Why Is My Tumble Dryer Making a Rumbling Noise?

Why Is My Tumble Dryer Making a Rumbling Noise?

Roughly 16.5 million households in the UK own a washer-dryer or tumble dryer, and 54% of those who own such an appliance admit to using it during the summer months. Such an appliance can be great for getting laundry dry when the weather is less than impressive, but what do you do when yours starts to show signs of a fault?

One fault you may experience is your tumble dryer making a rumbling noise when it rotates. Typically, this is caused by one of 4 reasons, as outlined below.

Running In Period:

All tumble dryers have a “running in” period, and if your appliance is either brand new or hasn’t been used for a substantial period of time it may make a rumbling noise for the first few moments of use. Don’t worry, this is normal.

But, if the rumbling noise continues for 5 minutes or more, there’s a risk you have a fault with the appliance, and one of the following 3 reasons is likely to be the cause. [source: http://service.hoover.co.uk/advice-centre/making-a-rumbling-noise/]

Faulty Support Wheels:

Your tumble dryer drum rests on support wheels, and although these are often only made from plastic and a small component of your tumble dryer they do play a big role. However, these can become worn or out of shape, resulting in the rumbling noise occurring.

A quick way to test if the support wheels are the reason behind the rumbling noise you’re hearing is to manually rotate the drum, slowly. If you feel a regular bump as the drum rotates there is a good chance the support wheels have become faulty and need replacing.

Worn Belt Tension Pulley:

If there’s a deep rumbling noise coming from your tumble dryer, a likely cause is the belt tension pulley which will have dried out or become worn. In such a situation, you will need to replace the belt tension pulley, which will require you to dismantle some of your appliance.

With your tumble dryer switched off and unplugged, remove the top of the appliance by undoing the two screws at the back, before removing the side panel. Once these have been removed you’ll see the tension pulley.

To release the tension pulley, you’ll need to remove the fan which is held in place by a spring clip. This can be done by undoing the spring clip and then easing off the fan spindle and the fan, before lifting the pulley away. You’ll then need to reverse the steps to fit the new tension pulley.

Worn Bearings:

Should the support wheels and belt tension pulley not be the reasoning behind the rumbling sound from your tumble dryer, then there’s a good chance the bearings have become worn, and need replacing.

Replacing worn bearings on your tumble dryer isn’t a particularly easy task to carry out, but it is one which is essential if they become worn and you want to keep your appliance working at its peak for longer. To help make the job easier, the “Replacing a Tumble Dryer Bearing or Shaft Kit” video below, guides you through the process.

It isn’t just a rumbling noise which you should listen out for in your tumble dryer. If it is making any other sort of unusual noises, such as a humming sound or a squeak, you may have a fault with the appliance.

In our article “Diagnosing Noise Problems With a Tumble Dryer” we explain how to diagnose such a fault and how to carry out the required repair, whilst by clicking here you’ll be able to find a wide selection of tumble dryer spares and accessories, to help you repair rather than replace the appliance.


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