Squeaky Dryer – Is It Dangerous? How to Stop the Squeaking?

A noisy dryer is annoying! It is not only irritable when it squeaks, but it can also cause concern. With this, many people are wondering, is a squeaky dryer dangerous? How do you stop a dryer from squeaking? 

A squeaky dryer is not dangerous. However, it is best to repair it immediately to avoid the problem from worsening. It can be caused by faulty components, including the drive belt, idler pulley, drum support rollers, and blower wheel. 

Read on to learn more about a squeaky dryer, including whether it is dangerous or not, as well as some of the things you can do to stop the noise. 

Squeaky Dryer – Is It Dangerous?

squeaky dryer

In most instances, a squeaky dryer is not dangerous. Nonetheless, even the slightest unusual noise can send some people into a panic. When it squeaks, it is generally safe to continue operation until you are done with the current batch.

After such, look at the cause of the problem and fix it immediately. Otherwise, it can become worse and more expensive to repair. 

When the dryer squeaks, it is often a sign that one component or several parts are problematic. It might continue working. However, you should immediately check which part has an issue once done. Ignoring it can result in more serious problems. 

Why Does Your Dryer Squeak

If the dryer is squeaky, the culprit could be one or several components. Over time, they are prone to wear, especially if you do not pay attention to proper care and maintenance. Such is also the case when you frequently use it in full loads. 

Below are some parts of a dryer that can make it squeak:

1. Dryer Drive Belt 

The drive belt is one of the most important parts of a dryer. It is what rotates the drum, allowing the dryer to function as it should. It is looped into a pulley that attaches to a motor. The belt can slip, especially with the over-rotation of the drum. 

Over time, the drive belt, like the other components, can be prone to wear. It will fray and break with heavy use and lack of maintenance. The motor can still run when it breaks, but the drum will not rotate. Sometimes, it also makes a rattling noise, making the dryer squeak. 

2. Idler Pulley 

A spring-loaded wheel, the idler pulley may be tiny, but it has a crucial role in the overall performance of your dryer. It maintains drive belt tension.

Hence, once it is not working properly, there will be no tension, and the dryer will not spin. Instead, you can hear a squeaky noise, which can signify that the idler pulley is no longer in its proper position. 

3. Drum Support Rollers 

As the name implies, the main function of the support rollers is to support the drum, ensuring it stays in place during a drying cycle. Otherwise, the dryer will move, mainly when operating at full load.

Such is dangerous because it might lose balance, causing the dryer to knock down. Not to mention, it can also result in a squeaky noise. 

The rubber supporting the rollers can rub against the metal in the dryer. It can get thinner over time so that squeaking can be apparent. 

4. Blower Wheel 

The primary function of a blower wheel is to act as a fan. It makes quick turns, so the noise is high-pitched once it squeaks.

Once it is damaged, not much air will be coming out of the exhaust. Most of the time, this wheel is made of plastic, which makes it susceptible to wear over time. 

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How to Stop a Dryer from Squeaking 

It is possible to stop a dryer’s squeak by doing the things we’ll discuss below. In some cases, it can be an easy DIY repair. However, serious problems require professional attention, so it is best to consult with an expert:

1. Change the Drive Belt 

Not all drive belts are the same. The designs can vary depending on the brand. Hence, the specific steps for replacing such a component can vary slightly. In most instances, here’s how you can do so:

Unplug the Dryer 

For your safety, make sure that you disconnect the electrical supply. Otherwise, there are risks of electrocution. Once done, move it to a location where you can move freely and access all parts of the dryer so you can easily work on it. 

Remove the Top Panel 

Before you can access the drive belt, you will need to take off the top panel. Some models will have fasteners or clips on the hinge, which you must lift. Use a screwdriver to remove any screw or bolt that holds the panel in place. Pry the top using a flat-headed screwdriver. 

Take Out the Electrical Wires 

With the top panel out of the driver, unplug the electrical wires connecting to the door safety switch. Some will have a connector, but others will only have a wire. If the latter is the case, you need to cut the wire. 

Remove the Dryer Drum 

After removing the panel, you can pull the drum out of the dryer. Make sure to balance the weight to avoid damage. Once the drum is out, take the belt out. Use it to match the new part as the replacement, so you can be sure that you will purchase the right component.

Install the New Belt 

Once the new belt is ready, install it on the dryer drum. Most will have a mark that shows the original location of the belt, so it will be easy to determine its right position. Bring the drum back to its original position and return all other components you have earlier uninstalled. 

2. Replace the Idler Pulley

squeaky dryer repair

You can easily replace the idler pulley without professional assistance. The most important is to check the specific part number to be sure that you will be replacing it with a compatible pulley:

Turn Off Power Supply 

Stay safe while replacing the idler pulley. The first thing that you will need to do is to unplug it from the power supply. Once the power supply is cut, move it to a location where you can move freely and access the dryer comfortably while repairing. 

Remove the Top Panel 

Taking off the top panel is similar to what we discussed earlier. Once it is removed, disconnect the electrical connector and remove the drum from the dryer assembly. 

Remove and Replace the Idler Pulley 

With the drum out of the dryer, take a photo of the idler assembly, so you will have a visual guide of what it should look like once done.

Push the idler pulley, which will release drive belt tension. Release the drive belt and pull the pulley. To install the new pulley, push and loop the drive belt. 

Return the Parts 

After putting the new pulley, you can bring the drum back to its original position and the top panel you have taken out. 

3. Change the Support Rollers 

With the weight that the rollers support, they will deteriorate over time. To help maintain their balance and eliminate squeaking noise, here’s how you can replace the rollers:

Turn Off the Power Supply 

As with the others on this list, the first thing to do is shut the power off so you can work safely. 

Remove the Top Panel 

To do this, follow what we have earlier talked about. This is important to access the drum and other internal components you need to repair. With the top panel off, you will also need to remove the front panel. 

Pull the Drum 

You cannot replace the support rollers if the drum is in its original position. Push the idler pulley to remove tension from the drive belt, then take out the drum. 

Remove and Replace the Support Roller 

At this point, you now have access to the drum. Take the triangular washer off using a slot screwdriver. Pull the roller from the front shaft. Push the new roller in place and secure it using the triangular washer. Return all the components to their original positions. 

Lubricate the Rollers 

In some cases, you might not need to replace the rollers. Instead, lubricating them would do. You can use WD-40 to grease the rollers, eliminating the squeaky sound. 

4. Change the Blower Fan 

Many signs indicate the need to change the blower fan, such as squeaky noises and loud vibrations. You need access to the blower housing before replacing this part of the dryer:

Unplug the Dryer 

Start by cutting the power supply to the dryer. This way, you can work without the risks of electrocution. 

Remove the Panels and Drum 

With the dryer now unplugged, remove the top and front panel. Next, take the drum out of the dryer. The instructions are the same as mentioned in the solutions above. 

Loosen the Blower Wheel 

At this point, you already have access to the blower housing. Remove the wheel using a wrench. Remove the shaft clockwise while holding the wheel to release it. 

Install the New Blower Wheel

After taking out the defective blower wheel, you can replace it with a new one. Thread the blower into the shaft. Tighten the blower wheel by rotating it counterclockwise. Re-attach the components that you have previously taken out of the dryer. 

Again, what causes a squeaky dryer? A squeaky dryer might be due to the following:

  • Loose idler
  • Old motor
  • Defective or damaged dryer belt
  • Worn or missing glide bearings

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How to Identify a Squeaky Dryer’s Defective Component

squeaky dryer fix

To understand why the dryer squeak, you need to know where the noise comes from. Once you know which part of the dryer it is from, it will be easier to identify the defective component that you need to repair or replace:

Front of the Dryer 

If the squeak is from the front of the dryer, you will most likely hear it on the front right side. One of the most common reasons for such is a worn-out idler pulley, which provides the drum belt the tension that it needs to spin. 

Back of the Dryer 

Many of the dryer’s components are at its back. So, if you can hear squeaks from this part, it could indicate damage to components like the roller shaft and bearing. A faulty drive belt can also be the culprit. 

Bottom of the Dryer 

In most instances, the noise from the bottom signifies that the support wheels are problematic. They support the drum inside the dryer.

It can also be an issue with the feet supporting the dryer itself. Tightening the feet and ensuring the dryer is in a level position are quick fixes. 

Frequently Asked Questions – Dealing With a Squeaky Dryer 

Is a Squeaky Dryer Dangerous? 

Most of the time, a squeaky dryer is not dangerous. It signifies problematic components which you can easily repair or replace. However, the longer you do not attend to the issue, the worse it can become, making it risky. 

Should I Repair a Squeaky Dryer on My Own? 

It depends on the problem’s extent and your confidence in your DIY skills. If it is a minor issue, you can save money if you fix it yourself. However, if it is a major problem and you do not have the necessary knowledge, then it is best to leave it to the hands of the experts. 

How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Squeaky Dryer? 

The cost depends on the extent of the problem and the specific component that is defective. On average, the cost will range from $75 to $450. It is more expensive if you will hire someone to fix it. 

Does the Warranty Cover a Squeaky Dryer? 

Yes, a squeaky dryer is covered by the warranty of the product. However, you must check the terms and conditions as they can differ from one manufacturer to another.

Also, if the issue is a result of the negligent use of the dryer, it might not be covered. Standard wear of the components can also be outside of the warranty coverage. 

How Do I Prevent the Dryer from Squeaking? 

The best way to prevent a squeaky dryer is to pay attention to routine care and maintenance. Keep it clean and inspect the components periodically so you can act the soonest when they are defective.

Also, ensure proper positioning of the machine to keep its balance. Also, never load the dryer beyond its standard capacity. 

In Closing – Squeaky Dryer – Is It Dangerous? How to Stop the Squeaking?

A squeaky dryer can be annoying! The loud noise can make most people panic. Indeed, there is a reason for such since it can be indicative of a problem.

In most cases, however, it is not dangerous. Nonetheless, it is best to diagnose the noise source after the drying cycle and repair it immediately. 

To stop the squeaking, you need first to diagnose the problem. Once you know the source of the issue, you will know which part is defective that needs repair or replacement. These components include the drive belt, idler pulley, support wheels, and blower fan.