You are late for work; you need those freshly washed pants, so you quickly throw in the last load of clean washing into your trusty dryer. But all you hear is chaotic banging and jolting coming from inside your dryer.
The likely cause of these noises is a broken dryer belt. But don’t let your mind spin out of control on what to do next, we have put together a simple guide on DIY belt repair, and you can be up and drying again in no time.
On average, DIY dryer belt replacement costs $8-$10 (average cost of a belt). The replacement process is relatively simple, and there are many videos available online. The basic steps are: disconnect the dryer, remove the front panel and the drum, loop the new belt on, reassemble and reconnect the dryer.
How Much Does a Dryer Belt Cost?
Luckily, dryer belts are pretty much the least of your worries when it comes to dryer repair and maintenance, as they are the least expensive part to replace. They don’t need to be replaced very often; however, it does depend on how frequently you use your dryer and how heavy the loads are.
Dryer belts can cost from $3 to $25, averaging between $8 and $10. This is without having a professional repair it for you. However, it also depends on the brand and model of the dryer. Some brands are more expensive than others.
Brands such as Whirlpool and Hotpoint can lean on the more expensive side, with prices reaching $15 and $25, respectively. Brands like Maytag and Roper lean towards the cheaper side, with prices reaching $9 and $8, respectively.
Cost of Professional Instalment of Dryer Belt
If you are going to hire a professional, it is advised to get a few quotes from different companies or individuals and compare them because professional dryer belt replacement can be quite pricey. You may even land up paying close to what you paid for the dryer initially.
Professionals can charge a service fee of about $50 to $99. And that is just the service fee. They may charge double or triple the retail price for a new belt as well. You can end with a final bill of up to $295.
You can also contact your manufacturer about your warranty and if your dryer is still under warranty you may not need to pay for the repair or replacement parts. If this is not the case, then the next best option would be to replace the belt yourself.
A little DIY never hurts anyone and luckily replacing the belt is simple.
DIY Guide to Dryer Belt Replacement
As we have seen, the DIY route will most likely be the best option, unless, of course, you are physically unable to replace the belt yourself or do not feel skilled enough. The procedure is simple but working around the drum can be tricky.
It may be a good idea to have a friend or family member there for support when removing and replacing the drum as it is bulky and holding everything in place can get awkward.
The Tools You Will Need and Their Cost
|Tool||Average price||View on Amazon|
|Screwdriver||$8 – $20||View|
|Flat bladed screwdriver||$9||View|
|Dryer belt||$8 – $13||View|
Step 1: Disconnect the Dryer
Safety is always first with any DIY project. You are going to want to disconnect your dryer from its electrical supply to prevent an electrical shock from occurring. You will also need to remove the exhaust should your dryer be attached to one.
No connections allow you to maneuver your dryer away from the wall to work on it better.
Note: While DIY is a great option, it is strongly suggested that you hire a professional should you have a gas pipe (for gas dryers) or your dryer is hardwired into your electrical supply.
Step 2: Disassemble the Dryer
Now it’s time for the fun part. Disassembling your dryer. Not all dryers are built the same, so you will have to disassemble them differently.
Kenmore and Whirlpool models:
- Remove the lint trap on the top panel and the screws found beneath it.
- Place a flat-bladed screwdriver under the front of the top panel and pop it open by releasing the spring clips on either side.
- Lift the top and lean it back.
- Disconnect the door switch.
- Remove the screws on the inside of the front panel.
- Lift and pull out the front panel.
If your model has two separate front panels:
- Use your flat-headed screwdriver to push and unclip the lower panel first.
- Remove the screws from the bottom and top of the upper front panel and gently pull it off.
- Remove the two screws on the front panel and the two screws on the door hinges.
- Lift and pull out the door.
- Remove the front panel by pulling it towards you and unhooking it from the two clips at the bottom of the dryer.
- Unscrew the two brackets on each side of the front panel that lies between the front panel and the bulkhead.
- Lift the top of the dryer.
- If you can’t lean the top panel on a wall, tie it down by hooking wire through the top panel and a hole in the side panels of the dryer.
- Remove the frame in front of the drum by removing the Phillips head screws first.
- Remove the screws from the frame holding the drum in place. You don’t need to disconnect the door switch here.
Other Maytag models may have two screws at the bottom of the front panel.
- Remove these screws and swing the panel out from the bottom.
- Unclip it from the clips at the top.
- Disconnect the door switch and remove the wiring from the front bulkhead.
- Remove the front bulkhead by removing the screws.
Regardless of the model you have at home, you are going to want to inspect the drum first before going further, because if your belt is still intact then it may in fact be a motor issue and not a belt issue.
Step 3: Remove the Drum
You can either remove the drum or work under the drum. It may be easier to slide the broken belt off the drum and remove it. If the belt is broken there should be no tension on the drum and the idler pulley, and it should be easy to slide it off.
Take this opportunity to give your dryer a good clean and remove all the debris and lint build-up that could cause problems later.
Step 4: Install the New Dryer Belt
Install your new dryer belt:
- Place the belt on the outside of the drum, lined up with the marks made by the previous belt, and make sure the ribbed side of the belt faces the drum.
- Thread the belt around the idler pulley and around the motor shaft. This part can be tricky.
- Kenmore and Whirlpool dryers usually have two support rollers that you can rest the drum on. If you have no support rollers in your model, it would be best to have someone support the drum while you thread the belt around the pulley and motor shaft.
- Rotate the drum to ensure the belt is aligned correctly.
Step 5: Reassemble the Dryer
Now it’s time to put all the pieces back together.
If you had the Kenmore or Whirlpool dryer models:
- Slide your front panel onto the tabs on each side
- Secure your front panel with the screws provided.
- Reconnect your door switch at the top.
- Close the top panel and clip it into place.
- Replace the lint trap screws and the lint trap.
If your model has separate panels:
- Place the upper front panel onto the brackets and secure it with the 4 screws (two top and two bottom).
- Click in the lower front panel and reconnect the door switch at the top of the dryer. Secure the top panel.
If you have a Maytag model:
- Place the bulkhead in line with the drum and secure it with the screws.
- Close the top panel.
- Place the panel, found between the front panel and the bulkhead, up and screw in the brackets that were removed (one on each side).
- Slide your front panel in from the bottom and clip it in the bottom clips.
- Screw in the front panel and the door.
If you have a Maytag model with the screws at the bottom of the front panel:
- Replace the bulkhead and screw it back on.
- Slide the front panel under the top panel and clip it in.
- Lower the front panel back into place and secure it with the bottom mounting screws.
Step 6: Reconnect the Dryer
Reconnect your exhaust vents and plug in your dryer, and you should be ready to go. As mentioned, if your dryer is hardwired into your electrical supply please seek professional assistance.