Why Your Dryer Is Making Strange Noises

Introduction

Dryers don’t have a reputation for noise. After all, how loud can a few clothes tumbling inside a hollow drum be? It’s the dishwasher and clothes washer that annoy you during operation. So, a noisy dryer is quite alarming. You can search for “dryer repair near me” and hire professionals to fix your noisy dryer. For now, let’s figure out why your dryer is making so much noise. 

The Details

  1. Axles and Rollers – There’s one component in your dryer that is used consistently and prone to the most wear and tear, drum rollers. Usually, when your dryer starts making annoying squeaky or thumping noises, it’s probably due to worn-out rollers. The rollers spin on axles and these components may be damaged as well. As the drum turns, the rollers are responsible for supporting it and keeping it stable. When those spinning components are worn out, they make that familiar squeaky noise of metal rolling against metal. 

They can also create a loud thumping noise as the drum destabilizes and hits against the rollers. Inexpensive dryers have two rollers at the back and others have a pair of rollers at the back and at the front. Like all spinning mechanical components, the rollers have bearings that wear out axles over time. When you check the rollers for damage, make sure to check the axles as well. If they aren’t spinning freely with the drum, both those components may be damaged. 

To inspect the rollers, disassemble the dryer and remove the dryer belt. Use your hands to turn the drum manually and listen for noise caused by axles or rollers. You can also lightly touch the drum while spinning it and feel quite a bit of resistance if the rollers are damaged. Once you assess the damage, you can get the rollers and axles replaced if necessary. 

  1. Idler Pulley – The idler pulley has a simple task. It is responsible for maintaining smooth movement of the dryer belt and should prevent the belt from slipping out when the dryer has an excess load. As mentioned above, spinning components undergo a lot of wear and tear, and the same holds for the idler pulley. High rotation speeds and friction can make the pulley wear out quicker than other components. When that happens, the faulty pulley makes a squeaky noise that can progress into a scratching or thumping noise.

Remove the dryer cabinet to inspect the idler pulley. The pulley is usually located next to the motor pulley with the drive belt running around it as well as the motor pulley. Remove the belt and inspect the idler pulley by spinning it manually. Replace the pulley if you hear any squeaky or scratchy noise. 

  1. Drive Belt – As you may have noticed, the drive belt comes up quite often since it’s a core component of the dryer. It indirectly connects the drum to the motor and spins at high speeds. That’s why it’s prone to damage and wearing out. When the drive belt gets damaged and can’t spin properly or destabilizes the drum while doing so, you’ll hear loud thumping noises from the dryer.   

Most of the inspections so far require you to remove the drive belt and this one’s no different. When you open up the dryer and remove the drive belt, take some time to examine it. It is wrapped around the dryer drum and the idler and motor pulley. Touch the surface of the belt to feel the worn-out rubber. If you find belt fragments and bits sprinkled inside the dryer, it’s in dire condition and needs to be replaced as soon as possible. 

  1. Drum Glidesand Bearings – The front of the dryer drum is supported by drum glides. They are small pieces of plastic that secure the drum as it rotates. As the dryer drum is rotating, it rubs against those plastic pieces and generates a lot of heat, and chips them away very slowly. When the drum glides worn out, the drum slides on the glides and creates a grinding noise. 

When you inspect the drum glides, check them for wear. Even if the glides aren’t too worn out, you should replace them if they haven’t been replaced in a couple of years. They cost just over $10 and do a crucial job of securing the dryer.  

The rear of the drum is supported by bearings, and they may be damaged as well. When that happens, the bearings rub against the back of the dryer casing and create an annoying grinding or squealing noise. However, diagnosing those bearings isn’t easy since you may need to disassemble the entire drum and manually check the bearings. It’s best to leave such tasks to professionals and let them replace the bearings if necessary.  

  1. Blower Wheel – As the name suggests, the blower wheel circulates air inside the dryer and pushes out hot air through the exhaust vent. Anything that deals with air is bound to get clogged by lint and other tiny particles in the air. Moreover, the blower wheel can also get damaged or loose. If anything goes wrong with the blower wheel, it would be very apparent since you would hear a very loud thumping or rumbling noise. 

Almost all dryers are designed to have the blower wheel spin around for a few more minutes after the dryer is turned off. That presents you with a great opportunity to diagnose the wheel. The blower wheel sits in a separate housing threaded or clamped to a motor shaft. Turn it manually and listen to the noise. Replace if it’s loud or clean out lint and other objects that may be impeding airflow. 

Conclusion

You need to listen to the dryer noise and locate the components making those sounds. If you’re able to locate the faulty component, you can get it replaced and make your dryer run smoothly. If that’s not possible, it’s best to get help from professionals. To do that, you can search for “dryer repair near me”.

 

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