Replace Worn-Out Dryer Parts to Stop the Racket | Super Blog

Replace Worn-Out Dryer Parts to Stop the Racket

Time: 1-2 hours

If your dryer is pulling double duty as a noise-rock musical instrument with squealing, grinding, or thumping sounds, it’s probably time for to open it up and see what’s going on. Psst...you can tell which part is broken by listening before doing. Chances are it’s either the idler pulley and arm, drum support wheels or glide bearing and seal.

What's in it for you?

  • Fix common dryer noises
  • Stop undue wear on other dryer parts
  • Keep your dryer running smoothly

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Replace Worn-Out Dryer Parts to Stop the Racket

  1. Turn your dryer on and listen. Creaking and screeching could be either a worn-out idler pulley, the drum support rollers or both. A grinding sound indicates the bearings on the drum support rollers are shot. And a scraping sound means your glide bearings are done for.

  2. Unplug and disassemble your dryer. Pull the plug out of the wall behind your dryer and turn off the gas if it’s a gas-fired one (it’ll have a metal flexible pipe coming out of the back with a shutoff valve). Take off your dryer’s top and front panels. Find the motor in the bottom of the dryer and snap a picture with your phone to remember how the belt is routed. Then, push the idler arm — the pulley next to the motor — toward the motor. Pull the belt off of the motor pulley and away from the idler arm. Finally, remove the drum.

Pro Tip: Use the belt to hoist the drum up and out, holding the belt in one hand and the front of the drum with the other to keep it balanced. Call a friend for help if it’s heavy.

  1. Remove the idler pulley and arm. Slide the idler arm’s base toward the motor and out of the bracket into which it snaps.

  2. Remove the drum support rollers. Look for two wheels on the inside of your dryer’s back panel. Remove the old ones by using a flathead screwdriver to pry the triangular washer off the end of the shaft on which they turn. (Insert the screwdriver end into a corner of the washer and it should come right off.) Then, pull the rollers toward you and off of the shaft.

  3. Take off the worn-out glide bearings. Find the drum’s opening and look along the outside edge for lock tabs holding the glide bearings in place. You’re looking for a split plastic oval sticking through a hole in the metal. Squeeze the tabs together with some needle-nose pliers and push them through each hole, repeating until both of the bearings are free.

  4. Remove the front panel seal. If your glide bearings look worn, that felt-and-fabric seal on the raised ring around the inside of your dryer door isn’t far behind. Now’s the time to pull it out of the channel in that ring into which the seal is snapped. Just give it a firm tug and it’ll come free.

  5. Get some replacement parts. Head over to your local hardware store with old parts in hand. Jot down and take along your dryer’s brand and model number, too.

  6. Install the idler arm. Slide the arm base into the bracket on the bottom of the dryer that held the old one.

  7. Install the new drum support rollers. Slip the rollers onto the shafts and snap the triangular washers back into place — no screwdriver needed.

  8. Install the new glide bearings and seal. The glide bearings snap in place, just line up the glide bearing so the lock tabs go through the holes along the drum’s edge and press. And simply press the new seal into the channel from which you pulled the old one.

  9. Reassemble your dryer. Hoist the drum back into place — don’t forget to use the belt as a hoist. Then reroute the belt just like it is in the picture you took. From there, reattach the front and top panels just like you took them off, but go in reverse and start by reinstalling the front panel. Ta-da! Your dryer is a noisemaker machine no more.

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