When it comes to your home appliance, your dryer is probably one of the most frequently used items in your house. Whether you hang your clothes to dry or use your dryer to finish folding the towels, the average household will use a dryer at least once a week.
A broken or malfunctioning belt on your dryer can result in a lot of frustrating noise, smell, and cost to keep it running. Luckily, replacing a belt on a dryer is a pretty straightforward process if you are handy.
Before you head to the store, check the steps below to help you get your dryer back in working order as quickly as possible. It involves quite a lot of steps and might be too difficult for casual DIY’ers.
What is a dryer belt?
A dryer belt is a strip of rubber or plastic that attaches the motor of your dryer to the drum. It makes the drum spin. A belt can break for a variety of reasons, including fraying, wear, excess heat, or when you drop something in the drum. In all but the most extreme cases, it’s simple to replace the belt on your dryer.
While it is only a small part of the dryer, it is essential to make the machine function. Over time it degrades and can make your machine work less efficiently. Let’s get it fixed!
If your dryer is still under guarantee, you might want to contact the manufacturer. Often the guarantee is voided if you open up the machine. If the guarantee is over, most electricians only will want to work on it when the machine hasn’t been opened.
Therefore you should only replace the belt yourself if there is no guarantee left and you are sure that you can get it fixed yourself.
How to replace a belt on a dryer
To disassemble the dryer, we are going to need a Philips head on a drill and a 5/16 nut driver. You can also get a small pry bar. We will also need a new belt. This can be found by looking at the model number of your dryer.
This can often be found in the manual or in the front. If you are not sure, you can take a picture and send it to a store or the manufacturer to get an idea of what model it is.
The first step is to turn off the dryer and unplug the appliance. Once this is done, we can place the dryer in an open space. Dryers are very heavy so you might need some assistance to do this.
This will make it easier to work on. You can use a small cart if needed.
Disassembling the machine
This can be a great moment to clean the machine before you start. Dryers can contain a lot of lint and you can use a brush to remove this and clean the filter.
Now it is time to disassemble the dryer. Each model is unique so check your manual if there are other steps needed. Below is the most common approach. You might snap some pictures while doing this so that you remember how to assemble it again later on.
The first step after this is to remove the screws in the front panel. Make sure to save the screws so that you can use them later on. Then we can take the screws in the hinges of the door.
Once this is done, it is often quite easy to remove these pieces of metal or plastic. On the bottom there are generally some clips, just lift the front panel and it should pop off.
Removing the dryer belt
Next, we are going to remove the side panels. You should see a bracket with screws on the front. Remove these again. Then we can remove this bracket. At this point, it should be possible to open the top of the dryer.
On some models, the drum includes a removable panel that makes this step much easier.
Now we are going to remove the belt. To do this, we will have to remove the Philips screws from the front piece. Then we will have to use the 5/16 head to remove the cover.
At this point, we can remove the drum and belt. Check if everything is clean and if the pulley wheels and motor wheel are turning around when you touch them. If they don’t, you might want to add some grease. Inspect the rest of the machine to make sure that nothing is broken or dirty.
Adding the new belt
Let’s add the new belt now! Loop it around the motor and both sides should go under the pulley wheel. Now someone should help you to get the drum in place. You slip the belt over the drum (check the wear marks for where to place it).
Place the drum back in the machine and check if the belt is still properly connected to the rollers. Newer machines often have an access panel in the back to make this easier. Once this is done, you can let the belt go. Rotate the drum clockwise to check if the belt is properly connected.
Once you feel that everything is properly installed, you can go ahead and assemble the machine again. Check if the display of the machine indicates any errors before restarting it. If there is a problem, you have to check the manual to see what is going on.
Now that you know how to replace a belt on a dryer, you can get back to doing what you love most: hanging your laundry to dry and making your laundry day easier.
Keep in mind that a dryer needs to be cleaned often. The same can be said about the dryer vent as the hose can contain a lot of dirt and this can lead to dangerous situations over time.
Dryers can last a long time if you take care of them. Cleaning the dryer (including the vent) and replacing the dryer belt are some of the most common tasks that are required to keep the dryer in good shape.
It is also important that you don’t overload the machine as this can lead to more wear and tear. Some people want to dry a lot of clothes at the same time to save on electricity but it can break your dryer or the dryer belt.