Last updated: January 17, 2023 at 13:21 pm
In a country as rainy as the UK, a tumble dryer stops being a luxury and becomes a necessity. In some households, particularly those with a baby, the tumble dryer is used almost daily.
So, if it’s making an unpleasant noise, as well as the worry that it might be failing, the intrusive sound can be a big problem.
IN THIS ARTICLE
How Long Should My Tumble Dryer Last?
It’s a sad fact that appliances don’t seem to have the life span they used to. Anecdotal evidence on the internet suggests many users start to experience problems at the 3-5 years mark.
The appliance is out of even extended warranty by then, and owners face the choice of attempting a repair that may be unsuccessful or simply replacing the appliance.
However, not every fault is terminal, and some problems can be remedied quite easily. So, if your Indesit tumble dryer has started making a screeching sound, we’ll look at the possible causes and solutions in this article.
- A Fault with The Idler Pulley. The idler pulley holds the drum belt taut to prevent it from slipping off when the drum is spinning. If the belt becomes worn due to friction, it can cause your dryer to make a screeching noise.
- A Worn Drum Belt. The idler puller mentioned above connects to the drum belt. The drum belt then spins the drum. This belt can start getting worn too and will also make a screeching noise. If this is the case, you’re more likely to hear the sound near the top of your dryer.
- Worn Or Broken Drum Bearings. The drum that you put your clothes into is supported at the rear by bearings. If these bearings become too worn or break entirely, your dryer will begin to make a screeching noise. Luckily, there’s an easy way to check if this is the culprit. When your dryer is empty, put your hand into the drum and try to turn it manually. If you hear the noise or if there’s resistance, then your bearings will need to be replaced.
- A Worn or Broken Motor. If the screeching is coming from the back of your dryer, then checking the bearings is step one. If they are fine, then it’s possibly a fault with the motor. A screeching noise is a sign of a motor fault long before the motor stops working.
Screeching Noise Fixes
Many of the problems above can be fixed without calling in an engineer or replacing the dryer. Whether you choose to do so depends on the following factors:
- Your confidence working with appliances
- The age of the dryer
- The cost of the replacement parts
If you do decide to attempt a repair yourself, please do so safely. Ensure your dryer is switched off and unplugged from the wall before you begin.
The Idler Pulley
The idler pulley is not an expensive part; you should be able to buy one online for £5-10. Many video tutorials on spares websites talk you through the steps to fit a replacement. Watch these videos thoroughly and decide if you feel comfortable doing the job yourself.
If not, it is still likely to be cheaper to call out an engineer to do it than replace your tumble dryer.
The Drum Belt
This is an easy fix that most people should be able to do themselves. There are step-by-step guides and videos online to walk you through it. Be warned that you need to remove several parts to replace the belt, so watch the videos first and see if you feel happy doing it yourself.
You should also ensure you have all the tools you need before you begin. Drum belts are a little bit more expensive than the pulley at £10-15 but still affordable.
The Drum Bearings
This is an easy repair. If you take the back panel off your dryer, you’ll be able to see the bearings. Then, search for the spare part online so you can see how it looks when new. If they look very worn or misshaped, then order replacements.
If they appear dirty, wipe them with a cloth or spray them with compressed air to remove the dirt and debris. You should then lubricate them with WD-40 or another type of grease.
Once you’ve done this, try putting your dryer on to see if the noise is gone.
Unless you’re very knowledgeable about working with motors and/or an electrician, this is probably not a repair to attempt yourself. Replacing the motor could require rewiring, which can be dangerous. If you’ve ruled out the other options and think the motor is to blame, consider calling in an engineer to confirm the fault and replace the motor.
However, if your dryer is old, it may not be worth paying for the motor to be replaced. It is still likely to be cheaper than replacing the dryer initially, but you also need to think about the running costs.
Most new appliances are much more energy efficient, so you could offset the upfront cost with reductions in your power bill over time. You’ll be doing your part for the environment too.
In most cases, a screeching noise is a sign that there is a problem with your dryer but not one that means you will need to replace it. You should be able to reach most parts of the dryer to inspect, clean, and, where necessary, replace any faulty parts. For general noises read our common tumble dryer noises article.
Always remember that electricity is dangerous, so unplug the dryer before you start work on it. If at any point you’re unsure of what you’re doing, stop and check the instructions thoroughly. If you’re still not sure, call in an experienced professional. Always think about safety first.