Keep Your Dryer Running Smoothly With the Best Replacement Parts
Having a working dryer that quickly and efficiently dries your clothes is such a vital modern convenience. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely dread hanging piles of heavy, dripping wet laundry on a clothesline to air dry. No thanks! I’ll happily take the ease of throwing a load in the dryer, pressing start, and having warm, dry clothes ready to wear or put away a short time later.
However, dryers can unexpectedly break down and finding yourself without this essential appliance is incredibly frustrating. Even worse is when you discover your dryer needs repairs because it has worn out parts that are no longer functioning properly. Taking the time to proactively replace parts before they fail can prevent bigger problems and keep your dryer running like new.
In this article, I’ll cover the most critical dryer components that may need replacement. I’ll also give tips on choosing high quality parts and provide answers to common questions about dryer repair and maintenance. Follow along for advice on keeping your dryer humming along smoothly for years to come!
The Most Important Dryer Parts to Replace
There are several internal dryer parts that experience a lot of wear and tear over time. Eventually they may break or wear down enough that they will need to be replaced. Here are the most essential dryer components where quality and durability really matter when replacement is needed:
The drum is the large cylindrical container inside the dryer that holds your clothes as they tumble around and get dried by the hot air. It has to withstand the constant rotation and friction as it turns during operation. The drum may develop cracks or holes from the stress over many drying cycles. A damaged drum can damage clothes by leaving rust marks or causing snags. Look for signs like loud rattling noises, scraping sounds, or clothes getting caught on the inside when the drum is turning. Replacements can range from $100 on the low end to over $300 for premium drums built to last. Going with an OEM drum replacement from the manufacturer is recommended for proper fit and longer life.
The Heating Element
The heating element is responsible for generating the heat needed to dry the clothes loaded in the drum. It cycles on and off throughout the drying cycle. Eventually this part may burn out and stop producing any heat. Indications your heating element needs replacement include clothes taking multiple cycles to dry, feeling only room temperature or cold air blowing into the drum instead of hot, or noticing the element is visibly cracked or burned. Replacement heating elements typically cost $40-$90 and are an important part to buy new rather than salvaging from a used dryer.
The Thermal Fuse
The thermal fuse is a safety mechanism that blows and cuts power to the dryer if temperatures get too high. When it fails, the dryer stops generating heat needed to dry clothes. The thermal fuse is designed to prevent overheating and fire hazards. A blown fuse usually requires complete replacement, not just resetting, and costs around $10-$20 installed. Avoid bypassing the thermal fuse even if the dryer works again without it, as this removes a critical safety cutoff point.
The Blower or Fan
The blower fan is responsible for pulling air into the dryer and pushing it through the drum as well as venting exhaust air outside. A faulty blower motor can mean clothes take too long to dry. Other signs of wear include squealing, grinding or buzzing noises from the fan. Replacing just the blower motor runs $100-$150 parts and labor. Sometimes replacing the entire blower housing assembly is needed, which costs $200-$300. Use OEM parts when possible for the tightest seal and prevent air leaks.
The Drive Belt
The drive belt connects the motor to the drum and allows the drum to spin. Belts naturally stretch and wear thin over time. Symptoms of a bad belt include loud squeaking while running, burning rubber smells, reduced spinning action in the drum, or clothes taking longer to dry properly. Replacing dryer belts is an easy, inexpensive fix running $15-$30 for parts. But don’t neglect worn belts since they can snap unexpectedly and require repair labor fees too.
The Idler Pulley
The idler pulley applies tension to the drive belt and allows the motor to turn the drum via the belt. Worn pulleys lead to slipping belts, squeaking noises, and problems drying laundry. New idler pulleys cost $15-$25 just for the part and are quick, easy DIY repairs. Make sure to inspect pulleys when replacing belts. Consider replacing both if showing signs of wear since you’ll already be taking things apart.
The motor turns the drum and drive belt to spin your clothes during the drying cycle. Burnt out motors won’t run at all. Slow, weak motors lead to longer dry times. Noisy motors typically mean bearings inside are worn out. Replacing the motor runs $150-$250 or more. Opt for OEM equivalent motors for proper dryer operation and long life. Motars are not a DIY fix due to electrical expertise needed.
How to Choose High Quality Replacement Parts
Picking the right replacement dryer parts ensures repairs go smoothly and you won’t be fixing the same problem again in 6 months or a year. Here are tips for selecting durable, long-lasting dryer components:
- Research brand reputation and read reviews. Not all off-brand or generic parts are created equal. Look at actual customer reviews to identify brands known for quality and reliability.
- Opt for OEM parts when possible. OEM parts meet the specifications of your dryer brand and model. They are guaranteed to properly fit and often last longer than generics.
- Consider materials used in part construction. Look for sturdy metals, quality plastics and rubbers, reinforced belts and hoses. Avoid cheaper lightweight materials prone to breaking.
- Buy from reputable retailers and parts distributors. Watch out for no-name brands with no real history or support. Stick to well-known appliance parts suppliers.
- Check if the part comes with a warranty. Better replacement parts often come with a 1-year warranty or longer. This protects against early failure or defects.
- Ensure correct sizing, dimensions, wiring etc. Compare the specs of the new part to your existing dryer’s specs for proper fit.
- Consider the expected lifespan. Higher prices often buy longer lasting performance. Weigh costs vs just needing a temporary quick fix.
Taking the time to carefully evaluate and purchase replacement parts can make the difference between repeated repairs and years of uninterrupted clothes drying. Genuine OEM parts will provide the tightest fit, best performance, and longest working life. But less expensive quality aftermarket parts can also be a good option on a tight budget. Just be wary of super cheap generic parts that seem too good to be true.
Answering Common Questions About Dryer Parts
Let’s review answers to some frequently asked questions people have about dryer part replacement and repairs:
Why are generic or aftermarket parts more prone to problems?
Generic parts are reverse engineered rather than meeting the specs of your machine’s manufacturer. They may seem close in design, but small differences in things like size, shape, materials etc. can lead to issues with fit, performance, and durability down the road. Genuine OEM parts are guaranteed to properly integrate with your specific make and model.
How can you tell if a professional repair is needed?
If you lack electrical expertise, repairs involving motors, heating elements, control boards and wiring should be left to appliance pros. Major disassembly of the dryer cabinet and drum is also best handled by a trained technician. Sticking to external part swaps like belts, pulleys, filters and knobs is usually safe for DIY.
Is it safe for me to do my own dryer repairs?
Basic part replacements like belts, rollers, and pulleys can safely be DIY if you follow precautions. Unplug the dryer, confirm power is off, and exercise caution handling hot internal parts that should be allowed to fully cool. Have an appliance pro handle any complex wiring or major disassembly repairs.
How do I find the right part numbers for my model?
Check the manufacturer and model number sticker on your machine. Search online using those details to bring up OEM part diagrams and numbers. Confirm the match before ordering replacements. You can also bring old parts to appliance stores for identification.
Can I just replace certain bad parts and keep the rest?
It’s possible but not ideal. If multiple internal components show wear, it’s recommended to replace them all at once rather than doing one at a time. This prevents having to take things apart repeatedly. Full part kits are available for convenience.
Should I do regular dryer maintenance?
Lint buildup and clogs can lead to overheating and reduce drying power over time. It’s smart to periodically inspect and clean the exhaust duct, lint trap, and internal vent paths. Wiping the drum with vinegar removes any musty smells. Lubricating moving parts helps maintain smooth operation.
Dryer Repair Tips and Precautions
When tackling any dryer repair project, keep these safety guidelines and best practices in mind:
- Always unplug the dryer from the electrical outlet before attempting any repairs. Confirm it is powered off.
- Take photos with your phone before disassembling anything. This provides a visual reference for proper reassembly.
- Lay out parts in order as removed and keep all hardware together (screws, bolts, etc). This prevents losing important components.
- Review the manufacturer provided instructions if available. Follow proper steps specific to your model.
- Allow hot parts like heating elements and motors to fully cool before attempting removal. Prevent burns.
- Be gentle when prying or removing stuck components that may be brittle after years of heat exposure.
- Confirm all wiring connections are intact, secure, and away from moving components after replacements.
- Verify all assemblies are aligned correctly and panels are properly reattached after finishing repairs.
- Check that the dryer runs smoothly and heats up before reusing. Monitor it closely the first few loads.
Taking it slow, following safety guidelines, and double checking your work helps ensure successful dryer repairs you only have to do once.
Keep Your Dryer Running Like New
Being without a functioning dryer is not only a major inconvenience, but it can lead to mold and mildew problems from damp clothes piled up. Stay ahead of dryer issues before they leave you high and dry by being proactive about part replacement. Invest in quality components like belts, pulleys, heating elements and motors when they show any signs of wear. Taking the time to properly select durable parts from leading brands pays off in the long run with a dryer that keeps humming along for years. And be sure to regularly clear lint and other debris to prevent overheating and keep your dryer operating at peak performance. With a little preventative maintenance and strategic part replacements as needed, you can count on smoothly sailing through never-ending laundry cycles for years before needing to purchase a brand new dryer.