What to Do If Your Dryer is Not Spinning

Empty dryer

No matter how many times you run your clothes through your dryer, they still won’t dry. Then one day, as you’re watching your clothes dry, you discover something — your dryer is not spinning at all.

If your dryer is not spinning, the cause may be a basic problem that you could attempt to fix on your own. The guide below lists eight possible reasons that your electric or gas dryer won’t spin, and gives you tips on how to fix them.

  1. The dryer isn’t getting power.
  2. Debris is jamming the drum.
  3. The dryer door latch is broken.
  4. The inside of the dryer might be dirty.
  5. The drive belt is broken or slipped out of place.
  6. The dryer pulley assembly is broken.
  7. The drum rollers or drum glides are worn out.
  8. Your dryer drive motor is broken.

With a few simple tools and a little time, you may be able to get your dryer spinning again. But if these troubleshooting tips don’t fix your dryer, make a service appointment with your local Mr. Appliance.

Start troubleshooting your dryer malfunction by checking out this list of the most common causes for a dryer not spinning. Then review our expert suggestions for resolving each situation.

1. The Dryer Isn’t Getting Power

Electric dryers need two 120v breakers to work: one breaker to run the motor that turns the drum, and one to power the heating element. Sometimes a circuit breaker can trip (or automatically turn off to avoid overheating). One tripped dryer breaker would explain why your dryer gets hot but is not spinning. To make your dryer spin again, you’ll need to ensure that the circuit breaker that runs the drum is not tripped.

Two other simpler causes include an unplugged dryer and a tripped GCFI outlet.

The Fix

First, check to make sure that your dryer is plugged in. You should also make sure that the GCFI outlet isn’t tripped by pressing the reset button on the outlet. If none of these solutions work, the breaker may be tripped. If any breakers are tripped in your electrical panel, reset them by opening the panel and looking for the switch in your panel that isn’t aligned with the rest. Flip the misaligned switch back over, and see if this helps your dryer spin again.

2. Debris is Jamming the Drum

Sometimes someone forgets to empty their pockets before starting a load of laundry. That debris can empty into your dryer’s drum, causing it to stop spinning. It’s also possible for small articles of clothing to wedge between the spaces on the outside of your drum — socks are usually the main culprit for this.

The Fix

Check the space between the dryer drum and its housing for objects like coins, articles of clothing, or even credit cards. Needle-nose pliers are handy for removing any small items you find. Once you extract these items, try drying a load of laundry to see if your drum now spins.

3. The Dryer Door Latch is Broken

Sometimes a dryer won’t spin because it can’t sense that the door is closed, so the heating element and drum will not engage. If your dryer door pops open without cause or refuses to close completely, you could be dealing with a broken door latch.

The Fix

Door latches are affordable, widely available, and easy to replace. To replace your dryer’s door latch, you’ll need to first detach the dryer door by removing the hinge screws and screws around the door. Use needle-nose pliers to pry the latch from the door. Pop the replacement latch into the opening, and replace all previously removed screws. Once you’ve undergone this process, test your work by drying a load of laundry. If your dryer drum spins and the door doesn’t open, you’ve successfully replaced the latch.

4. The Inside of the Dryer Might Be Dirty.

Lint and other debris can get inside the dryer housing. One surefire sign of this is a musty or burning smell coming from your malfunctioning dryer. As the crud builds up, the motor may stop functioning normally.

The Fix

Look in your dryer’s drum and scrape off any residue from debris. Use an all-purpose cleaner to scrub off any residual staining. For debris like lint or dust, sometimes all it takes to get a dryer going again is to vacuum the dust out of it. If you can’t get all the debris out with your vacuum, try a leaf blower. Check this fix by seeing if any dirt came out of the drum or dryer housing. With a clean dryer drum, your dryer should function normally again.

5. The Drive Belt is Broken or Slipped Out of Place

The most common cause behind a dryer not spinning is a damaged drive belt. The drive belt is responsible for rotating your dryer’s drum, but if this belt is broken, your dryer won't spin.

You can test the drive belt by simply reaching inside the dryer and manually turning the drum. If you feel little or no resistance from turning the drum, the drive belt probably isn’t working.

The Fix

Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual to open the dryer housing and find the long, thin drive belt. If it’s dried out, cracked, or broken, it will need to be replaced by an appliance repair professional.

6. The Dryer Pulley Assembly is Broken

The dryer pulley assembly holds the drive belt tight against the drum and motor. If your drive belt has slipped out of place but doesn’t seem damaged, a broken pulley assembly is likely the reason for the dryer not spinning.

The Fix

Fixing a dryer’s pulley assembly can be complex. You need to remove the lint screen, front panel, and old pulley from your dryer. Then, install the new pulley and reinstall the front panel. While these steps may seem straightforward, always seek the help of a professional when your dryer needs extensive repairs such as these. Your local Mr. Appliance will service your dryer’s pulley assembly so that your drum can spin perfectly again.

7. The Drum Rollers or Drum Glides Are Worn Out

If your dryer is making noise but not spinning, this could be the reason. The drum rollers and glides are the parts that allow the drum to rotate smoothly. When these parts go bad, it creates resistance and overloads the motor so that your dryer won’t spin. It also creates a screeching or bumping noise. The older your dryer is, the greater the chance that your drum rollers or glides could be wearing down.

The Fix

Repairing drum rollers or glides is no simple feat. First, you should clean the lint trap and detach the lint duct housing. Then take off the top and front panels of the dryer. Next, find the drum glides — note that drum glides appear in different places depending on the model of the dryer. Once you find the glides, remove and replace the felt and plastic found on the glide. Lastly, you need to reassemble the dryer. If you run your dryer and do not hear the same bumping or screeching noise, you’ve successfully fixed your drum roller or glide problem.

Let our professionals at Mr. Appliance take care of this complex repair so that you aren’t stuck hunting down and disassembling delicate, hidden parts.

8. Your Dryer Drive Motor is Broken

A broken motor will not permit the dryer’s drum to spin. When the motor is damaged, you’ll often hear a growling or humming sound when you start your dryer. Or, your motor will shut off completely in the middle of a laundry load.

The Fix

If your dryer is heating but not spinning and you suspect that the motor is the reason, you will likely need to call a professional.

Repairs for a broken motor involve detailed steps that include removing the top, back, and front dryer panels, the drum, the lint screen and its housing, the blower wheel, and the faulty motor. Once this removal process is complete, we’ll replace the motor and get your dryer spinning again.

Dryer Still Won’t Spin? Mr. Appliance Can Help

If you have tried all the troubleshooting steps and, still, your dryer won’t spin, it’s time to call an appliance repair expert. There could be other issues going on related to faulty electrical components or other intricate parts of the dryer. Problems like these should be safely diagnosed and repaired by a trained professional.

Mr. Appliance has the qualified and courteous repair experts you need to get your dryer spinning again. Our local teams offer up-front pricing, flexible scheduling, and guaranteed quality parts and workmanship.

Dirty laundry may pile up fast, but your frustration doesn’t have to. Call Mr. Appliance today to schedulle service online to fix your broken dryer.