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Why Is My Dryer Squeaking and How to Stop

Dryer Squeaking
18
Nov 2020

At the very least, a dryer squeaking is annoying. Maybe it does not bother you. Put in wet clothes, run the dryer, and be elsewhere doing other things. These noises, though, are not entirely harmless. On the contrary, it might be indicative of an underlying problem or the need for routine maintenance. At any rate, we can show you how to get rid of the squeaks yourself – some of them, at least.

Before Even Opening Up the Dryer

A visual inspection of the dryer exterior may be all that is needed to stop the squeaking sound or any noise for that matter.

Foreign materials. Is it possible some coins, keys, or other items fell off the pockets? These objects could be getting knocked around in the drum during the drying cycle. Remove the lint filter, too. See if there is a foreign material lodged inside.

Loose screws. See if there are loose screws that could be causing noises when the dryer is spinning and vibrating.

Legs. Over time, the legs may loosen. See if you can tighten the screws to fix them.

Getting Rid of the Squeaking Sound

Your dryer squeaking is actually not a big problem – except for a failing motor, which is costly. Other than that, whatever the cause is reasonably easy to fix.

To diagnose the problem, open up the dryer, and replace faulty parts, you need to have the following tools:

  • Screwdriver
  • Crescent wrench
  • Pliers or clamps

Repairing the dryer yourself may take time. First, you would have to open it up and identify the source of the squeaks. Only then can you shop for the replacement parts. Check with the manufacturer of your dryer and see if they are selling service kits, which contains slides, belt, bearing, and others.

Before opening up the dryer, be sure that the unit is unplugged. Keep the area clear so that you have room to place the parts and screws you removed. You also want to have the manual handy, as it may contain information on how to do repairs.

Dryer Belt

How or what makes the drum spin? A few parts conspire to make that happen. A running motor moves the idler pulley and the attached belt, which – in turn – connects to a pulley and the drum.

Although the dryer belt does last a long time, there comes a time when normal wear and tear takes its toll. In time, the dryer belt becomes hard, brittle, and stretches. Because it is no longer snug, the spinning efficiency suffers. It is the friction between the belt and the metal drum that produces the squeaky noise.

How easy is it to fix?

Order a replacement dryer belt and replace the worn-out one. You would have to remove the mounting screws and detach the wire harness plug.

Idler Pulley

The idler pulley is located between the motor and the dryer belt. From the side, it resembles a spinning wheel and is susceptible to wear and tear. Over time, it loses traction and wiggle, causing squeaking sounds.

Try to spin the idler pulley manually, and see if it wiggles and makes sounds.

Can you repair it yourself?

Yes, you do.

You cannot, however, use just any idler pulley. It has to be a suitable replacement, so check the part number and buy one that matches your drying machine. The actual repair is as easy as detaching the faulty pulley from its bracket and install the new one.

Drum Glides

When you hear weird sounds coming from your dryer, listen closely. Does it sound like rubber (belt) or metal (idler pulley)? If the sound produced seems more like metal grinding on plastic, the most likely culprit is defective glides. Depending on the brand, these tiny strips of material can be made of Teflon, nylon, or plastic with felt or cork backing. They are found on the edge of the drum, attached by locking tabs.

The purpose of having glides is for the drum to have a smooth surface on which it spins. Over time, they get worn out, which produce a scraping sound reminiscent of metal scratching on metal. You can stop the loud noise by swapping them with new ones.

Drum Bearings

Your dryer may be supported by a ball and socket or shaft bearing attached to a sleeve bushing at the rear. Once defective, they produce a squeaking, squealing noise and necessitate replacement.

Drum Support Rollers and Shaft

Many of the dryers today – yours included – have rollers that support the drum. When they wear out, the drum cannot rotate freely and there would be a squealing, thumping noise.

When making replacements, you have to change the whole set to ensure an even surface. You should also inspect the shaft and replace it as necessary.

You can find the rollers on the rear bulkhead or front bulkhead. To access them, remove the front panel and the drum.

Felt Drum Seal

Drum seals have two primary functions. First, it acts as a cushion between the drum and the front/read bulkheads. Second, it prevents excess air from entering the dryer drum.

When torn, some clothing material may get stuck in the gap while the drum is spinning. You would know it by the sound it creates – a scraping, thumping noise.

Blower Wheel and Housing

The blower wheel draws air from the heating chamber, which subsequently passes through the drum and is released to the exhaust vent. Usually, it is made of plastic and wears out over time. If the attachment loosens, you would hear a thumping, roaring noise.

Baffles or Lifters

On the inner surface of the drum, the baffles tumble the clothes in the dryer. If they become loose, you would hear a thumping, banging noise. Inspect to see if they are damaged, or have loose materials lodged on them – in which case there would be rattling noise.

Motor

If it is the motor that is causing the sound, you have the option of having it repaired or replaced. Think twice, though, because it can be expensive. You might be better off getting rid of the dryer and buying a new one instead. Should you choose to keep the old unit, do note that other parts may be close to failing.

Let the Pros Stop the Squeaking

All appliances – your dryer included – have a lifespan. Among the problems that may come up after years of service, squeaking is one of them. Depending on the cause, you can do some of the repairs yourself. If unsure, then have the dryer serviced by a reputable company with a proven track record.

The only problem you may encounter that merits second thoughts about fixing is a failing motor. You can have it replaced, but the cost is probably prohibitive. If your dryer has had many years of service, you also have to consider that the other components may be reaching their end of service life. Factoring in more expenses in the near future, buying a new dryer might be a better option.

At any rate, if you happen to live in these areas, do check out Prime Appliance Repairs.

 

  • Brampton
  • Burlington
  • Grimsby
  • Halton Hills
  • Hamilton
  • Markham
  • Milton
  • Mississauga
  • Oakville
  • Richmond Hill
  • Toronto
  • Vaughan
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