Dryer Won’t Start Just Buzzes? Why It Happens & How to Fix It

Did you notice that your dryer won’t start when you turn it on, but it produces these loud buzzing or humming sounds?

The problem behind the buzzing noise could be quite marginal and easy to fix, but the buzzing or humming sounds could also point to a more complex, serious issue with your dryer.

In this guide, we will go over the most common causes of this problem, whether you’re using a GE dryer, LG dryer, or Maytag dryer, as well as the most effective methods of getting rid of that dryer noise.

Why your dryer won’t start and just buzzes?

If your dryer makes a loud noise when you try to turn it on but doesn’t start, this buzzing noise could indicate a couple of problems.

As with any other problem with your electric dryer, it is necessary to detect the core issue first before you can go ahead and try some of the repair methods we’ll discuss later on in this guide.

Keep on reading, as we help you troubleshoot your noisy dryer and eliminate that annoying humming noise once and for all!

1. Faulty dryer motor

Let’s start with one of the most common, yet quite possibly the most complex, issues you could face when it comes to a noisy dryer, which is a malfunctioning dryer motor.

As you already know, the dryer motor is the main element in your dryer, as it controls both the blower wheel and the drum itself.

If the motor isn’t working properly, a drying cycle usually won’t be able to commence, but you’ll hear a persistent thumping sound.

Even if the drying cycle starts, it will probably stop in the middle of the cycle, which means that the motor isn’t dead but it is overheating, and you can expect failure if it isn’t repaired or replaced soon.

It could also be that there is blockage compromising the blower wheel, which can be safely removed.

2. Faulty dryer belt

Another common occurrence when it comes to an electric dryer that won’t start but produces a humming noise is a faulty belt, which could either be worn out or defective.

As you can already imagine, the dryer belt is one of the most essential dryer appliance parts and the component that controls and turns the drum.

In case the drum belt is broken or worn out, you will hear noise coming from the dryer, but it won’t be able to start up.

3. Dryer belt isn’t positioned correctly

If your dryer won’t start just buzzes, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the drive belt is damaged or worn out.

In many cases, all you need to do is position it correctly, as the dryer belt can slip off the drum support rollers or the idler pulley

4. Malfunctioning idler pulley

Not only can the dryer belt slip off the idler pulley, but it can also be compromised or damaged due to a malfunctioning idler pulley

If the idler pulley isn’t functioning properly, it won’t be able to protect the dryer drum from the tension created by the dryer belt, which may result in friction and damage.

A broken idler pulley will mostly produce a squeaky, squealing sound instead of a humming, buzzing sound that is heard in other scenarios we’ve described. 

5. Faulty drum support bearing

Not all dryer types include a drum support bearing located behind the dryer drum, but in case there is one, it could be that the buzzing sound is coming from a damaged or worn-out drum support bearing component.

As the name itself implies, the drum support bearing is there to protect and support the drum. If it is damaged, the drum will make a lot of noise, but if it compromises the belt, the dryer won’t be able to start the drying cycle in the first place. 

6. Faulty axles or drum rollers

The main role of the drum rollers and their axles is to aid in the rotation of the dryer drum. In case they’re damaged or broken, the drying cycle won’t be able to start, as the drum cannot rotate.

If the damage isn’t too serious, the dryer will turn on, but you will hear a loud squeaking and thumping sound coming from the drum.

7. Problem with the door latch

It is possible that the door latch on your dryer isn’t working properly, and you’re actually unable to close the door all the way, which is compromising the drying cycle.

Another common issue with the dryer door is that the door switch, which needs to be properly locked in order for the dryer to work, is broken or damaged. 

If the dryer door isn’t latching properly, or the door switch isn’t locked in place, the main control board will not be notified to start the drying cycle

How to fix a dryer that won’t start and just buzzes

Once you’ve detected the issue, or you’ve at least narrowed it down to a few possibilities, it will be much easier to find the best method to fix your buzzing dryer.

Without further ado, let’s get into the most effective solutions for this problem, but keep in mind that some of them may require professional assistance, depending on your level of expertise, as well as the severity of the issue. 

1. Check and/or replace the dryer motor

Depending on the dryer model you own, you may have to remove the drum to be able to access the motor. However, in some cases, the dryer motor will be reachable underneath the drum, and you’ll only need to remove the front panel to access it.

Before you start inspecting the motor, make sure that there are no blockages interfering with the blower wheel. Remove the drive belt and try rotating the drum without it.

If you’re able to rotate the dryer drum without the drive belt, it is possible that the core issue is the defective dryer motor.  In this case, we recommend hiring a professional to examine the motor and decide whether it can be repaired or if you need to invest in a new one. 

2. Troubleshoot the dryer belt

The easiest, beginner-friendly, and also most effective way of examining your dryer belt is attempting to rotate the drum manually. If you notice that the drum is spinning effortlessly, this could mean that the issue is in the dryer belt, not the drum itself.

Turn off the dryer, and ensure you’ve unplugged it and disconnected it from gas. You will also need to remove the access panels to reach the dryer belt. 

The dryer belt is wrapped around the drum, so you should easily locate it and inspect it for any signs of damage or friction. If it is broken or worn out, make sure to replace it.

3. Position the dryer belt onto the support rollers and idler pulley

The first step would be to closely examine the support rollers and the idler pulley and make sure they’re not damaged before proceeding to position the dryer belt properly.

In case you’re not sure how to position the dryer belt, consult the user manual or hire a professional to ensure that it is laying properly, as the buzzing issue will persist until the dryer belt is adjusted.

Usually, all that needs to be done is to pull the dryer belt back onto the pulley.

4. Replace the faulty idler pulley

Positioning the belt correctly still won’t do the trick if the idler pulley is damaged or malfunctioning. In this case, the only solution would be to replace the idler pulley.

Make sure that the dryer is turned off and disconnected before you remove the access panels and access the idler pulley at the very bottom of the dryer.

In case it is damaged, you will need to replace it. Push the idler pulley to the right until you’re able to release the dryer belt. Depending on the model, you will be able to simply pull the idler pulley out, or you may have to unscrew it from the bottom of the dryer. 

Install the new pulley according to the instructions in the manual, and then thread the belt back into the pulley. 

5. Replace damaged drum bearing, rollers, and axles 

A defective or worn-out drum bearing will continue to produce a loud thudding noise and interrupt your drying cycle until it is replaced.

If your dryer model has a drum bearing, you will be able to access it by removing the dryer’s rear panel. While it is relatively easy to remove and install a new drum support bearing, make sure to seek professional help if you come across any issues.

When it comes to drum rollers and axles, they can be located either in the front or the back of your dryer, depending on the model.

That being said, you will have to remove either the front or the rear panel to access them and look for any visible signs of damage or blockage.

If any of these elements are broken, they should be replaced. Unlike the dryer motor, replacing these elements isn’t too complicated or expensive

6. Troubleshoot and fix the dryer door

Lastly, if you suspect that the problem is in the door latch or the door switch, you will need to troubleshoot the dryer door to confirm this hypothesis.

Try closing the door while observing the peg, which should fit right into the dryer, making a clicking sound. If you notice that the door isn’t closing properly, you may need to replace the peg.

If the door switch on your dryer is an electrical switch, it can be removed and examined with a multimeter for continuity. In case there is no continuity, the switch needs to be replaced. 

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