I replaced the idler tension pulley on my dryer, and upon re-assembly if I have a small load in the dryer the drum turns as expected. If I have a medium sized load, the drum does not turn at all. I have verified that the belt is turning, and the drum was spinning before I replaced the idler tension pulley, it just sounded like a squeaky wheel on a grocery cart.

What do I need to check to uncover why this issue is occurring?

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    Repair was botched, or belt was ruined by slipping in the past, or pulleys got slippery from rubber deposits from slipping in the past. Might need to replace belt AND clean off drive spindle of any contamination, burned rubber and the like. I prefer to use a wire wheel for that, myself. Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 22:28
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    Your rollers (what the drum rolls on when the belt turns it) might also need replacement, and can be a source of squeaks themselves. I tend to get the "rollers/belt/tensioner kit" and store the old parts that don't appear to be totally dead for "next time" rather than getting the parts piecemeal (last one I did it was 10% more than just the parts I knew were bad, or less than half .vs. getting them all separately.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Sep 6, 2022 at 1:18
  • @Ecnerwal - i've learned my lesson on that for sure. I should have bought a kit that had all the parts (tension pulley, wheels and the belt) instead of buying the one piece that most of the initial sites I read from said it was. If/when this happens again, DEF getting the all in one. Commented Sep 6, 2022 at 15:35

2 Answers 2


Probably need a new belt.

If enough time has happen to wear out the pulley, probably enough time to stretch the belt beyond what the pulley can move to keep the belt tight enough.

If you get a new belt, will probably find it is a few inches shorter than the old belt.

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    Yes, and belt can become glazed.
    – JACK
    Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 15:44
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    still think it's an issue with the belt even tho I can verify the belt is turning? Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 15:46
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    Age of machine important, but old enough to need new pulley and wheels, old enough to need a new belt. Guessing about a ten year or older machine.
    – crip659
    Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 15:50
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    For my own sanity - let me ask this again...i can validate that the belt is spinning the drum is not, the wheels in the back of the dryer are not...still think it's the belt causing the issue? Should I replace those two wheels also? Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 18:16
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    @user2676140 that would be when belt is slipping, add some regular soap on the underside of the belt
    – Traveler
    Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 18:55

Adjust the belt tension or replace parts.


The idler pulley is responsible for maintaining tension on the drive belt so that the drum spins correctly when operating. Normal wear and tear combined with consistent heat from daily use may cause the idler pulley to crack and break. If the idler pulley does not have the proper tension on the belt, the dryer will not operate efficiently. It may not dry clothes entirely or may not operate at all. If the idler pulley is not working correctly, it will need to be replaced.A Phillips screwdriver, nut driver, putty knife, flathead screwdriver, and needle nose pliers are needed for this repair. The idler pulley is located on the drum of the dryer. Before beginning, make sure the dryer is disconnected from the power source. Remove the back panel on the dryer to access the drum. Pull the drum and replace the part. Put the drum back in place and reinstall the cover and reconnect the power. Start the dryer to test the repair.This idler pulley is a plastic and rubber part.

The tension adjustment:

The correct tension is achieved when you can not twist the belt more than 1/8-1/4 of inch.

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    Not sure why you included an explanation of the idler pulley. OP already replaced that. Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 22:35
  • @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact because the OP did not adjust the tension correctly.
    – Traveler
    Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 22:38
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    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact also learning from your posts
    – Traveler
    Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 22:44
  • huh, seems a WHOLE lot easier to replace this by removing the back panel! The video I watched had me removing the entire front of the washer as well as the drum Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 22:45
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    @user2676140 my instruction agree with you, access from back.
    – Traveler
    Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 23:01

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