The blower fan is a vital component in your clothes dryer. In a gas dryer, this component consists of a drum-shaped fan that is connected to the motor by an axle. In an electric dryer, it is usually a plastic wheel that draws air over the heating element into the dryer drum.
The wheel works in synchrony with the motor and creates a powerful air current. It draws air from outside the machine and circulates the air inside the drum to dry clothes.
It then expels the air outside the machine through an exhaust vent. Whether yours is a gas or electric dryer, a bad blower wheel needs to be replaced. Below are four signs that indicate it's time to replace this component.
Blower wheels rarely break by themselves, but they can crack when a motor is replaced. They can also get covered in dust, causing low air volume and some vibration.
1. Squeals or Rattling
You may hear a loud squealing or high-pitched noise from your dryer when you run it. This could potentially relate to a faulty blower wheel.
Blower wheels can also crack, which can cause a rattling sound after your dryer stops, as the drum slows down.
2. Loud Vibrations
Your dryer may vibrate loudly soon after the drum begins to move or right after it stops moving. It may even sound like there’s a pair of shoes inside the dryer. Sometimes the machine may also rumble when in operation.
A likely cause of this noise is a worn out or damaged blower wheel. A damaged wheel spins out of sync with the motor. This may cause the dryer to rumble as it runs. However, sometimes the wheel may just be clogged with lint which can also cause noise when you run the dryer.
Remove all dirt from the wheel and test it to see if the dryer is still noisy. If the noise persists, you’ll have to replace the wheel.
3. Dryer Doesn’t Dry Clothes Properly
Poor drying is usually caused by clogged ductwork, so always check this first. You might have a clog at the exterior vent, or built up lint under and around your filter.
If you don't have any clogs and you're still getting damp clothes, your blower wheel may be damaged or worn out, affecting air flow into the exhaust vent.
4. Several Cycles Necessary to Dry a Load
Again, poor airflow is usually caused by clogs, but in rare cases it can indicate a worn-out wheel.
Most blower wheels have a D-shaped hole in the center. With time, this hole can get stripped out. This loosens the tension of the wheel as it spins on its axle. The wheel spins out of sync with the motor which causes poor airflow through the dryer.
Poor airflow lowers the efficiency of the dryer, so it ends up costing you money in energy bills. If you have no clogs but you're still getting damp clothes, consider checking in on your blow wheel to see if it needs replacement.
Dryer Blower Wheel FAQ
What does a dryer blower wheel do?
The dryer blower wheel provides the air flow that circulates in the dryer. The airflow is what actually dries clothes, so the blower wheel is an important part of the dryer.
The blower removes moisture from the dryer drum, blowing it through the exhaust system, and circulates the air within the drum.
How do you fix a dryer blower wheel?
To fix a dryer blower wheel, first turn off the dryer completely. Unplug it if it is electric and turn off the gas if it is a gas dryer.
Remove the lint screen and the housing around the lint screen. The housing can be loosened and removed using a screwdriver.
Release the panel locking clips to remove the top panel. Use a screwdriver to remove the locking tab on the wire harness plug, which is attached to the door switch.
Disconnect the wire harness. Use a screwdriver to remove the panel mounting screw from the front panel.
Pull out and lift up the front panel to remove it.
Take a picture of the motor pulley and machinery in the dryer so you can re-install it correctly. Push the idler pulley to release the tension on the drive belt and remove the drive belt so the drum can be removed from the dryer.
You will need to remove the rear mounting clamp on the motor. Do this to access the blower wheel.
You will need to rotate the drive motor shaft with a wrench to loosen it and remove the back panel. Now you can remove the mounting screws from the air duct and across the blower.
Now, the blower can be repaired or repaired, but you will need to re-install and re-mount all the parts you removed once this work is complete.
Why is my dryer blower wheel making noise?
If the dryer blower wheel becomes loose or if it's dirty due to lint and debris, it could make a noise that sounds like a thumping, banging, or rumbling.
Should dryer wheels spin freely?
Dryer wheels are designed to spin. If they don't, the motor can be overloaded and the dryer will stop entirely.
If the wheels aren't spinning, air is not circulating properly around the clothes and they will not get dry.
What's wrong with my dryer if it won't spin?
If your dryer is not spinning, it could be due to the fact that the drive belt is broken. Try to manually turn the dryer with your hand.
Does the dryer spin very easily? If so, the belt is probably broken.
A broken door switch can also prevent the dryer from spinning, as the dryer won't spin when the door isn't fully latched. Examine these mechanics to see if anything is bent or broken and find out if the dryer is closing securely.
A blown thermal fuse can also prevent the dryer from spinning. This fuse helps keep the dryer from overheating, so it is a fire hazard if you use the dryer while you have a bad fuse.
The drum rollers are what actually make the dryer spin, as they manually move the dryer around and around. These rollers can wear out or even get stuck, which will keep the dryer from spinning.