Dryer Making Grinding Noise: 11 Effective Solutions

A well-functioning clothes dryer isn’t expected to produce any kind of odd sound or noise. However, if you notice your dryer is emitting weird grinding or squealing sounds, you must address the issue immediately and solve it with professional help. Don’t neglect the matter and never continue using it.

Is your dryer making grinding noise? Are you unable to find out the reason? If yes, you have come to the right place. In this guide, we have discussed the various reasons that might be the reason for the grinding noise.

After you go through this guide properly, you wouldn’t face any difficultly in figuring out the cause of the grinding noise. Once the cause is identified, resolving the issue isn’t a big deal. Therefore, without delay in any further, let’s know the various conditions when your dryer is likely to emit a grinding noise.

Why is My Dryer Making a Grinding Noise and How to Fix it

Dryer Making Grinding Noise

The performance of any dryer depends on its quality. If you had bought a low-quality dryer, it’s expected to be a little noisy. Expensive ones however don’t emit unwanted sounds while functioning. However, if your dryer is making obnoxious grinding noise for a few days, it indicates a serious problem.

No matter what’s the cause, it needs to be addressed properly. The machine also needs proper maintenance.

If you keep ignoring the noise coming from the machine, there would be further damages, ultimately leading to its breakdown. Sometimes, the damage caused might be irreparable. In that case, you have to buy a new dryer. But, if you call a professional for a thorough inspection of the machine, the cause of noise would be identified and a proper replacement of the malfunctioning component would solve the matter.

Let’s now find out which components of the dryer tend to make a lot of noise due to malfunctioning:

Metal Object in the Drum

One likely reason for a dryer making grinding sound is the presence of one or more metal objects inside the drum. If there’s any metal object present inside the space, it hits against the sides of the drum when the dryer tumbles, emitting grinding noise in the process.

If this is the reason, solving it is simple. Open the access door to the dryer. Take out all the clothes present inside it.  See if there’s any belt, key, coin, or screw in the space. If you find any such item, remove it. Put back the clothes inside the drum and switch on the dryer.

Drum Support Rollers and Shaft

Most home owners use electric dryers. They have rollers that provide support to the drum. Now the location of the roller depends on the model of the dryer you are using.

Some dryers have them on the rear end while in some models the rollers are found on the front end. Continued use of dryers makes the rollers wear out faster. As the rollers disintegrate, they cause the grinding noise.

Wearing out of rollers is a common sight. Therefore check that end of the dryer where the rollers are fitted. Inspect them thoroughly. If you find any of them torn or worn out, remove them and replace them with a new one. Also, inspect the other rollers. We advise replacing the rollers with new ones from time to time. 

Eroded Gliders

You must have spotted a protective layer on the outer rims of the drum. Those are a pair of gliders. They prevent the rim to come in contact with the metal cabinet directly while it spins. Gliders are usually made up of plastic or nylon. The material varies from model to model.

The gliders are also subjected to disintegration. They wear and tear with time. When they get worn out, you hear a grinding noise or whining noise when the dryer is functioning. The only way to get rid of the noise is by replacing the pair of gliders with a new one. They are sold in pairs. Therefore, it is better to replace both even if only one of them is in bad shape.

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Belt Slipped

If you look into the drum minutely, you would notice that a thick rubber belt is fitted at the center of the drum. This belt provides support to the drum and allows it to spin the items inside the drum.

Sometimes this rubber belt slips from its position. If that happens, you are likely to hear a grinding noise coming from the machine. In this case, call a dryer repair professional and ask him to fit a new belt in position. This is expected to solve the issue.

Drum Slides or Glides

The glides are crucial components that help the dryer to function properly. The glides help to rotate the drums efficiently. They are placed on the lining of electric and gas dryers.

Just like the other dryer components, even the glides are also subjected to wear and tear. When they become eroded, they cause a grinding sound continuously. It’s extremely frustrating and annoying for people and must be addressed immediately.

When you are still figuring out the reason for the noise, don’t forget to inspect the glides. Open the cabinet and check the glides of the dryer’s drum.

If you notice that they have started to erode, look for the same model of glides. Replace the old ones with the new ones. Make sure both models match.

The Bearings of the Drum

Dryer drums also have bearings that facilitate the spinning of the drum. Different models of dryers have different styles of bearing. Some can be in a ball and socket model while some can be an attached shaft. No matter what’s the style, the bearing will always be found at the rear of the dryer, just behind the drum. If it gets worn out, it will continually strike the back of the casing and make a grinding or squealing noise.

Therefore, the next time you hear your dryer making unwanted grinding noises, inspect the bearings and analyze the component. If they have become worn out, replace them immediately with new ones. You mustn’t attempt to do it alone. Call a professional and get it done as quickly as possible.

Disintegrating Idler Pulley

This component offers tension to the belt. It prevents the belt from slipping on the motor pulley when the spinning starts.

Also called the dryer pulley, the idler pulley also facilitates the smooth functioning of the belt. Even this component is exposed to wear and tear due to high friction. When it starts to erode, it emits a squeaky noise. If this issue remains unaddressed for long, it emits loud scraping or thumping noises.

Locating the idler pulley in your dryer isn’t tough. You need to know the model of the machine to spot its location easily. In some machines, the idler panel is on the lower panel while in some it’s on the other panel.

To see if the idler pulley is causing the grinding sound remove the belt and spin the drum manually. If you notice a grinding noise is being emitted, replace the torn-out shafts and pulley with new good-quality ones.

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Worn out Felt Drum Seal

The drum seal is another component that is prone to erosion, wear, and tear. It acts as a cushion to the drum and prevents it from coming in direct contact with the bulkhead. This drum seal also prevents excessive air from getting inside the drum.

If the drum seal is torn out, it would also produce unwanted, irritating grinding noise and other types of noise as well.

When this drum seal gets damaged, the clothes kept inside the drum get stuck in the gaps. As a result, the clothes might get torn or damaged. Therefore, you must stop the dryer as soon as you hear such unwanted noises and inspect the drum seal, besides checking the other components too.

If you notice a damaged drum seal call a dryer repair professional for help.

The Housing and Blower Wheel

A loose blower wheel in your washing machine can also be the reason behind loud grinding noise. The function of the blower wheel is to circulate atmospheric air into the drum and remove humidity by blowing the air out through the exhaust vent. Now, with time, this blower wheel might become loose, unbalanced, and blocked by unwanted dirt and dust. If this happens, the blower wheel is expected to emit grinding noise.

You will notice that even after turning off the dryer, the blower wheel keeps spinning for some more time. So turn off the dryer and see if the machine is still emitting the same noise. If it does, inspect the blower wheel.

Inspect the junction and hub of the wheel minutely. See if it’s worn out. If you find it has started to erode, you must replace it with a new one.

Even if don’t know where to look for the blower wheel, you should at least know the model of the dryer you are using. Either the blower is located beyond the rear or front panel. Usually, it’s found to be clamped or threaded. When you rotate the blower wheel manually, it’s likely to turn the drum and motor as well. If you notice any problem while it rotates, call a professional and fix the components.

Dryer Motor

Who doesn’t know the function of a motor! It turns on the drum and makes sure the blower works efficiently. But, do you notice loud grinding noise coming from your dryer? A malfunctioning dryer motor can be the reason. Maybe the bushing or the bearings of the motor have become worn out.

If the dryer’s motor is the main culprit,  you must inspect the motor. For that, unplug the dryer. Next, detach some components like the blower wheel and the drive belt. Now you can access the motor easily.

Inspect the motor thoroughly and if you spot any signs of damage or erosion, get a new motor immediately.  For replacement, contact the customer support or the nearest technician.

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Dryer Drive Belt Worn Out

Nowadays, electric and gas dryers come with a drive belt. The purpose of this component is to spin the dryer drum to improve the performance of the dryer.

Since the belt is constantly exposed to friction, with time it gets worn out or damaged. Oftentimes, the drive belt becomes frayed and slips from its position, causing the noise.

The drive belt is usually located on the front panel of the machine. If you notice grinding noises coming from the machine, you mustn’t forget to check the  condition of the drive belt. If you notice any signs of wear and tear, consider replacing it immediately.

Don’t worry about the replacement of the drive belt. Remove the parts of the dryer that come first. Now, examine the drive belt. It’s usually found wrapped around the dryer drum in loops.  If you find fragments of the belt inside the drum, it means the drive belt requires immediate replacement.

The Bottom Line

A noisy dryer is irritating. It’s therefore important to get rid of the noise as soon as possible. You must address the issue especially if you find the drum isn’t functioning properly.  Along with the immediate replacement of the worn-out parts, you must also take care of the machine. If you are unable to inspect its various components, call a professional from time to time and get it inspected. A well-maintained dryer is likely to function for long.