Sears Home Services
appointment lookup logoAppointment Lookup
telephone logo646-440-2692
RepairHome WarrantyHome ImprovementClean & MaintainShop Parts
Resource
RepairHome WarrantyHome ImprovementClean & MaintainShop PartsResource CenterGlossary
appointment lookup logoAppointment Lookup
  1. Repair
  2. Whirlpool
  3. Dryer burning smell

Whirlpool dryer burning smell

Common reasons your Whirlpool dryer has a burning smell

The most common reasons your Whirlpool dryer has a burning smell are an open heating element, broken idler assembly or a worn drum bearing.

  • 62%

    62% of the time it's the
    Heating Element

  • 16%

    16% of the time it's the
    Idler Assembly

  • 13%

    13% of the time it's the
    Drum Bearing

  • 9%

    9% of the time it's the
    Something else

  • Schedule your dryer repair now!

    We can help! Our service technicians have repaired over 150,000 Whirlpool dryers. We can fix yours no matter where you bought it.

    Call (646) 440-2692 or schedule online now.

    Most common repairs needed to fix a Whirlpool dryer

    Heating Element Replacement

    An open heating element could cause a burning smell in your dryer if the element shorts against metal inside the cabinet. You may smell a metallic odor or wiring insulation burning when the broken element touches metal. When you smell a burning odor coming from the dryer, shut the dryer off and have a Sears Home Services Technician visit your home and examine the dryer. The technician will check the heating element and replace it if it’s broken.


    Idler Assembly Replacement

    When you smell a burning odor coming from your dryer, a worn or broken idler assembly could be causing the smell. A bad idler assembly won’t tension the drive belt on the drum properly so the belt will slip across the drum and get hot quickly. When you smell a rubbery burning odor coming from the dryer, you’ll need to have a Sears Home Services Technician visit your home and examine the dryer. The technician will replace the idler assembly if it’s broken.

    Drum Bearing Replacement

    A burning smell coming from your dryer could be caused by a worn drum bearing. The drum bearing normally prevents friction between the drum and the cabinet as the drum spins. When the drum bearing wears out, friction between the drum and the cabinet can cause remnants of the worn drum bearing to get hot and start smelling like burning metal or plastic. When you smell a burning odor coming from your dryer, have a Sears Home Services Technician visit your home and replace the drum bearing if it’s worn out.

    What to expect when you experience a Whirlpool dryer burning smell issue

    How is the burning smell problem fixed?

    Correcting most burning smell problems usually involves replacing the heating element, idler assembly or drum bearing. However, there are many potential causes, so a thorough diagnosis is key to fixing the problem. An accurate diagnosis is essential to understanding how much the repair will be.

    Sears Home Services recommendations for a dryer burning smell

    When the dryer has a burning smell it can be for many reasons. To avoid replacing unneeded parts we recommend having a Sears Home Services professional perform diagnostic tests to identify the root cause of the problem. Our technicians are experienced at diagnosing all types of dryer failures.

    What to look out for with a dryer burning smell diagnosis

    Diagnosing modern appliances without proper knowledge and training can be difficult. Without using proper diagnostic techniques, fixing your dryer problem will only be achieved through changing parts on a hunch. Appliances, especially in the last 10 years, have become extremely advanced, and many models have electronic parts that are difficult to test. DIY repairs on the latest appliance models are becoming increasingly difficult.

    Addressing a Whirlpool Dryer that Smells Like Burning

    If your Whirlpool dryer smells like burning, it's crucial to address the issue promptly to prevent potential hazards. Here are some additional reasons your dryer might emit a burning smell and steps you can take:

    One often overlooked cause of a burning smell in a Whirlpool dryer is lint buildup in the vent system. When lint accumulates in the dryer vent, it restricts airflow and can cause the dryer to overheat, leading to a burning smell. Regularly cleaning the lint filter after each load can help prevent this issue. It's important to periodically clean the dryer vent system to remove any accumulated lint. You can use a vent cleaning brush or hire a professional to ensure the vent is thoroughly cleaned.

    Faulty electrical components can also cause your Whirlpool dryer to smell like burning. Damaged wiring, a malfunctioning motor, or issues with the dryer's internal circuitry can produce a burning odor. If you suspect electrical problems, it's best to unplug the dryer immediately and consult a professional technician. Electrical repairs can be complex and hazardous, so professional assistance is recommended to avoid potential risks.

    Overloading the dryer with too many clothes can strain the motor and other components, causing them to overheat and emit a burning smell. To prevent this, always follow the manufacturer's guidelines for load size. Ensure that you don't pack the dryer too full and allow adequate space for clothes to tumble freely.

    Taking preventive measures can help you avoid future instances where your Whirlpool dryer smells like burning. Regular maintenance and timely repairs are key to ensuring your dryer operates safely and efficiently. Schedule routine maintenance checks with a professional technician to inspect and clean internal components, ensuring they are in good working condition. Address any unusual smells or sounds immediately by contacting a qualified repair service. Early intervention can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems.

    By understanding these additional causes and implementing preventive measures, you can keep your Whirlpool dryer running smoothly and safely. Remember, if your Whirlpool dryer smells like burning, it's important to act quickly to identify and resolve the issue, ensuring your home remains safe and your appliance functions properly.

    What our customers say about us

    With more than 1.3 Million 5 Star Reviews, you don't have to take our word for it

    Excellent service from Daniel

    Daniel provided excellent service and was very quick to perform the repair. I have nothing good to say about the warranty program and the LACK of customer service and the inability to contact a human being to talk.


    Tammy M, Hilton, NY

    Satisfied customer

    Excellent technician Very thorough and detail oriented Would be happy to have him work on appliances again He managed to find our ranch headquarters in the middle of the desert


    Rose W, Las Cruces, NM

    Dryer service

    He was professional and polite. I didn't call back later that afternoon, although he replaced a thermostat the smart dry timer doesn't work as I was still having the same issue. The lady said she would email him and have him return. Never heard from anyone else.


    Terry F, Oklahoma City, OK

    Repair Dryer Resources

    How to Reset a Whirlpool Duet Dryer: Your Comprehensive Guide

    Having trouble with your Whirlpool Duet dryer? Discover the step-by-step process to reset it and solve common issues quickly.

    4 min readJul. 10Dryer
    Image of homeowner needing to decipher Samsung Dryer Error codes.

    Find the most common Samsung clothes dryer error codes and their solutions. Get professional help from Sears Home Services.

    5 min readMay. 23Dryer
    Top 5 Dryer Problems: Troubleshooting and Tips

    Unlock the secrets to resolving your most frustrating dryer dilemmas with expert insights and tips.

    8 min readMay. 21Dryer
    dryer not heating

    Uneven loads can cause a dryer not to heat properly. Make sure to wash and dry similar items together for proper performance.

    7 min readApr. 11Dryer

    Additional possible Whirlpool dryer symptoms you may experience