Electric Dryer Repair: Troubleshooting a Noisy Dryer

clothes in a clothes dryer
  • 3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50
What You'll Need
Putty knife
Lubricating oil
New drum belt
New dryer support rollers

Electric dryer repair is never any fun, but it can be necessary from time to time. A noisy dryer is not only a nuisance, but can signal a larger problem. There are several reasons a dryer can be noisy. Here's how you can diagnose the problem.

Step 1 - Check Drum Belt

A stretched belt will cause a loud banging noise while the dryer is running. If this is allowed to go unfixed, the belt can eventually snap and cause the drum to stop turning all together. To check the belt you simply need to disconnect the power from the dryer. Remove the lint screen. Find the screws that are attached under the cover to the lint trap. Use a putty knife to pry the locking clip open, and remove the top of the dryer. The lower panel of the dryer will also need to be removed. Use the putty knife against the door panel and twist it to release that clip. The panel will come off the hinge springs at this point. From here you can find the belt. Note that different dryers may require different steps to disassemble in order to access the belt. You will be able to tell by sight if the belt is loose or stretched. If it is, go ahead and replace the belt. Refer to your dryer’s operator’s manual for complete instructions on how to do this.

Step 2 - Check Drum Supports

The drum support is what keeps the drum spinning smoothly. If the support becomes worn, it will cause the drum to spin unevenly. This can lead to a very loud dry cycle as the drum spins. If the dryer is both loud and wobbly, the rollers on the support will likely need to be replaced. With the dryers cabinet opened (as in Step 1), you can remove the drum from the dryer. Under the drum you will see the rollers that support the drum and allow it to move smoothly. If one roller looks more worn than the other, they both will need to be replaced. In most cases the support rollers are attached with a simple nut. Remove the nut with a wrench and pull the support roller off. Place the new rollers on and use a single drop of oil to the hub. The oil will help the rollers guide the drum.

Step 3 - Drive Motor

The drive motor is extremely important for functioning clothes dryers. The motor keeps tension on the drive belt as the drum turns. It also prevents overheating and won't allow the heat to turn on if the motor isn't running. Bearings in the motor that are worn can cause noise while the dryer is running. With the dryer still apart, you can remove the drum and find the drive motor. Look for excessive wear. If it looks worn down, it's best to replace this. Unless you have worked on dryers before, this is not a simple job and is better left to a professional.

Step 4 - Put Dryer Back Together

Once you have found and corrected the problem, simply follow the steps in reverse put the drum, panels, and the lint trap back in place. Test the dryer to ensure the problem has been corrected.