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Kenmore Dryer Not Spinning Properly

Spinning your clothes is an important step in the drying process of an electric clothes dryer. It is understandable why some people can become frustrated when their Kenmore dryer will not spin properly. There are many simple explanations for this, which is why I have put together the following article with solutions you can use to fix the issue.

Kenmore dryers will not spin if the drive belt is broken. If the belt is intact, there may be damage to the motor or support structures around the dryer’s drum, including the bearings, rollers and glides. If the dryer keeps spinning, check the timer mechanism, circuit board or even the door switch.

Woman putting clothes in dryer

I have covered each of these components in great detail below, including what function they serve in the dryer’s operation. It is also important to know where each of these components are located because most can be easily replaced by yourself.

Kenmore Dryer Not Spinning

Replace the Drive Belt

The main cause for the dryer not spinning is a broken drive belt. This belt wraps around the dryer drum, as well as a series of pulleys attached to the motor, to spin the drum. Over time, this drive belt will wear down or fray, eventually leading to breakage.

You can check if the drive belt is broken by opening the dryer door and rotating the drum by hand. If the drum rotates much more freely than normal, this is a good indication that the drive belt is broken. To confirm, you will need to open up the dryer housing.

You can see the drive belt by opening the top of the dryer. This requires you to remove several screws around the edges, but you can then lift the top panel off to reveal the dryer drum. If you can’t see the drive belt, it has snapped and you will need to open the front panel of the dryer as well.

Once the front panel is open, you will find the motor in the bottom right of the dryer housing. You can lift the dryer drum out of the way to find the remnants of the drive belt. When replacing the belt, make sure to take a picture of how it winds around the pulley system so you know how to wind the new belt on.

There are other possibilities for the dryer not spinning if the drive belt is not broken. I will continue to explain these in the next section. However, it’s worth checking the full length of the drive belt for any fraying in case it needs replacement anyway.

Kenmore Dryer Not Spinning Belt Not Broken

Man fixing the dryer

Drive Motor

The drive motor is what moves the belt to spin the dryer drum. If the motor is malfunctioning, or a part of the motor is broken, the belt will not move and the dryer will not spin. Broken pulleys can also cause this problem by making the drive belt loose.

Sometimes, the motor might not have enough power to start spinning the dryer drum, but does have enough to keep the drum spinning during the cycle. You can test this by turning on the dryer, spinning the drum by hand and quickly closing the door. If the dryer then continues to spin, the power of the motor is the problem.

To check for physical damage to the motor, you will need to open the top and front of the dryer and remove the dryer drum. If there is no visible damage to the motor, but it does not make any sound when you are running the dryer, it has malfunctioned. In any case, you will need to replace the motor to fix this issue.

Drum Support

Although the drive belt causes the dryer drum to spin, there are several other supporting structures that allow it to continue spinning smoothly. This includes the bearings and rollers at the rear of the drum and the glides at the front. If these are worn or broken, they may prevent the drum from turning.

You can check whether this is the issue by rotating the dryer drum by hand first. If it is very difficult to rotate, this is a good indication that these components are failing. You can access these by removing the top and front of the dryer housing, as well as the dryer drum.

Kenmore Dryer Won’t Stop Spinning Unless Door is Open

Woman putting clothes in dryer

Opening the dryer door should always automatically stop the dryer from spinning so that you can remove your clothes. However, the dryer should also stop after the set time. Therefore, if the dryer doesn’t stop spinning unless the door opens, there is an issue with the timer or control board.

Dryer Timer

The dryer timer normally is set for a certain amount of time and will then turn off the dryer once the dial reaches ‘0’. If the dryer timer is broken, you may notice that the dial does not move with time.

There is also the possibility that the dial still turns, but does not turn the dryer off at the ‘0’ mark, which would indicate that it is not sending the right signal to the circuit board. You will need to replace the timer mechanism in either case.

Circuit Board

If replacing the dryer timer did not fix your problem, there is an issue with the circuits within the dryer. This is most likely an issue on the main circuit board. You can find the circuit board behind the control panel, which can be easily taken off by removing the screws either side.

There may be physical damage to the circuit board, burn marks around the circuits or signs of moisture on the board. Any of these issues require the circuit board to be replaced or repaired by a technician.

Kenmore Dryer Hums but Doesn’t Spin

Woman putting clothes in dryer

If your Kenmore dryer is humming, this means the motor is working. Therefore, when the dryer drum is not spinning, the motor is doing its job, but something else is preventing the dryer from spinning. Below are the main reasons for this, which have been discussed above.

  • The drive belt is broken
  • The drum support structures are stuck

This problem can still relate to the motor if it needs to be cleaned. As mentioned earlier, the motor can still run, but not provide enough power to get the dryer drum moving.

You should notice that you can turn the drum yourself to ‘kickstart’ the spinning motion. If this is the case, you may just have to clean the motor instead of ordering a replacement.

Kenmore Dryer Keeps Spinning

Man confused while looking at the dryer

There are a number of reasons why your Dryer may not be turning off. These have been mentioned previously and include the following possibilities. However, if the dryer still does not stop spinning when the door is opened, there is likely a fault with the door switch.

  • Dryer timer is broken (dial won’t spin or signals broken)
  • Circuit board is not working or is short-circuiting

Door Switch

The door switch is part of the electrical circuit within the dryer. Once the switch is activated by opening the dryer door, the circuit is broken and the dryer turns off. The fact that the dryer is not turning off when you open the dryer door suggests that this mechanism is no longer working.

The door switch is located in the top right of the dryer housing in a Kenmore dryer. This can be accessed by removing the top panel from the dryer, by removing the screws and lifting the panel up. To remove the door switch, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Once the top panel of your dryer is open, locate the door switch cabling in the front/right of the dryer housing.
Step 2: Unplug the door switch at this point from the rest of the cables.
Step 3: Locate and remove the fastening screw for the door switch on the front panel of the dryer.
Step 4: Remove the door switch and replace with a new one