The dryer just may be one of the most frequently used appliances in your home. In fact, the dryer has become so commonplace in American households, we often forget that certain unaddressed issues with this essential appliance, such as a clogged dryer vent or lint filter, have made it a leading cause of house fires in the United States. Bottom line: It’s important to address problems with your dryer when you spot them.
A common issue you may run into is the dryer not spinning. Unlike other possible problems, you’ll know instantly if your dryer drum isn’t turning when you open the door after a cycle and discover a load of still-wet clothes inside. There are many possible reasons for your dryer not spinning. Maybe your dryer simply stopped working! But when you notice your dryer won’t spin, don’t panic. It could be a small issue that you can try to fix yourself.
Safety note: Be sure to unplug any ailing appliance before you attempt a repair.
Reasons Why Your Dryer Won’t Spin
“Why won’t my dryer spin?” Here are the most common reasons why your dryer won’t tumble:
If your dryer won’t turn on at all, first check whether the dryer has become unplugged from the outlet. Dryers require a 240-volt outlet and sometimes, these receptacles can fail. If you suspect that could be the issue, you can check the voltage using a simple electrical current detector.
Faulty Door Switch
Dryers come equipped with a door switch or sensor. The door switch is a safety feature that prevents the dryer from working run when the door is open. So, if the dryer won’t spin when the door is closed, it could be an indication that the door switch or sensor has failed. A technician can determine if that is the problem and if so, replace the door switch.
If your dryer won’t turn and you cannot move the drum manually, it could be that a small object is causing it not to spin. Inspect the inside of your dryer closely because when a dryer doesn’t spin the culprit may be some loose change, a bottle cap, or a house key left in the pocket of some clothing that gets stuck between the drum and the dryer housing.
Damaged Dryer Belt
Wear and tear can fray or loosen the rubber dryer belt over time, causing it to snap. The dryer belt is what rotates your drum. To check, manually spin the drum from inside the dryer. If the drum does not move at all, your dryer belt is most likely broken or loose.
Faulty Thermal Fuse
All dryers have a thermal fuse and locating it may differ based on model type. The thermal fuse is a safety feature that monitors the dryer’s temperature to prevent overheating. If the temperature inside the dryer becomes too high, the thermal fuse trips, shutting off power to the dryer.
Dryer Drive Motor Failure
A drive motor turns the dryer belt, which causes the drum to spin. If your dryer won't tumble, or it runs intermittently, the drive motor could be overheating. Overheating is typically a sign that the motor is failing.
Faulty Drum Support Rollers
Drum rollers provide support for the drum while it is spinning. Wear and tear can cause these to wobble. If they are completely worn out, your dryer won’t spin. If you are the DIY type, you can find instructions online for replacing a drum roller, but typically this is a bigger job and you may prefer to call in a professional to have the rollers repaired or replaced. Note: Even when only one roller is worn, it is recommended that you replace both rollers.
Steps to Try When You Have a Dryer Not Spinning
If your dryer stopped spinning and you suspect the issue may be related to one of the reasons described above, these next two steps may help you to get it running again.
1. Reset the Dryer
Sometimes, the solution can be the more obvious one. Many types of dryers have a reset button. If your model has one, typically, you can find it on the control panel. Consult your owner’s manual or look online for your model number if you’re not sure whether your dryer has this feature, or you cannot locate it easily. If you are able to reset your appliance, and still your dryer won’t spin, it could be a part that needs to be replaced.
2. Replace Faulty Parts
Drive belts, drum rollers, and drive motors: These, along with other parts just may not last as long as your dryer.
Check with the manufacturer to find out where you can get replacement parts, or if the dryer is still under a warranty, whether or not you will need to get parts through them exclusively.
Dryer Maintenance Helps
One more step to do that can help you prevent problems with your dryer is regular maintenance. It can play an important role in keeping your dryer, and other appliances, from breaking down or wearing out. It may seem like a given, but clearing out the lint from the filter after each load and cleaning the dryer vent every six months can really help.
Safety is also a top priority for you and your family. When you neglect to clean the lint filter, the lint buildup can prevent the dryer from properly exhausting hot air, which can cause the dryer to overheat and catch fire.
Knowing you have a safe, working dryer is essential for your peace of mind.
When to Contact a Professional
If you’re not confident in your ability to replace broken parts yourself, it may be best to bring in a professional. Attempting to fix your dryer on your own could cause you injury, or result in more damage to the dryer, which may lead to you spending more money on repairs or buying a new dryer altogether. If you decide to find a professional to fix your dryer, just be sure to do your research on the best technician to call.
Protect your home's appliances, including the dryer, from unexpected breakdowns with a First American home warranty. You’ll know the appliances you rely on in your home are covered. Contact us to learn more or get a quick, no-obligation home warranty quote.
The contents of this article are provided for general guidance only. First American Home Warranty does not assume any responsibility for losses or damages as a result of using this information.