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Dryer Not Spinning

The dryer is one of the more convenient items we have in the home but there are times when it may not work properly. When your dryer isn’t spinning, it isn’t working.

The most common reason why a dryer doesn’t spin is that the rubber drive belt is stretched or has broken. If the belt is not in place and working properly, the dryer will not spin, even though you may be getting power to the appliance.

Dryer door open with full of clothes

Of course, this is only one of the different reasons why a dryer may not spin. There are also some other reasons, including some that are easy to overlook.

As you scan down through the following information, you will find that there is likely something that fits in your particular case. Take a look at it and see what works for you.

Dryer Not Spinning

One of the issues that can lead to a dryer not spinning is if it is not getting the appropriate amount of power. This can occur for a variety of reasons. Check the following:

Circuit Breaker – A dryer is an appliance that uses two different circuit breakers. There may be times when both of the circuit breakers are tripped or perhaps only one of them is tripped.

When you look in the breaker box, you will see that the circuit breakers are likely connected to each other. If you have fuses rather than circuit breakers, check to see if one of the fuses has blown.

In some cases, if one of the breakers or a fuse has gone bad, the dryer will heat but it will not spin. You can check this easily and verify that they are not tripped or blown.

If you do have a problem with a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse, it may continue to happen, even after you replace it or flip it in the on position. This usually signals that there is a problem with the wiring or with the breaker itself.

Since you are dealing with a lot of power when it comes to operating a dryer, it is better if you have an electrician fix this issue for you.

Plugged in – Although it may seem rather simple, is it possible that the dryer became unplugged? If you are not getting any power to the dryer and it is not spinning, then this may be a problem. It is also something that is relatively easy to verify.

Pigtail – The electrical plug that powers the dryer is known as a pigtail. It is something that is purchased separately from the dryer and installed before you start using the dryer.

You can inspect the pigtail visually to see if it is showing any signs of problems. This could include any cuts in the insulation or if the plug looks burnt. If you are going to remove the panel to check the connections, make sure that you turn off the circuit breaker first.

Thermal Fuse – Although this isn’t necessarily connected to the electrical system directly, it certainly can cause electrical problems. The thermal fuse checks the temperature in the dryer and if it is too hot, it will disconnect the power.

If the thermal fuse is going bad or if it is faulty, then it may break continuity and keep the dryer from spinning. You might still have power to the control panel but nothing is going to happen when you push the buttons.

You can check the thermal fuse for continuity by using a multi-tester. If it shows that there is no continuity, the thermal fuse is relatively easy to fix.

Door Switch – In both a top load and front load dryer, the door switch signals the control panel that the door is closed. In a front load dryer, nothing will happen if the door is not closed. In a top load dryer, you will have limited functionality.

If the door switch is faulty or if the door is out of alignment, it may inappropriately signal the control panel that the door is open. Even though the door is shut, it will continue to keep the machine from operating and the dryer will not spin.

Belt – The belt is what operates the dryer and makes the drum spin. Over time, the belt may get stretched if the dryer is continually overloaded.

You can check the belt by spinning the dryer drum by hand. If it spins freely without any resistance, it is likely that the belt has either stretched beyond use or is broken.

At times, a dryer belt may stretch or break and it will have the additional symptom of smelling like burnt rubber. This is often a clear sign that there is a problem with the dryer belt and it needs to be replaced.

Seized Drum – If the drum has seized for any reason, it will be very hard to rotate. Although you will meet with some resistance if you try to rotate the drum by hand, if it is almost impossible to rotate, then you may have a seized drum.

Motor – The motor operates the tumbler that turns the belt and ultimately, spins the drum inside of the dryer. If the motor is not working properly, the dryer drum will not work properly.

Although, in some cases, it may be possible to repair the motor it is often easier to simply replace. You can check the motor by using a multi-meter after it is removed.

Drum Rollers – The drum rollers are often overlooked but if they have seized or are worn out, then the dryer will not spin. If you remove the dryer belt and try to spin the drum by hand, you can often tell that the drum rollers are bad.

The drum will continue to spin freely, even with the belt removed if the drum rollers are in good shape. If the drum does not spin, you can inspect the drum rollers and the axles.

Control Board – One other thing to check is the control board. If it has gone bad or is experiencing any problems, some of the operations of the dryer will not work as expected.

It is very difficult to test the control board but you can visually inspect it for any burnt areas or cracks. The same may also be true of the wire ribbon that is attached to it.

If there are any notable parts of the control board that are damaged, it should be replaced.

These are some of the more common reasons why a dryer will not spin. There may also be other issues that give off specific symptoms, as is described below:

Dryer Not Spinning But Heating

Dryer door open with full of clothes

If the dryer is heating but the drum is not spinning, it is typically a problem that is associated with the drive belt.

If the drive belt has become stretched or is broken, the dryer drum may not spin. The dryer itself may continue to heat but if it doesn’t spin, the clothes are not going to get dry easily and it will likely burn out the belt eventually. You can check the dryer belt by spinning the drum by hand. If it does not give any resistance, the belt likely needs replacing.

There are many parts that are associated with the dryer belt. Although more than likely, the belt itself has become stretched or broken, it can also be any of those parts that help to drive the belt.

If you inspected the belt by spinning the drum by hand then determined that it is not giving any resistance, then you can give a visual inspection. It is necessary to remove the lid so that you can look down inside the machine and inspect the belt.

A broken or stretched belt cannot be repaired. It has to be replaced but generally speaking, it is fairly easy to fix it.

In addition, you can do what is necessary to stop the problem from happening in the future. One of the issues that can lead to a stretched or broken belt is overloading the dryer.

If you have large loads or if you are trying to dry something big, such as a comforter, it is better to go to a laundromat. Many of the dryers that are manufactured for home use cannot handle those large loads consistently.

One other issue that can lead to a dryer not spinning but still heating is for one of the fuses to be blown. A dryer operates on two circuit breakers or two fuses, so it may partially operate if only one of them is off-line.

Dryer Turning On But Not Spinning

Confused woman checking her clothes

When you get power to your dryer but the drum is not spinning, it needs to be fixed. If the drum doesn’t spin, the clothes won’t get dry.

The top reason why a dryer does not spin is that the drive belt is broken. If the belt is in place, then you will feel resistance when you try to turn the drum by hand. If it turns easily, you should remove the lid and inspect the belt to make sure that it is broken.

Along with the belt being broken, it may not spin properly if the belt has become stretched. This is something that can occur over time and is typically due to overloading the dryer consistently.

When the belt begins to stretch, it puts up less and less resistance and eventually, the drum will not spin. In the meantime, you will likely smell a burning rubber smell when the machine is operating.

It doesn’t matter if the belt is stretched or if it is broken, it will need to be replaced. Dryer belts cannot be repaired, but they are relatively inexpensive to replace with a new belt.

Another issue that can lead to the dryer turning on but not spinning as if the thermal fuse is bad. The thermal fuse disconnects the electrical components inside of the dryer when it detects that the temperature is too high.

This can also be an issue if you have a clogged vent. You may continually get a high temperature inside of the dryer if that hot, moist air can’t escape.

Make sure that you clean the vent on a regular basis and you can check the thermal fuse by using a multi-meter. If it is determined that the thermal fuse is bad, it can easily be replaced.

One other issue to check is the door switch. If the door switch has gone bad, then it will not allow the dryer to turn on.

You may get power to the dryer but it will not spin. The reason why this is the case is that the dryer was designed not to operate when the door was open.

When the switch has gone bad, it alerts the control panel that the door is open, even when it is closed. That is the primary reason why the door switch leads to the dryer turning on but not spinning.

Dryer Humming/Motor Running But Not Spinning

frustrated woman sitting on the floor

Are you hearing a humming noise when you try to operate your dryer and the drum is not spinning? This is a common issue.

The reason why the drum is not spinning, even though you are hearing a humming noise and the motor is running is because the drive belt is broken. It may also be that the drive belt has become stretched. In either case, it will not offer enough resistance to spin the drum, and the humming noise is the motor working while the rest of the machine is not working.

Although it is likely a problem with the drive belt, it can also be a component that is associated with the belt. One that you can check is the rollers, which are an often forgotten piece of the dryer.

If the rollers have become worn out, then the dryer drum will not spin. The dryer itself may have power and the motor may be operating but if the drum doesn’t spin, the clothes are going to get dry.

Dryer Not Spinning With Heavy Load

frustrated woman sitting on the floor

Are you trying to run a heavy load but the dryer is not spinning? This may be a problem with how you are loading the machine.

Generally speaking, dryers that are manufactured for home use cannot handle an extremely heavy load. They are not industrial machines but rather, are made for day-to-day use. It may be necessary to remove some of the clothing so that you are not bogging down the machine. Doing so will likely allow the dryer to spin.

Overloading the machine in this way can cause a number of different problems. Not only does it cause wear and tear on the motor, it can also stretch the belt out and eventually, cause it to break.

Aside from removing some of the clothes, you may also want to consider why they are so heavy. If the clothing is exceptionally wet, it may be a problem with the washing machine.

A washing machine goes through a spin cycle in order to take most of the water out of the clothing. If it isn’t removing the moisture from the clothing before you put it in the dryer, the dryer may not be able to handle the extra load.

Dryer Not Spinning And Burning Smell

frustrated woman sitting on the floor

Do you smell a burning smell when the dryer is operating? This is an issue that should be fixed right away.

The most common reason why you smell something burning when the dryer is operating is because the belt has become stretched. This is a common problem if you overload the dryer regularly. Since the belt is stretched, the drum may be spinning slightly underneath it and burning the belt as it does so.

Another issue that can lead to a burning smell is lint buildup. This is more than an inconvenience, it is a very dangerous hazard.

Always check the dryer lint trap and clean it after every load. You should also check the vents for clogs and have them cleaned professionally every year.

Dryer Not Spinning Clicking

frustrated woman sitting on the floor

Is your dryer making a clicking noise and not spinning? In most cases, this is a problem that is relatively easy to fix.

The most common reason why a dryer makes a clicking noise and will not spin is a bad door switch. If the door switch is bad, it will not allow the dryer to spin as a safety measure. Replacing the door switch is relatively easy and it will often correct the issue and get the dryer working again.

You might also hear a clicking noise if the dryer belt is stretched or broken. This can be checked by trying to spin the drum by hand. If the drum offers little or no resistance, then the dryer belt may need replaced.

One other issue that can lead to a clicking noise and power problems is if there is an issue with the electricity to the dryer. This is an unlikely problem, but it is something that needs to be considered because of the hazards involved.

Dryer Drum Not Turning Smoothly

Woman putting clothes in dryer

Are you trying to spin your dryer drum by hand and it isn’t spinning smoothly? It may be a problem with the rollers.

If the drum rollers are going bad, you will have a difficult time spinning the drum by hand. The proper way to test this is to take off the belt and attempt to spin the drum. If the drum is locked up or feeling as if it doesn’t want to rotate properly, then you can visually inspect the rollers to see if they have anywhere.

There are more than one set of rollers in most dryers. Typically, there is one in the front and one in the back that allows the dryer drum to spin properly.

Don’t overlook the possibility that one of the rollers has gone bad.

When your dryer is starting but the drum is not turning, it is likely a problem with the drive belt. If the drive belt becomes stretched or broken, you will not have any resistance when you spin the dryer drum by hand. It can be replaced easily.

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