I searched the internet and found my symptoms really seemed to indicate a problem with the blower wheel, which was very noisy. Feeling confident that was what I needed, I ordered the blower wheel, and also the tumbler belt (the belt was 12 years old). Both parts were genuine Maytag and arrived quickly. Before the order arrived, I went ahead and UNPLUGGED THE DRYER and disassembled the dryer using the partselect.com helpful parts diagrams and the repair notes of others. This allowed me to confirm the blower wheel was in fact loose on the motor shaft. I removed the old blower wheel and belt. Shop vac'd out the entire dryer cabinet. This way I was able to take my time with preparation, and when the new parts arrived, I was ready to just pop them into place. If you disassemble before you order, you can also determine if the tumbler front guide set and /or rear tumbler roller wheels also need to be replaced (mine did not), but this would have been the perfect time to replace those too. I saved a bunch of money and have the satisfaction of having done this job myself. Dryer works great now.

Dryer belt broke

  • Customer: Matthew from Carrollton, VA
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time to Complete: 15 - 30 mins
  • Tools Required: Nutdriver, Screw drivers, Socket set
  • 88 of 90 people found this instruction helpful
I have a 15 year old Maytag dryer that finally broke its belt.

First I unplugged the dryer from the outlet, and then I removed the access plate in the back of the dry by removing the four screws. Once I removed the plate, it was quickly obvious that the belt had broken, as bits of belt were all over the interior of the dryer.

I removed the front panel of the dryer (where the main door is located) by removing the two retaining screws at the bottom of the panel. After removing the screws, I was able to swing the entire front assembly up and remove the panel. The door sensor is attached to the front panel by two wires; I simply pulled the two wires from the door sensor, which allowed me to completely remove the front panel from the dryer.

I removed four screws on either side of the dryer which attached the front tumbler assembly to the dryer frame. The tumbler assembly also has the lint screen attached to it as well. Removal of the lint screen allowed me greater access to the internals of the dryer. I took the opportunity to use my Shopvac to clean out the accumulated 15 years of dirt and lint from inside the dryer.

Once the front tumbler assembly was removed, the main dryer tumbler came out easily. I removed the tumbler from the dryer and inspected it for damage. I also did more cleaning inside the dryer with my Shopvac. Removal of the tumbler is required for installing the new belt.

I wrapped the new belt around the tumbler and reinserted the tumbler back inside the drier. I reinstalled the front tumbler assembly, but I didn't tighten the four screws until I was sure the main tumbler was seated correctly on both the rear and front tumbler assemblies. Only then did I tighten the four screws.

I then went to the back access panel on the dryer and threaded the belt around the dryer motor rotor and belt tensioning roller. The new belt twisted a few times in the process, so I manually rolled the tumbler to straighten out the belt.

Once I was confident the belt was seated properly around the tumbler and motor rotor, I replaced the front dryer panel loosely. I also reconnected the two wire door sensor and then plugged in the dryer. I purposely left the back access panel off, so I could observe the motor and belt while the dry was running. I turned the dryer to a non-heat setting (i.e. air fluff) and started the dryer. I observed the rotation of the belt for about 2 minutes to insure it was rolling properly. Next, I set the dryer to a heated setting and ran it again for 2 minutes to be sure all the heating elements were working. It is good to check both the rotation of the belt and the heat elements prior reinstalling the back access panel. There is nothing worse than putting the dryer back together only to discover the belt is improperly tensioned/seated or the dryer heater elements are no longer working.

I secured the dryer front panel using the two screws. I reattached the back access panel with the four screws. Finally, I reconnected the dryer hose.

Dryer is running like new and haven't had any further problems.

Belt worn and blower wheel loose.

  • Customer: David from Germantown, TN
  • Difficulty: A Bit Difficult
  • Time to Complete: 1- 2 hours
  • Tools Required: Nutdriver, Pliers, Screw drivers, Socket set
  • 116 of 184 people found this instruction helpful
I noticed a rattling noise coming from the dryer. I disassembled the dryer to troubleshoot. I assumed the rollers were bad, but I discovered that the blower wheel was loose on the motor shaft. The rollers were fine. I also discovered the belt was worn.

I ordered a new blower wheel and belt. Replacement was as described elsewhere.

I couldn't get to the screws on the front panel because my screwdriver was too long. So I put a pressure treated 2x4 under the front dryer legs to elevate it. I used pressure treated lumber because that's what was in the garage. Untreated wood would also work.

After removing the front panel screws, the bottom of the front panel needs to be tilted away from the dryer. At about 20-30 degrees of tilt, the front panel will suddenly drop away from the top.

Rotate the front panel to your left so that the wires don't get stretched. It isn't necessary to unplug the wires. But after touching the wires and getting shocked, now is a good time to unplug the dryer. In fact, it would have been better to unplug the dryer before you start any work on it.

Remove the front bulkhead and lint filter housing as a unit. 4 screws hold it to the dryer.

Remove the screws holding the faceplate of the wheel assembly, and remove the faceplate.

Next remove the spring clip from the blower wheel shaft. Then remove the circlip using a circlip plier. The wheel will now slip off the motor shaft.

Put the new wheel on the shaft, making sure to align the flat part of the shaft with the flat part on the wheel. Install the circlip and spring clip.

Replace the faceplate, Note that the perimeter of the face plate goes inside a groove. Install the screws.

Replacing the belt has been covered before, so I'll leave it at that. Just make sure that the belt goes on the proper side of the belt guard.

Install the front bulkhead-lint filter housing. Make sure the lint filter housing lines up with the blower wheel housing and goes inside the felt.

Install the front panel. Make sure the felt doesn't get pinched by the drum.

The first time I disassembled the dryer, it took about 1.5 hours. The second time was only about 45 minutes. The third and subsequent times were even quicker. Practice makes perfect.

Alarming rattling/rumbling noise

  • Customer: Wayne from Minneapolis, MN
  • Difficulty: A Bit Difficult
  • Time to Complete: 1- 2 hours
  • Tools Required: Nutdriver, Pliers, Screw drivers
  • 81 of 83 people found this instruction helpful
I told my wife, "it's working fine. Let's just wait until it breaks, and I'll fix it." She said the noise is intolerable and if I didn't fix it, she'd "call someone to come and look at it."

The forums all suggested that noise during operation is due to worn out components that are involved with turning the tumbler. So I ordered a bunch of parts from Partselect.com and set to work. I replaced the belt, the belt idler wheel, and both of the tumbler support wheels.

I reinstalled the tumbler, plugged the dryer in, and started it up. Damn, the same noise as before. Wait! The tumbler isn't turning. In my haste to see if the noise was gone, I'd forgotten to rethread the belt. Analysis: noise unchanged but tumbler not rotating. Conclusion: the hateful noise has nothing to do with any of the components involved in turning the tumbler.

Looking and listening more closely, I determined that the noise was coming from the blower, the plastic squirrel-cage like assembly attached to the other end of the motor shaft. It seems to be rattling on the shaft, causing the noise. I remove it, clean off a couple decades of matted-on lint, and reinstall it. No change.

I do not have a replacement blower, so I remove the blower from the shaft, clean up the shaft with alcohol, then put a piece of plastic electrical tape part way around the shaft, effectively increasing its OD by a few thousandths of an inch. I reinstall the blower, put everything back together again, and start it up. No noise -- nothing but a low purring hum! Good enough for me, for as long as it lasts. When my improvised patch fails, I'll order a new blower and install that.

It's good that I was so stupid as to forget to reinstall the belt before I started the dryer the first time. Since the noise was still there, I was forced to re-examine my assumption that the noise was being caused by a worn-out tumbler-turning component. If i HAD installed the belt the first time, I'm sure I would have continued with the incorrect assumption that the noise problem was related to the tumbler.

My time and money weren't wasted, I don't think. The various wheels and the belt were over 16 years old and due for replacement anyhow.

Switch sticking in on position

  • Customer: Don from Jacksonville, FL
  • Difficulty: Really Easy
  • Time to Complete: 15 - 30 mins
  • Tools Required: Nutdriver
  • 83 of 115 people found this instruction helpful
FIRST unplug dryer from electrical source, CAUTION, the top of this dryer does not open with clips, do not pry on top to open! On the front of the dryer look under the lower panel, and find two screws, one on the left side, and one on the right, remove these screws, and pull slightly down on panel to remove. Behind this panel find two screws holding the door panel, one on the left, and one on the right, remove the left, and support the door panel while removing the right side. Gently pull the bottom of door panel outward, and the clips on top of door panel will unhinge from top, carefully rotate left side of door panel to floor, and note the wire connections on switch, and orientation of switch, then unplug wires, and move door panel to a comfortable working positon. Door must be open to remove switch, then depress the two plastic retaining keepers on each side of switch, and push switch through toward door. Replace with new switch, reconnect the wires, and reassymble in reverse order. Remember, door assymbly must be inserted in dryer top at an angle, and then bottom rotated downward, and bottom panel nylon guildes inserted into door panel bottom.

catch mounted on door broke

  • Customer: Paul from Mt. Pleasant, SC
  • Difficulty: Really Easy
  • Time to Complete: Less than 15 mins
  • Tools Required: Screw drivers
  • 78 of 101 people found this instruction helpful
The door had always opened with the wrong swing and it wasn't til I needed to repair this that I noticed you could change the swing. I changed the swing of the door and then noticed that the clip was included on both sides so i did not need to repair the catch. I still have the part so when it breaks again, I can just pop it in.

Loud rumbling at startup, periodic rumbling during drying, rumbling after motor stopped

  • Customer: Ed from Long Beach, CA
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time to Complete: 1- 2 hours
  • Tools Required: Nutdriver, Pliers, Screw drivers
  • 88 of 150 people found this instruction helpful
After removing more bolts and screws than I needed to, here's how to replace the blower wheel on the stacked washer/dryer Maytag SG1000.

Turn off the power.

Remove the two screws on the access panel, which is the canted panel just below the dryer door, and remove the panel.

Remove the two screws at the top of the dryer door. These screws are on top of the dryer facing downward, and unless you're Yao Ming, you won't see them without a stepstool. You can then lift up the door and swing it out from the bottom.

There are two wires attached to the door which you should disconnect. You can set the door aside without disconnecting any other wires.

Next, remove the lint filter and the housing assembly it fits into. First, disconnect the ground wire connected to the upper-left corner of the housing, then remove 4 hex-screws accessed from inside the dryer tumbler.

You should take this opportunity to thoroughly remove lint from inside the housing.

The blower housing is now accessible. Remove the screws on the periphery of the blower housing cover (a.k.a. faceplate), and remove the cover.

The blower wheel is held in place by an external retaining ring and by a blower clamp. The replacement blower wheel came with a new blower clamp, and that clamp can be manipulated with a regular pair of pliers. I went out and bought a pair of snap ring pliers to deal with the retaining ring.

After removing the retaining ring and then taking off the blower clamp, I removed the old wheel. The new wheel was a little tough to put on, but after reading the story of the people who used a hammer to break their wheel, I just pushed on it until it popped on. I used my pliers to install the new clamp, then re-installed the retaining ring and the blower housing cover.

Reinstall the lint duct housing, making sure housing duct centers into the blower seal (looks like a felt circle). Reconnect the ground wire.

While you're inside the tumbler, at the front end of the tumbler just below the door there is a black plastic sensor with two metal bars on it called an automatic dry sensor. Fabric softener can coat the metal bars and cause the sensor to not function. Lightly sand the metal bars to remove any buildup.

Reconnect the wires to the dryer door. Reinstall the door by tilting the bottom in first, guiding the clips on the bottom of the door into the slots they fit in, then push the top of the door into position. Reinstall the screws at the top.

Reinstall the access door.

Turn the power back on! Done!

Hummed when start button was pushed.

  • Customer: Bob from Thayer, KS
  • Difficulty: Really Easy
  • Time to Complete: 30 - 60 mins
  • Tools Required: Screw drivers, Wrench set
  • 52 of 71 people found this instruction helpful
Safety first, so unplug the dryer. Next remove the two phillips head screws @ lower left and right front corners and take the front panel off. You will have to disconnect the door switch sensor wires which are yellow and white, marking the sensor so you can replace correctly. Next remove the front tumbler assembly with 4 screws, two on each side. Be sure to remove the automatic dry sensor wires. Then remove the belt by either reaching un under the tumbler and releasing the tension or taking the back access panel off w/ 4 screws and releasing the tension. Then once the belt is loose you can remove the tumbler. Then remove 2 screws and take the thermostat cover off. I removed the multi-temp thermostat w/ 2 screws rather than unhooking the wires and I did the same with the thermal fuse. Next remove 1 screw out of the blower housing cover and the 2 screws from the motor support. Once loose you can pull the motor out a little and unhook the wiring. Once out you will need to remove the pulley, blower housing and fan, and replace on new motor and put the new motor on the motor housing. Replace in reverse order and you should be done.

The dryer drive belt broke. The dryer wouldn't tumble nor blow heated air.

  • Customer: Lee from Royal Oak, MI
  • Difficulty: Really Easy
  • Time to Complete: 30 - 60 mins
  • Tools Required: Nutdriver, Screw drivers, Socket set
  • 29 of 34 people found this instruction helpful
The repair itself was pretty easy. Though I had figured out what needed to be done on my own while I waited for the belt to arrive via Fed Ex, the belt arrived with instructions that described the plan I had already figured and if I hadn't known what I was doing, the instructions would have been a great help.

STEP ONE, UNPLUG THE UNIT (and/or shut off the gas supply), CAREFULLY. Then, I took the front of the unit off by removing the 2 screws on the front panel near the bottom of the unit and disconnected the wiring that shuts the unit off when the door is opened. Set the front door panel aside. Then I removed the front of the tumbler retainer along with the exhaust duct and lint screen assembly by removing 4 screws that affixed the reatiner frame to the rest of the outer cabinet. Set this aside as well. Remove the entire tumbler unit. Set aside. Remove 4 screws on the back of the unit that hold the tensioner and motor access panel and remove it. Set it aside. At this point, I vacuumed every bit of lint and debris from the snapped belt out of the enitre unit, lubricated/greased all moving parts, cleaned off the friction bearing surfaces, and collected loose change ($1.35).

When the belt arrived, I unwrapped it, and placed the smooth side to the tumbler and rubber banded the slack off to the bottom right side (sort of the 4:30 position as you put the tumbler back into the unit). I carefully jimmied the tumbler back into the unit BEING CAREFUL not to pinch the groved belt between the tumbler and any other parts inside the cabinet. I replaced the tumbler retainer and screwed the 4 bolts back into place. I spun the tumbler over near the tensioner assembly (so I could see the slack through the access panel hole in the back) and removed the rubber band. I threaded the belt through the tensioner and over the drive pulley and rotated the tumbler clockwise to align the drive train of the belt. I plugged the 2 wires back into the switch on the inside of the door panel and then I replaced it on the front of the unit and screwed the 2 screws back in at the bottom front of the panel. I plugged the unit back in and tested opperation. It worked great! I unplugged the unit again (I'm not finished yet). I then replaced the access panel on the back of the unit and screwed the 4 screws back in. I moved the unit back against the wall and plugged it back in. Done! The dryer is less noisey now and more efficient most likely b/c I cleaned all the lint out of the thing! Thanks for the prompt shipment of the belt!! I'll get a few more years out of this dryer before spending $700 on a new one!!! Thanks again!

Broken contact on high limit thermostat - dryer no start

  • Customer: Nova from Hudson, OH
  • Difficulty: Really Easy
  • Time to Complete: Less than 15 mins
  • Tools Required: Screw drivers, Socket set
  • 28 of 35 people found this instruction helpful
First I unplugged the dryer! Then unscrewed the two screws at the bottom of the front door. To remove the front door, swing the bottom up about 30 degrees until the two triangular hooks at the top of the door release. Then release the two wires going to the door switch from their harness so as to gain more slack to move the door out of the way. The switch was secured by 2 hex head sheet metal screws1/4inch in diameter. I used a small right angle socket wrench to get these loose. I only had to remove the front screw completely to be able to take the switch out for exchange purposes. Once this was done, reverse the process and plug it in! (BTW, the electrical schematic for this dryer is up under the top console)

Drum rubbing metal to metal on front support

  • Customer: Jim from Los Angeles, CA
  • Difficulty: A Bit Difficult
  • Time to Complete: More than 2 hours
  • Tools Required: Nutdriver, Pliers, Screw drivers
  • 27 of 33 people found this instruction helpful
1. Unplugged dryer, removed front (2 phillips screws near bottom) set aside with wires attached
2. Removed front support (4 hex head screws)
3. Drilled out pop-rivets, discarded old glides (why didn't Maytag use rollers?)
4. Riveted new glides in place.
5. (Oops!) trimmed cork pads, smeared with glue, shoved under glides, held down until firm
6. Removed drum (pushed belt back to groove, pulled drum off rollers, lifted belt off drum, worked drum out) Left belt on pulley and tension wheel as pattern when I replace it.
7. Scraped old gasket felt off back chassis and front support
8a. Folded gasket lengthwise and glued into front support channel with fold on outside diameter. It was too short.
8b. (Oops! Why didn't this come with instructions?) Pulled it out, reversed it and replaced it with fold to inside diameter. It fit. Glued ends together.
9. Glued other felt gasket into back chassis. (Good ventilation needed here!)
10. Replaced rollers. (This did have instructions, despite being easy. I didn't use any grease. Experience as a locksmith says don't lube anything that isn't sealed from dust. I also vacuumed out 15 years of dust.)
11. Replaced belt. (The old one looked fine, but I was advised to do the belt and rollers along with the glides.) The grooves touch the drive pulley, the flat goes around the tensioner, and the belt exiting to the left seems like it will rub the pulley, but it doesn't once the drum is installed.
12. Turn the drum around (Nice, it's symmetrical!) and work it back in.
13. Lift the belt around the drum edge (I used bull clips to hold it in place.)
14. Check the belt on the pulleys, move the drum in more, take off clips, move the belt to the groove.
15. put the drum on the rollers, lift the belt out of the groove, and spin the drum a little while watching the pulleys to check it.
16. Screw the front support back in place.
17. Screwed the front on and plugged it in.
It works!

Heater element burned out

  • Customer: Stephen from Fayetteville, AR
  • Difficulty: A Bit Difficult
  • Time to Complete: 1- 2 hours
  • Tools Required: Nutdriver, Screw drivers
  • 24 of 26 people found this instruction helpful
Unplug dryer. Remove front panel- 2 screws on L & R near bottom. Remove wires (2) from heating element unit. Remove screws -approx 4- that secure heating unit to the dryer. Heating unit is a 6" sheet metal cylinder apprx 15" long that is held together by 4 screws. Remove screws and carefully unfold the cylinder into 2 pieces. You now have access to the heating element wire. Take a picture of or carefully draw a picture of the layout for future use. (I used my cellphone camera). Remove heater element wire being extremely careful not to break the very brittle ceramic insulators. Re-install the new wire in reverse fashion, using your picture as a guide. Be careful not to stretch the element, but carefully proportion the wire between the insulators equally. Be of utmost caution in preventing the wire from touching sheet metal cylinder anywhere when complete. It should rest completely on the insulators. Reconnect the ends of the wire to the insulated terminals. Reinstall the cylinder in reverse order. Note: be sure to clean out as much lint as possible in the dryer while you have it apart & clean out the dryer vent. Low airflow may have caused the heater element to burn out in the first place! I used our electric Toro leafblower to clean (blow) out the dryer vent & it did a great job.

Rumble noise and groaning on startup.

  • Customer: Jeffrey from Bend, OR
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time to Complete: 1- 2 hours
  • Tools Required: Nutdriver, Pliers, Screw drivers
  • 24 of 29 people found this instruction helpful
I found that I replaced more parts than I needed to fix fhis problem. The source of the rumble was the blower wheel connection to the motor, allowing the wheel to wobble (plastic wheel flat spot worn off over time, no firm lock to the motor shaft). But the dryer should be good for another 10 years!

Disconnect dryer from electrical outlet and exhaust.

Remove the back access plate to release the belt from the pulley. Remove the two screws at the bottom front of the dryer, rotate the front to release it at the top. Remove the wires from the door status switch. Remove the 4 nuts holding the drum support frame and pull straight out. Remove the drum. Remove the two bolts holding the thermostat cover (silver odd shaped metal plate at the front of the dryer). Remove the dryer blower cover plate by removing the 6 bolts holding it to the blower housing. Remember to remove the bolt holding the plate to the bottom of the dryer. Release the door status wire from the clips on the left side of the dryer and set the blower housing plate to the right, out of your way without removing the wires. Remove the blower wheel by removing the Circlip at the front of the shaft and then removing the shaft compression clip. Pull out the blower wheel and then remove the rear Circlip from the motor shaft. The back of the blower housing can be removed by removing the 4 bolts holding it to the motor support frame to make access easier but this may not be necessary. Release the 5 wires attached to the motor. Release the front and back motor clips. I used a large straightblade scerwdriver to press down and out on the end of the clips. Lift out the motor. Remove the rear pulley from the motor using an allen wrench and transfer it to the new motor. Set the new motor in the support frame, ensuring the lips of the vibration isolation rings are pointed down to slip over the frame and are not facing up towards the clips ( makes clip instalaltion much easier). Hook up the wires, following the color coding on the motor controller you are attaching to. Reinstall the blower back housing if removed, rear circlip, blower wheel, front circlip, shaft compression clip, blower housing front cover (Including the bolt to the dryer bottom) , reroute the door switch wire up the left side, reinstall the thermostat cover, reinstall the drum and belt, reinstall the drum front support frame (ensure the felt seals for the drum and the blower cover are properly aligned and seated correctly), hook up the door status wire when your set the front cover and install the 2 screws, reinstall the belt through the pulley and idler wheel (make sure the belt smooth side is against the drum) through the back access panel and reinstall the panel.
All Instructions for the DE21CA
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