How to Fix Tumble Dryer Not Starting the Cycle and Just Buzzing

tumble dryer making a buzzing noise

When your tumble dryer stops working and is making a buzzing noise, it can be really confusing as to what the problem is.

Most of the time when your tumble dryer is making a buzzing noise it’s because the capacitor is faulty and needs to be replaced with a new one.

There are a few other reasons for this fault which we will be taking a look at in this article. Most of the faults are easily repairable and don’t mean the end of your tumble dryer’s life.

It’s important to note that some brands of dryers are more susceptible to having capacitor problems, so it’s always good to start there.

1. The capacitor has failed and needs to be replaced

The number one cause for a tumble dryer to sit and buzz without starting the cycle is because the capacitor has failed.

tumble dryer capacitor

The capacitor is located near the drive motor and gives power to the motor. If it fails, then the motor will not receive any power and the drum will not turn.

When a capacitor fails it will often make a buzzing noise which indicates that it’s struggling to pass power onto another component.

Luckily tumble dryer capacitors are very cheap and they are usually very easy to repair. On Beko tumble dryers it’s as easy as taking the side panel off and unscrewing it.

Known brands that capacitors fail on:

  • Hoover
  • Candy
  • Beko
  • Zanussi

Even if your tumble dryer is not manufactured by the brands above, it doesn’t mean that the capacitor can’t fail. The brands listed are known for having regular capacitor problems on their dryers.

It’s important to buy the correct capacitor for your dryer as they have specific UF ratings, which are not interchangeable.

If you locate the model number of your dryer, it makes it much easier to search for spare parts online.

2. The belt has snapped

If the belt snaps on a tumble dryer, the motor will often continue to turn. This means that the drum won’t be turning, and you’ll just hear the motor working in the background.

tumble dryer belt

To tell if the belt has snapped, you’ll have to inspect the top of the machine. You can unscrew the lid from behind and then the belt will be at the top.

If the belt seems to be missing or it feels loose enough to pull out of the machine, it’s probably because it’s snapped.

It might even mean that the belt pulley has broken, and the belt has come off its runners.

The difficulty of replacing a tumble dryer belt varies from machine to machine, but as a rule of thumb, swapping the belt in a tumble dryer is an intermediate level repair which takes some skill.

Dryer belts are one of the cheaper parts to buy and you can often match up the right belt for your machine on an online spare’s website.

3. The motor is faulty and is jammed

The motor on your tumble dryer works hard and eventually, it will come to the end of its life.

tumble dryer motor

If the bearings on the motor fail, it can become really noisy and will jam up. This means that the motor will try to turn but will be unable to.

To diagnose this fault, you will have to take a look at the motor. They are often located at the back of the machine at the bottom, close to the exhaust fan.

Tumble dryer motors are one of the most expensive parts of a dryer and can sometimes mean it’s cheaper to replace the machine rather than repair it.

It’s also common to have to take the drum out of the dryer to replace the motor which means it’s a very difficult job to carry out.

If you put your hand in the drum of the dryer and try to turn it by hand, it might feel really difficult to turn, which is another sign that the motor has failed. It’s normal for dryers to have a little bit of resistance when you turn them by hand.

4. The water pump is blocked

If you have a condenser dryer, you’ll probably have a tank that collects the water while the machine is drying your clothes.

tumble dryer water pump

This means that it’s probably likely that your machine is fitted with a water pump that pushes the water into the tank.

The water pump is susceptible to getting blocked up with lint and can also fail if a blockage isn’t taken care of.

They are similar to fish tank pumps and make a humming noise. If they get blocked up, then the noise can increase making the dryer noisy.

This fault will be accompanied by the water tank not filling up or an error code that indicates that the water tank is full, even when it’s not.

If you want to take a look at the water pump, you should look at the water tank and follow any tubes that carry water down. You will come to the pump eventually.

For machines manufactured by Hotpoint or Indesit, the water pump is quite economical to repair, and they often fail.


Just to sum it up, if your tumble dryer is making a buzzing noise, you should check the following:

  • Check the capacitor – This is the most common reason a dryer will not work and make a buzzing noise
  • Make sure the belt has not snapped – Tumble dryer belts are susceptible to snapping and is one of the most common faults on a dryer
  • Test the motor for bearing failure and see if it’s seized up
  • Check the water pump and remove any blockages – if the pump doesn’t have a blockage and doesn’t seem to be working then it’s time to replace it

Depending on the make and model of your dryer, it’s definitely worth replacing the capacitor as soon as you encounter this fault.

If your machine is manufactured by a brand like Beko or Zanussi, they make the capacitors very accessible for repair. It’s just a case of taking the side of the dryer off and swapping over the capacitor. They are usually held into place by a bolt and have a couple of wires that need to be swapped over.