Nobody enjoys the incessant noise a GE squeaky dryer can make when it’s working to keep your clothes and linens soft and dry.
Not only is this irritating for anyone in earshot, but like with so many minor household appliance problems, most of us have no idea why our GE dryers are making such a racket or what to do about it.
If you’re tired of dealing with a noisy dryer disturbing your home life or chore time, don’t despair – this guide will provide some valuable advice on diagnosing and resolving the problem.
Why is your GE dryer squeaking?
If your GE dryer won’t stop squeaking as it’s drying your clothes, there could be a faulty or clogged component or an issue in the very mechanism of the dryer.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common issues that could be causing your GE dryer to squeak.
1. Drive belt issue
One of the main problems that could be causing your GE dryer to squeak is a worn-out or damaged drive belt.
The role of the drive belt in a GE dryer is to spin the drum to enable heat and tumble action. When damaged, worn out, or broken, it can make loud noises if not replaced soon enough.
The first thing you should do when your GE dryer is making a squeaking sound checks the drive belt for signs of damage.
2. Idler pulley issue
The role of the idler pulley in your GE dryer is to keep the belt tight on the drive pulley. This is sometimes called a “squeaky dryer” because if the idler pulley is bad, you’ll hear it rubbing against its bracket.
There may be other reasons your GE dryer will make noise, but this one is the most common.
If the idler pulley is dislodged, it will stop supporting the belt and create a loud squeaking sound.
If you notice this symptom, give your dryer a good inspection to see if you can find anything causing it to rub against its bracket.
Remember, when inspecting the idler pulley and its bracket for any signs of damage or wear, ensure that both are completely clean and dry before you start testing.
Anything on the pulley or its bracket can cause a false reading and be misleading as to whether or not it’s at fault.
3. Duct felt seal issue
A duct felt seal issue could also lead to the GE dryer squeaking, as it is common for the felt to work its way loose or tear over time. This allows vibration from the dryer to pass through and make a high-pitched squeaking sound as your clothes tumble.
Common problems that cause GE dryers to squeak include duct seal issues and worn bearings in the drum, which can rub against each other and cause a squeaking noise as the drum turns.
In addition, if the motor is out of alignment with its flywheel or fulling ring, this can result in friction that causes squeaks when the dryer operates.
When faced with GE dryer squeaking sounds, check to ensure that your duct seal is intact and that the motor is correctly aligned with its flywheel.
Many repair professionals suggest lubricating both of these components to help keep them from squeaking, as well.
4. Motor bearings issue
As mentioned, GE dryer squeaking sounds may come from worn-out motor bearings.
The bearings in the motor are responsible for the spinning motion of the drum. This results in tumbling and helps with the evaporation process.
Worn-out bearings can cause a burning smell, loud noises, or even make it difficult to start your machine. A bearing, in this case, is a sliding mechanism composed of two metal balls held by a cup-like cover.
How to fix a GE dryer squeaking
Squeaky sounds coming from your GE dryer aren’t something you need to get used to. Luckily, this is an issue you can easily control with a few effective methods.
1. Inspect the drive belt and the motor
In case you suspect that the problem may be a damaged or worn-out belt, it is necessary to inspect it closely.
If you notice that it has deep cracks or grooves, or it is cut in any way, you will have to replace it.
Here’s how you can replace a damaged or worn-out dryer belt:
- Unplug the power cord and remove the screws that secure the top of the dryer to its frame.
- Pull up and remove the top panel from the back of your dryer unit by pulling it forwards, away from the front side.
- Locate the drum belt (it should be running along both sides of the drive motor), unscrew it on one end, and release it from any pulleys or tensioners it may be wrapped around. You must reverse this step once you place a new belt onto your machine’s motor shafts. Be sure not to mistake any other types of belts for a replacement, such as an idler pulley belt or an alternator belt.
- Place the new, not-yet-wrapped belt onto the motor shafts and gently press it over both sides with your fingers.
- Move to the opposite end of the dryer unit, where you will have to wrap the belt around any pulleys or tensioners in place (make sure that you don’t bend any other type of belt during this step).
- Once you have finished replacing a worn-out or damaged drum belt, secure its ends on both sides and reattach your top cover panel by placing all screws back into their original places.
- Plug your machine’s power cord back into an electrical outlet and run a test cycle to see if everything is working correctly.
If the problem is not with the belt but with other parts of the motor, you should start by checking what type of motor your dryer has – single-phase or three-phase.
If your dryer uses a single-phase motor (usually 120 volts), you can check the brushes and springs to ensure they work properly.
If this doesn’t solve the problem, then you need to inspect the wires connecting to your motor and ensure that none are loose or disconnected.
If there are no visible damages on those wires, it probably means that something is wrong with your motor.
If the problem is with a three-phase motor (that usually operates at 240 volts), you should carefully inspect all of its parts.
If you notice any broken wire or loose connection, fix it immediately. If you don’t see such damage, it may be necessary to check if the bearings inside the motor are damaged and replace them accordingly.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that the entire motor will need to be replaced; only what’s causing this disruption needs to be repaired/replaced.
2. Check the idler pulley
If the problem is a damaged or dislodged idler pulley, it is recommended to replace it. To successfully replace the idler pulley, follow these steps:
- First, disconnect the dryer from its power source by unplugging it from the outlet.
- Next, use a screwdriver to remove the cover of your GE dryer. You will then need to reach inside and locate the idler pulley to access it and loosen it up so that you can replace it with a new one when needed.
- After loosening up the idler pulley, you should be able to quickly pull it out and install a new one right away. When inserting the new pulley, ensure that the belt is fully engaged between both pulleys before tightening them down again securely.
- Finally, reconnect your GE dryer and test if there are any issues with its performance. If not, you can then go ahead and use your dryer as usual.
If the issue persists, it could be due to problems in the drive motor or belt.
3. Replace the duct felt seal
A worn-out duct-felt seal could also be why your GE dryer makes these squeaking noises.
If that’s the case, then you should replace the seal by following these steps:
- Remove the back of your dryer by unbolting its hinges and pulling it away from the unit. You will then see a piece of duct felt attached to the dryer’s drum by either plastic pegs or screws.
- Use pliers to remove the pegs (or the screws) that hold it in place. Now, remove the duct felt seal and replace it with a new one. Reattach it using its original fastening method.
- Once finished, place the components back into their place, and you should now hear an end to your squeaky GE dryer problem.
4. Check the motor bearings
Worn-out motor bearings can often produce a thudding or squeaking noise in your GE dryer. The good news is that this is a reasonably easy fix, but it does require some tools and technical know-how.
You can use the following steps to replace the dryer’s motor bearings:
- Unplug your GE dryer from its power source before you begin working on it.
- Remove the front panel of your dryer using a screwdriver or other tool to pry off any screws holding on the panel. Be careful not to damage anything while doing so, as these panels can be expensive to replace if they are broken during removal or replacement tasks.
- Use an eye protector when examining your dryer’s fan belt and motor pulley assembly since these pieces have sharp edges and may cause injury if they are touched while they’re still spinning.
- Unscrew the motor bracket from the back of your dryer using a screwdriver to loosen all of its screws and bolts. This piece is also known as the fan motor housing. Keep an eye out for any belts connected to this piece, as you’ll need to detach these before removing the motor assembly.
- Pull off both belts that were removed in step 4, then gently pull off your dryer’s drum belt fan wheel and remove it from your dryer’s pulley system by hand – yes, it should come off easily by hand once you’ve pulled on it enough.
- Detach any other electrical cables or hoses from your dryer’s motor assembly, leaving only the motor and its fan belt attached. This should loosen up all of the parts so that you can pull off the entire motor from your dryer once you’re ready to do so.
- To remove the old bearings from your dryer’s original motor, use a screwdriver or some other prying tool to pop them out of their holes in the metal housing on which they sit. Depending on how worn-out these bearings are, this could take a bit of force since they may be stuck in place. You may also need to pry off any gears inside your original motor’s housing.
- Insert the new bearings into their correct holes in the metal housing now that you’ve removed them from your dryer. These holes should line up with each other when put back together, and they should have a “righty-tighty, lefty-loosey” configuration if you’re putting things back together correctly.
- Place the metal housing onto your dryer’s motor assembly once the bearings have been replaced, then screw all of its bolts and screws back in place using a screwdriver.
- Reattach any belts or other pieces that you removed from your GE dryer before removing the motor assembly, then plug it back into its power source and test it to see if it’s working properly.