While you may be familiar with the motor, belt, and pulley system that turns your dryer drum, most are less familiar with the smaller working parts that allow it to turn. One of the more important pieces is the drum bearings. The bearings will allow the pulley to turn when activated by the belt and motor. While these bearing are well lubricated and sealed when your dryer is new, that will wear out over time. However, what are some signs that the bearings need lubrication or even replacing in the dryer?
One of the biggest signs that the bearings in your dryer are starting to have problems is the sound. This is a part that does not fail quietly. Instead, you will notice a steady increase in squealing as the dryer turns. As things get worse and the bearings fail to function at all, you will also start to hear buzzing. This is actually the motor trying desperately to turn the drum of your dryer and not the bearings yourself. However, the sound is a sign that something other than the motor is indeed at fault.
Starting and Stopping Rotation
If you ignore the squealing sounds, what will come next is the actual drum of your dryer struggling to turn. You may notice that your dryer runs for a while, then stops after a few turns, then it may start again. This happens because the bearings just barely turn, which causes the motor to overheat and stop. As the motor cools down, it may start again as the process repeats.
Changing the Bearings
In some models of dryers, you will find that there are small access panels specifically so you can change and lubricate the bearings. However, in all models of dryers, you will likely be able to get to the dryer belt. Once there, you can check and replace the bearings as needed too.
Some designs will require that the drum is replaced as the bearings will be pre-installed into the drum itself. Other designs will allow you to replace the bearings as a stand alone component. It really just depends on the brand and model.
For access to your specific model of dryer, you will want to check around the opening of the door for the tag that has both the model and serial number of your product.