Do you have an annoying squeak noise coming from your clothes dryer and you’re wondered what’s causing it? Maybe you’ve been puzzling over why it’s happening, or just want to know how to fix it. In this article, I’ll explain why clothes dryers make that annoying noise and what steps you can take to stop it. Get ready to find out the truth behind the mysterious sound!
- 5 Reasons You Have A Squeaky Dryer
- How To Find and Fix Squeaking on A Dryer
- Is It Worth The Cost To Fix A Squeaking Dryer
- Verdict: Dryer Making Squeaking Noise
5 Reasons You Have A Squeaky Dryer
If your dryer is emitting a squeaky noise, it could be due to one or more of the following components failing. Luckily, diagnosing the problem isn’t too difficult and should take no longer than five minutes. To pinpoint why your machine won’t stop making this frustrating sound, you’ll need to inspect these essential parts.
1. Slipping Dryer Belt
As one of the most integral pieces in your dryer’s operation, the drive belt transmits the power to rotate drum. Over time and with frequent use the belt ill deteriorate, become worn and potentially stretch. If the belt stretches it struggles to gain any traction on the smooth surface of the dryer’s drum, and the slipping belt will produce squeaking noise with every cycle.
2. Faulty Idler Pulley
The idler pulley is one of a number of component within the drive belt system. It acts as a tensioning device by keeping a small load on the belt improving the belt grip and traction. The pulley contains a small plastic wheel that will wear or can be damaged over time. A failing idler pulley will produce squeaking or clunking sounds as the belt tries to pass through the pulley.
3. Worn Roller Wheels or Glide Bearing
The roller wheels are a small set of wheels located behind the dryer drum, their function is to support the drum as it spins. Eventually, they become subject to wear and start to wobble after a while, which exhibits itself throughout the entire machine as it begins to emit squeaking noises. To test the roller wheels, you can try turning the drum with your hand. If you are not able to move the drum at all, the wheels have stopped working.
Another reason why you might hear squeaking noises coming from the dryer is worn glide bearings. These are thin plastic components that support the front of the drum when it’s rotating. Compared to most other components in a dryer, the glide bearings are flimsy and can easily get damaged. Nevertheless, they are simple to replace and inexpensive to buy.
4. Door Seal Rubbing
Is the squeaking noise coming from your dryer door, accompanied by a burning rubber smell? This happens when the drum starts rubbing against the door seal. You may also notice that the rubber door seal is visibly damaged, or even leaking. Any signs of damage and you will need to replace the door seal. However, you will also need to diagnose the root cause of the damage to prevent the same problem from occurring again.
5. Faulty Drum Bearing
The glide bearings support the front of the drum, while the rear is supported by a set of plastic drum bearings. This helps to ensure that your appliance operates quietly and efficiently. With time, these may become worn out or damaged, leading to squeaking noises while in use.
To confirm if this is indeed an issue with your dryer’s bearing system- simply turn the drum manually; any scraping noise you hear indicates damage which needs to be addressed quickly!
Is a Squeaking Dryer Safe to Use
A fully functional dryer shouldn’t be making any erratic noises at all, so it’s important to take remedial action to locate the problem and address it before it leads to irreparable damage or a high cost to repair. Having said that, in most cases the squeaking noise will be related to the drive belt system which in most cases will simply continue to squeak until the drive belt snaps. However, in extreme circumstances if a drive belt snaps at high speed or a pulley collapses, during a spin cycle, fragments can travel at high speed and collide with other part of the dryer causing extensive damage.
How To Find and Fix Squeaking on A Dryer
To find and fix the root cause of your squeaking dryer, we need to start by locating the source of the noise. Common causes include worn-out drum support rollers, a faulty belt, or a defective idler pulley, as well as a few other easy to fix issues. So let’s get started and work our way through the troubleshooting protocol to get your dryer fixed.
Squeak Near Dryer Door – Door Felt
If you start hearing squeaking noises coming from near the dryer door, it means that you should replace the door felt seal, given that its a low cost repair. Here’s how you can do it.
- The first step is to unplug the appliance to prevent any unexpected problem or electric shocks.
- Remove the screws that secure both the front and the top panels on the dryer and remove the front bulk head.
- Locate the felt seal around the edge of the bulk head.
- Hold one end of the felt seal on the inside of the front panel and gently pull it out.
- Install the new felt seal by inserting it into the bulk head channel and run it all around the full length of the channel.
- Reassemble the front panel, by lifting the drum and snapping the front panel into place. Then securely screw the unit together.
The video below does an excellent job of demonstrating how you can replace the door-felt seal in your dryer. Although a GE dryer is used in the video, the same fix applies to dryers made by any manufacturer.
Intermittent Screeching On Top – Dryer Drive Belt
You may notice an intermittent screeching noise when you dryer is in a spin cycle. This is a sign that the drive belt is worn, or stretched. In this situation it’s simply a case of replacing the drive belt, which is a relatively simple task that shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to complete.
How to Replace a Dryer Drive Belt
The process of replacing a dryer drive belt shouldn’t take you more than half an hour.
- First make sure the dryer is unplugged from the power to prevent electric shock
- Then start removing the screws on the top and front panels of the appliance with your screwdriver.
- Remove the panels and you will see the drive belt wrapped around the dryer’s drum.
- Pull the belt out with your hands and proceed to install the replacement, by running the new belt around the drum and aligning it through the pulley system.
- Reassemble the appliance and the screeching noise should be fixed. Run the dryer to test it.
Squeak From the Back Panel of Dryer – Drum Bearing
Listen carefully to the squeaking noise coming from the dryer. Is it coming from the back panel? If so, there is only one component that could be causing this problem – a drum bearing.
Replacing Drum Bearings
The process of replacing drum bearings shouldn’t take you more than half an hour even if you have no previous experience with appliance repair. Simply follow the short guide below to successfully replace this component.
- Start by disconnecting your dryer from the power source.
- Now take a screwdriver and remove the screws that hold the top and side panels with it.
- Remove the aforementioned panels and you will notice a plastic U-shaped component supporting the rear of the drum. This is a drum bearing.
- Detach the bearing with your hands and install the replacement.
- Reassemble your dryer.
Floor-Level Squeak – Idler Pulley or Motor
Both the drive motor and the idler pulley are located underneath the drum in your dryer. That’s why these two components are the obvious suspects if you hear squeaking noises coming from the bottom of the machine. To stop your appliance from making these loud noises, you will have to identify and replace the component that is defective. If the motor is faulty, it’s best to contact a repair technician since that’s quite a complicated part to fix or replace. This task should only be carried out by a skilled professional. However, you can go ahead and replace the idler pulley yourself.
Replacing a Worn Idler Pulley
All you will need to replace the idler pulley inside your dryer is a screwdriver and the replacement part. Here’s how you can do it.
- Your first step should be to unplug the appliance.
- Now start removing the screws on the machine that secure the front and the top panel.
- Remove these two panels and look for the idler pulley underneath the drum.
- Push the idler pulley to the right to release the tension on the belt. You will now be able to pull the component out of the dryer.
- Remove the component and install the replacement.
If you want to see a visual guide on replacing the idler pulley inside a dryer, make sure you watch the video below.
Is It Worth The Cost To Fix A Squeaking Dryer
Generally, the cost to repair a squeaking dryer is relatively low, even if you have to call a repair technician out. The only exception to this is in the case of a faulty drive motor, for which you can expect to pay between $250-450 depending on the make and model.
Other repairs are significantly cheaper, in particular, purchasing replacement door felt for example would only set you back around $10. Replacing the drum bearing will cost you around $100, while a new drive belt is approximately $25.
Verdict: Dryer Making Squeaking Noise
In the event of your dryer making a squeaking noise, you should check the condition of the drive belt, idler pulley, drum bearings, glides, and roller wheels inside the appliance. During this process, you’ll learn exactly what went wrong and what you need to do to fix the problem. If you feel like you don’t have the expertise to fix it yourself, be sure to call a repair technician as soon as possible.
Andy has over 8 years of experience working on residential household appliances, performing diagnostics, and repairs across most major brands. He graduated from the Denver Institute of Technology, is NASTeC certified, and has worked for Mr. Appliance. Andy has contributed to features on major publications including Better Home & Gardens, Family Handyman, and Yahoo.com.