Your tumble dryer does a great job of drying large loads of wet laundry, that would etherise take hours to dry on a washing line outdoors, on a good day. And in winter, without a tumble dryer, you would have to find ways to dry your clothes indoors, which isn’t always easy.
But recently you’ve noticed some strange noises coming from your tumble dryer, and you’re wondering if your dryer might have a serious fault, or a breakdown is brewing. So, let’s explore some of the most common sounds your tumble dryer might make as it ages.
Important note: Before you try to fix a defect or explore where the noise of coming from, you MUST disconnect the dryer from the mains power supply.
Acceptable Tumble Dryer Noise Level
Noise emission levels from your home, up to 65 decibels (dB) are considered to be quiet, this volume is around that of a normal conversation. If your tumble dryer is tucked away where sound is well insulated, like a basement, laundry room, or loft, values between 70 and 80 dB are also okay. That’s about the volume of an average vacuum cleaner.
Dryers with over 80 dB are clearly too loud for domestic use, so that squeaking, grinding, thumping – or whatever similar strange noise your tumble dryer has started making – needs to be stopped or you could end up with unhappy neighbours chapping your door.
Tumble Dryer Brands and Sounds
The dryer is not always defective just because it is noisy during operation. Some models are going to be louder than others, as they’re made from different moving parts, and built differently. You may find budget dryers a little louder, as the parts and fittings are quite solid, and they’re short on soundproofing, but there are also noisy models among the more premium dryers.
There’s not much you can do about your drying being noisy once you’ve got it home if that’s simply its operating volume. All you can do is place it somewhere to minimise noise, or better still, do your research before buying, and if possible, get a demo of the dryer running.
Bearings and Motors
A defective drum bearing is a common reason that a dryer develops a new loud noise – like loud squealing. Just like the wheel of a car, the bearings make the drum rotate, and can wear down over time. A damaged bearing doesn’t just sound bad, because the drum is not able to spin freely, the drive motor has to work against resistance, which could result in a damaged motor.
Unfortunately, you cannot fix this yourself, a specialist has to deal with this, as the dryer will need dismantling. A specialist inspection of the dryer internals will give an answer on whether the repair is worthwhile at all because repairing a damaged bearing can be very expensive. It often makes more sense to buy a new device – especially if your dryer is older and served a lot of miles.
The drive belt of your dryer connects the machine’s motor to the drum and makes it a spin. If the drive belt has slipped or is worn out, it will result in the drum no longer running properly, and the tumble dryer making loud squeaking noises when it is running.
If you want to check whether this defect is responsible for the noise of your dryer, first remove the covers and check the belt for visual signs of wear. If the belt shows cracks, splits, threading, or has snapped, then it needs replacing.
You should be able to replace this yourself by following the manufacturer’s guide or checking tutorials on YouTube, or if you’re not comfortable, contact a specialist as the repair is low cost.
If you hear loud rattling, clunking, or droning, the cause may be a defective fan. The wheel, together with the fan motor, ensures that air is sucked into the dryer drum and then blown out again. Over time, the fan wheel may clog, wear out, and begin to wobble because of an imbalance.
To check the fan propeller. First, remove the cover on the back and sides of your dryer. Check the fan wheel behind for any lint that may have stuck. Also, try to carefully turn the fan by hand. If it wobbles, or any parts look broken, contact a specialist to replace it. Of course, if you’re confident and can source replacement parts, you could have a go at replacing them yourself.
The blower motor turns the fan that forces air through the tumble dryer. If it is defective, it can make unwanted noise.
You can replace the blower motor yourself if you are technically savvy if you think you can – and if you have a suitable spare part. For the replacement, it is necessary to remove the rear plastic cover of the dryer. The cover usually consists of two parts that fit one inside the other. Unscrew both parts to access the fan motor. Once everything is revealed, you can replace the defective fan motor with a new one.
Tension Pulley and Support Wheels
The tension pulley is responsible for tensioning the drive belt of your dryer. If it is damaged, it makes a scraping noise. If the problem persists, the drive belt can also be affected; in the worst case, the drum will no longer rotate.
To check the tensioner pulley, remove the cover from your dryer. It may also be necessary to remove the sidewall behind which the tensioning pulley is located. If you want to replace the component yourself, further screwing work is required inside. You can do this yourself, but if in doubt, contact a specialist.
In most tumble dryers, the drum is supported by plastic wheels, and if they become very worn or become warped, then the drum can become unstable and a thumping noise is heard. In this case, the plastic support wheels need to be replaced, which is easily done by removing just a single central bolt.
Optimal Tumble Dryer Setup
For your dryer to work well, it should be set up correctly. There are a few things to keep in mind:
- Give the dryer a gap of at least 8″ from walls.
- Set up the dryer near a power outlet.
- Vented dryers need adequate external ventilation.
- Don’t operate a dryer if the room temperature is under 4 degrees Celsius.
- The dryer should always rest firmly on a level floor.
If during the drying process, a loud hum from perception-ren of the dryer and the device penetrates the laundry not properly dried, the drain pump is probably the problem. It ensures that the water is transported from the drum of a condenser dryer into the water tank.
Theoretically, even laypeople can replace the drain pump themselves, the replacement part is not expensive and is easy to get hold of. But: To replace the drain pump, you have to unscrew the housing of your dryer. If interfering with the interior of the device is too risky for you, you should contact a specialist.
Worn Dryer Parts
Wear and tear on certain components can cause your dryer to get louder over time. Springs and straps can wear out, hoses can clog or become porous.
Exactly which component was affected and caused the noise can only be determined by a specialist. The good news: spare parts are usually cheap and quick to get hold of, and if you have the right expertise, they can be exchanged quickly.
Over time, the lint filter and filter in your dryer will clog. The smallest particles from dried clothing are deposited, which will restrict the airflow of not cleaning. It’s important that you keep lint filters clean and ensure all air vents are clear.
As you can see, loud noises when drying can have many causes. If your dryer makes unusual noises when it is in operation, this may be a model-specific characteristic. however, if the noise is sudden and new, or creeps up over time, you could have a problem.
From a clogged filter to a broken drum bearing, there are many possibilities. Some faults can be fixed yourself with a little handyman work. If you can’t source the sound, call in a professional.