It’s normal for a GE dryer to make a bit of noise while being used. Still, loud squeaking noises signify that the appliance is facing a problem.
The most likely reasons your GE dryer is squeaking are that its drive belt is worn out, its idler pulley is dislodged or damaged, and the dryer motor bearings are worn out. Brand new dryers should not squeak at all unless there’s a foreign object stuck inside.
As concerning as squeaking might be, don’t worry. This noise does not pose a dryer safety hazard. So, keep reading to understand why this happens and how to fix it.
Why Is My Dryer Making A High Pitched Squeaking Sound?
There are three likely reasons your GE dryer is squeaking: a worn-out drive belt, a damaged or dislodged idler pulley, or worn-out motor bearings. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at each component to understand how they work, how they fail, and what you can do to fix them.
Worn-Out Drive Belt
What it is: Have you ever wondered how the drum inside your dryer turns? It does that thanks to a drive belt that connects it to the dryer motor. The belt is typically made of rubber, and it wraps around the motor and the drum while also passing through one or more pulleys.
The power generated by the motor will turn the belt, which then turns the drum. Effectively, the belt transfers power from the motor to the drum.
The drive belt in your GE dryer must be kept under tension at all times. That’s important for the belt to maintain its grip when turning the drum. However, as you’ll see below, that tension can also be a part of the squeaking problem.
How it fails: As you might imagine, the drive belt that constantly turns the drum will experience a lot of friction. That friction will eventually lead to excess wear which causes the belt to wear out, stretch, or even crack.
When that happens, the belt will lose its ability to grip the dryer drum as it should. As a result, the belt may slip as it turns, which causes the squeaking noise that you hear.
How to fix it: Dryer belts cannot be repaired in any way. So, you must replace it as soon as the belt starts to wear out.
The process for replacing the belt is pretty straightforward. First, lift or remove the dryer’s top panel. Then, remove the dryer’s front panel to expose the drum and the belt that wraps around it.
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Next, you must release the belt that’s wrapped around the drum. Remember: the belt is kept under tension by an idler pulley. So, you must press the pulley down to free the belt from around the drum and the motor.
Once the old belt has been removed, you can install the new one. The groove side of the belt must be facing down, and it must be looped around the motor, the drum, and the idler pulley that you pressed earlier.
With the belt in place, you can work backward by replacing the dryer’s front and top panels.
Damaged or Dislodged Idler Pulley
What it is: The idler pulley is one of the parts that the drive belt passes through. It’s a spring-loaded wheel that keeps the drive belt under enough tension to turn the drum effectively. Identifying and locating the idler pulley is very straightforward. You’ll find it inside the dryer where the belt goes, and it looks like a wheel attached to a fixed arm.
How it fails: Unfortunately, the idler pulley can also suffer from wear and damage. For example, if a part of the idler pulley breaks or somehow becomes dislodged from its place, that can cause problems for the belt and the drum.
Assuming the drum can still turn, the belt will likely make an intense squeaking noise. That happens because the idler pulley is not working well and fails to keep the belt aligned under the correct amount of tension.
How to fix it: To fix this issue, you must first access the idler pulley following the same steps as above (when replacing the drive belt). You could spray the idler pulley with grease to reduce the squeaking noise as a short-term solution.
However, you must understand that this is only a short-term solution. Besides that, this solution will not work if the idler pulley is broken.
If the idler pulley has experienced damage, you must replace it entirely. But, first, release the drive belt. That will make it possible to remove the idler pulley from the dryer.
Then, take the new idler pulley and put it in the same position as the old one. Lastly, wrap the drive belt around the idler pulley.
Before you replace the dryer’s panels, be sure to check that the drive belt is correctly aligned with all of the dryer’s parts inside.
Dryer Motor Bearings Worn Out
What it is: Your dryer is powered by a motor with a turning shaft. That motor relies on bearings that allow that shaft to turn smoothly even at high speeds without any friction and without making much noise.
How it fails: Motor bearings can also become worn out and damaged. When that happens, the shaft will experience a lot more friction than usual when turning. That’s what produces the squeaking noise that you hear.
How to fix it: When you hear a squeaking noise coming from your GE dryer, you must troubleshoot the problem immediately. If the noise comes from the motor and isn’t repaired immediately, that squeaking could turn into a grinding noise. By that time, your motor is already damaging itself from inside, and you’ll likely have to pay for more expensive repairs.
However, if you catch the problem early before any significant damage is done, all that needs to be replaced is the motor’s bearings.
Unfortunately, the drive shaft is encased, so it’s not meant to be repaired as a DIY task. Instead, you’ll need to contact a qualified technician to do this repair for you.
Why GE Dryer Squeaks Only When Loaded?
Diagnosing the squeaking noise coming from your GE dryer can be pretty challenging. For example, the problem would be much more straightforward to deal with if the squeaking was continuous and happened anytime the drum was turning.
We’ve covered the possible reasons for this in the previous section above.
But what could cause a squeaking noise to happen in your dryer only when the drum is loaded with laundry and not when it’s running empty?
There are two possible reasons for squeaking to happen only in these situations:
Damaged or Dislodged Idler Pulley
We’ve already explored the first possibility above: the idler pulley might be damaged or dislodged. The reason you don’t hear the squeaking while the dryer is empty is that the drum is empty. So, the idler pulley doesn’t have to work hard to keep the drive belt tense enough to turn the drum.
However, a heavy drum loaded with wet laundry items is much harder to turn. So, that might place enough of a burden on the idler pulley that it starts squeaking.
In some ways, this is good news. But, on the other hand, it’s a sign that you need to get that idler pulley replaced before it gets worse and squeaks even when the dryer is empty.
Dislodged Duct Felt Seal
Besides that, a felt seal is located in the dryer’s front towards the bottom. This seal prevents the metal drum from rubbing against the dryer’s front panel as it turns.
When that felt seal comes off, or if a foreign object is stuck inside it, that could cause the turning drum to rub against another surface and generate the squeaking noise.
Why Is My New GE Dryer Squeaking?
When your GE dryer is brand new, there should be no squeaking at all. That’s because all of the parts are brand new, well-lubricated, and were likely tested only recently. So, the most likely source of any squeaking noise is the presence of a foreign object in the machine.
The foreign object is likely caught in the felt seal (described above) or in the lint filter. You can resolve this problem by locating and removing it before using your dryer again.
GE Dryer Repair Cost
On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $200 to have your dryer repaired. Of course, this price will go higher depending on the parts that need to be replaced and the amount of labor required to get the job done.
For example, belt or bearing-related replacements can cost an average of between $100 and $250 each, including parts and labor.