If your dryer is suddenly noisier than usual or it isn’t getting your clothes dry, your first thought might be that it’s time to go out and get a new appliance. However, a dryer’s components often don’t last as long as the dryer itself.
Replacing a malfunctioning part is typically less costly than opting for a whole new machine. This is especially true for a worn-out dryer belt. If you decide to have a pro install it, your final cost will depend on labor charges. But if you choose to replace it yourself, you can usually purchase the belt for $25-30.
How Do I Know If My Dryer Belt Is Bad?
Your dryer belt is part of the mechanism that keeps your clothes in continuous motion while they tumble dry. When this belt wears out and breaks, there will be warning signs in the way your dryer sounds and in how well it functions. You may want to do some dryer troubleshooting if:
Your Dryer Starts Making Sounds
A belt is utilized to rotate your dryer drum on both electric and gas models. This thin, long belt wraps around the drum and pulley and drives the dryer motor. The idler pulley supplies tightness to the drum belt to avert slippage when your dryer has a load inside.
Yet, when the idler pulley begins to wear due to high-speed rotation, increased friction may cause your dryer to make squealing or squeaking sounds. As age causes it to dry out, become frayed, and continue to wear down, the sound will resemble a thumping or scraping noise.
The Drum Stops Turning
After years of constant use, your dryer’s belt can become weaker and weaker until it reaches a breaking point. When this happens, the belt snaps, and the drum is no longer able to tumble your clothes in the dryer’s hot air.
Even if your dryer’s electric motor and heater continue to function, your clothes likely won’t get dry.
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What Would Cause a Dryer Belt to Break?
Most dryer belts break for the same reason: because they’re placed under undue friction or stress. The drum functions as a pulley on most clothes dryers. The belt that turns the drum is wrapped around it and then around a small pulley connected to the electric motor.
Excessive friction can happen when the dryer’s motor turns, but the drum remains in place. When this occurs, the belt is prevented from moving, causing the motor’s pulley to burn it through friction.
Overloading your dryer can cause this to happen. The stress of a heavy load results in the motor attempting to continuously turn the pulley and belt during the drying cycle.
Friction burns through the belt as it tries to turn the drum, which could cause it to break and increase the risk of a dryer fire.
When Should I Replace My Dryer Belt?
A dryer belt wears out gradually over time because of the tension and heat it must endure. At first, there may be subtle signs because the wear and tear are minimal. For example, the belt may be slightly stretched out; however, it will stay on the pulley and turn the drum.
At this point, you may not notice the unusual sounds coming from your dryer, and you probably don’t need to replace it yet. Since the drum is turning, it can still dry your clothes.
As the belt continues to stretch, it’ll lose its ability to spin the drum. Even if it doesn’t break completely, it can stretch to the point that it falls off the pulleys and is no longer moved by the motor. When a worn belt is affecting the function of your dryer, it is time to replace the belt.
Receive a 90-Day Warranty for Parts and Repairs from Top Shelf
The cost to replace a dryer belt is often significantly less than what you would pay for a replacement dryer. It’s a relatively simple fix that can get your squeaky, dysfunctional dryer working like new again! And if you don’t feel like repairing it yourself, call Top Shelf Services!
We have the tools and the expertise to get the job done fast—and do it right the first time. Plus, we offer low rates, a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and a 90-day warranty for all parts and repairs. Contact Top Shelf Services now by calling or filling out our online service request form.
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