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Physics/Clothes dryer - clothes ball up


Thank you for considering my question. Our clothes dryer is about a 2000 year model. Recently it started making a clunking noise and my husband replaced the belt on rear of the drum. Since then (and not before) clothes with significant length ball up such as jeans and sheets.
My theory is that the drum now spins too fast and the centripetal force holds the clothes against the dryer wall and let's them roll up. I believe if the dryer spins more slowly, the clothes would drop at the top of the spin and not be held against the drum to roll up.
What do you think of my theory? What other ideas do you have?
Thank you for your time.

Your theory is plausible, but doesn't explain why your dryer would spin faster because the belt was replaced.  The source of the clunking noise bears some investigating.  Did that stop once the belt was replaced?  Does it sound like it runs faster than before?  There could be an underlying cause beyond the belt getting loose with age, something in the motor.  I didn't personally engineer your brand of washer, so I'm not sure what steps were taken to compensate for 15 years of aging and use in its design.  Again, your theory is plausible but I don't know enough about it.  I'd say to trust your instincts, but I have no idea how you'd slow the drum down now.


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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson


I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.


I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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