Is a Squeaky Dryer Dangerous?

dangerous squeaky tumble dryer

Last updated: February 6, 2023 at 16:37 pm

Tumble dryers are not exactly the quietest of home appliances, but sometimes you might notice that your dryer has started to squeak.

This squeaking can be really irritating, and it can make you not want to do your laundry for fear of having to tolerate it, but what does it mean? Is a squeaky dryer dangerous? Can it be fixed? Here’s what you need to know.

Is a Squeaky Dryer Dangerous?

Most of the time, your dryer squeaking is not dangerous, so you don’t need to panic or start air drying all your clothes. It is, however, important to look at your tumble dryer to figure out what the issue is, as leaving a squeaky dryer unchecked could result in your appliance breaking, whereas you could prevent the machine breaking with a quick fix.

It is also worth considering that the machine itself may not be dangerous, but if the noise is frustrating or loud, it could result in discomfort in your home, headaches and frustration.

What Might Cause a Squeaky Dryer?

There are several things that can make your tumble dryer squeak. A dryer has a lot of moving parts and because of the intensity of the movement it does, it’s not uncommon for things to go wrong. Some of the most common causes of a squeaky dryer are:

Worn Out Drum Bearings

drum bearings

The drum bearings in the back wall of your dryer are essential for the drum to turn. They allow the pulley to move when activated by the belt and the motor and must be well lubricated and in good condition to work properly.

Sometimes, these drum bearings become too dry, or they begin to wear due to age, and this can make a squeaking sound as the tumble dryer’s drum rotates.

How to Fix Worn Out Bearings

To fix worn bearings (or dry bearings) you will need to turn your dryer off and disconnect it from the mains. You will then need to open the cabinet and remove your drum. The steps for doing this differs between models and brands, so you should look in your manual or online for steps to do this.

You’ll need to look along the back wall for the rear drum support bearing and bracket and will need to remove one screw. Then, use your finger to pry one side of the bearing from the bracket and replace the screw. Do this again for the opposite screw. And be sure to secure the small metal ball so that you don’t lose it.

Then, find a small hole in the cabinet between the two screws and squeeze a small amount of high-temperature grease into it. Do this to the small hole in the back wall of the replacement support bearing, too.

Find the small metal ball in the back wall of the original support bearing and pop it from the wall. Push it into the back wall of the replacement support bearing. Place one end of the replacement bearing into the bearing support bracket and line up the holes. Use the removed bracket screw to secure.

Remove the screw from the opposite side of the bearing support bracket and push the opposite side of the bearing into the bracket. Replace the screw and then fill the U-shaped support with grease.
Find the three screws in the center of the drum wall and remove them. Line the holes up with the replacement and screw the replacement back in. Then, reassemble your dryer.

If you’re unsure, always contact a professional.

Also read: Why Is My Indesit Tumble Dryer Making a Screeching Noise?

Worn Out Motor

dryer motor

A worn out motor is a common cause of squeaking in older machines. It is the result of many years of use, and usually suggests that your tumble dryer needs updating to a newer model. Sometimes, the motor can be replaced, but this is not a simple job.

It is unwise to try to fix a worn out motor unless you are an experienced electrician or someone with a great understanding of tumble dryers. Usually, if the motor is the problem, your appliance simply needs upgrading.

Related: Is a Noisy Fridge Dangerous?

Faulty Roller Shafts

Roller shafts help to keep your tumble dryer tumbling, but sometimes they can get damaged. They are small parts that are cylindrical and sit either side of the back wall of your dryer. They will often squeak when broken.

Roller shaft problems are not too difficult to fix. You will first need to unplug and turn off your dryer completely. Then you will need to remove either your side or back panel, depending on your brand of dryer and where the roller shafts sit.

The rollers will be at the base of the drum and may be behind a few other elements which you will need to carefully remove. Then, simply remove the nuts and bolts at the end of each shaft and pull the roller. Place your new rollers in and reassemble, and you should have a squeak free dryer.

Pulley Issues

A pulley issue will cause a squeaky sound to radiate from the front of your dryer. It is the result of the idler pulley (the thing that creates tension on the drive belt to prevent it from slipping) becoming broken or loose during use.

Have you determined that it is the pulley causing your irritating squeaking? Well, here’s what you need to do to fix it. First, as with the other steps, turn off and unplug your dryer.

Then, you will need to remove the lint screen. Once that is done you can remove the two screws that should be behind it. Then find the clips that hold the cover on and press them in.

Remove the cover and then disconnect the wire harness – it may be worth looking at a video before doing this. Roll the belt off of the existing pulley, install your new one, and then reassemble!

Loose Drive Belt

drive belt

The drive belt sits on the outside of the dryer drum and is an essential element of the tumble dryer. If it is frayed or cracked, it will often cause a squeaking sound.

This could then develop further, leading to the belt snapping. A snapped belt will mean that your tumble dryer drum will not turn, reducing the usefulness of the appliance.

As always, the first step is to unplug and turn off your appliance. Then you should remove the lint filter and unscrew it. Then remove the fastener screws and press the clips to remove the casing. Disconnect your electrical harnesses and remove the front panel.

Remove the old belt. Wrap your new belt around the drum and attach it to the motor pulley and idler pulley, then reassemble your dryer!

Dirty Fan

The fan is an important part of the tumble dryer. It removes the heated air from the machine. Often, the fan will get clogged up with debris and dust, causing the fan to struggle to move and subsequently, creating a squeaky sound.

For this, you will need some cleaning supplies. You might want to get a vacuum with a hose attachment, electrical tape, a dustpan and brush, dryer duct cleaning kit and a power drill. You will need to turn off and unplug the dryer, then vacuum inside the vent.

Then connect the flexible rods provided in dryer cleaning kits to a drill and push them into the vent. Turn the drill onto medium power and push and pull.

Read more: 5 Common Tumble Dryer Noises and How to Fix Them

If In Doubt…

If you can’t tell why your tumble dryer is squeaky, or you’re not very DIY minded, it is always the safest bet to contact a professional.

There is every chance you have a warranty on your dryer, and this may come in handy. Just remember that these jobs should only be done if you’re confident enough to do them. Otherwise, hire someone to do it for you!

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About the Author: AJ

AJ is a self-confessed soundproofing nut. He has written full-time on Quiet Living for the past 4 years, and has a wealth of knowledge about living a quieter life, soundproofing and fixing loud noises.

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