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I am trying to buy a house and seller says the clothes dryer needs a belt but works otherwise.

Is there someway I can verify that? The issue is that it’s a gas dryer and it isn’t ventilated currently. Ventilation ducts are available it’s just not Hooked up to it. If I were to inspect the dryer, how could I verify that only the belt is what needs to be repaired? Is there any way to do with without getting a new belt installed? Thank you

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  • 3
    Seems sketch to me if the vents aren't hooked up. How does the seller know the thing works, belt aside?
    – Huesmann
    Aug 24, 2023 at 13:51
  • 5
    Almost as good as buying a car that "worked when parked."
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 24, 2023 at 14:24
  • There's some great advice below, but the short answer is you can't. In order to test things other than the belt you have to do as much work ask you would to replace the belt (which isn't difficult).
    – isherwood
    Aug 24, 2023 at 15:16
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    Consider the whole dryer may be a distraction, something to focus down on, a manageable bite-size point. Keep looking at the rest of the house and where it matters, like foundations, framing, etc. You know, the deal-breaker kind of problems.
    – Criggie
    Aug 25, 2023 at 2:35
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    @Criggie has a point. It's notably odd that you chose "Hopeful Dryer Buyer" rather than "Hopeful House Buyer" as your moniker, for instance.
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 25, 2023 at 21:13

3 Answers 3

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As part of a house purchase? Make your offer on the house assuming you'll need to buy a new dryer, and this one is total junque that will need to be hauled away. It adds negative value in the current state. That should be a relatively small part of any house purchase price, anyway.

Without actually replacing the belt and verifying correct operation, there's no way to know if something else has broken, too.

The fact that the seller didn't do that could mean they don't want to bother, and could also mean they actually know something else is wrong with it, since they are not repairing the belt and taking it with them. If it actually works with only a new belt, good, you come out a bit ahead. If not, you won't lose any value if you don't pay more for the house on the basis that all the dryer needs is a belt.

Incidentally, if you end up with house and dryer, go ahead and replace the rollers while you are far enough in to replace the belt. Taking it far enough apart to replace the belt (and then putting it back together) is the big pain, the rollers often wear out, and sometimes you can get a deal on belt, rollers, and belt tensioner for little more than each part alone. Also clean the ducts!

Hmm. "Ventilation ducts are available it’s just not Hooked up to it." Suggests a possible need to verify (don't trust, just verify - caveat emptor) that those ducts are correctly and safely configured, in addition to any issues of the dryer itself.

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    1+ to verify, I bought a house where the dryer duct was just a hole cut in the wall stuffed with a plastic bag to make it look like there was a duct.
    – Doryx
    Aug 24, 2023 at 21:36
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Assume the dryer is worthless and evaluate the home purchase without it in the mix.

"Works but needs to be fixed" tells me it doesn't work. The fact that the dryer vent isn't hooked up means the seller hasn't been using it; that should tell you all you need to know on its condition.

How does the seller know what's wrong with the dryer? Are they an expert in appliance repair? Or maybe they looked into repairing it and found out it wasn't worth repairing. Maybe rather than the hassle of moving it they plan to leave their 12-year old dryer and have a shiny new one delivered to their new home.

I could share some thoughts about negotiating a home purchase over an appliance like this but that would be off-topic.

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Inspection of the old belt might give some clues to its failure.

An old belt that is stretched too much is probably the belt. A belt that is worn in one spot might mean something else is wrong also. If the belt looks new and has failed that would also mean something else is wrong (might just be being put on wrong also).

If the gas is still hooked up, testing the dryer for a minute or less to see if it heats up and the motor turns, not the drum, should mean most of it is okay, maybe.

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