Why Is My Tumble Dryer So Noisy?

If an unusual noise is coming from your tumble dryer, it means that it is not working properly.

Issues with your tumble dryer can range from small fixable malfunctions to major problems that would require an authorised expert inspection.

Do not ignore noise coming from your tumble dryer as it could balloon into a bigger problem that will be costly to fix. Read on to learn more.

So why is my tumble dryer so noisy?

Unusual loud noises in your tumble dryer may occur if a certain component is defective. It could also be because of common laundry-day mistakes that have the potential to damage your tumble dryer.

Here are the most likely reasons why your tumble dryer is noisy:

A. Unlevelled surface/Legs

If the dryer is rocking back and forth or vibrating during spinning, it might be sitting on an uneven surface.

If your dryer model is fitted with self-levelling legs or a height-adjustable base, the lock nuts may be loose. This causes the dryer to move or shake during the cycle.

An unbalanced laundry load will also contribute to the rocking and shaking.

The continuous shaking can damage internal components of your dryer.

Fortunately, the fix is simple.

  • Make sure you place your dryer on an even surface
  • Adjust the height-adjustable base so that the dryer is level
  • With time, the locking nuts become loose and might need tightening.
  • Replace self-levelling legs if they are worn out
  • Ensure your laundry load is not bunched up on one side of the machine during a spin cycle

B. Metal objects

You will be able to know instantly that there is a metal object in the dryer when your start the cycle. The most common sounds are rattling, grinding, banging or clanking of keys and coins.

Metal objects will repeatedly bang against the dryer’s drum and glass door violently when in full cycle. This could damage the drum of your dryer.

A damaged internal drum will rip your clothes while damage to the external drum causes leakages.

Follow these easy safety measures while loading your dryer;

  • Always check and make sure you don’t leave any coins or keys in your pockets
  • Use protective mesh bags for clothing with metal parts like zippers, belt buckles and bra wires
  • Remember to close all zippers tabs all the way up
  • Don’t forget to inspect the dryer before loading. Make sure it is empty

C. Faulty elements

Like most appliances, age and use can eventually cause your tumble dryer to malfunction resulting in unusual noises.

These noises may indicate a major problem with one or a number of elements that keep your dryer running smoothly.

Faulty elements may need to be repaired or replaced. Severe damage to certain elements might render your dryer useless.

i. Drum Slide, Glide, or Pad

Likely Noise – scraping sound

This is the supportive lining of the dryer’s drum located on the front part on either sides. The pads are made of Teflon, plastic, or nylon, backed with cork or sometimes felt depending on your dryer model. Worn out or eroded glide will expose the drum to the metal casing resulting to the noises

ii. Drum Bearings

Likely Noise – shaking or rumbling

The drum bearings are located on the backside of the drum and help it turn smoothly.

If the bearings are not working properly the drum will be unstable and shake when spinning.

iii. Drum Support Axels & Shaft

Likely Noise – loud rumbling sound

These parts hold the drum rollers in place. With time, both the rollers and axles will wear out and result in loud rumbling noises.

iv. Blower Wheel & Housing

Likely Noise – thumping or roaring sound

The blower wheel is the element that draws air in and out of the cycle. A number of issues might cause this element to malfunction. If the wheel is too loose or too tight, it will be noisy. Small objects might also be lodged in the wheel making it noisy. A worn out blower wheel can also result in a noisy tumble dryer.

v. Baffle or Lifter

Likely Noise – rattling or clumping sound

When you are drying your clothes, this is the element that tumbles and fluffs them preventing them from sticking to the drum. Damage to the baffle will produce a clumping sound. Objects from your clothes like buttons can also be lodged under the lifter creating a rattling sound.

vi. Idler Assembly

Likely Noise – scrapping or thumping sound

You can locate the idler at the bottom of your dryer near the drive motor. It holds the idler pulley in place. Damage to the idler pulley will wear out the idler assembly and it will not be silent about it.

vii. Idler Pulley

Likely Noise – squeak or squeal and thumping or scraping sound

Evident from its name, the idler pulley’s main function is to provide tension and keep the drum belt running smoothly. The constant tension and high speed motion creates friction that eats into the idler pulley. If you don’t fix the wear and tear in time, the noises will worsen.

viii. Drive Belt

Likely Noise – thumping sound

Like the idler pulley, friction is the noise culprit here. As you continue to use your dryer, the driver belt gets frayed and eventually will be too damaged to run quietly.

ix. Motor

Likely Noise – rattling, high pitched or humming sound

Motor failure is a common problem with tumble dryers. This is the component that keeps the drum and blower running. Worn out motor parts, damaged bearings, broken windings or a malfunctioning switch will cause unusual noises.

Note: Ensure that you disconnect your dryer from the power source before you attempt to investigate for signs of damage to any element.

Final words

If you are not sure where the noise is coming from, you might need to use your warranty.

Any decent manufacturer’s warranty will cover your dryer for a year or two in most cases. Beyond that you will need to pay for an authorised expert.