How to Stop a Dryer from Squeaking

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One of the most annoying sounds is a squeaky dryer. If you use your dryer at night, you will find the noise even more irritating while trying to sleep. Unfortunately, the noise will not go away, and it will only worsen when left unfixed. 

Therefore, if you look after your dryer, it will look after you. So it’s essential to find the source of the squeaky noise now, to avoid further damage. Preventing further damage will be cheaper in the long run because it will cost less to repair the dryer. This guide covers some simple ways to improve squeaky dryers. 

Before taking the dryer apart

Before you take the dryer apart, there are some simple things you can try first. Of course, if the problem is more serious, then these solutions won’t work. However, wouldn’t it be frustrating if you dissembled the dryer only to realize it wasn’t necessary? 

Here are some quick things to check first:

  • Ensure no metallic items on your clothing, such as jacket zips, scratch the drum while the dryer is operating. 
  • Ensure that the dryer is not overloaded. For example, heavy items, like blankets, should be dried on their own. 
  • Ensure that the dryer is on a level surface and not off balance. 
  • Empty the lint trap in case there are small items like coins that are causing the squeaking sound. 
  • Check that the dryer duct is not squeaking when the dryer is on.  
  • Check for loose screws on the dryer, and tighten them if needed. 

Locate the source of the squeak

Suppose you are sure that the squeaking sound is located internally. In that case, you need to discover where that sound is coming from exactly. By identifying the location, it will be easier to find the component causing the problem if you need to take the dryer apart. 

You will need to identify whether the squeaking sound comes from the dryer’s top, front, back, or near the bottom. Sometimes there might be more than one squeaking sound coming from the dryer at once. 

Check the dryer door

If the sound is near the dryer door, the seal on the front panel could be damaged. How to fix the dryer seal:

  1. Open the dryer door. The rubber ring around the inside of the door is the seal. 
  2. If there are folds in the seal, inspect them for hidden dirt or debris. 
  3. Clean the seal if required or replace the seal if damaged. 

Check the dryer belt

If the sound comes from the top of the dryer, then the squeak is most likely caused by the dryer belt. The dryer belt is a large rubber band that wraps around the drum, idler pulley, and idler pulley motor. When the motor causes the idler pulley to spin, it will turn the dryer belt, and the belt will rotate the drum. This is the mechanism that tumbles your clothes in the dryer. 

How to check the dryer belt:

  1. Unplug the dryer and remove the top panel. You will need a screwdriver to remove this panel. You might need to disengage snap locks or pry them open once the screws are removed.  
  2. When the top panel is removed, you will see the dryer drum. Locate the dryer belt and inspect it for damage. 
  3. Replace it if the dryer belt is loose or has wear and tear. 
  4. To replace the dryer belt, you will need to remove the front panel and bulkhead of the dryer and take the drum out. 

How to remove the front panel and bulkhead:

  1. Before removing the front panel, you might need to remove the top metal bracket.
  2. With the top panel and metal bracket off, disconnect the wires to the door switch and lights.
  3. Remove the front panel of the dryer. Some screws might be located behind the door. 
  4. When the front panel is off, inspect it for damage. Pay close attention to the area around the door, and repair any issues if needed. 
  5. Unscrew the bulkhead and remove it from the dryer. 

How to remove the dryer drum and belt:

  1. You will need to reach the idler under the drum by following the dryer belt. 
  2. Disengage the dryer belt from the idler and idler motor. 
  3. If the dryer belt is loose, it has been disengaged correctly. 
  4. Grab the dryer belt to lift the drum out of the dryer. 
  5. While the drum is out of the dryer, inspect other components, such as the idler, idler motor, drum rollers, drum glide pads, and the blower wheel near the bottom. 

Check the drum glide pads

While the front panel and bulkhead are off, you could also check and replace the front drum glide pads. If you only wish to assess these, you do not need to remove the dryer drum to access the glide pads. The glide pads are pieces of felt that help the drum glide smoothly inside the dryer. However, the pads can wear down through time, and when there is no material left, a squeaky sound will occur. 

How to replace the drum glide pads:

  1. Once the bulkhead is removed, flip it over and find the glides. 
  2. If the glides are damaged, replace them. It’s best to replace all of them at the same time. 

Check the idler

Any moving part within a machine has the potential to make a squeaky noise. Therefore, the idler, which spins when the motor is working, can make a squeaky noise with wear and tear. 

How to fix the idler:

  1. Locate and inspect the idler by rotating it. 
  2. If the idler cannot rotate freely or looks worn out, replace it. 

Check the drum rollers

Most dryers have two drum rollers. However, check for more just in case your dryer has additional ones. The drum rollers are support mechanisms that also help the drum to rotate. Unfortunately, when they are damaged through wear and tear, this also creates a squeaking noise. 

How to fix the drum rollers:

  1. Locate and inspect the drum rollers. 
  2. Replace them if the drum rollers are not spinning freely or look damaged. 
  3. Replace all of the drum rollers at the same time, even if one does not look faulty. If one drum roller has already failed, it’s only a matter of time before the other one does. 

Check the blower wheel 

The blower wheel is a fan that spins to deliver air to the dryer’s drum while it is operating. This mechanism helps your clothing to dry. However, if the blower wheel is damaged or obstructed, this may also squeak. 

How to fix the blower wheel:

  1. Locate and inspect the blower wheel.
  2. Try spinning the blower wheel. If the wheel does not spin freely, remove it from the dryer, and replace it if damaged. 
  3. Also, check the area where it came from for any obstructions. 
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