I have a Kenmore washer and dryer (both electric) in a separate laundry room. We came home yesterday after being out, only to find a HORRIBLE smell in the laundry room. At first I thought of turpentine or some sot of paint thinner. Very harsh "ozone" sort of smell. At this point, having removed all containers from the room, I have narrowed down that the smell is that of a blown circuit. I used to smell something similar when I visited businesses that produced circuit boards and semi conductors.

  • Both units work
  • Possible heat loss on the dryer, but the clothes do dry. I've just had to put some back a little longer.

What happened here and what do I need to be concerned about now?

  • Ooh, that's not a good smell to have -- are you hearing any snap, crackle, pop (aka sparky) sounds from the dryer as well? An arcing heating element sounds like the culprit here, and that's a great way to wind up drying your clothes over a bonfire... Feb 18, 2015 at 2:19

1 Answer 1


I have had a few control boards from assorted appliances burn to some degree, but continue to function.

Those pc boards tend to be made from bakelite, the brown color boards you see in less expensive items. Bakelite is a paper based product.

And it smells 'that' way.

If there is loss of heat from the dryer, it is likely the board that controls the temperature. The boards are behind the control section of the appliance, and the ones I have worked on have always been easy to replace.

Buying appliances that are sold by Sears, is great because they stock parts from many years back.

  • The smell's more likely flux residue burning off (I had a laptop that emitted intermittent "fluxy" or "smoky organic" odors), but yes, a board that's running (perhaps too) hot will do this. Sep 14, 2015 at 2:41

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