Clothes Dryer Repair for Loud Noises, Overheating, and Not Spinning
Clothes Dryer Problems
I decided to write this article due to the amount of problems I have been having with my current clothes dryer. Learn about what I went through to fix a few problems I had with my dryer — including a broken tumbler belt and loose tumbler drum.
The basic design of a dryer hasn't really changed much, and most people will find that their dryer will last a long time and it generally won't need a complete upgrade. A few fixes every now and then will keep it running for a very long time.
Depending on the design of your dryer, it will look pretty much similar to the picture on the left and contain all the main components. The main parts that usually require fixes or maintenance include the:
- Drum belt and rollers
- Motor and motor bearings
- Blower, heater, and heat sensors
Safety and Cleaning
First, make sure everything is unplugged before you start to tinker inside your dryer. Also, depending on the style of your dryer, pull the back door or hatch off slowly so that you don't accidentally rip off the wires.
Note that some old dryers also have very loose tumbler drums. So, when opening the back door hold the drum in place to stop it from banging around inside the dryer compartment.
Cleaning is very important for your dryer — after opening up my clothes dryer after about 10 years of use, I could tell it really needed some regular maintenance and cleaning.
There was an amazing layer of dust covering everything, while the actual box compartment was full of dust and little bits of sand. For newer dryers, this may be less of a problem. However, sometimes, if you hear your drum spinning a bit loudly it may just be a large layer of dust and dirt.
Common Dryer Problems
Not Spinning or Not Spinning Correctly
One of the most common problems for a dryer is that the drum is either not spinning at all, or not spinning correctly (there are loud noises or screeching sounds, for example).
- Drum belt issues. The most common reason for the dryer drum to stop spinning is if your drum belt has snapped or has been worn down completely. This is an easy fix, and simply involves buying a replacement belt and feeding it through the pulleys and on the roller and then back around the middle of the drum.
- Roller issues. The rollers could have worn out, causing the drum to spin in a bumpy and noisy manner, and they can usually be replaced depending on how old your dryer is. The pulleys could also be broken, causing problems.
- Motor issues. The motor could have died after many years of use if the drum is not moving at all. If it is moving, the motor bearing could be off, causing it to spin around very roughly and sometimes scratch against the sides of the dryer compartment.
- Dust build-up. Noises when it's plugged in and spinning could also be due to a huge amount of dust build-up around the drum. Sometimes, cleaning out the inside and returning the drum to the correct position can fix this problem.
- Screeching. Screeching noises are not a good sign. Sometimes it could mean that your drum is slowly cutting into the sides, which could permanently put your dryer out of use if this continues.
Another common problem is that your dryer will either run too hot or too cold. Or, sometimes it takes many cycles to dry a few simple items.
A simple multimeter or voltmeter you can buy from an electronics store. is a useful device that could in handy for testing that each component is working.
- To test the functionality of each component, get your multimeter or voltmeter and put on the lowest resistance setting,
- Temperature switch: leads on switch terminal should read zero or infinity. The same applies for the thermostat, heating coils, and timer testing.
Most Common Causes for Heat Problems:
- Temperature sensors. The temperature sensors could be dead or fried and need replacing. They look like little silver dollars and are usually located under the drum.
- Clogged exhaust outlet. The exhaust outlet could be clogged with dust and dirt, causing your dryer to run hotter than the temperature you set it at.
- Defective parts. The thermostat or heating coils could be defective and need replacement
- Timer issues. There could also be problems with the timer. If the timer is not working correctly this may cause the heater and blower to remain inactive.
- Dead fuse. The fuse is dead and needs to be replaced.
Totally Dead or Won't Start
So your dryer won't start at all, or it's totally dead. This can be caused by the failure of one or more components and is sometimes hard to pinpoint. The most common reasons are below, apart from problems relating to your power mains, it could be the:
- Timer or thermostat
- Terminal block
- Start switch
If anyone has any problems with their old Simpson brand dryer, I may be able to help you out as I spent a lot of time tinkering with my old one.