When you decide you can’t stand the noise for a minute longer and start searching how to fix a clothes dryer squeaking, you will find out the noise is most likely coming from one of two sources in the dryer: the drive belt or the rear tub bearing.
The easiest fix is the drive belt. As they age, belts dry out, start to harden and develop squeaks where they touch the small tightening rollers. If you remove the lower front panel on most clothes dryers, you can see these small rollers close to the motor.
What you need:
- Bar of soap
- Unplug the dryer from the electrical outlet. Never work on or put your hands near any moving part of a dryer that is plugged in.
- Remove panel. With the small front panel removed and the belt visible, use the flashlight to look at the drive belt and its path around the tightening pulleys. If the belt is cracked, chipped or starting to separate, stop everything and order a new belt. Write down your dryer make and model number and call appliance shops in your area or go on the internet and have one shipped to you. If the belt is shot, you can’t do anything until you have a new one.
- Apply soap to belt. If the belt looks fine, try this to stop squeaking. While a second person slowly rotates the drum by hand, hold the bar of soap against the belt as it rotates. You want to apply a layer of soap to the surface of the belt that touches the tightening pulleys. Rotate the belt fully several times while applying the soap. Replace the front panel and dry a load of clothes. The squeaking should be gone.
If the dryer still squeaks, you might have a bad tub bearing. This bearing wears out eventually because of the rotation of the tub and the weight of the wet clothing. To check the bearing, unplug the dryer and re-open the small front panel. Remove the belt from its track and plug in and start the dryer. If it squeaks without moving the belt, the bearings are probably bad and you will have to decide if you are up to tackling this more complicated and involved fix it job.
While bearing replacement can be done by the average handyman, it involves removing and replacing electrical wires and switches—something that intimidates many dryer owners. If you are up to the challenge, to replace the rear drum bearing you will have to buy a replacement bearing kit. This is pretty easy these days on the internet and as long as you have your dryer model and make, you can have the bearing kit shipped right to your door. The bearing kit will come with all the instructions you need for replacement.