There is nothing more refreshing than clean, good-smelling clothes. However, you may open your gas dryer during a cycle to be hit by an unpleasant gas odor. The unpleasant surprise is not just disturbing but might be hazardous too. When your dryer smells like gas, it might be a warning sign of a gas leak.
You should address this issue as soon as possible to avoid any unwanted damage. The problem might be associated with minor causes like clogged filters or major system leakage. It could be as simple as a small amount of fresh paint in the house that found its way to your dryer.
Regardless of the cause, you will need proper solutions to make the problem disappear quickly. This blog has your back in diagnosing and troubleshooting this disturbing problem. So, stay tuned.
Why Does Your Dryer Smell Like Gas?
Wearing clothes that smell like gasoline is uncomfortable and embarrassing. The foremost suspect you might think of is improper ventilation in the machine. You might even suspect the washing machine instead of the dryer.
Without further ado, let’s recognize the possible causes and suitable home fixes for this issue:
1. Leaking in Exhaust Pipes
Leaking is a prime suspect whenever the smell of gasoline is detected. This system relies on pipes and ducts that take the dryer’s fumes and debris outside your house. There might be a breach in the seals or pipes, leading to an increasing gas smell inside the dryer. Eventually, the odor gets stuck to the machine.
2. Ignition System Failure
The ignition system in a dryer has other components than the igniter. There are fuses and gas valves. Also, it works with other parts, such as the thermostat. As the name suggests, this system ignites and provides the necessary flame for a functional dryer.
The problems with this system start with a weak igniter. There won’t be sufficient power to ignite the fuel when it malfunctions. There would be enough power to open the gas valves, and that is it. When gas does not ignite, its smell will be obvious. Your clothes will catch these fumes.
An incorrect gas mixture is another major contributor to a faulty dryer ignitor system. There might be a problem with sufficient air levels reaching the dryer. The dryer might be running rich on gas with too little air. Decreased air won’t let the fuel ignite, and there would be a smell too.
A faulty dryer igniter can also result from running too lean. Running lean happens when there is too much air. Moreover, an incorrectly positioned igniter contributes to the system’s failure.
3. Fuel is Running Out
In a gas-powered dryer, insufficient fuel will increase the smell of gas in your clothes. This is not associated with gas leaks but weaker and delayed ignition processes. This makes the fuel system allow for more gas flow.
4. An Dirty Dryer Filter
The lint filter is primarily responsible for catching the lint produced when the dryer drum spins. Meanwhile, the filter may remove containments or liquids before entering the dryer’s system. A dirty filter will not only result in a gas odor but also lead to fires or foul dryer odors.
This filter issue is associated with the buildup of bits of lint that clog it. This is why you should regularly clean it.
5. Gas Valve Issue
A smell of gas and poor ignition indicates a bad gas valve. A defective valve will allow gas leaks. The smell of the leak will remain in the air even after shutting off the machine. By default, a functional valve prevents any leak.
6. Ventilation Issue
A dryer vent removes all the unwanted heat and excess water. The excess fluids and heat will not leave your house when it malfunctions. This is unsafe, as it can lead to several hazards, including fire and gas leaks. A clogged vent is the main reason why your dryer smells like gas.
How To Fix a Dryer That Smells Like Gas?
The gasoline smell in your dryer might seem so irritating that you will want to contact a professional. However, you can DIY some basic troubleshooting in many cases. But before diving too deep, ensure you have not applied any fresh paint near the washing room.
The smell of fresh paint can easily find its way to the dryer through its filters. Generally, the smell will go away on its own after several uses.
If this cause is excluded, you must investigate deeper causes related to the gas and ventilation systems.
1. Fix Leaky Pipes
To properly diagnose this issue, you need to inspect the pipes and vents in the system thoroughly. Moreover, you can test the system to know if leakage exists. First, start by shutting off the gas valve on the dryer. Then use a fan to blow fresh air inside the laundry room for a few minutes.
Starting the machine without starting the heating program for around 10 minutes. Afterward, start the heating program for the same duration until the gas reaches the supply tube.
By doing so, you can easily detect the presence of a leak once you completely turn off the machine. However, the leak, if present, will be revealed after some time. In this case, you will have to replace damaged or worn seals. If this is difficult, you may call a plumber for professional help.
2. Fix the Ignition Issues
Due to the presence of multiple contributors to this problem, you should correctly diagnose the cause. A faulty ignition coil is the first thing you should investigate. It would help if you started by removing the dryer’s panel to gain access to the system.
Then start the dryer and wait for the ignition to happen. Your wait should last up to 20 seconds. Then get a new coil and replace the old one.
If you know the problem is with a rich fuel mix; you should thoroughly clean the burner assembly. You should clean the burner orifice if it is the other way around.
Lastly, if the igniter is not glowing, you will need a new one. Just make sure you correctly place it. It should be positioned close to the dryer’s burner cone.
3. Refill the Gas
Fortunately, insufficient fuel is one of the easiest problems to troubleshoot in a gas clothes dryer. You will have to check the fuel tank and refill it adequately. Most household gas appliances, particularly dryers, need propane to run. So make sure you are buying the right fuel type and fix this issue in no time.
4. Clean the Lint Filter
Cleaning lint filters is manageable, especially when done more frequently. It is recommended to clean it every 2–3 months. Otherwise, the visible lint buildup will become more stubborn and difficult to remove.
To efficiently clean this filter, you can use a vacuum cleaner. It is not possible to use a blower instead. Then use soap and water to increase its cleanliness.
5. Replace Broken Valves
A dryer’s gas valve can become frayed with occasional wear and tear. This is why you should get suitable replacements before things become hazardous. Before attempting to change torn valves, you must shut off the main gas line to your house.
6. Clean the Entire Vent
Regular cleaning of the vent is a mandatory maintenance routine. Usually, you should do this step every 5–6 months. If the vent is broken, you should call a plumber to replace it.
1. How do I know if my dryer is leaking gas?
This problem is easy to detect, as you will always smell gas in your clothes and when you open the dryer. Sometimes, the leak might be so severe that you can smell gasoline all over the laundry room and even the house.
2. How do I get the gas smell out of my dryer?
To correctly handle this situation, you have to diagnose the cause. It might be an issue of a clogged vent or lint filter. If you properly clean or replace dirty components, you will eliminate the gas smell. Also, a malfunctioning ignition coil or misplaced igniter can make the gas smell stick to your dryer.
So, make changes adequately and clean the dryer with water and vinegar before using it to dry the clothes again.
3. Why does my laundry room smell like gas?
This issue happens due to a leak from your gas dryer. Dryers leak propane when their filters are clogged or damaged seals in their pipes. So, inspect all the components to determine the source of the leak.
4. Can you smell a gas leak?
By default, propane and natural gas are odorless. However, gas companies add mercaptan to warn clients of any leak. The added chemical is the source of the distinctive and undesirable odor.