How to Replace a Worn Idler Pulley in Your GE Dryer

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There is a good chance a worn idler pulley in your GE electric dryer model DBXR453EAAA is behind the squealing noise your appliance is currently making. The pulley is located between the drum and motor pulley, and its job is to create tension on the dryer belt, which helps rotate the dryer drum. Due to the high speed, the idler pulley spins at, the small hole found in the center of it can wear down after years of operation, meaning it will begin to squeal as it rotates. Unfortunately, if the pulley isn’t replaced that unsettling sound can get worse and eventually turn into a thumping or grinding noise. Replacing the idler pulley is not difficult and should only take you a few hours on Sunday afternoon.

How to Replace the Idler Pulley in Your GE Electric Dryer

Before repairing your appliance, put on a pair of work gloves and safety goggles. Once your hands and eyes are protected, unplug your dryer and get started on replacing its idler pulley.
  1. To begin your repair, unthread the screws on the back of the control panel. Lift the control panel up and unhook the tabs connecting the control panel to the top of the dryer.
  2. Move to the front of your appliance and open the dryer door. Remove the screws found inside the door frame. Once the screws are out, lift the main top up and off your dryer.
  3. Take out the screws located on the inside frame of the front panel. Tilt the front panel towards you to disconnect it from the dryer. Carefully slide the panel to the left and lean it against the side of your appliance.
  4. Bend down and remove the screws connecting the support panel to the dryer frame. The idler pulley is found underneath the drum on the right side of your appliance. As you are reaching under the drum, grab the idler pulley and push down to take the dryer belt off the pulley and the motor shaft. Stand back up, and use the belt to slowly guide the drum out of the dryer. Place the drum off to the side before continuing.
  5. Using a pair of pliers, disconnect the retaining nut that keeps the pulley from slipping off the idler arm. Pull the pulley off the arm and get rid of it.
  6. Before installing the new idler pulley onto the idler arm, wipe the arm off. Once the arm is clean, slide on the new pulley and reattach the retaining nut to secure the pulley. Give the pulley a good spin to make sure it rotates freely.
  7. Now it’s time to reassemble your dryer. Start by reinstalling the drum and threading the dryer belt onto the motor shaft and idler pulley. Spin the drum around a few times to ensure the belt is properly aligned.
  8. Reattach the screws securing the support panel to the dryer frame. Lift up the front panel and reconnect it to the dryer frame with the screws you removed earlier.
  9. Place the main top back on the dryer and insert the control panel tabs into the slots on the top of the panel. Open the dryer door and reattach the screws that hold the top panel to the dryer.
  10. Move to the back of the dryer and rethread the screws to secure the control panel to the dryer.
  11. With the new idler pulley installed, plug-in your appliance and test it out to see if the squealing noise has disappeared.
If you have more questions about your dryer or you would like to schedule a repair, please contact us today and we’ll be happy to help you.