Friday, October 21, 2011

Buzzing Dryer

Q: "My dryer stopped working! We push the start and nothing, well sometimes a buzzing noise but that's it. We have pulled and pushed buttons and checked the lint trap. What could it be? I don't want to have to buy a new dryer!" -J

A: There are several things that can cause the dryer not to turn on. First, start with the electrical supply. Make sure the breaker has not tripped, which I don't think it has since it is buzzing. Next, unplug the dryer and check the plug for any charring or marks indicating its not making a good connection. You will also want to check where the cord attaches to the dryer. All dryer cords are removable and sometimes the screws may loosen up causing a bad connection. If it is only getting power from one wire, 110 Volts, then it can buzz as it doesn't have the proper 220 volts to start up. Make sure these connections are tight, and again check the general condition when looking at these terminals for any obvious signs of trouble.

If all the electrical supply looks fine, check the dryer vent. You will want to disconnect it from the dryer to inspect this. Make sure it is not clogged or any excessive build up. It is best to clean the entire vent line at least once a year to remove lint buildup which can cause the dryer to work harder. Also look into the vent on the back of the dryer, make sure this is clear too.

Can you turn the drum by hand? This is a simple way to check if anything has seized up. If you cannot turn it, the motor may have burned up, the blower may be jammed with lint, or a bearing has gone out. Most commonly it will be the motor or a jammed blower. You will need to partially disassemble the dryer to get the the blower wheel. This will depend on the make and model of the dryer for where this is located. For dryers that have the lint trap in the front at the bottom of the door opening, the blower is close to that and the front of the dryer will be removed to get to it. For dryers with the lint trap at the top, the blower is at the back, close to the vent. If the motor is bad, it is replaceable with the parts found online or at an appliance parts distributor.

For more visual reference, here are a couple videos that can help explain how to disassemble the dryer to get to the parts. While all models may be different, this is a good general overview.

Lets hope it just needs a good cleaning! Additionally, while it is apart, it would be a good time to inspect the drum belt for replacement and the drum rollers to see if they need to be greased.

Hope it helps!

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