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6 Reasons Your Dryer Drum Isn’t Spinning

woman sitting in dirty laundry in front of a washer and dryer
Is your dryer drum not spinning? Here are 6 reasons you're not getting the dry clothes you expect.

Is your dryer drum not spinning? As your trusty clothes dryer gets older, it may experience an aging slowdown – meaning the drum won’t spin as reliably as before. Don’t worry though; this is expected, as a stuck drum is one of the most common reasons for a dryer to not dry properly.

Note: Our Champion Appliance Care technicians have repaired this problem several times. If your dryer drum isn’t spinning, you can call or request dryer repair service online, and we’ll respond quickly

Please read the information below before attempting to fix the problem yourself.

  • Caution: Before attempting a dryer repair, always disconnect the cord and wear safety gloves. You’ll need to remove the front of the dryer, the front panel, and the dryer bulkhead. This process will vary in time depending on your dryer brand.
  • Time Required: Most dryer repairs can be done within 45 minutes to 2.5 hours. The factors that determine this time include your experience level, the items that need to be replaced, and the brand of the dryer.
  • Requirements: You will need various tools, as repairing this requires unscrewing 6 to 20 screws, and potentially disconnecting electrical components. Please note that the front panel and bulkhead can have sharp edges. We strongly recommend wearing a pair of gloves when disassembling a dryer.

Begin With the Obvious:

  1. Is your dryer plugged in?
  2. Did a breaker trip?
  3. Is the door closing tightly?

If these areas are correct, it’s time to troubleshoot.

Why Isn’t My Dryer Drum Turning?

If your dryer drum isn’t turning, it may mean a part has failed. You’ll need to be able to see under the drum to troubleshoot and determine which parts have failed. Here are 6 reasons your drum isn’t turning:

1. Your dryer’s drive belt is broken.

A slender, elongated belt called the drive belt wraps around the dryer drum, a tension pulley, and the drive motor pulley. Over time the belt can break, resulting in the drum no longer turning.

To check if the belt is broken, simply reach into the dryer and turn the drum manually. If it rotates effortlessly, the belt is likely broken. Confirm the belt is truly broken by looking underneath the drum. This will require disassembly to enable a visual inspection. Once you’ve confirmed the drive belt is broken, order a replacement.

2. The drum roller is worn or broken.

Typically, dryers have two drum rollers located at the rear, although some models also have front rollers. It is crucial for these rollers to spin smoothly to ensure proper functionality. If the rollers fail, the dryer may experience difficulty turning.

To investigate, remove the belt and try to rotate the drum manually. If the drum feels stiff, check the support rollers for signs of wear. This requires removing the drum. If one or more rollers need replacement, it is best to clean the shaft thoroughly before installing the new rollers.

3. The roller axle has failed.

The roller axle is a metal shaft or spindle that runs through the center of a dryer support roller, allowing the roller to rotate freely. To check for wear on the support rollers, remove the dryer belt and attempt to turn the drum manually. If the support rollers are worn, you may hear unusual noises during rotation. If the drum fails to turn easily, remove it and visually inspect the support rollers for signs of wear.

If the rollers spin freely without any wobbling, replacement is not necessary. However, if a roller wobbles and does not spin freely, we strongly recommend replacing it. As a preventative action, it’s a good idea to clean all axles thoroughly before installing new rollers.

4. The drum pads have failed.

Some dryer brands utilize drum glides (also called pads or slides) to support the front of the drum. If these glides are worn, the drum may catch or bind, leading to inconsistent rotation. The drum glides are small plastic pieces that support the front of the dryer drum, allowing it to slide as it rotates. Over time, the glides wear down, causing the drum to bind and strain the motor. This may lead to the motor shutting down, preventing the dryer from functioning properly.

To determine if the drum glides need replacing, carefully inspect each one for signs of wear. If one or more of the glides are compromised, it is recommended to replace the entire set of glides together to ensure proper functioning.

5. The drum bearing has failed.

The dryer drum bearing is situated at the back of the drum. When the bearing wears down, the drum may not turn freely, causing undue strain on the motor and leading to an abrupt halt mid-cycle.

To check if the drum bearing is responsible for the drum not spinning, remove the dryer belt and rotate the drum by hand. If it turns without resistance, it’s unlikely that the bearing has failed. However, if it does not turn freely or produces noise while turning, it’s time to replace the bearing.

6. The motor has failed.

The drive motor powers both the drum and blower wheel, which exhausts the air out of the dryer. If the motor fails, both the drum and wheel will not rotate,

To diagnose issues with your dryer’s drive motor, start by listening for a humming sound. If you hear it, remove the belt and check if the blower wheel is obstructed. Next, try rotating the drum manually without the belt. If it doesn’t rotate easily, identify what’s causing it to bind.

In the case of a freely turning drum and an unobstructed blower wheel, suspect a faulty drive motor. It’s best to replace it if that’s the case.

Need Help? We’re Your Champion Appliance Care!

We service Madison, Monona, Fitchburg, and other Dane County communities and have the service experience you need to repair your dryer. Our online scheduling is simple and efficient, and will quickly walk you through the process. You can also speak to one of our friendly office staff by phone.

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