Dryer Not Tumbling? Check These Three Elements To Learn Why

Posted on: 29 May 2015

If your dryer isn't tumbling, there are three things that could be causing the issue. You could have a bad or off-track drum belt, a bad idler pulley or the motor could have gone bad. Here, you will learn how to test these elements, and hopefully, get your dryer tumbling again.

Check the Drum Belt

Remove the lower front panel if your dryer. This may require the removal of a few screws, but it should lift off easily. Look inside the dryer, do you see the belt connected to two round pulleys and around the drum? If not, you likely need to remove the back of the dryer to access the belt.

Unplug the dryer and run your hand around the belt. Is the belt on the pulleys the way it should be? If not, try to reposition it onto the pulleys and test the dryer.

Is the belt intact, or do you feel any rough edges on it? If the belt has broken completely or has rough spots on it, replace it.

Check the Idler Pulley

The idler pulley is located directly between the motor and the drum. Remove the belt from the idler pulley by lifting the pulley towards the drum to release the belt tension. Once the tension has been released, you should be able to easily lift the belt off of the pulley. Turn the pulley with your hands. Does it move freely and smoothly? Does it have any cracks, wear or damage that would prevent it from working properly?

If the pulley is not in good working condition, replace it. If everything looks to be fine, reposition the belt and test the dryer.

Check the Motor

With the dryer unplugged, use a multimeter to test the motor. Disconnect the two wires that lead into the motor. Touch each of the meter probes to each of the connections on the motor. The meter should display a reading of zero or close to it.

Check the ground. Put a probe on the metal housing on the motor. Place the other probe on one of the terminals. Your meter should not provide any readings. Repeat for the other terminal.

If your motor does not pass either of these tests, it likely needs to be replaced.

If you still cannot determine what is causing your dryer not to tumble, talk with your local appliance repair technician. With his or her help, your dryer will get tumbling.

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