Dryers just like any other household equipment will start to have issues after continuous use.
After repetitive use for months, you may hear an unfamiliar squeaking sound coming from your dryer.
Sometimes it is easy to ignore this sound but if left untreated the noise can increase in frequency and volume.
Furthermore, it can be a sign of a serious issue with your dryer and ignoring it may render your dryer unsafe.
So how to even begin to check what’s wrong with your dryer?
Stop asking “why is my dryer squeaking?” because today we’ll discuss the various ways to figure out the problem with your dryer.
We also discuss how to fix a squeaky dryer and if it is safe to use a squeaky dryer.
Let get right to it so you can get to fixing and have your dryer running smoothly again.
- Why is my dryer squeaking?
- How to troubleshoot a dryer making squeaking noises
- How to fix a squeaky dryer
- Dryer Squeaking: Is it safe to use?
Why is my dryer squeaking?
First off, before you go peering into and inspecting the noise source, you’ll need to know the basic setup of a dryer.
If you do understand a dryer then figuring out the problem should be easy and maybe fixing it will too.
However, if you aren’t familiar with the anatomy of a dryer, it’s best to call in a professional repairman to save yourself and the dryer from harm.
Dryer noises can be caused by various parts going bad or malfunctioning.
Some of these parts are an easy fix while the others are more on the difficult side.
Fortunately, your dryer does not have many moving parts so finding the source of the noise should not be that difficult to identify.
How to troubleshoot a dryer making squeaking noises
It goes without saying that you need to unplug your dryer before you start poking around inside.
Let us now get into the ways on how to troubleshoot a dryer making squeaking noises.
A squeaking dryer can be caused by the dryer being on an uneven surface.
Ensure that the dryer is parallel to the ground and all of its sides are touching the floor.
If not, this will make the entire machine wobble and squeak while in operation.
A dryer squealing can be due to loose screws that rattle and jingle.
They can also cause other parts to shift since they are no longer held tightly in place.
As a result, you have a sound that drives you crazy.
Blower Wheel or Fan
The blower fan’s main function is to draw air into the dryer which then gets heated.
The heated air then moves through the drum and out of the vent.
The blower fan is a vaned wheel or impeller that is driven by the motor.
Sometimes debris and lint can build up on the blower causing damage to the fan or a squealing sound.
Along the edge of the rear of the drum cylinder, you will find the felt seal.
Sometimes you can find it in the front as well.
Its main purpose is to seal the space at the top and bottom of the drum where the cylinder ends to limit unheated airflow and abrasion.
If this seal dries out or becomes worn, it will cause a squealing noise.
Another telltale sign that the felt seal is the problem is that you will find that clothes will get snagged in the gap or you will see brown and black streaks on some pieces.
Lifter or Baffles
These lift and tumble the clothes during the drying cycle.
They help to ensure that all the clothes are exposed to the heated air so that they can dry better and faster.
If your lifter is removable, it may squeak when it lifts the clothes.
The dryer belt goes around the dryer drum and plays a critical role in your dryer.
The thin and narrow rubber ring is attached to the pulley which is attached to the motor.
When your dryer is in motion, the motor becomes active which moves the idler pulley.
When the pulley moves it makes the dryer belt and the drum spin.
Depending on how old or how many cycles your dryer has gone through, the dryer belt can become worn.
It is probably all stretched out due to spinning all the time and won’t be able to fit snugly to the drum to spin it.
The friction between the worn rubber dryer belt and the metal drum could be the possible cause for the squeaking sound you hear.
Fixing this issue is by far the easiest and simply requires replacing the worn dryer belt.
The idler pulley as we stated before helps the dryer belt to spin the drum when the motor is active.
Resembling a normal pulley, the idler pulley is a spinning wheel and sometimes it can get loose and wobbly.
When the idler pulley starts wobbling or becomes loose, it may be the reason for the squeaking sound.
Just like the dryer belt, replacing this part is fairly easy.
One thing to remember is to buy a replacement part that is compatible with your dryer’s make and model.
This may be a tedious process but keep searching until you find compatible parts.
Drum Glide Bearings
Different manufactures will use various components to make bearings.
The bearing attaches to the back of the drum and the support frame via a series of locking tabs.
Worn drum bearing can cause your dryer to squeal, squeak, make a grinding or screeching noise.
This noise will continue for as long as the drum spins and may also put extra strain on the motor.
This is also an easy fix, providing that you find the right bearing and replace the old one.
The motor is a dryer that consists of a sealed ball or roller bearings which allows it to work with a small amount of friction.
Some dryers have direct-drive motors while some come with a pulley to pull the dryer belt which turns the drum.
No matter the type of motor, if there are worn or dry bearings, the dryer will squeal and screech.
Another sign to look for to know if the motor is indeed the problem is when it shuts off to cool down and then cycle on again.
Sometimes it may not be worth it to replace your motor since it can be costly and needs to be done by a trained professional.
For the same cost, you are better off buying a new dryer.
How to fix a squeaky dryer
Now that we have identified the parts that are most likely to cause the squeaking noise, let us now find ways on how to fix a squeaky dryer.
You will need a few common tools that you probably have around the house and the replacement part before you begin.
Some common tools you’ll need are:
- Adjustable wrench or box wrench
- Putty knife
Fix wobbling dryer
To fix a dryer that is on an uneven surface, use a level, and pray your floor is an even surface.
If your floor isn’t level then using an anti-vibration pad may be able to help level up your dryer and stop it from wobbling and squeaking.
- Easy to install
- Micro-grip technology
The ENJ Products washer anti-vibration pads are made from quality rubber blend with vibration absorbing abilities.
These anti-vibration pads for your washer or dryer are the perfect fix when the wobbling is causing your machine to squeak.
They have noise-canceling properties and as well as movement canceling properties.
The micro-grip technology guarantees that your dryer will never scuff or scratch your floors.
Installation is easy and just requires you to slide the pad under the dryer.
These pads are 3 inches in diameter and for use with washer and dryer feet up to 1.75 inches in diameter.
If the legs weren’t the problem then it is time to open up the machine and tackle the problem.
To open up your washer follow the steps in the manual or familiarise yourself with some videos on Youtube.
After opening up the dryer, use a flashlight to inspect the belt, rollers, and pulley.
Look for any loose screws or bolts and tighten them.
Build up on blower wheel or fan
This can be found at the back of the dryer and is usually covered by a vent.
The vent, aside from letting airflow, acts as an access panel which makes it easier to get to the fan.
Remove the access panel, clean the fan, and check the rotation to ensure that it is rotating as it should.
Dried out felt seal
If the felt seal is worn and dried out, then it is time to replace it.
The felt seal will look something like this one for a GE dryer.
Make sure to buy a felt seal that is compatible with your specific unit.
Loose or broken lifter or baffles
Check to see if your lifter or baffles needs to be tightened or replaced.
If they are loose, simply tightening them will eliminate the squeaking sound.
If they are worn out or broken then it is time to replace them.
You can find some that are compatible with various models of dryers like this baffle from the Supplying Demand Store.
- Tall drum baffle
- Compatible with various models
- 60-day money-back guarantee
The Supplying Demand Dryer baffle is a tall drum baffle that is compatible with major brands.
However, do not assume that because it is compatible with your brand that you can go ahead and purchase this baffle.
A fool-proof way is to match up the serial or model number.
This way you are sure that the part you are ordering is indeed going to work on your dryer.
Replacing the dryer belt
A worn-out dryer belt can be spotted in an instant once you’ve successfully opened up your dryer.
If this is the case, then you will have to replace the dryer belt with a new one.
To install the new one you will have to remove the old and worn-out one.
To do so you will have to remove the mounting screws and disconnect the wire harness from the plug.
If you aren’t sure how to do this, refer to the manual or go to Youtube.
After successfully removing the old one, fitting the replacement should be a breeze.
If you are afraid of messing up, video yourself removing the old one so you will know exactly how it has to be looped when installing the new one.
The dryer belt will resemble Whirlpool dryer belt that is compatible with various brands.
Squeaky idler pulley
You can check to see if the idler pulley is the issue by simply spinning it manually.
If it sticks, squeaks or wobble then that’s the source of your problem.
Check to make sure that it is not loose, if it isn’t but still squeaks, it is time to replace the part with a new one.
To do this remove the squeaking pulley from its bracket and put in the new one.
After doing this you will need to loop back the belt and other pieces in place.
Faulty drum glide bearings
If you find fault with your drum glide bearings then you will need to completely remove your dryer drum.
Again, check your manual on how to do this or get on the internet and watch a few videos or read this guide.
Note that your felt seal will have to be replaced here as well if you need to replace drum glide bearings.
The bearings are held in place by a series of locking tabs so you will need to unhook those to remove the bearings.
Once you’ve replaced the bearing and felt seal, you can hook back the belt on the idler and motor pulley.
While we recommend buying a new unit instead of fixing the motor, if you want to replace it, you can.
The hardest part of this process is possibly sourcing the exact motor that your dyer uses.
You will have to tackle this issue by opening up the back of the unit and removing many screws.
Continue unscrewing and removing everything else that is blocking access to the motor.
Once the motor is visible, disconnect it and connect the new one.
After that, all you do is retrace the opening steps by going back to close up the dryer.
Some manufacturers sell service kits that include various replacement parts like this GE dryer kit.
Dryer Squeaking: Is it safe to use?
A dryer squeaking is a cause for grave concern.
A machine that is constantly in motion will make some sort of noise.
However, after some time and many uses, you may start to notice an unfamiliar sound.
If you start to hear that unfamiliar sound, don’t worry, most times you can allow your cycle to finish before you go inspecting for the source of the noise.
After the cycle is finished you can consult your manual or your local repairman.
If you continue using a squeaky dryer, you can cause harm to yourself and further damage to the dryer.
We have identified a few possible causes of why your dryer may squeak and ways on how to fix them.
If you feel like you’re capable of doing it yourself, then all that is required from you is to order the part and get to work.
But if you are not certain about what you are doing, do not hesitate to call in a professional.
In the end, it is unsafe to use a dryer making squeaky noises.