Why Is My Dryer Squeaking? (10 Reasons Why)

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Flamingo
June 3, 2024
Dryer Repair

A squeaking dryer can not only be annoying, but it can also be a sign that your appliance is in need of repair. There are various potential causes, from worn-out drum bearings to a broken idler pulley, and more. We run through the ten most common causes so you can get the issue resolved as quickly as possible. 

Here are ten reasons why your dryer is squeaking:

1. Worn-out drum bearings 

The rear drum bearings support the drum and ensure it rotates smoothly. However, they can wear out over time, resulting in a squeaking noise when the drum spins. The drum bearings are usually located on the back panel inside the dryer, so if you hear the squeaking sound coming from the back of the appliance, the bearings may be the cause.

2. Worn or loose drive belt

The drive belt is the strap that wraps around the drum and turns it. A worn, frayed, or loose drive belt can cause a squeaking noise when the dryer is running. If the drive belt breaks completely, the drum will not rotate at all. Buying a replacement is relatively inexpensive, and you may be able to fit it yourself with some basic DIY skills.  

3. Broken idler pulley

The idler pulley is a small wheel that puts tension on the drive belt, ensuring it does not slip off while the drying is running. If the idler pulley is loose, broken, or dirty, it can cause a squeaking noise from the front of your dryer. If a damaged idler pulley is the cause, you will either need to replace the entire idler pulley or just the pulley wheel.

4. Worn drums rollers

The drum rollers are small wheels that stabilize the drum and help it rotate smoothly. There are usually at least two drum rollers near the back of the dryer. They can wear out over time or get damaged, causing a squeaking sound when the dryer is in use. They will need to be replaced if this is the case. However, sometimes, they may just need a small amount of lubrication to stop the squeaking if they appear fine on inspection. 

5. Damaged roller shafts

The roller shafts are rods found on the back panel inside the dryer that hold the drum rollers in place, providing a smooth surface for them to spin on. They can emit a squeaking sound if they get worn down or become dirty. They may become worn as a result of the drum rollers also being worn, causing uneven pressure. If damaged, they will need replacing.

6. Worn drum glides

Drum glides support the front of the dryer drum, providing a smooth surface for it to spin on. Once worn out, a grinding, scraping, or squeaking noise can occur as the drum spins. Typically, dryers have two to four drum glides, and if one wears out, it’s best to replace them all to avoid any unevenness in the machine, as some of the glides may be partially worn. Drum glides are small pieces of plastic that are inexpensive to replace.

7. Dryer is unlevel

Dryers are supposed to be installed level to avoid the drum spinning unevenly and unnecessary wear and stress on certain components. An unlevel dryer can cause a squeaking sound, whether that’s because of rubbing, increased vibrations, or worn components. Leveling a dryer is simple: place a spirit level on top of the appliance, checking from front to back and side to side, and then adjust the dryer’s leveling legs until it is level.

8. Failing dryer motor

If you can hear a squeaking from the bottom of the appliance, and you’ve ruled out the other potential causes, the dryer motor may be the problem. The motor is a major component, and replacing it can be complex and expensive. If you suspect the motor is the cause, you should consult with a professional and carefully consider whether replacing the motor or the appliance entirely is the best option. 

9. Trapped foreign object

Sometimes, foreign objects such as a metal zipper, coin, or hair clip can get caught inside the dryer, trapped between the drum and the drum glides, or elsewhere, causing a squeaking when the appliance runs. You can use a flashlight to look for foreign objects by shining it through gaps and removing the front, back, or top panels, if necessary.

10. Parts need lubrication

Certain components can squeak if they are not properly lubricated, such as the drum bearings, drum rollers, and idler pulley. Lubricating these parts requires disassembling the machine and using the appropriate lubricant, typically a high-temperature, non-drying type. Keep in mind that certain parts of the dryer are not designed to be lubricated, and doing so could cause them damage. So, seek the help of a professional if you don’t feel confident doing it yourself.

Summary

Above, we’ve listed ten reasons your dryer might be making a squeaking sound. These are the most likely causes, but there can also be other sources. If you have still not gotten to the bottom of why your dryer is squeaking after going through and checking all of the above, then we highly recommend consulting a professional who can service your appliance and help you identify and fix the cause of the problem.

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