Why Is My Dryer Not Spinning?

September 7, 2023
Dryer Repair

Dryers are usually the most reliable household appliances, so it can be stressful when something goes wrong! If your dryer is suddenly not spinning, or making strange sounds when it tries to turn, don’t panic! You might not need to replace the dryer – there are quite a few easy fixes that can solve the problem. Read on to find out what’s wrong with your dryer!

Power Supply Issue

You’ve noticed your dryer is not spinning when you turn it on – but is that the whole story? If your dryer is not spinning and not producing any heat, there may be an issue with the power supply. Here’s what to do:

Check the Power Point and the Circuit Breakers

If your dryer is unplugged or the circuit breaker has been tripped, your dryer won’t go at all. When you turn it on, you won’t hear any noise, and there will be no lights on the display panel. 

If this is the case, first check that the dryer is plugged firmly into the power outlet. If that seems fine, check the circuit breaker. Sometimes a power surge can trip the circuit breaker, and you’ll need to reset it manually. 

Once you’ve reset the circuit breaker, test to see if the dryer is running. If not, move on to the next step in our guide. 

Faulty Door Switch

Most dryers won’t start if the door isn’t’ closed – it’s just common sense! In some cases, there can be a fault with the door switch, and your dryer can sense that the door is open even when it isn’t. To check this:

  • Unplug your dryer from the power outlet. 
  • Inspect the door switch. This is usually a small, oval-shaped piece of plastic that gets pushed in when the dryer door closes. If it isn’t clicking into place properly when the door is closed, it might be faulty.
  • Use a multimeter to test if the door switch has continuity. If it doesn’t, it is broken and needs replacing. 
  • Order a replacement part online, ensuring it’s compatible with your model of dryer. 
  • Remove the old switch mechanism. You may need to remove part of the dryer door or the dryer’s front panel to do this. Consult your owners’ manual for clarification. 
  • Put the new switch mechanism into place, then reassemble any parts of the dryer you may have had to take apart to access the switch. 
  • Run a test cycle to ensure your dryer is spinning. 

Broken Drive Belt

The drive belt is a long, flexible belt that loops around the dryer drum and works to spin the barrel. Over time, the drive belt can get worn, stretched out, frayed, and sometimes even snap altogether. If there is an issue with the drive belt, your dryer may not spin at all, or it might spin haphazardly and make knocking sounds. To fix this:

  • Unplug the dryer.
  • Access the belt. You might need to remove your dryer’s front or top panel or, in some cases, both. 
  • Look at the belt – it will need replacing if it looks frayed, torn, or loose.
  • After purchasing a replacement belt online, remove the old one. Take careful note of how the old belt was looped around the drum and idler pulley so you can correctly put the new one in. 
  • Put the new drive belt in place. Use your owner’s manual to help guide you – when in place, the belt should feel firm and tight. 
  • Replace any panels you removed.
  • Test the dryer to see if it works correctly. 

Worn Drum Rollers

Drum rollers are small wheels that support the dryer drum and help it to spin. Over time, they can get worn out or damaged, causing the drum not to spin smoothly or, in some cases, not spin at all. To fix this:

  • Unplug the dryer, and take it apart to access the drum. This will involve taking off the front and top panels. 
  • Look for the rollers. In most cases, these will be small wheels that support the drum. You should be able to spin them easily – if they appear stuck or hard to spin, you’ll need to replace them. You can order new parts online. 
  • Once you have the new drum rollers, it’s time to install them! You can remove the old rollers from the roller shafts and slide the new rollers into place. Note that you don’t need to replace all of them, just the ones that aren’t spinning correctly. 
  • Once the new rollers are installed, reassemble your dryer and run a test cycle. Your dryer should now be spinning smoothly. 

Faulty Idler Pulley

The idler pulley is a mechanism that the drive belt runs through. It gives tension to the belt, which lets it grip onto the dryer drum. If there is an issue with the idler pulley, your dryer won’t be able to spin. To fix this:

  • Unplug the dryer and take it apart to access the drum, as in the above two steps. You may also need to take out the drum itself, depending on how hard it is to access the idler pulley.
  • The part of the idler pulley most likely to be broken is the part that the drive belt wraps around. This is usually a small wheel or a slider. Check that it moves or spins smoothly – if it seems stuck or has too much friction, the idler pulley needs replacing. A new part can be purchased online.
  • To remove the old pulley, you need to release the tension on the drive belt by pushing the idler pulley towards the motor to give you some slack. Then, you can unscrew the faulty idler pulley. 
  • Put the new pulley into place and screw or bolt it down. Once it’s in position, ensure the drive belt is securely looped into place and that there is enough tension. The drive belt should feel firm and tight.
  • Put the dryer back together and run a test cycle. The drum should now be spinning smoothly.

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