How to repair a Speed Queen Dryer

Has your Speed Queen dryer quit?
Are your wet clothes piling up?
Is your Speed Queen dryer just not drying like it used to?
Or not heating up at all?
Is your Speed Queen dryer getting noisier?

No need to call an expensive Speed Queen dryer serviceman, and then wait a couple of hours (or DAYS) for him to show up! Diagnose your problem RIGHT NOW, cheaply and easily.

Speed Queen clothes dryer diagnosis and repair procedures are included for common symptoms, such as low heat or not heating, noisy operation or rumbling sounds, clothes taking too long to dry, electrical and timer problems, gas burners and electric heaters, drive train and belt replacement problems and other Speed Queen dryer problems.

NOTE: THIS chapter has info specific to Speed Queen dryers…the general layout, airflow and drum support, how to open the cabinet and access internal parts, and common complaints. The second menu item on the right (in red) contains information on problems common to ALL dryers…gas burner, igniter and pilot repair, noisy operation, problems with heating, the drum turning, drive belts, airflow and fans, and electrical diagnosis of components. If you do not read “Problems Common to All Brands” first, you may not be able to properly diagnose your Speed Queen dryer!!! CLICK HERE to go to this page.


Speed Queen Clothes Dryer Layout

Figure SQ-1 shows the general layout of these dryers. The drum is supported at the front by two small glides beneath the drum. The rear of the drum is supported by rollers. The cabinet is solid on three sides, so everything is accessed through the front of the machine.

The blower fan is mounted directly to the front of the drive motor. The drive pulley and belt come off the rear of the motor, and the belt goes completely around the drum. The motor and blower are on the right side of the baseplate of the machine. A spring-loaded idler, mounted to the motor baseplate, keeps tension on the belt.

Figure SQ-1: General Layout

In gas models the burner is on the left side of the baseplate of the machine. It is accessible through the small inspection door on the lower left front of the machine. In electric models, the heater is located at the bottom of the heat riser duct, at the left rear of the machine.

Operating thermostats in these machines are located on the front of the blower exhaust housing. Hi-limit stats are located on top of the burner chamber in gas models, and directly on the heater panel in electric models.


Speed Queen Dryer Problems

The most common problems in these machines are as follows:

1) Rumbling or banging noise, getting progressively worse over time, or squeaky sounds coming from the drum support rollers. Replace the rollers as described below.

2) Heating problems. Diagnose and repair as described “Problems Common to All Brands”

3) Speed Queen dryer drum doesn’t turn, caused by a broken belt. Replace as described below.

4) No airflow, caused by the blower being clogged with lint. Remove the front panel and repair as described below.


How To Open The Cabinet of a Speed Queen Dryer (Figure SQ-2)

Remove the two screws at the bottom of the cabinet front. Lift the bottom of the front panel until the clips at the top of the panel disengage from the top. Be careful to note the position of any door switch or other wiring and disconnect it as you remove the panel.

Figure SQ-2: Opening the Cabinet

If you wish to lift the cabinet top, remove the two screws beneath the front corners.


To inspect, clean or replace the blower wheel, remove the blower inlet cover. The blower is threaded onto the motor shaft with a regular right-hand thread.

Speed Queen Drum Removal

To inspect and/or replace drum glides, belt or electric heater elements, you must remove the drum as follows:

1) Remove the cabinet front as described above, and the blower inlet duct.

2) Reach back and disengage the drive belt from the idler. (Figure SQ-3)

3) Remove the four screws from the front bulkhead as shown in figure SQ-4. Note that the bottom front corners of the bulkhead are supported by slots in the cabinet sides; this will help you support and align the bulkhead when assembling or disassembling. While holding the drum in place, lift out the bulkhead and set it aside. Then lift out the drum.

The drum glides are on the lower front corners of the inside of the bulkhead. Whether they’re worn badly or not, replace them. They’re cheap insurance against future problems. The belt can be easily changed at this time. Don’t forget to check the idler pulley for free movement.

The drum support roller shafts are held to the rear bulkhead by a nut. They have screwdriver slots cut into the top of the shaft for easy removal and replacement. (Figure SQ-5)

The front and rear felt drum seals can also be inspected for wear at this point. If you need to replace them, they are held on by a spring-loaded metal strap beneath them. Note that the outer edge of the front seal tucks beneath the lip on the front bulkhead. When re-assembling the dryer, make sure these felt seals are not pinched or wrinkled.

In electric clothes dryer models, the heater element is located inside the metal plate at the bottom of the heat riser at the left rear of the machine. Test it for continuity as described in “Problems Common to All Brands” and replace if defective.

Figure SQ-3: Belt Tensioner

Figure SQ-4: Dryer Front Bulkhead

Figure SQ-5: Clothes Dryer Rear Bulkhead