22 Cents: A Lesson in Dryer Safety

Back in April my husband, kids and I moved from Okinawa to Virginia. After a month visiting family we said our farewells and moved into the house we’re now renting. The house didn’t come with a washer or dryer so I found a good looking pair on a local Facebook yard sale page. They were an older model, you know, the ones that still have the agitator (taking it old school). The new ones have too much going on and simpler is better when it comes to me.

I felt comfortable because the man who sold them repairs and sells washers and dryers. He delivered and installed them. It was convenient with all that was going on. They both worked well so I didn’t really examine them too much.

The next few months were a whirlwind. The day my husband started back at work, half of our house flooded. We had only lived there two days! We had a lengthily hotel stay, along with crashing at a friend’s house. We finally move back in and had 3 shipments arrive with in a week of each other. We finally got our daughter back into school but had maintenance men in and out for the next month, due to the delayed move-in inspection. It was cray cray.

I tell you all of this to paint a picture of how busy life can get. Things slip through the cracks and things you normally would do don’t get done.

Three months later (aka last night) I smelled something odd. We have a wood burning stove connected to the room next to our laundry, so for a few days I just thought it was that. One day I was doing laundry and by the grace of God I decided to mess with the dryer. I had some mattress covers I wanted on low heat, so with the dryer door open I held the button and turned it on. Within seconds the odd smell was in my face. The smell of something burning! I immediately turned the dryer off and unplugged it.

Later that night I dragged the dryer into my workshop and took the damn thing apart. What I found was shocking and very very scary. The whole bottom of the dryer was filled with lint. A one inch blanket of highly flammable installation. Not only was all over the bottom but the wiring and heating coils were covered as well! I then took off the metal bin that connects to the lint trap and found lint caked in there, which was stopping the hot air from getting pushed out. While cleaning it out I found one earring, a few paper clips and 22 cent.
As I held the 22 cent in my hand I couldn’t help but say a prayer of Thanks. “Thank you Lord for this 22 cent, Thank You for my family of “do it yourselfers” that taught me well, Thank You for the angels nudging me to turn the dryer on with the door open, Thank God it didn’t catch fire. Thank You, Thank You.”

Like Mom always says, never run the dryer while you’re asleep or not at home. Whether you have an old or new dryer remember to clean it out every once a while. If you buy a used dryer make sure its cleaned out or be prepared to do it yourself.

And remember to be Thankful for the near misses, the disasters that could have been, but weren’t. These are the things that remind us that even though life may not go as planned, we do have LIFE and lots to be grateful for.




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