How to Fix a Broken Dryer

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If your dryer is not operating efficiently there is a good chance that it will be one of three things: the heating element is broken; the catch or latch needs replacing; or you need a new dryer belt.

Luckily, all three problems can be rectified yourself. Please note that although it is possible to complete these repair tasks, if you are in any doubt at all about your DIY abilities please call a professional.

Before embarking on any of these DIY jobs make sure you have the correct replacement part for your type and brand of tumbler dryer.

Replace the heating element

If your dryer is spinning but is not heating up then it is possible that your heating element is faulty. To replace it you will first need to remove the old one. To do this, take off the back panel of the dryer by unscrewing the five screws that hold it in place.

To extract the dryer heating element itself, look for two screws that will be holding it in place. These will most likely be at the top. There is also a plug connector in the bottom left corner. You need to unscrew the screws and then remove the plug connector ensuring that any cables don’t fall back through the dryer. If they do, don’t panic. To retrieve them you can remove the side panel of the dryer.

Once all of the above is complete simply screw in the new heating element, re-connect the plug in the bottom left corner and then screw the back panel back on.

Replace the catch or latch

If you find that the door will not stay closed on your dryer then there is a good chance that your catch or latch is broken. In order to replace the latch, locate the screw that sits just below the latch. This will be holding it in place. Unscrew this and the latch will then simply pop out of its slot. Now, insert your new latch and replace the screws.

Replace the belt

If you can hear the motor running but the tub is not spinning then your dryer belt may have snapped. Of all three of these common dryer problems, this is the most tricky to rectify. But it is still possible.

To fix this problem you will first need to access the drum. To do this, remove the top panel of your dryer and then both side panels. Then remove the whole of the front of the machine. The best way to do this is to first remove the door by unscrewing the hinges. Then, depending on your type of machine, you may have to remove the water reservoir. This is certainly true of a condensing dryer.

The next step is to remove the control panel. This should just clip off. However it may still be attached by some cables. If this is the case, before you remove the cables either label them or write down which one goes where. This will be invaluable when you come to replace and reconnect the control panel.

To complete the removal of the front panel look for two spade connectors that will be holding it on and disconnect them.

Next up you need to remove the front of the chassis. Before proceeding, wedge something soft but substantial under the drum in order to give it some support so that all the weight of the drum is not resting on the bearings at the back.
To remove the front of the chassis locate the two screws in each corner holding it in place and unscrew them. To remove the chassis pull at the top and then lift it out at the bottom. Now you should have access to the belt. Remove the old one and slip the new one around the drum. Then replace the front chassis.