If you have a squeaky dryer, you might be concerned that your machine is damaged and needs repair. You may also be annoyed by the constant squeaking noises your machine is making, leading you to search for a way to fix the problem.
When the electric or gas dryer is making a squeaking noise, the most common problems happens due to: broken idler pulley, worn drum rollers or worn rear drum bearing.
The first step toward fixing a squeaky dryer is determining the cause of the squeaking noise. It’s important to first diagnose the problem before jumping into a solution.
This article will help you determine the root of your squeaky dryer problem and will offer solutions to help you fix it without having to pay for an expensive technician.
Possible Causes of a Squeaking Dryer
If you have a squeaking dryer, it’s important to check your internal components to understand what exactly needs to be repaired. This list will help you identify which component of your machine might be the cause of a squeaking noise.
Most Common Causes:
Both gas and electric dryers contain idler pulleys meant to reduce the wear and tear on your drive belt and other internal components.
The high rotation speeds of your pulley combined with the energy transfer from other components might cause your pulley to wear out over time.
To determine whether or not your idler pulley is the cause of your dryer’s squeaking problem, you can inspect the pulley itself.
The pulley is located at the bottom (or back) of the machine. Remove the access panel and inspect the pulley next to the drive motor.
If your pulley looks worn out or damaged, it’s time to replace it. You can order a new pulley online and replace it yourself with minimal effort.
Drum Support Rollers
If you’ve already checked the drum slides and you’ve determined that they are not loose, worn out, or otherwise defective, it may be time to inspect your support rollers for the dryer drum.
Both gas and electric dryers have drum support rollers meant to function as supporting shafts for the internal components.
These rollers can wear out over time or might be loose from constant use. If you have a new machine, they might be squeaking because they might be over tightened.
To determine whether or not your drum support rollers are the root cause of your squeaky dryer, be sure to inspect your rollers for wear and tear.
Then, be sure they are not too loose or overtightened.
Finally, be sure your machine does not have fault drum rollers, as that might similarly cause a squeaking noise in your dryer.
If you find any issue with the drum rollers, you can order new parts online and replace them easily.
Rear Drum Bearing
If your dryer is producing a squeaking noise when it is operating, it might be a result of a problem with your drum bearing.
Both gas and electric dryers use rum bearing to support the drum in several locations.
In some models, two drum bearing supports the drum in the front and back of the component.
Other models have multiple (four or more) drum bearings that support the drum around its circumference.
To determine whether or not drum bearing are the root of your squeaky dryer problem, be sure to inspect your drum bearing.
Your machine might have a ball and socket style bearing, or it might have a shaft and sleeve style bearing. Either style of bearing can create a squeaking noise.
If you determine that the squeaking noise is coming from your drum bearings, it’s easy to order a new set online and replace them yourself.
Less Common Causes:
If you have a squeaking dryer, and especially if it has a burning smell, it might be the case that your motor is the root of the problem.
Both gas and electric dryers have motors that rotate the internal dryer components, which allows the machine to function.
A defective motor can cause squeaking sounds from a variety of sources including:
- a loose pulley
- a faulty motor switch
- a faulty bearing
- a faulty bushing
To determine whether or not a motor-related issue is the root cause of your squeaking dryer, you should inspect the internal components. To do so, you will need to access the motor by removing the drum belt and blower wheel.
One common cause of a squawking dryer is related to worn out or defective drum slides, also known as drum glides.
In both gas and electric dryers, drum slides made of Teflon, plastic, or nylon provide a non-abrasive surface on which the dryer drum rotates.
These slides provide support on the siding of the dryer’s drum component.
To determine whether or not drum slides are the root of your squeaking problem, you will need to remove the dryer’s cabinet and inspect the glides.
If you notice that the slides appear to be worn out, you should replace the slides. If you notice that the slides are loose, try readjusting the slides so that they are firmly in place.
If you have a persistently squeaky dryer until your machine warms up, your drive belt may be to blame.
Listen to your dryer carefully — if you hear a squeaking noise in addition to a stretching or thumping noise, you should take a look at your machine’s drive belt.
Both gas and electric dryers use a drive belt to rotate the machine’s drum.
If you have an older machine, it might be the case that your drive belt has worn out or dried out over time.
A worn drive belt might stretch and crack, leading to squeaking noise.
To check your dryer’s drive belt, remove the front panel (or lift the top panel, depending on your model), and look for signs of wear.
You might notice cracks or fray along the edges. If so, it’s easy to order a new drive belt online and replace it yourself.
If you don’t see any signs of wear, your dryer may be squeaking for another reason.
If you have a newer machine, it might be the case that your drive belt just needs to be used a few times before it stretches enough to stop the squeaking.
In that case, try using your dryer for a few weeks and then re-check this list for other causes if the squeaking continues.
Felt Drum Seal
If your machine’s felt drum seal is defective, worn, or missing, it might be the cause of your dryer’s squeaking sound.
Both gas and electric dryers use felt drum seals prevent hot air from escaping into the room in which the dryer is located.
This felt seal is located beneath (or behind) the dryer drum. You can perform a quick inspection by removing the drum, or opening the back panel of your machine.
Felt drum seals take on a lot of wear and tear over time. As the drum rotates, friction can damage the felt piece.
If you notice that the felt drum seal is frayed excessively, is torn, or is missing altogether, it is probably time to replace the seal.
You can easily order a new felt drum seal online and replace it yourself without the need to call a technician.
Both gas and electric dryers use blower wheels to move air throughout the machine to perform the task of drying a load of laundry.
The plastic components of the dryer wheel can face wear and tear over time and might be the cause of squeaking in your machine.
To determine whether or not your machine’s blower wheel is the cause of your squeaking problem, be sure to inspect the dryer’s housing area.
If you notice that other components are hitting the wheel, or if you notice that the blower wheel is damaged or loose, you can easily fix the problem by tightening or replacing the blower wheel.
Baffle or Lifter
If your machine is producing a constant squeaking noise, you might need to inspect your baffle or lifter to determine if that is the root of the problem.
To inspect this component, you should inspect the inner surface of the drum.
These components are attached to the sides of the drum to help your laundry rotate while the machine is functioning.
These plastic pieces can become loose over time and lead to squeaking.
If you have loose baffles or lifters, the problem might even go beyond a squeaking sound. If they detach completely, they might lead to a banging or clanking sound while the machine is on.
Further, these components can damage laundry if left in a damaged condition, so it’s important to make sure they’re in good shape.
If you find that the baffles or lifters of your machine are the roots of your squeaking problem, you can easily order new components online and easily replace them yourself.
Is a squeaking dryer dangerous?
Although a squeaking dryer might not pose an immediate risk to your safety, it’s possible that damaged components could be dangerous if a machine is left unfixed. It’s advisable to inspect your machine and repair all components to ensure the safety of yourself and your machine.
Is it safe to use a squeaking dryer?
Although a squeaking dryer might be able to be used with little to no risk, it’s advisable to inspect your dryer components to ensure your machine is safe to use.
In some cases, the squeaking may be coming from components that are simply too tight, too loose, or worn out. But in other cases, the squeaking may be a sign that your machine is operating in a condition that might become dangerous if left unfixed.
How much does it cost to fix a squeaking dryer?
A squeaking dryer might be the result of several component failures or defects. If your machine is under warranty, you might be entitled to a free rebate, replacement, or repair.
If your machine is not under warranty, replacement parts can range from $20 to 150$ plus around 160$ for labor and visit.
You’ll want to consult the list included in this article to find which component is to blame. Then, you’ll have a better idea as to how much a repair might cost.