My Dryer Makes a Low Humming Noise and Won't Spin

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Start by taking a good look inside the dryer for possible objects that may be causing the problem.
See More Photos

Many manufacturers produce clothes dryers, such as Whirlpool, Maytag, Jenn-Air, General Electric and Kenmore, and dryers are available in a variety of sizes, colors, finishes and available features. While some dryers come equipped with just the standard time and temperature functions, others have moisture sensors, steam dry, wrinkle protection and even sanitizing cycles. While operating most dryers is simple, problems such as when the dryer is humming and not spinning will require users to try to determine the source of the problem.


Video of the Day

Foreign Objects

The first place to start when a dryer won't turn and makes a humming noise is to check for foreign objects that may be blocking the drum from turning. Turn off and unplug the dryer, and then use a flashlight to inspect the dryer closely. Look at the edges between the drum and the dryer housing, as objects such as coins may fall out of pockets and get lodged between the drum and the housing. This can keep the dryer from turning. If you can see the object, remove it if possible. A pair of needle-nose pliers may be useful for this purpose. If you do not see any foreign objects, there are other alternatives to consider.


Drive Belt

Most dryers have a drive belt that is responsible for turning the drum. If this belt cracks or is otherwise damaged or broken, the drum won't spin and the dryer may make several interesting noises, including humming. Unfortunately, a broken belt must be replaced before the dryer can be restored to normal function. Contact your local service technician or the dryer manufacturer for repair assistance or advice.



One of the primary reasons why a dryer may hum but not operate is that the motor has burnt out. While enterprising owners can disconnect power to the dryer, remove the dryer belt, examine the blower fan for possible obstructions and try to move the motor shaft manually, this is typically a task best left to a service professional. If there are no obstructions in the blower fan and the motor shaft will not move manually, the motor will need to be replaced.


Rollers or Pulley

The drum in most dryers is supported by a set of rollers, or small wheels, which turn the drum. If the motor and belt are both functioning properly but the dryer is humming and not spinning, it is possible that the rollers have worn out. Again, this is a task best left to the professionals. Alternatively, if the idler pulley, which provides tension for the drive belt, is worn out, it can make noise and may prevent proper spinning function. This too will require professional replacement.