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Drum Stopped Spinning in My Whirlpool Dryer

Christie Gross

A Whirlpool clothes dryer is designed to tumble clothes as hot air enters the drum to dry them. If your Whirlpool clothes dryer's drum stops spinning, there are several components to check for problems. Don't run your clothes dryer until you've identified and addressed the issues causing the malfunction. Although the dryer might continue to heat, subjecting your clothes to hot air without them being able to tumble can lead to burn marks and holes.

Blown Fuse

Depending on your electric Whirlpool clothes dryer's electrical configuration, it has either fuses or circuit breakers that control its electricity supply. If it uses fuses, you'll find that there are two fuses: one that supplies electricity to the heating element and another that operates the drum. It's possible for one fuse to blow while the other continues to operate. If your dryer heats but doesn't spin, inspect each fuse to determine whether or not it's functioning. If one or both have blown, the fuse will be either gray or black. Substitute the bad fuse for one that's good to restore the drum's spinning ability.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

If your electric Whirlpool clothes dryer is set up to run off circuit breakers, check the circuit box to make sure both of the dryer's circuit breakers are in the "On" position. Just as with dryers that operate with fuses, you'll find that the dryer has two circuit breakers: one to power the heating element and one for the drum. If one or both of the circuit breakers are switched "Off," reset them.

Activated Thermal Switch

Your Whirlpool clothes dryer has a heat-sensitive thermal switch that activates if the dryer overheats. After it's triggered, it either shuts off the heating element or turns off power to the dryer, depending on how it works on your specific model. If the switch is prompted, your dryer won't operate fully until the switch is replaced. Unfortunately, you can't switch it back on. In certain cases, it might start to spin and heat, then fail midway through the cycle. Locate the switch with help from your dryer's user guide. You can obtain a new switch from a store that sells dryers, or an online dryer retailer. Changing out the switch is relatively easy to do yourself, but if you don't feel comfortable repairing your dryer, contact a dryer repair technician to assist you.

Faulty Drum Belt

A thick rubber drum belt encircles the drum at its center, and supports it while it rotates in the cabinet. If the belt becomes loose or breaks, it can cause the drum to stop spinning. When this occurs, it's possible to hear a squealing or clanging sound, or both. A loose belt will squeal as it tries to stabilize the drum before it eventually stops. The clanging noise is usually caused by the metal drum banging against the metal cabinet prior to it coming to a halt. Consult a dryer repair technician to evaluate the belt for defects, and have him replace it if needed.