When your dryer is not spinning, it can seem like a big problem that requires professional help. Thankfully, fixing this common laundry room issue is often simpler than it looks.
Most of the time, your dryer won’t spin because the drive belt is broken. You can easily check this by reaching inside the dryer and trying to turn the drum by hand. If it turns very easily, the belt is probably broken.
Damaged Drive Belt
The drive belt, which wraps around the big circular drum and the motor pulley, is responsible for spinning the dryer. If it is damaged, the dryer won’t spin. You can test for this by reaching inside the dryer and trying to turn the drum by hand. It should provide some resistance, but if it turns easily, the belt is probably broken.
A common problem with the drive belt is that it gets loose or cracked. This can cause it to slip off of the drum or the idler pulley, preventing the dryer from spinning. In this case, you will need to replace the belt.
Some dryers have a switch on the top of the machine that controls whether the belt is engaged with the drum. Check this switch for damage, and if it is not in working order, it will need to be replaced. This is a job for an experienced DIY repairer or a professional appliance technician.
Dryers have two or more drum rollers on axles that support the dryer’s drum as it spins during a cycle. These rollers are usually made of felt or rubber and can wear down over time. If they are worn or damaged, the dryer can make a loud rumbling noise and stop spinning. If you can see or feel that the rollers are worn out, try spinning them by hand and replacing them if necessary.
The drive belt makes the drum rotate by wrapping around the drum, a pulley and then the motor. If you can see that the belt is intact and not frayed, the problem may be with the idler pulley or the tensioner pulley. This is another easy and inexpensive component to replace yourself.
The drum bearings support the back portion of your dryer’s drum and allow it to rotate smoothly during a cycle. If yours are worn out, it can cause the dryer to stop spinning.
Try pushing the drum by hand to see if it turns easily. If it moves only a little, this could mean there is a small object (like a button or house key) stuck between the drum and the dryer housing.
Unplug your dryer and carefully open the front panel. Pop off the switch cover with a putty knife to reveal the switch and disconnect one of the wires. Use a multimeter set to the continuity or Rx1 setting to test the switch. If it shows no continuity, you’ll need to replace it. If you prefer to avoid DIY repairs, call an appliance repair technician. They’ll be happy to help.
If the dryer is making a humming sound but is not spinning, it could be that the motor is having trouble. This is one of the most complex and expensive repairs to make. It’s best to call a professional for this repair.
If there’s no problem with the belt switch, the next step is to check the idler pulley. This pulley is located down low inside the dryer, and it works like a huge pulley for the belt to run on. You can test it by removing the front panel and slipping the belt off of it. If the pulley looks worn or broken, you need to replace it.
Fixing a dryer that isn’t spinning takes some mechanical knowledge and patience. If you’re not comfortable taking apart your dryer and replacing these parts, it’s best to hire a professional for this repair. Learn about home warranty plans, which cover many of these appliance repairs, to keep your appliances in top shape and your household running smoothly.