Knowing how to change a dryer belt is essential for your tumble dryer's performance. The belt in your dryer wraps around the drum and then over the motor. If your dryer drum isn't spinning properly or at all, it’s likely there’s an issue with the drive belt. Similarly, if your dryer makes a banging noise, the dryer belt may need replacing.
Whatever the reason your tumble dryer is failing to work, changing the dryer belt is a quick and simple job that you can do yourself at home. Of course, consult a professional if you’d prefer, but with some basic tools and a straightforward step-by-step, your dryer will be back to drying your laundry in no time.
We’ve consulted the experts who fix dryers for a living for their guide to keeping your best dryers in good working order. Think it’s past fixing? Consider upgrading to one of the best washer dryer combos.
How to change a dryer belt
What you'll need:
• A replacement drive belt
• A screwdriver
Signs you need to change a dryer belt
Before you start to dissemble your dryer, look out for these indications to confirm your dryer belt needs replacing, according to Andrew Brown, Appliance Repair Technician at This Fixed House.
• Noisy operation: An easy way to tell your dryer belt is broken if it is making a loud banging, squeaking, or scraping sound. When the dryer belt becomes loose or stretched, it will thump against the drum as it spins. If the dryer belt is ‘frayed it will create a scraping sound as it makes contact with the drum’ explains Brown.
• Spin issues: ‘If the dryer belt is damaged, it may struggle to maintain a consistent grip on the drum,’ says Brown. ‘This will cause uneven rotation and lead to poor drying performance.’
• Visible wear: Regularly inspecting your dryer belt for visible signs of wear, like cracks in the drum, can determine whether it’s time for a replacement.
• The age of the dryer: ‘Dryer belts are designed to last between five and ten years, ’ states Brown, ‘if your dryer is within this age and it has never been replaced before, then it’s likely the dryer belt is to blame for your dryer not working.
How to replace a dryer belt
Before you begin the replacement process, it’s key to get your new drive belt. You can search the dryer model online to find the correct drive belt for your dryer, but you can also find the model number on the inside of the drive belt inside the drum.
1. Disconnect the dryer
First, disconnecting your dryer from power is an essential safety precaution.
2. Give it space
If your dryer is inside a countertop or cupboard, it’s a good idea to pull it out to give you enough room to maneuver around the dryer.
3. Clean it up
Unscrew the link screen and remove any lint or debris (make sure to keep all the screws in one place in case of losing them).
Dissembling a dryer may be different depending on the model, so you should look for screws and clips to find where the panels are. Remove the top and front panels and set them aside. If there are any wires or cables connecting the front panel to the dryer, remove them before lifting away. You should now be able to see and have access to the drum and belt,’ says Brown.
Brown notes, ‘You should keep the belt’s path in mind before removing it. It will loop around the drum, idler pulley, and motor pulley. A top tip is to take a picture of the assembly and where it wraps around the drum. You’ll need to replicate this when installing the new belt’.
5. Remove the belt
Remove the old belt by carefully sliding it off the drum. ‘You may need to release tension from the idler pulley to do so.
6. Attach the new belt
Place the new belt around the drum, making sure it sits in the same position as the old one. This will ensure it maintains proper tension.
7. Reassemble the dryer
Now reassemble the dry by replacing the front and side panels, reconnecting any wires, and securing with screws. Make sure to reinstall the lint screen too.
8. Make sure it's working
Finally, it is time to test the dryer. Brown advises to ‘plug the dryer back in and run it for a few minutes to ensure the belt is properly installed and the drum is spinning smoothly.’