5 Reasons Why Your Tumble Dryer is Not Spinning

figuring out why a tumble dryer is not spinning

Are you struggling to figure out why your tumble dryer has stopped spinning?

Here are 5 common reasons that the drum will stop turning on a dryer. If your dryer has broken down and stopped spinning, it’s usually because a part has failed and needs to be fixed.

We will be going through each of the reasons and how you can diagnose the fault yourself.

If you do decide to inspect your dryer for a fault or try to carry out a repair, it’s important that you isolate the machine from the power.

It’s also worth noting that this fault can be caused by human error. You should always make sure that the door is securely shut and that the control knob is on a cycle before hitting start.

Let’s take a look at some possible faults that could be causing your dryer to stop turning.

Why a tumble dryer stops spinning

1. The belt has snapped

The number one cause for a tumble dryer to stop spinning is when the drive belt snaps.

belt from a tumble dryer

It’s also possible for the belt to come off the drum, especially if the pulley wheel has broken (we will discuss this later).

If you want to find out if the belt has snapped on a tumble dryer, you can remove the lid and take a look at the belt.

If you can’t see the belt at the top of the drum, there’s a good chance that it has snapped and fallen down inside the cabinet of the dryer.

If you can pull the belt up by hand and it feels slack, it’s probably because it has snapped or come off the motor.

Replacing a drive belt on a tumble dryer can be tricky depending on the model of the machine. The good news is that the belt is one of the cheapest parts to replace on a dryer.

2. The capacitor has failed

The capacitor gives power to the motor on a tumble dryer. When they fail you can often hear a buzzing noise when the dryer is trying to turn.

capacitor from a tumble dryer

It’s actually more common on some dryers than others, especially on Beko and Hoover tumble dryers.

If you can hear a humming or a buzzing sound when you click start on the machine, it’s time to replace the capacitor.

You have to get the correct capacitor for your machine because they have different ratings, which are not interchangeable.

The capacitor is normally held in by a bolt which fixes to a bracket near the motor and is quite easy to change on most machines.

3. The bearings have failed

Just like washing machines, dryers have bearings too. They are located at the back of the drum.

bearing kit from a tumble dryer

They are normally made from copper and are pretty easy to change on some machines.

Hotpoint tumble dryers are known for both having bearings that fail and being easy to replace.

When the bearing on a tumble dryer drum fails, you will probably notice that the machine is very noisy and that the drum has dropped down slightly.

You’ll also notice that there is a lot of dust or grinded up metal at the back of the machine on the floor.

Some dryers require you to replace the entire drum when the bearing fails, which can be really expensive.

You should take a look at the bearing and decide if you think it’s failed, then try to see if you can swap the bearing instead of the drum.

If you have to swap the drum, then it might be better to replace the machine depending on the value.

4. The pulley wheel has snapped

The pulley wheel is usually situated near the motor and gives tension to the belt.

tumble dryer belt pulley

Most pulley wheels are made from plastic which means that they can snap at any moment.

When the pulley wheel snaps on a tumble dryer, the belt will come off the motor and the drum will stop spinning.

A good indication that the pulley wheel has snapped is that the belt will lose tension even though it’s not damaged.

You should take a look at the pulley wheel and figure out if it’s faulty. Pulley wheels are usually quite cheap to buy and an easy repair to carry out.

5. The motor is faulty

The final reason that a tumble dryer will stop spinning is that the motor is faulty.

tumble dryer motor

The motor on a dryer is susceptible to having electrical insulation breakdown and open circuits which result in the motor not turning the drum.

Before you write the motor off, it’s worth checking if the wiring leading to the motor connection block is in good condition.

If the motor is not receiving power, then it will not be able to turn. Follow the wiring all the way from the control board down to the motor and look for any breaks or burning.

If your dryer has been increasingly noisy recently, it might be because the bearing inside the motor has worn. When you turn the drum by hand it will usually sound rough when the bearing has failed.

If you do decide that the motor has failed, it’s worth looking into a second hand one from a machine that has had another fault.

This is because the motor is one of the most expensive parts to replace on a tumble dryer.