Dryer making squeaking noise is tough to ignore. If you’re not sure what to do when your dryer makes strange noises, there are a few different things to check. But before you dive headfirst into finding the source of this noise, it’s helpful to understand why your dryer is even making this sound in the first place.
A squeaky dryer can be annoying, but it doesn’t necessarily indicate that big repairs are needed. To get rid of that noise, you’ll need to determine where it’s coming from. This is often easier said than done. Still, if you can isolate the sound’s source, your dryer will likely return to its normal operating condition.
Dryer Making Squeaking Noise – Troubleshoot and Diagnosis
If your laundry room has become a place of frustration—because your dryer is making squeaking noises, causing it to stop working, or just making everything take twice as long as it normally does— read on for a few dryer-related tips and tricks that you can use to fix the issue ASAP.
Worn Out Idler Pulley
All dryers — both gas and electric — come equipped with idler pulleys. Idler pulleys (also known as tensioning pulleys) reduce wear and tear on other critical components by taking some of the strain off the drive belt.
Dryers often make squeaking sounds when they’re running, and this is typically caused by a worn out dryer idler pulley. The dryer idler pulley is responsible for transferring energy from the motor to the dryer belt; if this part is worn down it will make a lot of noise and might even break down over time.
A squeaking or squealing noise in the dryer indicates that the idler pulley or bearing may be worn out. If the bearings and pulleys are too dirty or worn, this can lead to additional problems down the line — including noisy operation, irregular bearing wear, and belt breakage. As the parts continue to wear down, the noise will eventually turn into a grinding or thumping sound.
If the dryer idler pulley is hard to spin, replace it. If it’s too loose, tighten it. These are simple fixes that can help prevent more serious problems down the road.
Drum Bearing Issue
The rear of the drum is supported by a shaft and a bearing. Not all manufacturers use the same components: some have a plastic, some have a nylon, others have a metal. Some have ball bearings, while some have spindle and sleeves, or some use balls and sockets to create a swivel action. Each variation on the mechanism will create more reliable or less reliable dryers.
A dryer bearing attaches to the rear of a dryer drum and supports the back of the drum. It works similarly to a ball bearing, with two surfaces that roll against one another with low friction.
A worn dryer drum bearing will result in a squealing or grinding noise when the dryer drum is turning, or squealing noise from the motor when it turns the drum. In all cases, the squeaking will resolve once the dryer drum stops moving. Unfortunately, a broken or dislodged bearing can also affect the motor’s ability to drive the dryer drum, which could lead to under-drying of clothes and inferior drying performance.
If you experience a squeaking noise while your dryer is spinning, it’s likely that your drum bearing has worn down and needs to be replaced. However, this is a simple fix — you can order an easy-to-install replacement kit online and replace the bearings yourself using step-by-step instructions.
Drum Support Rollers
The drum support rollers exist to keep the dryer in place and prevent it from moving during a washing cycle. The drum is usually supported on four rollers, two towards the back and two near the front. The rear rollers, which are located at the 5 and 7-o’clock positions, or at 10 and 2-o’clock if viewed from above, are responsible for the weight distribution of the machine. The rollers used in front, which can be seen between the door and front drum glide, perform a similar task.
The most common source of dryer squeaks is the rubber that supports the dryer drum. When the drum rotates, the wheels rub against the metal of the dryer and makes a squeaking noise. This can be caused by faulty bearings or worn out wheels.
To determine whether or not your squeaky dryer is caused by your drum support rollers, you should inspect to see if they are worn or damaged. If so, replace them! Otherwise, check to see if they are too loose or overtightened.
Years of exposure to the heat in your dryer have made your interior glides worn out, bent, or rusty. This can cause the dryer drum to squeal, clang, or grind when you turn it. The solution is clear when you take a look at this problem: all you have to do is replace the worn out glides with brand new ones.
Dryer drum glide kits are available in three styles: adhesive felt pads, metal brackets with felt pads, and detachable plastic cowlings. Brackets are the most popular option, but each design has its own pros and cons.
When you replace a dryer drum glide, make sure you remove any old adhesive first, otherwise the new glide won’t stick. The old glue can be scraped off with a utility knife. Then clean the surface of the dryer drum and the new glide with soap and water to ensure that there are no remaining lint or leftover cleaning products on either surface. Allow the surfaces to dry completely before installing the new glide.
The dryer motor has sealed ball or roller bearings that allow it to run quietly and smoothly — even after years of use! The motor’s design reduces friction and helps prevent the motor from overheating. It also lets you avoid costly repairs and replacements. Dryer motors spin the drum, and they can be placed in two different types of dryers: direct-drive and belt drive. A belt drive motor has a pulley that turns a set of pulleys on the drum, while a direct-drive motor spins the drum directly, without the help of a belt.
No matter if you have a gas dryer or an electric one, dryer motor bearings are the most common cause for a squeaky dryer. Over time, the ball bearings in the motor will wear down or get dirty with lint buildup, causing them to squeak when the motor is turning. If either of these motors fails, it will likely start making a squealing or grinding noise because one or more of its bearings is failing. Any motor that overheats will also shut down for an extended period to allow itself time to cool down.
Blower Wheel or Fan
The blower fan is the power source for your dryer. Without it, all you’d be doing is spinning out clothes to hang them on the line. The blower fan sucks in air and pushes it through the drum, causing your clothes to tumble around on a roller. A heat sensor tells the microprocessor when to turn on the heating element. It cycles on and off during the drying cycle to maintain an optimal temperature.
A dryer’s blower fan is used to draw outside air into the dryer to keep it cool while it dries your clothes. If the blower becomes obstructed with lint or debris, it can cause excessive vibration or squealing. A faulty blower component can also damage the dryer fan motor.
If your dryer is having problems turning the tumbler, then the first step you should take is to check the belt that transfers power from the motor to the tumbler. The belt connects to both the motor and tumbler on your dryer, sending torque to them both. If there is a problem with your belt, it can cause some issues with your laundry drying process.
If you hear a loud or unfamiliar noise coming from your dryer, it might be an indication of a problem. A worn out belt will cause a thumping sound as it hits the drum, and a slipping belt will cause squeaking as it moves over the pulley. If your dryer belt is worn out, you’ll need to replace it immediately to avoid further damage.
A dryer’s seal is an important element of any dryer, but especially on front loaders. A good seal on the door prevents lint buildup and keeps air moving through the machine, which helps cut down on drying time. The seal wraps the edge of the drum cylinder on some models; on others, it runs along the front seam of the machine.
The dryer’s felt seal cushions the moving piece and stationary housing, preventing abrasion and limiting unheated airflow into the drum. This ensures that your clothes get dry without any fluffiness, keeping them looking good for longer.
The dryer may make a squealing noise when the drum rotates, or it may have a metallic scraping sound if the felt seal is worn. Clothes may become snagged in the gap where the seal meets the drum, causing them to be damaged. In severe cases, they can even be burned by the heat of the dryer, causing brown or black streaks where they have rubbed against the unprotected edge.
Lifters or Baffles
Drier baffles are the perfect combination for an energy-efficient dryer. They are made of durable plastic or metal and are installed in the drum. As the drum rotates, they lift and tumble your clothes, evenly distributing heat throughout the drum, improving exposure to heated air. This means that your clothes are dried much faster, saving you money on electricity costs.
If your dryer is making strange noises, it could be because the drum is out of alignment. When this happens, the drum can’t spin correctly, creating friction between the drum and the tumbler motor shaft. As the drum turns, it may even slip inside of the tumbler motor shaft, causing a squeak as the edges scrape together.