My Kenmore Dryer Will Heat But Won't Tumble

If your Kenmore dryer is generating heat but the drum is not tumbling there, are two potential causes.

Kenmore dryers use a motor to rotate the drum. The motor is connected to the drum by a rubber belt. Over years of use, the motor can burn out and the belt can break. Once your dryer is disassembled it will be obvious whether the belt is broken. If the belt appears to be intact, then the motor must be replaced.

Unplug the dryer from the electrical outlet. Slide the dryer out from the wall and disconnect the dryer vent from the back of the dryer. Loosen the retaining screw on the clamp holding the vent to the dryer's exhaust port and slide the vent off of the port.

Slide the lint tray out of the dryer's top panel. Remove the two Phillips screws in the lint tray opening.

Slide a putty knife under the left side of the top panel and lift up on the knife to disengage the spring clip. Do the same thing on the right side of the dryer. Lift the top panel up and rotate it toward the rear of the dryer.

Remove the screws along the inside edge of the front panel and pull the top of the front panel toward you. Lift up on the panel to release the lower spring clips. Unplug the door switch wiring harness and slide the panel off to the side of the dryer.

Examine the drum belt. With the front panel removed, you should be able to clearly see the belt wrapped around the drum. If the belt appears to be worn or cracked, it should be replaced. If the belt is broken, it will be on the dryer's cabinet floor instead of wrapped around the drum. If the belt is intact, continue on to remove and replace the motor.

Reach under the drum and press in on the idler arm, located in front of the motor, to release the drum belt's tension. Remove the belt from the motor pulley and slide the belt off of the drum.

Slide the drum forward and out of the dryer's cabinet. Set the drum off to the side. Remove the idler pulley, located in front of the motor, from the dryer cabinet floor by sliding it out of its slots.

Unplug the wiring harness from the motor. Use a flat head screwdriver to pop off the metal spring clips holding the motor in place. Place an adjustable wrench on each side of the motor shaft and use them to unscrew the motor shaft from the dryer's blower wheel. Lift the motor out of the dryer cabinet.

Slide a new motor into place and screw the blower wheel back on. Replace the spring clips and plug the wiring harness back into the new motor. Replace the idler pulley. Slide the drum back into the dryer cabinet. Slide the belt over the drum and loop the belt through the idler pulley and around the motor pulley.

Replace the front panel and top panel. Replace the lint tray and connect the dryer vent back up to the dryer. Plug the dryer back into the electrical outlet.

Things You Will Need

  • Phillips, flat head and hex nut screwdrivers
  • Putty knife
  • 2 adjustable wrenches
  • Replacement belt
  • Replacement motor

Warning

  • Never attempt to repair your dryer while it is still plugged in.

About the Author

Michael Scott is a freelance writer and professor of justice studies at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is a former prosecutor. Scott has a J.D. from Emory University and is a member of the Utah State Bar. He has been freelancing since June 2009, and his articles have been published on eHow.com and Travels.com.