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9 reasons why your dryer won't spin and how to fix it

How to fix dryer that won't spin

Nothing throws a wet blanket on laundry day like a dryer that won't spin. But there's often a quick and easy solution.

Here at Asurion, we don't just fix appliances, we fix the frustration you feel when yours won't work—whether it's a dryer that's not getting hot or one that won't start at all. We'll walk you through why your dryer has stopped spinning and how to get it back up and running.

Why is my dryer not spinning?

There are several common reasons—some more difficult to diagnose than others—why your dryer may have stopped tumbling. They include:

  • Your dryer is unplugged.
  • Your circuit breaker is off.
  • Something tripped your thermal fuse.
  • Your door switch isn't working.
  • Your drive belt is broken.
  • Your drum rollers are faulty.
  • Your roller axles are worn out.
  • Your drum bearing has deteriorated.
  • Your motor is defective.

Let's start with the easiest fixes, then dig into solutions that will take a few more steps or require help from an appliance pro. Please don't attempt to repair anything involving high-voltage electricity or flammable gas without the proper training.

Your dryer is unplugged

The most common reason your dryer—or any appliance—stops working is that it's unplugged.

It sounds simple, we know. But make sure to check if the cord or plug has come loose. If so, plug it back in.

Your circuit breaker is off

If your dryer is plugged in but still won't spin when you push start, check your circuit breaker box to confirm that the dryer's breakers are turned on. If they aren't, reset them.

Something tripped the thermal fuse

If your dryer won't spin, it's possible the appliance is getting too hot and has tripped the thermal fuse, a safety feature designed to stop it from starting a fire.

You may be able to reset the fuse, but typically it needs to be replaced. Before doing so, you need to find out why it was tripped—it could be a warning sign that your dryer is a fire hazard. It's important that you have an appliance repair professional inspect it to understand and address the underlying cause of the problem.

Your door switch isn't working

If your dryer is still not tumbling, check the plastic peg on the door switch. When it's working, the peg clicks and allows the dryer to start when you shut the door. If the peg is bent, try straightening it. If the peg looks fine and the dryer still won't start when you shut the door, you may need to replace the switch.

Your drive belt is broken

One of the most common reasons your dryer won't spin is because the drive belt is broken. To find out if this is the problem, open the dryer door, reach in, and attempt to turn the big circular tumbler—the drum—by hand. If it turns too easily, the belt has probably snapped and needs to be replaced.

Your drum rollers are worn out

If the drum rollers—small wheels that hold the drum in place as it turns—are getting stuck or won't spin freely, they may be worn out. A simple way to check whether these parts have malfunctioned is to open the dryer door and look at the back wall. If there is a gap between the drum and the wall, it's likely that you need to install new drum rollers.

To find out for sure, unplug the dryer, unscrew the dryer lid (or back depending on your model), remove the belt from the dryer, and turn the drum by hand. If one or more of the rollers get stuck or don't turn freely, you may need to replace them. If they turn freely, they are most likely OK.

Your roller axles are worn out

After removing the dryer's lid or the back, check to see if the roller axles—those key components also known as roller shafts—wobble when you spin the drum rollers. If they do, it's time for new ones.

Your drum bearing is worn out

The drum bearing is the part that supports the rear of the drum. While you have the dryer belt removed, rotate the drum by hand. If the drum has seized up completely or if it squeaks or scrapes when you turn it, the bearing is likely broken or worn and straining the motor. It may be time for a replacement.

Your motor is broken

A working motor is crucial to your dryer working properly. If your dryer drum is not turning, it's possible that the motor is overloaded, strained, or simply worn out. In this case, you'll need to replace it.

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