How To Fix A Dryer That Won't Tumble

How To Fix A Dryer That Won't Tumble

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Belt Idler Pulley Assembly Maintenance Kit Drive Motor Door Switch
About this repair:
  • Rated as EASY
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  • 14 step by step videos

Dryers use a belt connected to a motor to turn the drum. Over time the belt can wear out or become brittle. If the dryer isn’t tumbling, inspect the belt to see if it is worn or broken. The belt should be flexible and have lots of grip on both sides.

How to inspect your dryer’s drive belt:

  1. Unplug your dryer and make sure that the drum is empty.
  2. In order to locate the drive belt, you will need to remove the front panel of your dryer. It will be looped around the drum, under the idler pulley wheel, and around the drive pulley.
  3. Inspect the belt for any signs of burning, fraying, cracking, wear, or other damage.
  4. If you find any of the above, you need a replacement belt.
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Idler Pulley Assembly

The idler pulley assembly on a dryer is used to provide tension on the drum belt so that the belt will not slip on the drive motor pulley or drum when the dryer has a load in it. The idler pulley rotates at high speed and over time may fail due to increased friction. One of the symptoms created is a squeaking or squealing noise that can progress to a loud scraping or thumping noise in time.

How to check your dryer’s idler pulley:

  1. Empty the drum of your dryer and disconnect the dryer from the power source.
  2. Depending on your model, remove the front panel or lower access panel in order to locate the idler pulley. To remove the idler pulley, push the pulley towards the motor to release enough tension on the belt to slide it off.
  3. Manually turn the idler pulley, a properly functioning idler pulley should have little to no resistance once the belt is removed.
  4. Visually inspect the idler pulley for any signs of damage or wear.
  5. If you cannot turn the idler pulley easily or see any signs of damage, you will need replacement idler pulley.
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Maintenance Kit

Some dryer manufacturers produce a dryer maintenance kit that consists of the typical parts that might fail with normal use. The kits will typically include parts that may cause the drum to not tumble such as belts, idler pulley, drum rollers or bearings. Once you determine which part or parts that have failed, you may find it more economical to purchase a maintenance kit.

How to check your dryer’s drum support rollers:

  1. Unplug your dryer and open your dryer’s cabinet.
  2. Remove the drum and locate the drum support rollers in order to inspect them for signs of damage or wear.
  3. If one or both rollers are worn or damaged, you will need replacement drum support rollers.
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Drive Motor

Gas and electric dryers have a motor that turns the blower and the dryer drum. A defective motor can cause your dryer to not start or tumble and may even produce a humming noise from a bad winding or switch on the motor.

How to test a dryer motor with a multi-meter:

  1. After unplugging your dryer, remove the front panel of your dryer to locate the motor. In some models, you will also need to remove the drum belt and/or blower wheel to access the motor.
  2. Carefully remove the motor from the dryer in order to test it.
  3. Set your multi-meter to the Rx1 setting and touch the terminals of the motor with the probes to test for continuity. You should see a reading of zero or nearly zero.
  4. Place one of the probes on the bare metal housing of the motor and the other on a terminal. You are testing the ground connection and should not receive any reading from this test.
  5. If your motor fails either of the tests above, you need a replacement motor.
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Door Switch

On all dryers, the door switch allows the dryer to start tumbling only when the door is closed. If the dryer does not tumble when the door is closed, then the door switch may be defective.

How to test your dryer’s door switch with a multi-meter:

  1. Ensure that the dryer is unplugged before starting.
  2. Locate and remove your dryer’s door switch, it will be near the door opening. Depending on your model you may need to remove the front panel in order to access the door switch.
  3. Using a multi-meter set to Rx1, touch each of the terminals with the probes. You should receive a reading of infinity.
  4. With the probes still touching the terminals, press in on and hold the switch. The reading should now be zero.
  5. If your switch fails either of these tests, you need a replacement door switch.
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