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Replacing a dryer fan in a Bosch Washer/Dryer combo machine

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We have a 7 year old Bosch Washer/Dryer machine. We typically use the dryer cycle only on towels.  A complete wash/dry cycle can take over 4 hours so we set the timer at night and have soft warm & clean towels in the morning when we wake up.

One night it stopped in the middle of a wash/dry cycle. The circuit breaker to the washer (and fridge) had popped. After resetting the breaker, the washer did not respond until the water was drained. The towels were still wet. A subsequent 2 hour intensive dry cycle made no difference.

I like to fix things myself but I gave up trying to find helpful info on the internet.  I swear that it is getting more difficult to find good  information on the net, the opposite of what one might expect.  We called a local washer repair shop. It did not go well. After agreeing to pay €175 to fix the problem, they replaced(??)  two Thermal Overload Circuitbreakers (TOCs), declared the problem solved and departed 35 minutes after they arrived.

A subsequent test of a two hour intensive dry cycle on a perfectly dry and rather stiff towel produced a limp damp rag. We phoned the repair service back to complain. They actually returned 4 days later to look again. In that timespan, I discovered this site and the cost of the genuine Bosch parts that were supposedly replaced -- €13.

On the second visit the repair guys said the dryer fan needed replacement. The new dryer fan would cost €175 but (BONUS) there would be no additional charge for labour. This would put the total cost of the repair at over €320.  I had had enough.

Instead I asked for the return of the defective parts; suggested they take their replacement parts back and...  give us a full refund. After some heated negotiations they gave us a partial refund and left. When the dust settled, we had paid €66 for the diagnosis of a faulty fan. I suspect the TOC's they replaced were the same ones that had removed. They choose to leave their replacement TOCs behind.

With the fan seized there was no air flow. The heater would heat up the chamber and the TOCs would pop open and cut the power to the heater. That's how it is designed to work. I could reset the TOCs by pushing the button in.

After more research I was impressed by how the drying system was supposed to work. It's a closed system - air is drawn from the bottom of the drum into a plastic chamber that has cold water circulating through it. The cool water condenses the moisture in the air from the drum and the condensed water is pumped out to the drain. The return air from the drum is then heated and blown into the top of the drum. The fan circulates the same treated air repeatedly so no air is vented to the outside.  I was impressed.

I ordered a replacement fan from Bosch -- €147.45 including delivery in 2 days with a 30 day unconditional return policy.

Now other posts have suggested novel ways of accessing the fan that involved using a Dremel tool to cut away obstructing sections of the rear frame cross member that is welded in place.  Let me suggest an alternate way if you don't have a Dremel tool.  It involves removing the dryer assembly as a whole, like pulling an engine from a car. You have to remove the top, rear and front panels of the washer to achieve this.  Here are two different views of the dryer assembly after removal:



Here are the steps (more or less):

  1. Remove top panel (2 screws)
  2. Remove rear panel (14 screws)
  3. Remove detergent/rinse/prewash drawer
  4. Remove drawer holder on front panel (3 or 4 screws)
  5. Remove front control panel - held in place with plastic hook tabs.
  6. Disconnect the electrical connector to the control panel.
  7. Remove the circular spring clamp around the rubber boot connecting the front panel to the drum.
  8. Remove the front panel with door.  There are two bolts under the front panel. A wire harness connects to the door and a long plastic pull tab (the emergency door release) slides into a slot the pump access area.
  9. Remove the front panel cross member between the control panel and the front panel.
  10. Remove the connections to the dryer assembly and the wire harness over the dryer assembly.
  11. Remove the rubber hoses to the condenser in the back and the two screws that affix the condenser to the rear cross member.
  12. There are two screws and a metal hook tab that hold the fan assembly to the rear panel. Remove those screws

Now try to lift out the whole assembly. Deal with any issue overlooked in the above list. If you succeed to lift out the assembly the fan will be easy to replace and all dryer components can be disassembled & cleaned.

Reassemble in reverse order. There are many screws to remove so it helps to keep them sorted and labelled in groups as you disassemble and reassemble everything. I wish I had followed this advice when I did it.

Good luck. I had two screws left over but everything seems to work. Your mileage may vary.

The next post will have pictures of the stripped down washer and more comments.

Edited by DiogenesVS
minor corrections
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