How to Diagnose And Fix A Noisy Dryer | Think Tank Home

Noisy Clothes Dryer: What are the Causes? (with videos)

noisy clothes dryer

A noisy clothes dryer is not only annoying, it is also an indication that something is wrong and needs repair. Some noises are relatively simple to fix, others can be a bit more difficult and you may want to consider hiring a professional if you feel it is beyond your skill set.

If your dryer is noisy it's a good idea to start troubleshooting the problem as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse. Below you will find the 9 most common reasons for a noisy dryer.

Causes of a Noisy Clothes Dryer

  • Always disconnect the power to the dryer before making any repairs.

Cause #1: Drum Support Roller

Squealing or Thumping

Many dryers use drum support rollers. These rollers are generally installed in the same location on all models. There purpose is to hold the drum in place while the drum is rotating. Over time, these rollers can wear out and hinder the drum as it rotates causing a squealing or thumping noise.

The Fix

  • Remove the front panel to your dryer.
  • Remove the drum.
  • The Drum support rollers are located below the drum.
  • Inspect the drum rollers for wear. It is common to have the roller located on the left side to show more wear than the one on the right. Regardless, both drum rollers need to be replaced at the same time.
  • Remove the drum roller by removing the nut or spring clip.
  • Inspect the shaft that holds the rollers for signs of wear. If necessary replace the shaft. 
  • Install the new drum roller and add one drop of oil on the hub. Do NOT over oil. Oil will attract lint and dust which will shorten the service life of the rollers.
  • Reassemble the dryer.

Cause #2: Motor

Humming, Rattling, or a High-Pitched noise

The dryer's motor is responsible for turning the drum and the blower. The different noises a defective motor makes can be your first clue when troubleshooting the problem. For instance:  

  • Humming - could be a defective switch or bad winding.
  • Rattling - could be a loose pulley. 
  • High-pitched squeal - could be a bushing or bearing that needs to be replaced.

If you need to replace your motor or change the bearings in the dryer motor, it's a good idea to replace the drum bearing since the dryer will already be disassembled.

The Fix

How to Replace your Dryer's Motor Pulley

This video will show you how to replace the dryer motor pulley.


How to Replace your Dryer's Motor Bearings

The dryer's motor has a small pulley which has one or more bearings inside. A bearing is a small lubricated bead that is sealed within a metal circular sheath. The bearings allow the dryer motor to turn.

There is also a bearing on the dryer drum that functions in the same manner. Over time a bearing will no longer be lubricated and eventually wear out. When a bearing wears out it will by noisy, create unnecessary friction and cause damage to your motor.

This video will show you how to replace the bearings on a motor.


How to Replace the Motor

If the motor needs to be replaced or removed, these directions and video will show you how:

  • Disconnect the wiring to the motor.
  • It may be necessary to remove the blower assembly depending on the model.
  • Remove the spring clamps that secure the motor to the motor bracket.
  • With some models it will be necessary to remove the pulley from the motor.
  • Install the new motor.

Cause #3: Drum Bearing

Scraping, Squealing or Thumping

The drum bearing is attached to the center of the drum. It's usually held within a mounting plate which is screwed to the back of the drum.

The Fix

Check your dryer's manual for exact details as the location and type vary between models and manufacturers. In some units the drum is at the rear and supported by a bearing. The bearing itself is generally a shaft attached to a sleeve bushing or a ball and socket. 


Cause #4: Blower Wheel

Loud Thumping or Roaring 

The role of the blower wheel is to draw the air from the heating chamber into the drum and then send it out the exhaust vent. The blower wheel is made of plastic and either threaded or clamped onto the motor shaft.

The Fix

  • Access the blower wheel by opening the dryer's cabinet. It will be located near the motor.
  • Check the blower wheel housing for foreign objects.
  • Check where the blower wheel attaches to the shaft of the motor. Frequently it will wear and become loose and need to be replaced.
  • Remove the old blower wheel and install the new one. 

Cause #5: Drum Glides

Scraping 

The drum glides provide support to the front of the dryer's drum. Since they are made from plastic, teflon or nylon they provide a smooth surface for the drum to rotate. However, over time, they can wear out and cause a scraping sound.

The Fix

  • The drum glides are generally located in the same place on each dryer. They are on installed either on the top or bottom of the front bulkhead.
  • You will need to open the dryer's cabinet in order to access the drum glides. Some models may require further disassembly, check your owner's manual if necessary. 
  • Inspect the drum glides. Even if they are only showing minimal signs of wear you may want to consider changing them.
  • Drum glides vary on how they are secured. Some dryers use screws to hold the drum glide in place and others slide in under slits. In some cases, rivets are used, which will need to be drilled out.
  • Once the drum glides are removed you can replace them with new ones and reassemble your dryer.

Cause #6: Drive Belt

Thumping 

If the drive belt breaks or shows signs of wear it will no longer be able to rotate the drum. With age, the belt can become hard and brittle. It may even begin to separate and cause a thumping noise.

Visually inspect the belt and look for signs of fraying or cracking, if found, the belt should be replaced. ​

The Fix

  • Remove the front panel or on some models, raise the top cover.
  • If the belt has not broken, it should loop over the dryer's drum and underneath an idler pulley wheel and then around the drive pulley of the motor.
  • Remove the belt: The idler pulley wheel sits on a moveable arm and applies tension to the belt. Adjust the moveable arm so that the idler pulley is no longer applying pressure to the belt. Then slip the belt off. 
  • Install a new belt following the same path as the old.
  • Ensure that the new belt is laying flat and in the proper location on the exterior of the drum. 

Cause #7: Idler Pulley

Squeaking, Squealing  or Thumping

When an idler pulley begins to fail it will create a squeaking or squealing noise, which over time can progress to a scraping or thumping noise. 

The idler pulley places tension on the drum belt to keep the belt from slipping on either the drive motor pulley or the drum itself. It is generally located next to the drive motor.

The Fix

  • Open the dryer by removing the lower access panel (or front panel) to gain access to the idler pulley. 
  • The belt should loop over the drum and under the idler pulley wheel and then around the motor's drive pulley. The pulley wheel  sits on a moveable arm so that it is able to apply pressure to the belt.
  • Gently tug on the belt. It should be tight and only have a slight amount of "give".
  • Release the tension on the belt by moving the idler pulley towards the motor and remove the belt.
  • With the belt removed, inspect the idler pulley wheel. It should turn freely on the shaft without any "play" or noise. Look for signs of wear, such as cracks.
  • Inspect the shaft and idler pulley arm to ensure that it's able to maintain the necessary tension and it's in good repair.
  • Some models will allow you to replace the wheel itself, others require the entire idler pulley arm assembly to be replaced.

Cause #8: Drum Seals

Scraping or Thumping

The drum seals are made of a felt type material and are designed to keep excessive air from going into the dryer drum. They also act as a cushion between the front and rear bulkheads of the drum. If the drum seal becomes worn or develops a tear, the clothes can get stuck within the gap, resulting in torn and/or black marks on your clothes. 

The Fix

  • Open the dryer's cabinet and release the belt tension. 
  • Turn the drum by hand a full rotation to inspect the entire seal. Look for signs of damage or wear.
  • In order to thoroughly check and replace the drum seals the drum must be removed.
  • Once the drum is removed, inspect the seals. Some models have a rear and front seal while others only have a single seal. 
  • If the seal needs to be replaced, pull it off and remove as much of the adhesive as possible.
  • Follow your manufacturers instructions for installing the new seal as the procedures vary. 
  • Some seals come with adhesive. If yours does not Amazon carries a High Temp Adhesive. 
  • Apply the sealant in an even and light manner under the edge of the seal.
  • Allow the adhesive several hours before reassembling the drum. This will allow it to completely dry.
  • You may want to consider replacing the drum support rollers, belt and idler pulley while you have the dryer open. 

Cause #9: Baffle

Banging or Thumping 

A banging or thumping noise can be  heard when a baffle becomes loose. If not repaired they will eventually break entirely off the drum. 

The baffle may also be called a lifter. It is located inside the drum and it's designed to "tumble" the clothes within your dryer. Frequently metal objects such as coins become wedged under a baffle. When this happens a rattling noise is often heard. 

The Fix

  • Remove the top of the clothes dryer.
  • Rotate the damaged baffle so that it's on top.
  • Remove the baffle with a screw driver and inspect for damage.
  • Replace with a new baffle or reuse the current one if it is in good repair.