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Dryer Not Spinning: 6 Causes and Fixes to Try

Dryer Not Spinning: 6 Causes and Fixes to Try

Is your dryer not spinning? Before you panic, there are some things to try.

However, it’s almost always a good idea to leave it to the professionals. We’ll cover why in this complete guide.

Dryer Not Spinning? Try This

If you noticed your dryer not spinning when you turn it on, you might worry it’ll be an expensive problem.

But there are several reasons a dryer won’t spin, and some are very simple or cheap to fix.

Dryer not spinning graphic explaining what the reader will find in this article

It’s easier to figure out why your dryer isn’t spinning if you understand some of a dryer’s inner workings. Your dryer spins to tumble and move the clothes inside as they’re heated.

If you’ve ever left a wet swimsuit on the floor, you know that clothing won’t dry if it’s left in a wet heap. The dryer drum spins thanks to a simple pulley system driven by an electric motor.

How a Dryer Works

A belt wraps around both the drum and the motor pulley. When the motor runs, the belt rotates and the drum spins. The drum sits on rollers and axles that help it turn smoothly. 

Any of these parts can wear out or break, resulting in the dryer not spinning. You just have to figure out which problem is affecting your dryer.

Read our troubleshooting guide to determine why your dryer is not spinning and how to get it working again.

A Quick Word of Caution

The drive belt, drum rollers, roller axles, drum glides, drum bearings, or drive motor could be the culprit behind a dryer not spinning. Read on to see which problem is the cause and how to fix it. 

  IMPORTANT: Unplug your dryer before inspecting or touching any of the internal parts. If you have a gas dryer, turn off the gas supply to it as well.  

1. Worn or Broken Drive Belt

man repairing a dryer not spinning

Alexander Penyushkin/Shutterstock

A worn, slipped, or broken drive belt is the number one reason for a dryer not spinning. The drive belt connects the drum to the electric motor, allowing the motor’s energy to turn the drum.

When it’s not gripping the dryer drum and motor pulley like it should, the drum won’t turn. Drive belts are made of rubber, so they don’t last forever.

They can stretch and slip off the drum or motor pulley. They can also become brittle over time and break. Find out if the drive belt is the problem by trying to turn the dryer drum manually.

You should feel some resistance as you slowly turn the drum. If the drum spins easily or loosely, it’s likely that the drive belt is the problem. 

How to Replace a Drive Belt

Drive belts are inexpensive to replace ($10-$20), but getting to them is a bit of a challenge if you’re not familiar with dryer parts.

It involves lifting the top of the dryer, opening the front panel, removing the drum, and stretching the new belt around the drum and motor pulley. You should call an appliance repair company to replace the belt.

They’ll be very familiar with this repair and will make sure to get the proper replacement belt. They will also be able to complete the job in just a few minutes. 

2. Worn Drum Rollers

Dryer wont spin because of bad drum rollers which are pictured in this photo

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Your dryer drum is supported by small rollers that look like wheels. Most dryers have two drum rollers on the back of the drum. These should be checked on a dryer not spinning.

Some will also have two rollers at the front. These rollers are on axles, and they spin to support and aid the drum as it spins. 

If the drum rollers are worn and can’t spin freely, the dryer motor will have to work too hard to spin the drum. The overloaded motor will shut off and stop spinning the drum. 

How to Replace Drum Rollers

Replacing worn drum rollers is more difficult than replacing a drive belt. The first steps are the same: Lifting the dryer top, opening the front panel, and removing the drum.

Then, the drum rollers will need to be removed by prying off triangular washers that hold them in place on their axles. New drum rollers can then be installed, washers put back on, and everything else put back in place. 

This job is best left to a professional. They will be able to get the correct drum roller replacements for your dryer and replace any worn washers they see in the process.

3. Worn Drum Roller Axles

Whirlpool dryer roller axle

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The drum rollers are secured in place with two triangular washers on the roller axles inside your dryer. As the drum spins it puts slight pressure on the drum rollers and their axles, the roller axles (roller shafts) can wear out over time.

If the drum supports aren’t holding the drum up properly, it can put too much strain on the rollers and axles, causing both to wear down quickly. This results in a dryer not spinning.

How to Replace Drum Roller Axles

To replace drum roller axles, you’ll have to access the inside of your dryer. Opening the top, then the front panel, and removing the drum will make the drum rollers and their axles visible.

The roller axles must be unscrewed from their position, then replaced with the correct axles. If the axles need to be replaced, there’s a good chance the drum rollers will need to be replaced, too. 

This sounds easier than it is. Just opening the top of the dryer requires using a putty knife to release metal clips that hold it in place.

Lifting the top once it’s unlatched can pull wires and connections out of place if you’re not careful. Opening the front panel involves disconnecting wires that power the door switch and removing screws.

Removing the drum has to be done in a way that supports the drum as it’s pulled out. And once the job is complete, everything must be reinstalled exactly the way it was. 

This is why we recommend calling a professional for any repair or replacement that requires access to the inside of your dryer.

4. Worn Drum Bearing Slides

Dryer drum bearing slides

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Drum bearing slides help the dryer’s drum spin freely and smoothly by reducing friction. They can be made of felt, Teflon, or plastic. They do wear out over time, and as they do, you’re left with a dryer not spinning.

If they get worn down enough, the drum will bind up and put excessive strain on the dryer motor. This causes it to shut down. 

The drum bearing slides might be located around the dryer drum’s edges on the side where it meets the door. Located on the inside of the door, the drum touches them when the dryer door is shut. 

How to Replace Drum Bearing Slides

To replace the drum bearing slides, you’ll have to open up your dryer cabinet. First, the top of the cabinet must be unlatched and opened. The front panel will then need to be removed, with wires disconnected and screws taken out to do so.

The drum should be taken out of the cabinet carefully while being supported. The drum bearing slides could be in different locations depending on your dryer model.

However, it’s usually on the inside of the dryer door or on the drum where it meets the dryer door. They might be attached with glue (felt glides), screws, or rivets. 

The way they’re attached determines how they should be removed and replaced. Riveted slides, for example, must be drilled out. Glued slides must be removed, and the remaining glue scraped clean with a putty knife.

Screwed-in slides can be removed with a screwdriver. Finding the drum bearing slides on your dryer can be difficult, and knowing which slides to replace them with isn’t easy, either.

Sometimes the drum glide bearing itself needs to be replaced along with the slides. Without experience, it’s hard to know if these parts are on their last leg.

Rather than accidentally install the wrong type of slide or risk further damage to your dryer, call a professional to replace worn slides. 

5. Worn or Damaged Front Drum Bearing

Home Depot drum bearing front for a piece on dryer not spinning

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Dryer not spinning? The problem may be the front drum bearing. This is a white plastic piece that supports the drum. As it turns, the front drum bearing makes contact with the friction-reducing drum bearing slides.

If it’s worn or damaged, the slides don’t do their job, and the friction increases as the drum spins. The motor will strain to turn it as a result, or the drum will bind up.

After enough strain, the motor will stop turning the drum completely. Drum bearings can become brittle and crack or break. 

How to Replace a Front Drum Bearing

To access the front drum bearing, you’ll need to remove the dryer drum. The top of the dryer cabinet must be opened and lifted, the front panel removed, and the drum taken out. 

Around the front of the drum, where it meets the dryer door, will be a plastic ring in two pieces clipped together. You’ll need pliers to release the clips and remove the part in two separate pieces.

A new front drum bearing that fits your dryer will need to be installed in the same spot. Call a professional for this.

They can identify the front drum bearing you need, replace it quickly, and determine whether you also need your drum bearing slides replaced at the same time. 

6. Damaged Drive Motor

Dryer motor replacement for a dryer not spinning

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The drive motor powers your dryer’s drum and the blower wheel. If anything goes wrong with it, the drum won’t spin. You might still hear the dryer humming when you turn it on, but notice the dryer not spinning. 

Drive motors last for a while, but not forever. They will eventually burn out, and the dryer not spinning is one of the signs. You might also notice you have to hold the Start button down longer to start the machine

How to Replace a Drive Motor

The drive motor is electric, so most issues it could have will be complicated to diagnose or fix. It may need to be replaced, or it may be a less serious problem that mimics a burned-out motor.

This may include a bad thermal overload detector, idler pulley, or motor start capacitor. Only a professional can distinguish between these issues and safely work with the electric motor.

If your dryer won’t spin and you hear humming or have to hold the start button down, call an appliance repair company to get it fixed.

A Dryer Not Spinning Requires a Pro

Woman sitting next to a dryer not spinning with her hands in the air wondering when to call an appliance repair pro

Zivica Kerkez/Shutterstock

Appliance repair companies specialize in troubleshooting appliances like dryers. They’ve seen just about every issue that could come up.

When you call a professional about a dryer not spinning, they’ll ask a few questions to determine the likely problem. Then, they’ll come out to dryer.

Armed with proper information, they’ll know the arrangement and function of all the different parts inside the cabinet. This makes it easy for them to notice when a part looks worn, damaged, or broken.

Why Call a Pro

Because professionals know all the possible causes for a dryer not spinning, they can check for multiple issues at once to find the problem faster.

For example, when they inspect the front drum bearing, they’ll also look at the drum bearing slides. When they’re checking out the drum rollers, they’ll look at the drum roller axles’ condition as well. 

When you call a professional to fix your dryer, you ensure your own safety, and proper installation of parts, and avoid unnecessary costs from buying parts you don’t need or that won’t fit your dryer.

If you’re not sure who to call, we can help. Just use the form above to get a fast, free quote from a local appliance repair company!

Dryer Not Spinning?

If you’re still trying to fix a dryer not spinning, you should call a pro. I’d know — I tried to fix a problem with my own dryer and wasted time and money chasing after the wrong issue.

Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled a few things to try and made it easy to find a local appliance repair specialist. Simply click the button below to connect with a local appliance pro for a free quote.