Dryer won't start but makes humming sound

by Deb Osmundson
(Creve Coeur, IL)

I have a Maytag Performa dryer. For the past several weeks the dryer had been making a dull rattling noise, something I associated with the rotation of the tub. Now, when I press the Start button, it hums and doesn't start. Any ideas?

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Hi Deb,

There are a few things it can be.

Open the dryer door and press the door switch. Then have someone press the start button. When it starts to buzz try turning the drum by hand.

If when you do this the dryer starts and runs normal your problem will be in the motor. Try cleaning the motor and see if this problem goes away. If you have an air compressor or a compressed air tank blow the motor out and vacuum it out. If not just vacuum it out.

If the drum will not turn or turning the drum doesn’t make the dryer run look for anything hung in the blower wheel. Also look for anything that may hamper the turning of the drum such as a worn drum roller or worn slides. The drum roller will be behind the drum at the back and the slide will be at the front.

Typically neither the rollers nor the slide will wear out to the point that the drum will not turn but it can happen.

If none of this will get your dryer going you have a bad motor.

I hope this helps!

Thank you,

Comments for Dryer won't start but makes humming sound

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fixing dryer troubleshooting
by: Anonymous

tips works thank you!!

by: Anonymous

Right after Christmas, and a divorce that left me pretty broke...
RIGHT in the middle of a weeks worth of laundry this happened... looked this up, followed directions, pulled a hotwheels car, lighter and pair of underwear out... used a leaf blower and blew out the dirt.. and just like new! Thanks so much for the advice! I was not sure what I would have done if it didn't work!

Thanks for this tip
by: Bill

thanks for this tip...so easy to fix my 5 year old helped me. Whew!!!..was really not wanting to buy a new dryer right now.

Dryer making noise ate!
by: Anonymous

I have an admiral model and I am having the same issues so I'm going to try this out. I hope I have to follow the same steps!

by: Anonymous

This REALLY worked for me. I did exactly what you told DEB and it's been running fine since then. I did not vacuum the motor as you suggested because I didn't know how. So I'm concerned that I could experience the same issue in the future. But it's been over a month without any further problems and I do laundry weekly. Thank you.

thought the motor was gone
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much! Did as you said and got the drum to turn and the heating element lit up! You're awesome!

Dryer won't start
by: Anonymous

I have a maytag and when I push the start button it hums then I hear a click and it no longer hums wait about 1 minute I'll hear a click then when I push the button it hums again

leafblower !
by: Anonymous

Love the creative thinking that thought to use a leafblower to blow out the motor !!

by: Richard

Thanks very much for your advice Shawn. It worked for me.

Ge Dryer
by: Antonyonymous

thanks for the tip. I just follow what you said, shawn. I pressed the door switch while pressing the start botton at the same time, the dryer runs normally. Thank you.

It worked!
by: Steph

Thank you so much for your post. I followed the directions exactly as you indicated and it took care of the problem. My husband was thrilled that he didn't have to spend a Saturday afternoon dealing with yet another broken appliance!

Great help!
by: Anonymous

I was sure I was going to have to call a repair person. Your tip to hold the door button and manually turn the drum worked like a charm! Thank you!

by: Betsy

You surely saved me money as well as time waiting for a repair professional. I just wish I had found you before I got out all my tools and climbed behind the dryer.
Thank you so very much. I am one happy grandmama.

Worked for me too
by: Tony Vee

I'm not sure why this worked ... but it did! Thank you very much for the help provided. My G.E. machine would hum when the start button was turned but it would not start and would not turn.

Lo and behold, after checking the door switch and realizing that was not the issue, I then pulled off the back cover revealing the motor and vacuumed it off with a hand vac. I then grabbed a small air compressor that I usually use to blow up airbeds. I turned that onto the motor and watched dust fly everywhere. I vacuumed out the motor area once again ... and voila ... she started spinning again.

Thanks for the info. Hopefully she keeps on running.

Saved me money!
by: Anonymous

I have a Kenmore electric dryer. It worked!!! Thank you so much!

Dryer won't start but makes humming sound
by: Virgilio

Opened and checked and cleaned inside the dryer I found that the motor won't turning when I press start and it works normal if I help to tunn the motor

It worked!!
by: Anonymous

I also tried what you recommended for Deb to try. Mine was humming but nothing else. Works perfectly now. Thank you for this help. Just saved me a lot of money and stress.

It works!
by: Anonymous

Just tried this when our dryer made the humming noise...worked perfect. Thanks for the information

Oh my gosh it worked for me too!!
by: Anonymous

Amazing I cannot believe I learned more than I ever wanted to know about dryers I have taken the entire thing apart meter tested everything it could possibly be cleaned and vacuum vacuum everywhere there's absolutely no lint anywhere now.. was just about to call it quits when I ran across this. I tried it and it worked. I was almost fooled because I could turn the drum manually but I went ahead and I held the dryer door button push the start button held in the dryer button with one hand and turn the drum with the other..and woalla! I could already feel the heat from the dryer before I turned it back off. Thank you thank you thank you!

Dryer Hums
by: Al Atherton

Not sure why either - but it worked great. Thanks for the tip

how do access and clean the motor?
by: Sue

I did what you said and the drum started turning again. Everything seems to be working. But I would like to be able to clean the motor so that this won't happen again. I do not know where to begin to access this motor so I can clean it. This is an old Kenmore but a repair man told me awhile ago that this dryer is better made than the new ones out today. So I want to keep it.
Thank you.

by: shawn

Most Kenmore dryers you remove two screws under the filter on the top (if filter is not on top I need your model number). Once the screws are out you can pull the top forward then up. Once the top is up you can access the screws that hold the front on. Remove the front. Take the belt off and remove the drum. Then you should see the motor. You can stray it with some non-flammable contact cleaner and blow or vacuum the lint off the motor.

This page should help because your dryer was most likely made by Whirlpool.
Whirlpool Dryer Disassembly

Make sure you unplug the dryer before doing anything.

Dryer humming but won't start, this fixed it!
by: Erin

Hold button on open dryer to simulate that the dryer door is closed. Start rotating thr dryer manually counterclockwise. As your rotating dryer wheel and holding door button have someone press the power button. This fixed my dryer

Worked like a charm!!
by: Andrea and Will

WOW!! I was so nervous about the amount of money we were about to spend. With 6 people, we don't do well without a drier!!

The drier is fixed and working like a charm!!

This was awesome advice
by: Brig

Can't begin to thank you enough. My husband is partially disabled, money is tight, and it's just me being the homemaker, caregiver to my husband and my grandbabies and the very last thing I needed tonight was my dryer not working. Worked like a charm!!!

It runs
by: Anonymous jjg

After 12 years it just stopped working.. When I hit the start button it would just hum. I too followed your advise buy cleaning out all the built up lint.. I vacuumed the motor and pushed started it the first time and from there it runs like new..
Thank you for your helpful guidance

My GE portfolio Dryer
by: Sepideh

I have the same problem, I opened the front and top,cleaned everything but how do I get to the motor or the area you mentioned? Should I open the back as well?

Thank You!
by: Anonymous

Drier would not start and made a humming sound when you pressed the start button. Tried the first step and it worked like a charm. Gotta love Google.

Remove the Tub
by: shawn


You have to remove the tub to get to the motor. Unplug the dryer, reach under the tub and disconnect the belt. Once the belt is loose you can pull the tub out the front.

Thank you,

Thank you!!!!!!
by: Pam

Your tip worked perfectly! You are a blessing!! Spinning the drum got it t working again! I couldn't believe it!Thank you for sharing this information!

Thank You
by: Granny in NM

Thank you so much. I awoke this morning to the dryer making a noise but no movement. I followed you-tube video on how to open the dryer up and I checked if the belt was ok and clean the lint trap. This dryer is 25 years old so it really wasn't worth the money folks will want to repair.
I'm by myself but I figured out away to do all three things you suggested at the same time ( surprising how much help your foot can be at times like this.) It worked !!! Your help saved me so much. I hope you are rewarded for the kindness that you do for others.
Granny in New Mexico

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