Why Your Dryer Is Not Spinning | How To Fix It

Unfortunately, a dryer can suddenly stop spinning at any time, and often without an obvious reason. When this happens, most people either buy a new dryer or contact a professional repair technician to fix the problem. 

However, the reality is that you could most likely solve the problem yourself, and pretty quickly. All you need to do is have some basic knowledge and you can identify the root cause of the problem and possibly fix it. 

In this article, I’ll show you how to do just that when your dryer is not spinning.

Reasons Your Dryer Is Not Spinning

There is a good chance that your dryer fails to enter a spin due to a faulty component. That’s just part of owning any appliance driven by mechanical componentry, it’s bound to happen at some point, through general wear and aging of an appliance. 

On a more positive note, it doesn’t take a huge amount of time or effort to figure out exactly which component caused the issue, allowing you to take remedial actions and get the repair underway.

  1. Broken or Worn Drive Belt

If you turn on your dryer and start a cycle, do you hear a humming noise coming from the machine? If so, this typically means that the drive belt is either worn or broken. 

Sometimes, you may not hear any noise even though the drive belt is defective. There is another simple test to check whether the belt is in good working condition. Open the dryer door and try to turn the drum with your hand. A broken belt won’t give you any resistance, meaning that you’ll be easily able to turn the drum. If you do feel resistance when turning this indicates, the belt is in good condition.

How to Replace a Broken or Worn Drive Belt

If the drive belt in your dryer is broken, you will need to buy and install a replacement. Make sure that it’s the right belt for your dryer, by looking up the model number and identifying the correct replacement belt. In most cases, the model number is located somewhere around the inside of the door. 

Once you have your new belt, you can usually replace it in under an hour even if you don’t have experience with repairing appliances. 

Before you do anything, make sure that your dryer is not plugged into a power source. After that’s done, here’s what you should do next.

  1. Grab a screwdriver and use it to remove the screws that secure the top and front panels.
  2. Remove both of these panels and you’ll immediately notice the rubber drive belt, as it’s wrapped around the dryer drum.
  3. You can easily remove the belt with your hands and slip it over the drum rollers to remove it.not spi
  4. Now take the replacement belt and attach it in the same way that the original was positioned.
  5. After you’re finished installing the replacement drive belt, reassemble the dryer and make sure that it’s working properly now.

You can also watch the video below to find out how to replace a broken drive belt.

Dryer Belt Replacement

Cost to Replace a Dryer Belt

Replacing a dryer belt is a low-cost repair, you can usually get the belt you need for around $25. However, if your dryer is an expensive make or model then it may cost up to $50 for the part. 

Doing the job yourself will help save money on call-out charges and labor. Repair technicians could charge more than double what you would pay for just the belt! It’s an easy do-it-yourself task and all that’s required are some basic tools.

2. Worn Drum Rollers

Rollers support the dryer drum and like any other component in your dryer, they wear over time. Generally, it’s the bearing that fails, it’s not that hard to replace them.

How to Replace Dryer Drum Rollers

  1. To access the drum of your dryer, you must first remove both the front and top panels. 
  2. Once done, simply lift out the drum and locate its rollers behind it on the back panel; they resemble small spinning casters or wheels that are bolted to the back of the dryer housing.
  3. Replace the rollers with new ones then reassemble all pieces of your appliance to conclude this task.

3. Worn Roller Axles

Determining whether your dryer’s roller axles have been worn down is a simple job. Give the drum rollers a spin and watch to see if they wobble – if they do, this means the roller axles need replacement.

Replacing Worn Roller Axles

  1. You will need to remove both the top and front panels on your dryer.
  2. After you’re done with that, you’ll have to also lift out the dryer drum and belt. 
  3. You will find the roller axles inside the drum rollers located behind the drum. They look like small plastic casters that are bolted to the rear housing of the dryer. 
  4. Unscrew the retaining bolts and you will then be able to remove the plastic and rubber drum rollers. This will leave the roller axle remaining attached to the dryer
  5. The axel will be attached to a metal bracket screwed to the dryer housing. Unscrew it and replace it.

You can watch a step-by-step guide here in this short video.

Maytag Dryer Drum Roller Axle Replacement #WP40113601

4. Worn Drum Glides

Drum glides serve a very important purpose in your dryer. Without them, the machine would make an insane amount of noise whenever it spins. When glides become worn, they can prevent your dryer from spinning. In this scenario, you’ll need to replace them.

How to Replace Worn Drum Glides

  1. Remove the top and front dryer panels, and remove the dryer bulkhead, which holds the drum in place. 
  2. The glides will either be located on the outside edge of the dryer drum or the outside edge of the bulkhead. 
  3. Pull out the old glides by hand, and, simply install the new ones.

Here is a helpful guide from Flamingo Appliance covering this specific topic in more detail.

5. Worn Drum Bearings

To check if it’s the drum bearings that are preventing your dryer from spinning, try manually rotating the drum. If you hear squeaking or scrapping noise while doing so, then chances are it is an indication of worn-out drum bearings. This component supports and stabilizes the rear of your dryer’s drum; a faulty bearing can be problematic for its smooth operation!

How to Replace Drum Bearings

  1. Begin by taking off the top and side panels on your dryer. 
  2. The drum bearing will be visible, it’s the plastic U-shaped components that run around the outside of the drum. It can easily detach with just your hands. 
  3. Once this is done, insert the replacement part into its place and reassemble the dryer back together again! 

If you need more visual help, there’s also a helpful video showing how to replace any drum bearings right here.

Dryer Repair - Replacing the Drum Bearing (GE Part # WE3M26)

5 More Reasons A Dryer Won’t Spin When Belt Not Broken

There may be a different reason why your appliance is not working properly, sometimes it can be so obvious that you may have overlooked it.

1. Is Your Dryer Plugged In?

Is your dryer receiving power? If not, it could be that you have forgotten to plug it in. Believe me when I tell you this – It happens more often than you’d expect! Before assuming the worst and thinking the appliance is broken, double-check if it’s plugged into a socket. You may just find out that everything is good after all!

2. Is Your Circuit Breaking Off?

Have you checked if your circuit breaker is operational? When you overload the electrical system in your home, it’s normal for a circuit breaker to trip. Thankfully, this is a simple problem to fix

  1. Your first step should be to shut the power off to every appliance on the circuit. 
  2. After you’re done with that, reset the circuit breaker that tripped. You’ll find it on the circuit breaker board in your home. 
  3. The switch will either be ON or in the middle position, which is the tripped position.
  4. Reset the switch and turn it ON
  5. Now switch on each appliance on the circuit, one at a time checking to see if any of them trip the circuit again.
  6. If not, check whether the dryer works.

3. Has Your Thermal Fuse Tripped?

The thermal fuse is a small but vital part of your dryer that serves as an integral safety feature. It’s designed to detect extreme temperatures and shut off the appliance before any fire can ignite. If it has tripped, you must replace it for the machine to work again – fortunately, this process can be done with the help of a multimeter! Check out our video below on how to test electrical continuity using such an instrument; don’t risk damaging your property or worse due to faulty equipment, make sure you know how to check if everything is working perfectly first.

How To Test A Dryer Thermal Fuse For Continuity

4. Broken Dryer Door Switch

Before your dryer can begin spinning, it must be able to detect that the door is securely shut. This was purposely designed to prevent any injuries from occurring while clothes are being dried. But if there is something wrong with the door switch then it might not have this capability anymore, and you’ll need to test for electrical continuity to know for sure. That way, you won’t ever have to worry about getting your fingers caught in a rapidly rotating drum!

Testing a Broken Dryer Door Switch

You will need a screwdriver and a multimeter handy to test a dryer door switch. Here’s how you can do it.

  1. Your first step should be to unplug the appliance.
  2. Now take the screwdriver and remove the screws that secure the top panel.
  3. Remove the top panel and you’ll notice a small plastic box in the corner. It’s connected to a wiring harness and represents the door switch.
  4. Remove the door switch from the dryer and grab your multimeter.
  5. Set the device to the lowest resistance setting and connect its leads to the component’s terminals.
  6. You will get a reading of infinity or a very high number if the switch is faulty. In this case, simply replace it with a new one.

Check out the video below for a visual guide on how to test a dryer door switch with a multimeter.

How to test a dryer door switch (model 3406107)

5. Drive Motor Failure

You’ve so far learned that you can easily fix a dryer that’s not spinning by replacing a certain component. You don’t need any prior experience with fixing appliances to do it. But there is one component that you should not attempt to replace yourself, and that’s the drive motor. 

This is a complex issue to fix. There’s a good chance that this component is causing the issue if you hear loud grinding noises coming from the dryer when you start a cycle. When this happens, it’s best to hire a professional to fix the problem for you.

Why Your Dryer Won’t Spin But Heats Up

There are instances in which you might notice your dryer heating up even though it won’t spin. What exactly causes this peculiar situation? It can be one of two things. Either the drive motor is burnt or the drive belt is broken.

Verdict: Dryer Stops Spinning

If your dryer isn’t spinning, the first step is to examine the drive belt for any wear or damage. If it looks fine, you’ll want to inspect its drum bearing, rollers, and glides next. Additionally, make sure that you investigate its door switch as well as verify that there’s no issue with its thermal fuse or drive motor. All these aspects should be looked at before concluding why your dryer is not functioning properly!

FAQs Drum in Dryer Not Turning

What does it mean when your dryer heats up but doesn’t spin?

If your dryer is heating up but not turning, it’s likely due to a broken drive belt or motor. Replacing this component will help restore the appliance back to normal operations.

Appliance Service Technician | Website | + posts

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.