Dryer Won’t Tumble – A Quick Troubleshooting List for Beginners

We have all experienced this particular problem.

You put in a load of washed clothes in the dryer, only to discover that the dryer won’t tumble or spin. You hear this familiar humming noise from the unit but nothing else. This can be a rather frustrating problem since a dryer that won’t spin has many different causes.

How can you determine the cause?

There can be several reasons behind this problem, so a troubleshooting list can really help you out so you can do the repairs by yourself. Today, we’ll share a short troubleshooting guide for a dryer that won’t tumble.

Does Your Dryer Start?

Does Your Wash Dryer Start

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The first step to troubleshooting your dryer is to determine if it will start or not.

If it refuses to start, you can do some preliminary fixes by checking the electrical outlet and the dryer’s circuit breaker. Is your dryer properly plugged in? Has the unit tripped the circuit breaker? Or perhaps, there is some damage to the electrical outlet itself?

If the breaker has been flipped, just flip it back again and turn on the dryer. Hopefully, this will fix the problem and the drum starts turning.

In the event that both the plug and breaker have no issues, inspect the door switch. When closing the dryer door, a plastic peg should make a clicking sound and operate which enables the dryer to work. So you need to check if the peg is bent or broken.

If you see any damages to the peg, you need to get a replacement. Otherwise, there’s a good chance that the switch has failed and needs a replacement.

Dryer Won’t Tumble But Makes a Humming Noise

Now, this is where it gets tricky. There are several reasons why this problem occurs.

Dryer Won’t Tumble But Makes a Humming Noise

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Foreign Objects

If your dryer just won’t spin but still makes a concerning humming noise, the first thing to check is if there are foreign objects that might block the drum from spinning.

To troubleshoot, turn off and unplug the dryer from the outlet. Get a good flashlight and closely check the dryer. The main area to look at is between the drum and the unit’s housing. Small objects such as keys and coins may have fallen out of the clothes and got stuck between the housing and drum.

This can prevent your dryer from spinning.

If there are foreign objects stuck, remove it by hand if possible. Otherwise, you might need tools like needle-nose pliers to pick out the object. If no objects are found, proceed to the next potential cause.


The drive belt wraps around the unit’s drum and the motor pulley. The motor rotates the belt then the belt spins the drum. If you hear the motor running but you see movement in the drum, it’s a good indication that there’s something wrong with the belt and it needs to be replaced.

So check the belt if there are any cracks or other damages. Even if your unit is working fine, it’s always a good idea to check the belt for maintenance purposes. Unfortunately, once the belt is broken, your dryer will not work or tumble and you need to get a replacement.

Amazon has a wide range of dryer belts available for many different brands. However, it might be a better idea to pay a visit to your local home and hardware store as they have associates that can help you out.


Your dryer’s motor is responsible for providing the power for turning the blower and drum. If the dryer won’t tumble and you can’t hear the humming noise, this could be an indication of a faulty motor and a replacement should be in order.

You may also try removing the belt and turning the unit’s drum manually. While you’re at it, try spinning the blower wheel as well. If you are able to manually move all the parts, this confirms that the motor is faulty and needs to be replaced.

Pulley or Rollers

In most dryers, the drum is supported by small wheels or a set of rollers, which facilitate the drum’s turning. If both the motor and belt are properly working but the unit is not spinning but makes a humming noise, there’s a good chance that the rollers are worn out.

On the other hand, it’s also possible that the idler pulley, responsible for providing tension for the belt, is faulty or damaged. If this happens, it can make a noise which may hinder proper spinning function.

For this problem, you might want to get in touch with your local technician.

In Conclusion

These are the possible causes of a dryer that won’t spin or tumble. Hopefully, these dryer-won’t-tumble troubleshooting tips have helped you determine the problem.

If you have determined the problem, you can perform a DIY fix but we highly recommend that you contact your dryer’s manufacturer instead.

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