dryer making grinding noise

8 Major Reasons Your Dryer Making Grinding Noise (Easy Fix)

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A new dryer making grinding noise can be alarming. You expect a new dryer to run smoothly without any issues when new. I know this first-hand because I’ve had a new Samsung dryer making grinding noise after a few months of use. I was worried and didn’t know what to do. However, a quick search online helped. I was able to fix the issue. It is a year now and my dryer is running efficiently without any issues.

So, what is the cause of a dryer making grinding noise? A dryer can make a grinding noise when the drum rollers, the drive belt, or the idler pulley are worn out. This can also happen when the blower wheel is loose and when the gliders disintegrate.

If you happen to hear a tumble dryer making a grinding noise or just any dryer making noise, stop it mid-cycle and figure out the cause. Ignoring the noise puts your dryer at further risk of damage. In this post, I’ll show you the common problems of a dryer drum making grinding noise and solutions.

Materials and Tools You’ll Need to Repair a Grinding Dryer

When troubleshooting a dryer making a grinding noise, you need to open the dryer and figure out the source of the noise. Here are basic tools you must have:

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List Of the Problems Why A Dryer Making Grinding Noise

  1. Worn rollers and axles
  2. Worn out drive belt
  3. Worn out idler pulley
  4. Loose and unbalanced blower wheel
  5. Gliding drum
  6. Worn out drum bearings
  7. Damaged drive motor
  8. Metal object in the drum

 1. Worn Out Rollers And Axles

The exterior side of the drum features a set of small metals we call rollers. Rollers help the drum spin inside the cabinet. The rollers spin on axles. In the simplest terms, rollers support the drum as it rotates. Any slight damage on the rollers and axles leads to squeaky noises.

A GE dryer making grinding noise can be a clear indication of worn-out rollers. The continuous turning of the drum can make rollers wear out with age. This makes them produce a grinding noise as the drum turns. Here is how to fix a dryer making grinding noise.

Solution

Once you hear the grinding noise, stop the cycle and unplug the machine. You need to physically examine the rollers for any signs of damage. Remove the front panel and the drum to access the rollers. The rollers are usually located on the rear for both bulkheads and front load dryers. Read the dryer manual to see the exact location of the rollers.

You can easily remove the rollers, and examine and clean them. In addition, check the shaft on which the rollers turn. Is it worn out? If the rollers or shafts are worn out, you need to replace them. Additionally, you can remove the drive belt and try rotating the drum manually. Listen for any grinding noise from the roller and axles as you rotate the drum.

Swapping the worn-out rollers and axles can solve the grinding noise. New rollers are usually sold as a set; therefore, you need to replace all of them at once. Once you have the new rollers in place, assemble the dryer and connect it. The grinding noise should disappear.

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2. Worn out drive belt

A damaged, frayed, or worn-out drive belt can also cause a thumping noise in a dryer. If you have an LG front load dryer making a grinding noise, then checking the drive belt is recommended.

The drive belt is a crucial component that makes part of the pulley system. A drive belt is what turns the drum. If there is any kind of damage, then it will not turn the drum effectively. Instead, it makes a thumping noise with each turn.

Most drive belts are damaged because of continuous use over the years. A drive belt can become brittle, frayed, and inflexible with age. You can also hear grinding noises if the belt slips out of place.

Solution

Fixing a Samsung front load dryer making a grinding noise or just any dryer model involves repair or replacement of the defective drive belt. Before you start examining the dryer, disconnect it from power for safety.

The belt is located around the drum. Depending on your model, check the drive belt under the main dryer top, or behind the front panel. You can see the drive belt looped, or threaded over the driveshaft.

Check and see if the belt is in position. If the belt slips out of position, the dryer makes a grinding noise as the belt tries to maintain its position. Next, check for signs of wear, fray, and brittleness. If the belt is worn out, frayed, or brittle, consider replacing it.

3. Worn out idler pulley

The idler pulley is another crucial component that ensures the drive belt rotates smoothly. It is also known as the dryer pulley. It prevents the belt from slipping when there is a load by maintaining tension. Due to the high rotation speeds, friction in the pulley can make it wear over time.

The noise made by a pulley can vary depending on the extent of the damage. A faulty idler pulley makes a loud squeaky noise. However, this can change over time due to wear and tear, leading to scraping and thumping noises.

If you happen to have an Electrolux dryer making a grinding noise, then consider checking the idler pulley. A damaged pulley is also referred to as a damaged tensioner. A normal running dryer needs the belt firmly attached to the dryer.

Solution

The first step is to disconnect the dryer and inspect the tensioner. You need to remove the dryer cabinet to access the pulley. In most dryers, the idler pulley is located by the motor pulley. This is why a dryer motor making grinding noise is a big problem.

You will see the drive belt running around the idler pulley. First, take off the drive belt to access the pulley. Next, turn the pulley manually and see if there is a grinding or squeaking noise. If you find a squeaking noise, then consider replacing the idler pulley.

Depending on the condition of the pulley, consider replacing it with a new one. If the belt has slipped, return it in place.

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4. Loose and unbalanced blower wheel

A Loose or unbalanced blower can also cause some thumping noise in a dryer. If a brand new Samsung dryer makes grinding noise, then the blower wheel might be loose. The hot/warm air circulating in the dryer to dry clothes is due to the blower wheel.

A dryer needs the blower wheel to circulate warm air while removing moisture through the exhaust vent. The continuous blowing of the wheel can make it lose and unbalanced. If that happens, the dryer makes a thumping or loud rumbling noise.

For most dryers, the blower wheel keeps turning on for longer even when the dryer is off. So, how do you fix a loose blower wheel?

Solution

As always, turn the dryer off for safety reasons before any examination. You want to make sure the blower wheel is the problem. Use the dryer manual to find the exact blower wheel location. For most dryers, it can be found behind the rear or front panel. The exact location is inside the blower housing.

Disassemble the dryer and access the blower housing. Examine the plastic blower for any signs of damage. In most cases, the blower might be clamped or threaded on the motor shaft. Next, check for any debris that might be blocking the blower wheel. Additionally, check for wear and tear signs at the wheel hub. This is the blower junction to the shaft.

Try turning the blower manually and examine how it moves. The blower wheel needs to turn the drum and motor in a smooth manner. If the drum and motor don’t turn, the blower wheel is damaged. Once you’re done with the examination, try and resolve the issue. If there is debris, remove them. If the blower wheel is worn out, consider replacing it with a new one.

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5. Disintegrating Drum Gliders

The drum features a protective outer rim that prevents direct contact with the cabinet when rotating. These protective barriers are what we call drum gliders. Drum gliders offer support to the drum on the front side. They are thin pieces made of either plastic or nylon material, depending on the dryer model. The drum slides into them as it rotates.

Like any dryer component, drum gliders can be worn out or damaged. Drum gliders easily wear out over a long period of use. If the gliders are damaged, a dryer makes a grinding noise. Is your whirlpool dryer making a grinding noise? You need to check and fix the drum gliders. In some cases, the dryers might produce some whining noises.

Solution

To stop a Maytag dryer from making a grinding noise, you need to replace damaged and worn-out drum gliders. As always, disconnect the dryer before starting any repair. You want to physically examine the gliders and decide whether they need replacing or not.

You need to disassemble the dryer and remove the drum. Check the drum gliders for any signs of wear and tear. Even when one glider is damaged, consider replacing both. The gliders wear out evenly and you don’t want another replacement a few months later.

Furthermore, drum gliders are sold as a pair. The old and damaged gliders can be unscrewed or drilled out, depending on the dryer model. You can then install the new gliders and assemble the dryer. This should solve the grinding noises.

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6. Worn out drum bearings

You can also find an LG dryer making grinding noise due to defective or worn-out drum bearings. LG is a good example of a dryer with drum bearings that support the further end of the drum.

Drum bearings on the dryer are usually a ball and socket. However, some brands can feature drum bearings with a shaft fixed on the sleeve bushing. Worn-out drum bearings affect how the dryer works.

In most cases, the drum bearings rub against the casing back causing a grinding noise. If you happen to have a Kenmore dryer making a grinding noise, then check the drum bearings. You need to fix the issue before continuing to use the dryer.

Solution

To check and replace the drum bearings, you need to disconnect the dryer first. Once the dryer is off, go ahead and remove the dryer cabinet. You can find drum bearings on the rear of the dryer just behind the drum. Take off the dryer cabinet and remove the drive belt from the drum.

Next, try turning the dryer manually. Is there a squeaking or grinding noise? Is the drum difficult to turn? The drum bearings are worn out if the drum is difficult to turn and produces some grinding noise. Check your dryer model number and get new drum bearings. Remove the worn-out bearings and fix new drum bearings.

You can then work your way back as you fix the drive belt, drum, and dryer cabinet. Connect the dryer and turn it on. The grinding noise should disappear if the drum bearings were the cause.

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7. Damaged Drive Motor

If there is a Samsung dryer making a grinding noise, then chances are the drive motor is defective. The drive motor plays a crucial role in helping turn the blower wheel and the drum. If the bearings on the drive motor are worn out, the dryer will make a squeaking noise. The motor pulley can also make a humming noise in case of a faulty switch and a rattling noise if the motor pulley is loose.

A drive motor is the engine of the dryer. If the motor is struggling to rotate the drum, then the dryer makes a grinding noise. Are you having a brand new dryer making a grinding noise? If yes, then something is wrong with the drive motor. The windings on the motor might be loose or broken.

Solution

You need to unplug the dryer and examine the motor. To access the motor, you need to remove the dryer cabinet and remove the blower wheel. Depending on the dryer model, you can also remove the drive belt to get to the motor.

Once you access the dryer motor, try turning it manually. Is the dryer motor turning? A functional dryer motor should turn with minimal effort without any grinding or unusual noises.

Additionally, you can check the dryer motor using a multimeter. Connect both ends of the dryer motor with a multimeter and check to see if there are readings. If the motor is defective, replace it with a new one. Make sure you check the dryer model number and get a matching dryer motor.

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8. Metal object in the drum

Sometimes, a clothes dryer making grinding noise can be due to a metal object in the drum. It is unlikely, but sometimes metal objects can get into dryers when loading clothes.

A metal object in the dryer can cause a grinding noise when the dryer is in a cycle. As the dryer drum rotates, the metal object hits the walls and tumbles causing a grinding noise.

It is recommended that you empty pockets of clothes before putting them into a cleaning machine. There are high chances of forgetting small items like keys, chains, and coins in our pockets. Screws and belt buckles can also fall into the machine.

Solution

You need to turn off the dryer and open the main door. Take out all the clothes and look inside for the metal item. Check and remove clothes with metal buckles and buttons that might become loose. If you find a metal object, removing it can eliminate the grinding noise.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Does A Bad Dryer Bearing Sound Like?

A bad dryer bearing makes a squealing sound which is an indication of worn-out bearings. The sound can vary depending on the exact motor defect. If the motor pulley is loose, the dryer will make a rattling sound. In case of a faulty motor switch, the dryer makes a humming sound. You can also hear a high-pitched whine if the motor bushings are damaged. Make sure you stop the dryer cycle right away and try to fix the problem before using the dryer again.

2. Is It Safe To Use Dryer Making Noise?

It is not safe to use a dryer making noise. A dryer making noise is an indication of a defective component inside. You need to stop the drying cycle right away and disconnect the dryer. Continuing to use the dryer can cause further damage to your dryer. While some dryers will still operate normally despite the loud noises, it is never safe to continue using them. Make sure you stop the cycle and turn off the dryer. Try and find the cause of the noise and fix it. Sometimes a dryer making noise can be due to worn-out parts of a metal object inside.

3. How Many Years Should A Tumble Dryer Last?

Typically, a tumble dryer should last around 10-15 years. However, this can vary greatly depending on usage and maintenance. Almost all washing appliances need to last you 11-12 years. A tumble dryer should give you a good lifespan with common issues easily fixed through replacements. Most fixable tumble dryer issues are a dryer won’t heat, a dryer won’t turn on, and a dryer blowing cold air. Fixing these common issues should give your dryer a lifespan of at least 10 years.

4. How Much Does It Cost To Replace Dryer Bearings?

Replacing dryer bearings should cost you an average of $100 to $250. The exact price depends on the dryer model and make. However, the price can go higher if you’re hiring a professional technician. Consider adding the extra labor costs. It is quite easy to know if the dryer needs new bearings because the dryer makes unusual grinding or squealing noises. Replacing the dryer bearings is recommended if the dryer is relatively new. For old dryers, repairs can be costly. If a dryer is more than 5 years old and bearings cost upwards of $400, then consider getting a new dryer.

5. How Do I Know If My Dryer Rollers Are Bad?

You can tell if your dryer rollers are bad when you hear a squeaky sound. As the dryer rollers wear out, the dryer drum causes loud thumping noises when turning. You can confirm this by opening the dryer door and looking at the back of the wall. Check for gaps between the dryer back wall and the rear of the tumbler. Replace worn-out rollers to eliminate the squeaky sounds.

6. How Long Should Dryers Last?

A dryer should last you 10-13 years. However, this solely depends on the dryer model, maintenance, and frequency of use. Cleaning the lint trap and vent system on a regular basis can help increase the dryer’s lifespan.

Conclusion

Well, that’s it! A dryer making grinding noise can be worrying for most homeowners. Never ignore any unusual dryer noises. Instead, stop the cycle right away and disconnect the dryer. Dryer grinding noises are caused by worn-out drive bearings, gliders, pulleys, and motors. They are easy to fix by getting the right replacement parts.

Open the dryer cabinet and examine the cause of the grinding noise. Most repair problems are easy to perform using simple DIY steps and a dryer manual. It’s my hope you can now fix any issue with a clothes dryer making unusually loud noises.

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