Why does my dryer squeak until it warms up? I must say, no one likes a noisy appliance in their house. It will have you devising methods to fix it, and sometimes if they don’t work, you might consider purchasing a new appliance or moving it to a different room to avoid the noise.
Dryers can be noisy as they get older. Your dryer may make noises when it starts after it warms up or through its operations. It is all dependent on the part that is worn and needs to be looked at.
Your dryer may produce a squeaky sound if parts like the rear drum roller, belt, tub support roller, glides are wearing out, an idler pulley, a dying motor bearing, or it could be something related to the drum movement.
However, it all depends with the make and the model of your dryer.
Most of these parts are cheaper than a new dryer; therefore, you can easily buy and replace them to save on costs.
This article will explain the possible causes of the squeaking and how to fix it at home.
Why Does My Dryer Squeak Until It Warms Up
The cause of your dryer squeaking as it warms up may be an old tub support, drum bearing, worn belt, faulty motor bearing, worn out idler pulley, glides or it could be something else related to the drum’s movement. Most parts of the dryer are cheaper and easier to replace.
Drum glides may grind, clang, or squeal depending on the dryer model you are using. The function of the glides is to support the open front end of the drum and allow it to turn freely against the front cabinet.
Glides are made in different styles, such as metal brackets with felt and nylon pads and adhesive felt strips with nylon or plastic or detachable plastic cowlings.
It would help if you replaced these glides when you see brown spots on dried-out seal felts.
The dryer’s motor is engineered to operate with minimal friction because it has a seal ball or roller bearings.
Most dryers have a shaft and a pulley that enables the belt to move and turn the drum.
However, some are made with direct-drive motors that spin the drum without needing a belt. Regardless of the kind, they will squeal or squeak if the bearing wears or dries out.
You can know if the motor produces a sound if it shuts off for a while to cool down and then cycles on.
You should note that the motor cannot work if the bearing fails.
The rear drum bearing and the rear support shaft reinforce the rear of the drum and ensure that it rotates properly. Dryer manufacturers use various materials to make the bearings, such as metal, spindle and sleeve, plastic, nylon, bushings, ball and socket, ball bearings, or a combination.
The drum bearing is located at the center of the rear drum, with one part mounted on the rear drum and the other to a support frame at the back of the cabinet.
Worn-out drum bearings may screech, grind, or squeal like the glides. The noise will only stop if the drum is idle. A faulty motor can have issues rotating the drum.
Drum Support Rollers
The drum is held in place by drum glides in the front and a bearing in the back; four drum support rollers support its body.
These support rollers operate like rubber wheels with a bearing at the center.
A shaft or bolt holds the bearing in place that secures it to the bracket.
If the rubber wheels or their bearings wear, the drum will start squeaking continuously or at intervals as the drum heats up or if loads are added.
A drive belt goes around the exterior of the drum and the motor pulley. When you turn the driver on, the motor turns the pulley that rotates the drive belt and turns the drum.
Since the belt makes many rotations when the dryer is on, it can cause whooshing and thumping sounds when the frayed sections of the belt hit the drum.
Dryers also operate at high temperatures; therefore, it is uncommon for the belt to wear or crack over time.
You can also hear a squeaking sound if the belt is slipping from the pulley.
Blower Fan or Wheel
The fan can be made of plastic, metal, or nylon and its purpose is to draw in the air if the dryer is heated.
The fan pushes the heated air through the drum and the vent.
The motor shaft steers the blower, and after a while, it may start to collect lint and debris.
Dirt can destroy the fan, causing squeaking or thump noises.
Loose screws can cause jingles and rattling of the parts that have been loosened. Metallic objects that fall out of pockets can also get into the perforations and cause screeching and squeaking noises.
Considering how a dryer operates, it may shift out of level over time, and this causes squeaking or rocking.
Make sure your dryer is level so that it does not wobble.
Felt seals are used to secure the edges of the rear drum of most dryers and the front of some models. It covers the sides where the cylinders come into contact with the top and bottom of the drum.
The felt cushions the moving parts and ensures no abrasion on the stationary housing, thus, limiting the flow of unheated air into the drum.
If the felt seal dries out, it becomes shiny and causes a squealing sound as the drum moves. If it is worn out, it causes abrasion that causes screeching and thumping of the metallic parts.
Note that if the seal dries out, your clothes may be snagged in the gap, or they will sustain black or brown marks if they rub against the unsealed edge.
Lifters or Baffles
Baffles or lifters can be either molded plastic or metal inside the drum so that the movement of the drum makes them lift and tumble the clothes, and expose them to heated air.
Baffles can be removable; therefore, they will produce squeaky sounds during the drying process.
If you put in a big load, the baffles may tumble on each other, can cause the drum to slip within the drive belt, and will be accompanied by a squeaking sound.
Motor Idler Wheel or Pulley
The primary function of the pulley is to provide tension for the drive belt. The pulley also has a bearing to move with minimal friction.
If the bearing wears out, the pulley will produce a squealing sound that eventually becomes scraping if the issue is not fixed.
How to Fix a Squeaky Dryer?
If your dryer is still under warranty, you can contact the dealership and have them repair it. But if the warranty is expired, you will have to fix the problem yourself or call a specialist.
Before running diagnostics on your device, ensure you unplug it, move it from the wall and disconnect all utilities. You will also need gloves for this task.
The Drum Belt
Extract the lint trap insert and remove the two screws that connect the lid to the dryer’s frame.
This will allow you to open the top of the dryer using a putty knife.
Next, remove the lid and use a screwdriver to extract the locking tab on the wire harness tab.
Then, remove the screws and the front panel. Conduct this step using a nut driver to ease your work.
You will slide off the old belt and insert a new one around the drum.
Use the remaining belt slack to thread through the idler pulley and around the motor pulley; then, you will have successfully replaced the belt.
Replace the front panel and connect the wire harness plug.
Return the lid, return the screws to the lint catch housing, and replace the lint trap.
The Idler Pulley
Remove the front panel and remove the wire harness plug.
Then, unthread the drum belt from the idler pulley.
Note that the pulley sits independently in a small bracket found at the bottom of the dryer.
Detach it from the bracket housing.
Replace the idler pulley and thread it with the drum belt and around the motor pulley, and you are good to go.
Remove the belt from the dryer and extract the drum from its housing.
You will find the drum glide bearings along the edges of the drum. Remove the two elongated locking tabs located at the ends of the bearings if they are worn out.
You will need pliers to help pinch the locking tabs as you remove them.
Align the two locked tabs at the end of the bearings with the openings found along the sides of the drum. Then, insert the prongs then replace the felt seal on the front panel. You can do this easily by removing the old seal and pushing the new seal through the channel housing, and holding it in place with the retaining clips.
Re-sit the drum and reconnect the belt.
Before buying a new motor, you should know that it is costly.
Follow the same steps as before to open and access the internal components of the dryer.
Use a screwdriver to remove the clips used to mount the motor and remove the motor.
You should find a blower wheel or a fan at the back of the motor. Loosen it using a wrench. Turn the driveshaft using the same wrench as you hold the blower wheel in place.
This repair will need you to remove the dryer’s back panel by removing the screws attached to the backside of the dryer.
When this is done, you will have access to the air duct.
This duct is held in place by a couple of screws which you will have to unscrew to remove the air duct.
When you remove the air duct, you expose the blower wheel, and you need to set it aside.
Open all the tabs in the motor bracket to disconnect the wire harness that reinforces the motor.
Extract the old motor and replace it with the new one.
Connect the harness wire to the new motor, install the blower wheel, and use clamps to hold the motor.
Reinsert the air duct and back panel, reposition the drum, and reinsert the drum belt through the idler pulley and around the motor pulley.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why does my dryer squeak and then stop?
The drum belt in your dryer might be worn out and needs replacing. It is common for drum belts to wear out, considering dryers’ high temperatures.
You can identify if the belt is the culprit if the squeaking originates from the top of the dryer.
Why does my dryer squeak when I start using it?
Considering your dryer’s msqueak may come from worn-out parts such as tub support rollers, rear drum mounting bearings, front glides, seal felt, blower, motor bearings, squirrel cage bearings, or even the idler pulley.
How much does fixing a squeaky dryer cost?
Depending on the issue, it can cost you about $75 to $450. The causes of a squeaky dryer vary, and fixing some parts is more costly than others.
The most concerning part are the motor because it is pretty expensive when broken.
Why does my dryer sound like it has shoes in it?
Most dryers are built with drum support rollers, as I have explained before. Over time, these rollers wear and lose shape. In this case, the drum cannot rotate properly and will cause thumping and squealing.
Is repairing a dryer worth it?
Yes, it is worth it if the appliance is less than four years old and costs less than $400. If your dryer is old or the damaged part is costly, purchasing a new one is the best option.
Why Does My Dryer Squeak Until It Warms Up?
Dryers have many parts that are bound to wear over time, causing squeaking sounds.
Your dryer squeaks before it warms up because of worn-out parts, such as drum support rollers, idler pulley, motor, blower, and front glides. When these parts become old, they fail to function correctly, thus causing friction that makes different parts rub against each other, leading to annoying sounds.
The easiest way to get rid of the squeak is to remove the worn-out parts and replace them with new ones.
You can also ensure that your dryer balances well on the ground to avoid rattling. But if your dryer is old and the repairs are costly, purchase a new one.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.