If you own a dryer, this has most likely happened to you at least once; out of nowhere, dryers tend to produce ugly noises. The noises can sometimes die down, but they eventually come back, increasing in volume and frequency with every occurrence.
The good news is, it is pretty simple to find out what causes the dryer to make the sounds, and there are a couple of possible fixes you could use to make it stop. You can do them by yourself or call a professional. This article will help you know what problems your dryer has and the possible fixes.
What Can Cause Your Dryer to Squeak
Finding out why your dryer squeaks can be a laborious process with multiple possible culprits. Depending on the model, dryer squeaks can be caused by a worn-out belt idler pulley, tub support roller, drive motor bearings, front glides, and more. As you can see, most problems result from wear, and the good news is that you can easily replace the worn-out parts at affordable prices.
Dryers do not have many moving parts, making it easy for you to determine which part is making the noise. With the drum bearings, idler pulley, motor, and dryer belt being the most likely culprits, what can you do to fix them?
Before you embark on this, ensure that the dryer is unplugged from the power supply. Failure to do this could lead to disastrous accidents and a loss of money in repairs. Also, never peek inside your dryer until you know its basic anatomy to avoid causing further damage.
This is a narrow and relatively thin rubber ring found around the dryer drum. The dryer belt is attached to the pulley, which connects to the motor. When the motor is operating, it moves the pulley, causing the drum and the belt to spin.
Depending on how frequently you use the dryer and the amount of load you use on it, you can cause severe wear to the belt. The wear can cause it to stretch because of the spinning, thereby reducing its efficiency. The loose rubber is not able to hold onto the metal drum firmly, causing friction that could be the source of the squeaking noise.
To fix this issue, you will need to get a replacement belt and remove the old one. This is the most likely case scenario with most dryers and doesn’t need an expert to find the solution.
A dryer contains two pulleys, the idler pulley, and the motor pulley. The idler pulley is found between the dryer belt and the motor. It is a spinning part, which can cause it to lose traction or start wiggling, resulting in a squeaking noise.
This part is also easily replaceable, and you can do it by yourself. Just make sure you go through your dryer manual first. This is necessary because you might get parts that are not compatible with your dryer. Study the manual carefully to find out the exact make and model of the replacement part you will need to avoid any confusion.
Another cause of the squeaky noise can be the sound of metal on plastic. This most likely comes about with faulty drum glide bearings. The glides are strips or material found along the drum’s edge, attached with a series of locking tabs.
As with the previous moving parts, you can easily switch the bearings with new ones. Again, it is necessary to get replacement parts that fit the make and model of your machine.
If the motor itself is the cause of the noise, you might be better off getting a new dryer altogether. Getting a new motor is possible, but the cost of buying and installing, especially if you hire a professional, is too high. Depending on your means, you can either hire someone to change a new motor for you or get a fresh start with a new dryer.
How to Fix a Squeaky Dryer
Now that you are familiar with the possible causes of a squeaky dryer let us move on to what you can do to stop the noise.
1. Get a Tool Kit and Replacement Parts
Before starting the repair job, you need to have a tool kit and the parts you will need to replace the old, worn-out ones. These are the basic tools you will need:
- Screwdrivers or a proper drill and bits
- Pliers or clamps
- A crescent wrench
You want to get those that perfectly match your machine down to the make and model for the replacement parts. Some suppliers sell generic replacement parts but do not trust this as they could end up causing more problems.
There are other suppliers who sell service kits for dryer models. These kits come equipped with replacement parts that you can use for your dryer. You can’t know which parts you will need unless you open your dryer up to see the faulty parts.
Some of the replacement parts you can get are:
This kit contains one bearing, two dryer slides, felt, and one belt. You can get the whole kit, but you will have to take a peek inside your dryer to find out what part needs replacement. These are genuine original equipment replacement parts. Make sure the kit contains parts that fit your dryer model to avoid wasting money.
This Samsung dryer pulley replacement kit fits most top or front-load Kenmore and Samsung drying machines. Make sure you carefully select the kit to match your dryer. The kit offers superior performance, ensuring years of use without getting damaged. It is made from commercial-grade stainless steel that you can use for a long time without rusting or breaking.
This is a flat drum belt with four ribs and three grooves that can replace many other belts. Some of the brands you can use the belt with include Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Admiral, Hardwick and many more. You can use it as a replacement for most old numbers. Check its specifications to see if it matches with your dyer drum belt before making a purchase.
2. Replace the Belt, Idler Pulley, or the Glide Bearings
Before starting any procedure, the first thing you need to do is to ensure you have switched off your dryer and completely unplugged it from any power source to prevent accidents. You should also ensure you do your work in a clean and organized working space so as to see any parts that might skid across the floor.
You should also find a way to keep track of where you remove all the screws and parts to ensure that you return everything to where it should be. Record the items when you take them out if you have a problem with remembering. Doing this makes it easy for you to reverse engineer the process once you are done.
Another thing on your top to-do list before you start replacing is studying the manual or looking for videos on YouTube to help you know what repairs you need to make. Start by removing the lint trap and the screws that shut the lid.
The Dryer Belt
You can tell pretty quickly if the dryer belt makes the noise. Before you replace it, you need to detach the wire harness plug and take out the mounting screws. Check your manual to find the best way to do that.
Once the parts are removed, you can now easily reach the belt and replace the old one with the new one. To replace, loop the belt around the idler and motor pulleys precisely like the one you just removed was looped. You want this to be a little snugger so that it doesn’t end up the same thing the worn-out belt did.
The Idler Pulley
You can check to see if the idler pulley is the problem by manually spinning it. If you hear a sound while spinning it, then you have reached the root of the problem. Once you are sure, disconnect the pulley from the bracket and replace it with a new one. Put back the belt and other pieces that you removed to their designated spaces, and you are good to go.
If glide bearings are the source of the squeaking noise, you will have to take the dryer drum out completely. Once you are done, use your pliers to squeeze and push back the tab pairs to detach the glide bearings. Replace them with new bearings in the same spot and put the drum back inside the dryer.
3. Check the Motor
If you have looked at all the above parts and nothing seems to be the problem, the motor could be the culprit behind the squeaky noise. You can choose to replace the motor yourself. To do that, you will need to find the exact kind of motor that is compatible with your dryer. Another tricky part is getting to the motor itself. You will need to remove your dryer’s back panel, which you can do by unscrewing the screws at the back of the panel.
Keep removing everything that blocks your access to the motor and disconnect it once you get to it. Put in a new motor and all the parts you removed. If you find it difficult doing this yourself, you can call in a maintenance specialist to help you.
In case the inside of the dryer is damaged beyond hope, it is best not to waste your time and money buying replacement parts. Count it as a loss and get a new, quieter dryer. Otherwise, you may end up carrying out never-ending repairs.
Other Noises your Dryer Can Make
Apart from squeaking noises, a dryer can make lots of other strange noises. They can be caused by the positioning of the dryer or hard objects stuck in it. Some of the other noises your dryer can make, and their possible fixes include:
If you hear a rattling noise, place the dryer on a level solid surface. The noise can be caused by an unbalanced dryer or a dryer that is banging against something. If your dryer does not have a built-in level, you can use a carpenter’s level to check if it is on level ground.
Adjust the legs until they are level and remove anything that might be leaning against them. Leave a little space between the dryer and the washer. Also, check to make sure there are no foreign objects that can be interfering with the dryer. Replace rollers that help the dryer balance if worn-out rollers are the cause of the rattling.
If you hear a scraping sound, check to see if there are any hard plastic or metallic objects like buttons or coins. These can cause a scraping noise if caught between the cabinet and the drum’s front seal.
Loose or worn drums can also be another cause of scraping noises. Get a qualified technician to remedy this if that is the cause of the scraping.
Not using your dryer for a prolonged period can make it make thumping noises in the first few minutes of use. That is mainly caused by flattened support rollers where the rollers and drum touch. Run the dryer for a while to allow the rollers to regain their shape, and the thumping should stop.
Another cause for thumping noises can be if clothes are balled or twisted while drying. You can prevent this by placing each clothing item separately and untangling any balled clothing. A frayed or damaged belt can also cause the noise and will need replacement to get rid of it.
No matter the method you use to fix a squeaky dryer, make sure to put your safety first and unplug it from any power sources. Also, make sure you get the correct replacement parts and hire a professional if you cannot fix it yourself.
In case you are not ready to deal with the whole process, you can always use soundproofing to hide the noises the dryer makes. Alternatively, you can put it in a soundproof laundry room to disguise the sound.