My tumble dryer makes a low humming noise and won't spin

Any of the major brands of tumble dryers -- Maytag, Whirlpool, Bosch, Kenmore, and LG -- for example, can need repair after long-term use. However, a costly repair can be avoided if there is no serious damage to the machine. If you can determine what is wrong with your tumble dryer, you may be able to fix it. If the necessary repair is serious you may have to call a professional, but you may be able to avoid this simply by giving it a quick clean.

Drive belt

The most common problem with dryers that won't spin is a malfunctioning drive belt. The drive belt causes the drum to turn, but if it has snapped or worn down it will cease to work. Turn off the dryer and examine the belt. If it is broken or appears worn you will have to purchase a new belt and feed it around the pulleys, on the roller, and around the drum. If this is too difficult for you, contact a professional.

Dust and foreign objects

Many times a simple cleaning of the box compartment will fix the problem. Dust or foreign objects may be the cause of strange noises like humming and screeching sounds. Removing the drum and cleaning it may also help. Once again, turn your dryer off before cleaning.

Pulleys and rollers

The pulleys may be in need of repair if your dryer won't spin. Another potential cause of the problem may be worn-out rollers. These circle shaped objects help the drum to spin. Malfunctioning rollers may cause the strange noises that are emanating from your dryer.


If the dryer won't start spinning at all, your motor may have burnt out. In this case a professional is probably needed. If you dismantle the dryer belt and examine the blower and motor shaft, you can determine if there are any foreign or obstructing objects. If there aren't, it is likely you will need to buy a replacement motor. Sometimes a motor's bearing can be loose. In this case the dryer will start spinning but there will be loud noises due to the faulty bearing.

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About the Author

Kyle Bigman, a philosophy student at the University of California at Berkeley, is an editor for the "Comparative Literature Journal" and a writer. He also contributes to "The Daily Californian."