Drying your clothes is an integral part of the cleaning process. When your clothes are left wet for too long, they can feel less fresh and even develop mold. This makes it a real problem when your Whirlpool dryer stops spinning, as without a working dryer drum, you won’t be able to dry your clothes.
So in this article, I’m going to list all the reasons why your Whirlpool dryer has stopped spinning and give you the best methods to fix the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Why is your Whirlpool Dryer Not Spinning?
One of the most challenging things when fixing a Whirlpool dryer that won’t spin is the fact there are so many potential causes behind it; it can be difficult to know where to begin.
Sometimes it’s something as simple as the power cable not being plugged in, other times, it may be a critical component that’s worn down and needs replacing.
So let’s walk through all the main causes of this issue so you can better diagnose what’s wrong with your dryer.
1. A Power Supply Issue
In order for a Whirlpool dryer to function, it needs a stable and consistent power supply. So various issues can occur that impede or interrupt the power supply to the dryer, which needs addressing.
This can be anything from a loose power plug or a tripped circuit breaker to an internal fuse malfunction that needs replacing.
2. The Wrong Setting has been Chosen
While it’s great that Whirlpool dryers have many wash options to help tailor your drying experience to your needs, certain settings can delay or impede the dryer’s ability to spin.
Two of the most common setting issues include the child lock feature, which prevents the control panel from working, or the wrinkle shield setting, which is a special dry cycle that prevents the tumbling of the clothes.
There is also a “delay start cycle,” which may pause the dryer for some time before it starts. These settings will need to be adjusted before the dryer will work.
3. The Door isn’t Latched
Dryers won’t operate when the door is open to prevent your clothes from spilling onto the floor. So if the door isn’t latched fully due to something like a piece of clothing stuck in the door’s way, then the dryer will not start.
You’ll need to clear the door of any obstructions and ensure it’s fully latched before the door switch engages and the dryer will start.
4. A Drum Obstruction has Occurred
When a foreign object becomes lodged inside the dryer, it may physically prevent the drum from spinning. This can be anything from a large buildup of lint, coins, zippers, tassels, or anything thin enough to get lodged in the mechanism.
The drum will need to be freed of any obstructions and cleaned properly to ensure it can move freely.
5. A Drive Belt Issue
The drum motor is connected to the drum through a drive belt. This drive belt can run into issues such as coming off from the mechanism due to vibrations, or it can also wear down over time, resulting in decreased tension and performance.
The drive belt will need to be inspected for these issues and addressed accordingly.
6. The Idler Pulley isn’t Working
While not a direct issue with the drive belt, when the idler pulley has an issue, the belt won’t be able to rotate the dryer drum. That’s because the idler pulley is responsible for keeping the drive belt under tension so it can spin the drum.
So when the idler pulley isn’t working correctly, the drive belt might just spin or even come off completely.
7. The Drive Motor isn’t Working
The drive motor is a small motor attached to the drum utilizing the drive belt; as the drive motor spins, the dryer drum will also spin with it.
If the drive motor is making an unusual humming sound or isn’t spinning at all, it will need to be inspected and fixed accordingly.
8. The Drum Rollers are Worn Down
The dryer drum isn’t suspended in the air, it sits on a series of rollers that hold it in place while the motor and belt spin it around. These rollers may become worn down over time or damaged due to excessive vibration from the dryer.
When this happens, the drum will not rotate smoothly, which may, in turn, damage other components inside the dryer. The drum rollers will need to be replaced if they are worn down.
9. The Bearing is Worn Down
If the drum rollers have been damaged for some time, the excessive vibration and uneven rotation of the drum may have worn down the bearing on which the drum is mounted.
Once the bearing is damaged, the drum can make a loud squeaking or grinding noise as it tries to rotate. The bearing will need to be inspected for damage and replaced as needed.
10. The Drum Roller Axle has become Damaged
As previously mentioned, the drum rollers on which the drum sits and rotates. These rollers are held in place by small metal axles.
When these axles wear down or become damaged, it can throw the drum roller alignment off and cause the drum to not spin properly. These axles will need to be replaced if they are worn down.
11. The Drum Glides isn’t Working
Not to be confused with drum rollers, drum glides are small supports that help the front of the drum sit against the front of the chassis, taking some of the weight and allowing it to spin smoothly.
As the drum glides are a constant point of contact for the drum, they tend to wear down over time or through heavy use, and it’s not uncommon to have to replace them.
How to Fix a Whirlpool Dryer Not Spinning?
As you can see, there are a large number of potential problems that can occur with a dryer drum. Now that you’ve had a chance to better diagnose the problem let’s take a look at how to fix each of these issues.
1. Ensure the Power Supply is Working
There are a few things that might prevent the Whirlpool dryer from receiving a stable and consistent power supply. First, check that it’s plugged in.
Next, inspect the circuit breaker and ensure it hasn’t tripped due to a power surge. If it has, then you should flick it back to the on position.
You should also ensure that the dryer isn’t being used on a power strip or multiplug, as these do not provide a consistent power supply to the dryer.
If this doesn’t power the dryer on, then it may be a faulty wall socket, and you should try plugging it into a different socket to see if that’s the problem.
2. Change the Dryer Settings
If the wrong dryer settings are chosen, then the drum might be prevented from spinning.
The first thing you should do is disable the child lock. You can do this by locating the child lock button on the front control panel and holding it down for 3 seconds; this will turn the mode off.
Next, you should ensure cycle settings that prevent the drum from spinning are not enabled. If you are unsure which cycle setting to choose, something like auto-dry can work well.
3. Check the Door is Closed
Check the door carefully to make sure nothing is preventing it from fully latching; a piece of clothing or something like a hoody tie may be hanging out, which can be enough to prevent it from closing.
In rarer cases, the door switch may have failed; when this happens, you should contact Whirlpool customer support, who will assist you in replacing it.
4. Clean Out the Drum
If a foreign object has gotten in the drum’s path, it may be prevented from spinning. Here you should inspect it carefully for trapped items and remove them by hand.
Additionally, sometimes a buildup of lint may cause an interruption, so vacuuming all the areas of the drum out to remove the lint can help too.
5. Inspect the Drive Belt
If the drive belt has worked its way off of its mount, then it needs to be re-attached. If it keeps coming off, it may indicate an issue with the idler pulley, and you should move on to the next step.
However, if, after visually inspecting the belt, you notice it’s frayed and cracked, it may simply be old. If this is the case, you can replace it with a new one.
6. Replace the Idler Pulley
In some cases, the idler pulley has just become stuck, and you can try to dislodge it by hand.
However, if it’s been damaged or is simply worn down, then it’s usually better to just replace it with a new one, as these components need to function correctly for the drive belt to spin the drum.
7. Fix the Drive Motor
Usually, if a drive motor has failed, it just needs to be replaced. However, in some cases, humming or buzzing may not simply mean that the blower is partially obstructed.
Try turning the drum by hand; if the motor has failed, the drum will still be turning. But if the drum can’t turn, it may indicate the blower has been obstructed by something, and you should remove it.
8. Replace the Worn-Down Drum Rollers
If the drum is vibrating or has a lot of movement while under operation, it may mean the drum rollers are not even. The most common cause of this is that they have simply worn down.
The only solution is to replace them with new ones so the drum can rotate freely.
9. Replace the Bearing
When the drum bearing has worn down, it will make some unusual noises while turning.
The bearing must be replaced immediately as uneven operation of the drum can cause harm to other components inside the dryer.
This is quite an involved item to replace, so if you are not confident doing this yourself, you should contact Whirlpool support for assistance.
10. Replace the Drum Roller Axles
Similarly, the axles on which the drum rollers sit may become bent or worn down over time.
Even if the rollers themselves are fine, an off-angle axle will cause the drum to not rotate properly, and they should be replaced.
11. Replace the Worn Drum Glides
The drum glides are in constant contact with the front of the drum as it rotates and, as such, can wear down over time.
You will need to remove the front panel of the dryer to gain access to the drum glides, if you notice they are visibly worn down, then you can just replace them with new ones.