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Maytag has brought us a ton of commodities and accessories, such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, and tons of other appliances. One thing that they have yet to figure out, however, is how to have a clothes dryer that doesn’t need a dryer belt.
Unfortunately, the dryer belt is one of the most common things to give out on a Maytag dryer. Unless you want to pay a hefty sum of money, it’s a good idea to know how to replace the dryer belt yourself. In this article, I will explain the best way to replace the dryer belt on your Maytag dryer. It’s a relatively complicated and time-consuming task, so make sure to follow each step closely and use patience.
If you finish this article and still have doubts about replacing the dryer belt yourself, it might be time to call in reinforcements. Maytag has an excellent customer service and warranty program and will be happy to assist you.
How to Know if Your Dryer Belt is Going Bad
Before jumping to conclusions and tearing your dryer apart, you should first make sure that your belt is what is causing your dryer to have issues. Here are a few signs and symptoms that your belt is a problem and needs replacing.
The Drum Fails to Turn
The dryer belt is the only component that makes the drum holding your clothes turn. There is a system of shafts and pulleys under the drum that the belt is fed through that helps the drum spin, but the belt is the only thing connected to the drum. If the drum isn’t spinning, but the dryer motor is running, it’s almost certainly a torn dryer belt.
Your Dryer is Making Funny Noises
If you hear a thumping noise from your dryer similar to when a shoe or belt is inside of it, you likely have a loose dryer belt. As the belt spins the dryer drum in circles, there’s a chance that it could loosen over time. If the belt is loose, it gives the drum leeway to shift back in forth as it’s turning. A loose belt and shifting drum will cause the thumping noise inside it.
The Dryer Stops Prematurely
If your dryer suddenly comes to a stop, but the clothes aren’t dry, then there could be several issues, one of them being a torn dryer belt.
The Dryer Doesn’t Start Up at All
As with the problem listed above, there could be any number of reasons that your dryer doesn’t start. Electrical issues, clogs in your vent, or any number of other things can cause your dryer not to activate. One of the many possibilities is that the dryer belt is torn, and your dryer has a safety feature that doesn’t allow it to start up without an intact belt.
Tools Needed to Replace a Dryer Belt
If you’re going to complete the task of replacing the belt on your Maytag dryer, here’s a list of tools and items you’ll need.
For a solid ratchet set that contains a 5/16 socket, check out the link above for a great set from Channellock.
- Screwdriver or putty knife
- Replacement dryer belt
Here are some of the top replacement dryer belts that money can buy.
WPY312959 Dryer Belt Replacement for Maytag, Kenmore, Jenn-Air
- High-quality dryer belt that will fit most dryers
- Not specifically for Maytag dryers
- Expensive for a dryer belt and the highest priced on this list
Parts Shop Dryer Drum Belt for Maytag 3-12959 312959 Y312959
- Specifically for Maytag dryers
- Very good quality for a dryer belt
- Slightly pricey compared to other dryer belts
Hpuy DC93-00634a Dryer Idler Pulley & 6602-001655 Belt & DC61-01215B Tension Spring
- A package deal that includes the washer and screwdriver set.
- Slightly more expensive than the other dryer belts.
- Not specifically for Maytag dryers, but should fit most models.
40111201 Dryer Drum Belt for Maytag Amana Admiral Dryers
- As the name implies, it’s a very durable option
- Made specifically for Maytag dryers
- Does not fit every single dryer model.
Where Can I Find My Replacement Dryer Belt?
Most hardware or home supply stores should have your replacement belt in stock. However, if you can’t find the exact one you need, you might have to contact Maytag directly. If you tell them the dryer model that you have, they can send you whatever replacement parts you need. You can also purchase them online at Amazon or on Maytag’s website.
Step-By-Step Process of Replacing the Dryer Belt
Unplug the Power Cord of the Dryer
First things first, you’ll want to make sure that you unplug your dryer before doing anything with it. You’re going to have to disconnect several electrical wires, so the dryer itself mustn’t have power running to it.
Remove Lower Access Panel
If you look at the front of your dryer, you’ll notice that it’s divided into two sections. The lower section is called the lower access panel, and you’ll need to remove that section first. There should be two screws at the bottom two corners of the panel holding it in place. Remove those screws, and the panel should lift away freely from the dryer.
Remove the Front Panel
Next, you’ll want to remove the panel directly above the lower access panel. The upper panel, also known as the front panel, should also be attached with two screws that become visible when removing the lower access panel.
The screws are at the bottom two corners of the front panel, and you must remove them to proceed. You’ll notice that the top of the front panel is locked into the dryer with clips.
To loosen the clips, all you need to do is pull the bottom of the panel towards you and away from the dryer. The top of the panel attached with the clips should fall away freely from the dryer as you do this. Make sure to keep track of any screws that you’ve removed.
Disconnect the Wires Connected to the Door Switch
The front panel will also have several wires connecting from the inside of the panel to the dryer. Before disconnecting these wires, take a picture or draw a diagram, so you remember how the wires need to reattach. Once you’ve done this, you can disconnect the wires from the panel and door switch. Now you can set the front panel safely aside.
Lift the Top Lid of the Dryer Up
With both panels removed from the front of the dryer, you should have access to the screws holding the top of the dryer in place. Remove these screws and set them aside.
You should now be able to lift the front end of the dryer up, similar to how you would pop the hood on your car. Make sure to support the dryer lid so that it can’t fall forward on you while you’re working on replacing the belt.
Disconnect the Light Assembly Wires
The light assembly wires will be visible once you raise the lid. They are connected to the front Bulkhead of the dryer, which is connected to the inner drum.
To disconnect the light assembly wires, you should again take a photo or draw a diagram so that you can properly reattach the wires when you’re finished. Disconnect the wires and pull them free of the retainer or clip holding them in place.
Remove the Front Bulkhead from the Rest of the Dryer
With the light assembly wires disconnected and pulled out of the way, it’s time to remove the front Bulkhead. The Bulkhead is held in place by four screws, one located at each Bulkhead corner.
Remove these screws and set them aside to detach the Bulkhead from the frame and drum of the dryer. The Bulkhead is pretty heavy, so make sure to brace yourself and enlist the assistance of a helper if necessary.
Unhook the Dryer Belt from Its Pulley System
When you unhook the old dryer belt, you have the option of cutting it or tearing it to make it easier to remove. However, installing the new belt is somewhat tricky, so you might want to take a picture of how the old one was attached before getting too carried away.
Once you’re satisfied that you know what you’re doing, unhook the dryer belt from the shaft and pulley system under the drum.
Remove the Old Belt
Once the bottom of the belt is detached from the motor shaft and pulley, the rest of the belt should easily pull away from the drum. Remove the belt and throw it away to ensure you don’t accidentally reinstall it.
Install the New Drive Belt
When you do this, make sure that the groove side of the belt is facing inward towards the dryer’s drum. The grooves provide the traction necessary for the belt to turn the drum. With the belt facing the correct way, first, slide it over the drum and reconnect it to the pulley and shaft system underneath the dryer.
Do this in the same way that you took the old belt off. It should end up looking like an S-shaped or zig-zag formation once the belt is correctly on the pulley and motor shaft.
To aid you in this step, most Maytag dryers have a tension arm that you can tighten and loosen by pulling it up or down. When the dryer is working correctly, the tension arm gets pulled tight to ensure that the belt stays on the correct path.
When you need to install the new belt, you’ll likely have to slightly loosen the tension arm to give you enough slack to get the belt to where it needs to go.
You might also have to rotate the drum to properly align the belt with the drum, pulley, and shaft. You must take your time with this step as it’s the most important one in the entire replacement process. If you don’t reconnect the belt correctly, all your hard work will have been for nothing.
Reattach the Front Bulkhead to the Drum
When reattaching the front Bulkhead, make sure that you align the dryer’s drum so that the Bulkhead fits. You’ll also have to insert the tabs of the Bulkhead back into the slots on the cabinet of the dryer.
These should drop into place from the top down, which ensures that everything is perfectly in place. Ensure that you don’t forget to reinsert the screws you took out of the Bulkhead when you detached it.
Reconnect the Light Assembly Wires to the Bulkhead
To do this, you’ll have to feed them back through the retainer at the top of the Bulkhead. The reason for the retainer is to ensure that the wires don’t come loose and freely hang inside the dryer, which could cause an electrical problem. After feeding the light assembly wires back through the retainer, reattach them to the Bulkhead precisely as you took them apart.
Lower the Lid of the Dryer
Once the Bulkhead gets reattached and the light assembly wires are correctly installed, it’s time to lower the dryer lid. Make sure that you remember to reinsert the lid screws back onto the lid to ensure it stays in place.
Reattach the Front Door Panel
Before reattaching the front door, you’ll need to reconnect the wires that disconnected when you removed the door. Hopefully, you took a picture of the wiring diagram or remembered how they were connected. Connecting the wrong wire to the wrong spot could result in severe damage or electric shock.
Once the wiring is connected correctly, reattach the front panel to the dryer. To do this, you’ll first need to insert the top clips of the panel to the bottom of the dryer lid. \With the clips inserted, you can push the bottom part of the panel in against the dryer itself. Reinsert the screws that you removed to hold the bottom of the panel in place.
Reattach the Lower Access Panel
For the lower access panel, all you need to do is align the clips at the top of the panel with the slots on the bottom of the front door panel. Once these two points are aligned, push the bottom part of the lower access panel against the bottom of the dryer. Reinsert the screws that you removed at the beginning of your project.
Plug the Power Cord Back in and Conduct a Practice Run
Plug your dryer back into the wall outlet, making sure that everything is put back together and that nothing is inside the dryer. Select a setting on the dryer and perform a practice run to see if the appliance is operating smoothly.
Question: Are Maytag Dryer Belts Expensive to Replace?
Answer: The actual dryer belt only costs around $15 to $25 to purchase, depending on where you buy it from. Paying someone to perform the repair is where things get pricey, and you can pay anywhere from $150 to $300 to have your dryer belt replaced.
Question: Can I Replace a Maytag Dryer Belt Myself?
Answer: If you follow the instructions listed above and always put safety first, there’s no reason why you can’t replace your own Maytag dryer belt.
Question: What is the Most Common Issue with Maytag Dryers?
Answer: While loose or torn dryer belts are fairly common with Maytag dryers, they aren’t the most common issue. A blown thermal fuse is the most common issue with Maytag dryers.
Maytag dryers are some of the hardest working and most reliable appliances in your home. They’re designed to be resilient and to have few problems, but the dryer belt is one of the components that they simply can’t get around removing.
The belt is the only thing that keeps the dryer drum spinning, which dries your clothes. Without a properly installed dryer belt, a dryer is nothing more than a giant paperweight.
By following the instruction laid out above, you should have no problem replacing your dryer belt. The main thing to remember is to keep safety first and keep track of everything you remove. It will all need to go back together just the way you took it apart. That being said, good luck and godspeed on your dryer belt replacement!