Dryer not Spinning? 5 Fixes

It's always irritating when an appliance stops operating properly. Like a dryer that turns on but won’t spin. There are several reasons why a dryer won’t tumble:

It might be as simple as an improper cycle setting, or it could be a more significant problem like a broken drive belt, drum roller, or drum roller axe. These latter problems require a professional to treat them.

So, if you've opened the dryer door to retrieve your clothes and find them still soaking wet, or if your dryer refuses to spin when you turn it on, it may require some repair. Continue reading to find out what causes a dryer to stop spinning and what you can do to fix the problem.

Front Load Dryer Not Spinning: Common Causes

Many pieces interact within the dryer to spin the clothes, heat them up, and remove moisture. As such, there are several parts you can malfunction and cause your dryer not to tumble:

Broken Drive Belt

This thin rubber belt helps the dryer drum turn by winding around the breadth of the drum and suspending it between two pulleys. A dryer belt might fray, rip, or break altogether over time due to wear and tear. The drum will be unable to turn if your dryer belt is broken.

Broken Drum Rollers

The rollers in the dryer drum assist the dryer in spinning as smoothly as possible, reducing the pressure on the drive motor. The majority of drum rollers can be found near the back of the dryer drum. Your dryer won't spin smoothly if the rollers are worn down, and may make a pounding noise while it spins. The dryer drum will be difficult to spin freely by hand as well.

Worn Out or Bonded Drum Roller Axle

There are usually at least two drum support rollers on most dryer units. Some may even have two additional roller axles supporting the front of the drum. To function properly, the support rollers must be able to spin freely.

Drum roller axles can wear out over time, causing the drum rollers to bind. Likewise, the dryer will not turn correctly if the drum roller supports the rear incorrectly or is worn out. The motor will get overworked, and the dryer will stop turning.

Broken Idler Pulley

The idler pulley assembly gives tension to the drum belt. Over time, the idler pulley may also get worn and eventually fail. If your dryer is squealing, squeaking, scraping, or pounding, it might be an issue with the idler pulley assembly.

Defective Door Switch

Another reason your dryer won't spin is a broken door switch. When the door closes, this electrical switch transmits a signal to the dryer's control panel, instructing it to start the drying cycle. Unfortunately, the switch may wear out and break over time due to repetitive opening and closing of the door. When this happens, the door switch will not deliver the appropriate electronic signal, and as a safety measure the dryer will not start freely.

Drum Bearing Has Been Damaged

The drum bearing, like drum rollers, supports the back of the dryer drum as it rotates to keep the motor from overheating. This bearing is lubricated and sealed. However, the lubricant can dry out over time. The resulting friction may cause the bearing to loosen and become damaged.

Failure of the Drive Motor

If the troubleshooting steps above don't work, it's possible that your dryer won't spin due to a drive motor failure. This is because the drive motor in the dryer is in charge of powering the dryer drum and the blower wheel, which expels the hot air from the dryer.

5 Fixes If Your Dryer Won't Spin

1. Inspect the Belt

Inspecting the drive belt is an easy check. To inspect the dryer's drive belt, you need to turn off the dryer from the circuit breaker. Then, remove the front panel of your dryer by hand if the drum is easily detachable. The drum and pulley will be looped with the driving belt. 

Next, take a look at the drive belt. Look for evidence of wear, such as fractures, fraying, or other flaws. Attempt to revolve the drum manually. If you can easily spin it by hand, the drive belt is most likely broken. Then, examine the drive belt after attempting to spin the drum.

We recommend replacing the belt if the drive belt on your dryer is worn, torn, or broken. You can remove the belt that needs to be replaced and call for the service of a professional to replace the belt, repair the glides and the motor, and freely check the overall condition of the dryer.  

Here's a video for more guidance on how to troubleshoot your dryer belt.

2. Inspect the Drum Roller and Axle

Remove the belt to examine the support rollers and axles of your dryer. Turn the drum by hand to see if the drum is easily movable. It should be able to spin freely. 

Replace the support rollers if it is difficult to spin by hand. The axles should be changed if the roller wobbles. It's preferable if the rollers and axles are replaced at the same time.

3. Examine the Drum Bearing

With the dryer belt removed, you may also check the bearing and how the drum spins by manually rotating the glides. If spinning the drum is difficult or you hear squealing or grinding noises while doing so, you should replace the drum bearing.

4. Examine the Idler Pulley

You must first disconnect and unload your dryer. Remove either the rear access panel or the front access panel, depending on your model, to access the idler pulley. Remove the dryer belt by pushing the pulley toward the dryer's motor pulley. 

Hand-turn the idler pulley. When everything is operating properly, there should be little to no resistance if the dryer belt is removed.

Inspect the idler pulley for signs of wear or damage. If the pulley is broken or worn or if you can't turn it manually, we recommend that you replace it.

5. Examine the Drive Motor

If you hear a buzzing sound coming from your dryer, it might be a faulty motor. Testing the drive motor will require the use of a multimeter.

To begin, unplug your dryer and take off the front and rear panels. You may also need to remove the blower wheel and the drum by hand, depending on your model.

Remove the dryer's motor and set your multimeter to Rx1. With the probes, make contact with the motor's terminals. You should get a reading of zero or close to zero. 

With the multimeter, check the ground connection. Touch the metal casing of the motor with one of the probes. Place the other on a terminal last. This test should not provide you with a numeric result.

If either of this troubleshooting is ineffective for your appliance, the drive motors need to be replaced. A repair technician may be necessary for this fix.

Conclusion

A dryer that won’t spin can be frustrating, but luckily there are many simple checks you can do to get back on track. Once you know what’s wrong, you can either fix the dryer yourself or contact an appliance repair service to do it for you.

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