man repairing tumble dryer

Tumble Dryer Heating Up But Not Spinning – Causes and Solutions

A tumble dryer that is heating up but not spinning is a fairly common issue, and the fix isn’t too tricky to do yourself if you have some DIY knowledge.

Let’s start with the most common cause of a tumble dryer heating up and not spinning, shall we?


Cause 1: A Broken Drive Belt

tumble dryer drive belt replacement

All tumble dryers have a drive belt. This wraps around the drum of the machine and connects to a pulley mounted to the drive motor.

As the motor turns, it turns the pulley, which then turns the belt, and this is what turns the drum.

The best way to check if the drive belt is faulty is to simply turn the drum by hand. If the drum turns really easily (more easily than usual), then it’s very likely that the drive belt is broken or loose.

Solution: Replace the drive belt

You can order a new tumble dryer drive belt from various places online, but you need to check that the drive belt you buy is the correct one.

While all tumble dryers have a drive belt, they come in various sizes. To help with this, ensure you make a note of your tumble dryer model number.

When the new belt arrives, you’ll need to gain access to the drive belt. Unplug the tumble dryer and move it away from the wall.

Next, take off as many panels as you can; the more access you have, the easier it will be to replace.

On the pulley and drive motor assembly, you should notice some bolts with slotted holes. These are used to tension the drive belt.

Undo the bolts, remove the old belt and install the new one. Be careful when bolting the assembly back down.

The belt should be tight, but not too tight. Otherwise, you can introduce some unneeded stress on the belt.

It is best to put some tension on the belt and then spin the dryer by hand to ensure it feels right.

You can then put all the panels back on the machine, plug it in and take it for a test drive.


Cause 2: Worn Drum Rollers

dryer drum roller

If the drive belt looks fine on your tumble dryer, then the cause is likely worn drum rollers.

Most tumble dryers have drum rollers on the back of the machine, while others have them on the back and front. The rollers hold the drum in place and support it as they spin.

To check if the drum rollers are worn, remove the belt from the drum and give the drum a spin by hand.

If the drum is really hard to spin, then the cause is very likely to be worn drum rollers, and it is always worth replacing all of the rollers at once.

In fact, you could also change the drive belt while you are here as if one part is worn, as the others may be wearing out too, and another problem may arise later on if you don’t replace them.

Solution: Replace the drum rollers

There are several drum rollers available from various places online. Typically, each manufacturer uses a dedicated size of drum roller, but make sure the ones you buy will work in your machine.

With the belt removed from the drum, the drum has some play from side to side. This should allow you to simply undo the bolts holding the drum rollers in place, remove the old worn-out ones and replace them with new ones.

If you aren’t sure about this step, there are plenty of videos showing how to replace drum rollers in tumble dryers which are well worth taking a look at before you start.

We hope this look at the cause of a tumble dryer heating up but not spinning has been helpful.

For more repair tips and possible causes for your tumble dryer’s breakdown, explore In The Wash further.

We even have lists of the best tumble dryers for all price ranges available in the UK right now, too, if your tumble dryer cannot be repaired.