7 things to do if your dryer won’t spin
The washing machine and dryer are some of the most important appliances in a person’s home and, as such, they get a lot of use. This means more wear and tear on the machines — leaving you without one or the other when something goes wrong.
If your dryer will not spin, read this article before requesting repair service. We’ll explore some common reasons your dryer may not be spinning properly and what you can do about it.
Identifying why your dryer won’t spin
Maybe your dryer stopped spinning in the middle of a cycle or never started spinning to begin with. There are several common issues with dryers that may help you identify the problem with yours. To help identify what’s wrong with your dryer, consider doing the following:
- Check the power. It may sound simple, but you would be surprised how many times it solves the issue. Make sure the power cord is plugged in and hasn’t been knocked loose by a pet or child. You’ll also want to check for cord damage, which could cause your dryer to stop working. Extension cords can also cause issues by requiring too large a power draw. Before moving on, check your circuit breaker to make sure you haven’t tripped a fuse.
- Listen for noises. If your dryer won’t start but you hear a humming sound, it could be a bad drive motor. If there is no sound at all, you might need a new start switch (the button on the front panel that you push to turn the dryer on). Both of these may require appliance repair.
- Push the drum by hand. Check to see how the drum turns. Is it stuck? Is it making grinding or squeaking noises when you push it around yourself? If so, something may be stuck inside the dryer. You may or may not be able to remove it yourself.
- Check the door. Your dryer was designed so that it won’t start if the door isn’t closed. If the dryer door won’t shut all the way, look for a blockage you can remove. If you don’t see any visible blockage, you may need a new door switch.
- Check the thermal fuse. If you’re asking what the thermal fuse is, you aren’t alone. They’re built into dryers to keep them from overheating and causing a fire. When your thermal fuse stops working, so does your dryer. Check to see if you have clogged dryer vents. If so, you may have blown your thermal fuse. It’s a common reason for dryer issues and one you’ll need a technician to repair.
7 things to do if your dryer won’t spin
If you were troubleshooting the issues in the section above with no success, we’ll talk about some more specific issues your dryer might be experiencing. In this section, we will highlight all the key components that you can check yourself and identify what needs to be replaced.
All of the things we discuss below require taking your dryer apart. As such, you may or may not be able to do it yourself. Having a home warranty in place when a major appliance — like your dryer — breaks down can help you get it back up and running more quickly and with fewer headaches. Cinch Home Services offers an Appliances Plan that can help cover the cost of repairing or replacing covered appliances, like your clothes dryer, making it much more cost-effective than attempting to DIY the repair yourself.
1. Check the drive belt
If you turn on your dryer and push start but the drum will not turn, it’s possible the drive belt has broken. The drive belt, or drum belt, makes the drum spin by wrapping around the drum, the drive motor pulley and the motor itself. Reach into the dryer and turn the drum yourself. If it spins without any tension, your belt is probably broken. You can visually check for a broken drive belt for a tear or break and then replace it if needed.
2. Check the idler pulley
While you are checking the drive belt, take a moment to look at the idler pulley. You should be able to make it spin on its shaft. If it won’t spin or if you see damage, go ahead and replace it along with the belt.
3. Check the drive motor
If you hear a humming noise when your dryer isn’t running, it might be the drive motor, also called the dryer motor. The drive motor is not only a component of making your drum turn but it also controls the blower wheel that is moving air into the dryer. If your motor is bad, you may need to call a technician to replace it. Before that, though, you can take the drive belt off to check that the blower isn’t blocked with something. This is also a good time to try rotating the drum yourself to check for a blockage. If you don’t discover one, it might be time to replace the motor.
4. Check the drum rollers
Drum rollers support the drum. Your dryer will either have two drum support rollers on the back of the drum or four — two on the rear of the drum and two on the front. If you have removed the drive belt and tried moving the drum by hand only to find it won’t move the way it should, your drum rollers might be to blame. Wear and tear on the rollers can stop the drum from rotating. If you need to replace one, consider replacing them all at the same time so that you don’t have to do it again later.
5. Check the drum roller axles
When you check your drum rollers, make sure to check the axles, too. If the roller won’t spin correctly or if it shimmies when you turn it, replace the axles along with the rollers. Here again, consider replacing them altogether to avoid having to repeat the repair soon after.
6. Check the drum bearing
The drum bearing is located at the back of the dryer drum. It’s not uncommon for it to fail from normal wear and tear. If you hear the dryer drum making a squealing or grinding noise while turning it with the dryer belt off, your drum bearing might be wearing out and will need to be replaced.
7. Check the drum glides
The drum glides, also sometimes called drum slides, are plastic and located at the front of your drum. It’s common for the glides to wear out over time, which can add extra stress on the motor. Make sure to check them for normal wear and tear and, if you find evidence, consider replacing all the glides at the same time (even if some look fine).
Protect your dryer from unexpected repairs with Cinch
The last thing you want is to put a load of wet clothes into your dryer only to find that it won’t work. Unfortunately, though, it happens. The good news is that Cinch offers several home warranty plans that can help cover you in situations like this. Both our Appliances Plan and our Complete Home Plan cover the repair or replacement of clothes dryers, meaning you get the coverage you need when you need it most. Cinch’s home warranty plans also come with a 180-day workmanship guarantee on covered repairs and can easily be customized with additional coverage options depending on your needs.