Dryer Stopped Spinning: Why and how do I fix it?
The clothes dryer is an essential appliance that you likely don’t think twice about — until it stops spinning and you have no way to properly dry your clothes. In this post, we will go over the top reasons why dryers stop spinning and what you can do about it.
How Dryers Spin
In order to understand why your dryer isn’t spinning, it’s helpful to know how a dryer works, spins, and tables. When clothes are placed in a dryer, it blows hot air that vaporizes excess water.
To get the clothing fully dry, vapor is moved away from the clothes to keep it from turning back into water and getting the clothes soaked again. This happens when air that blows through the dryer is instead blown out of the dryer’s exhaust vent.
Tumbling, or spinning also plays an important role in moving vapor away from the clothes in the dryer. As the drum spins, it moves the clothing around so that they open and the vapor can be released. If the clothes stood still while being heated, the vapor would likely stay trapped within the clothing. If the dryer spins, but doesn’t get hot enough, clothes will stay damp.
Now let’s go over the top five reasons dryers stop spinning.
The Dryer isn’t Connected to the Power Source
It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many times the reason is as simple as the dryer came unplugged. If you check and find out that your dryer is indeed plugged in, check the circuit breaker to make sure the breakers for the machine have not been tripped. If this is the case, reset the dryer’s breaker by turning it off and then back on.
The Door isn’t Closed
Dryers come with a safety feature that ensures the dryer won’t run if the door is open. If your dryer won’t tumble, but the power is on, check the door switch. Make sure the door closes all the way, if not, make a quick adjustment. Once you check that, it’s time to check the actual switch. Before you attempt to remove the switch, unplug the dryer. The switch is a small, white cylindrical peg located near the door closure. To access the switch fully, pop the top of the dryer off with a small putty knife. Then, disconnect the wires to the door switch and test it with a digital multimeter. If the switch is the problem, you can buy a replacement online or at your local hardware store.
The Drive Belt is Damaged
Damaged drive belts are another very common reason why dryers stop spinning. Before you fully open up the dryer to check the belt, try to spin the drum yourself. If you can spin the drum easily with barely any resistance, there’s likely an issue with the belt. To access the drive belt, follow these steps:
- Unplug the appliance or turn off power to the dryer
- Release any clips holding the top to the bottom of the dryer using a putty knife
- Open the dryer and locate the dryer belt — a thin, black piece of rubber. If you don’t see the belt, it likely slipped off. If the belt appears cracked or damaged, it may need to be replaced.
To replace the drive belt, follow these steps:
- Take a putty knife to loosen the clips and carefully pull the front away from the dryer’s cabinet
- Remove the front panel and find the motor and idler pulley near the back of the drum. Disengage the belt from both.
- Cautiously lift and slide the drum away from its bearing — towards the front of the dryer
- Slide the belt off the drum
- Wrap the new dryer belt around the drum, connect it to the back of the drum bearing, and engage the belt back into the idea pulley and motor pulley
The Pulley Assembly is Loose or Damaged
The dryer’s pulley assembly keeps tension on the drive belt to allow it to grab the drum without slipping off. If the pulley assembly is loose or damaged, the belt won’t be able to stay on the drum. Typically, the pulley in a dryer is comprised of small rubber or plastic wheels on a metal arm. Any cracks in the pulley’s wheel or arm may lead to a malfunction. A wheel that is jammed or hard to move may keep the belt from spinning the drum freely.
There’s a Problem with the Thermal Fuse
The thermal fuse is an essential safety feature that shuts the dryer off if it starts to run too hot. It’s meant to turn the entire dryer off, but a faulty thermal fuse may cut power to the motor and leave the heating element on, which can lead to a dryer not spinning. To reach the fuse:
- Pull the dryer away from the wall
- Unplug it
- Remove the dryer’s rear panel using a screwdriver or socket wrench
- Unhook the wires that are plugged into the fuse and take off the screw holding the fuse in place
- Replace the thermal fuse
Keep Your Dryer Running Efficiently With A Home Warranty
For help when you need it for a dryer that won’t spin and many other appliances, count on Home Warranty One.