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Washer Vibrations - Causes and Possible Solutions

What to do When Your Washer Dances More Than You Do

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Washer Vibrations - Causes and Possible Solutions

Frontload Washer

Photo © Mifflin
While either model of washer can vibrate for various reasons, frontloaders tend to vibrate more than toploading washing machines, because these high efficiency models have a much faster spin cycle. Several things can cause a washing machine to vibrate and usually, you can find a resolve.
  • Leveling: Washers have self or manual leveling feet and it's important when first setting up a machine, to ensure that all four feet are adjusted and the washer is level. Usually the feet turn to adjust, but self-leveling feet have a different mechanism and you may have to slightly lift the machine to level and for the incorrect foot to self-adjust. Use a level to ensure accuracy.

  • Stacking kit: Stacked washers and dryers often come with a stacking kit which once applied, keeps the whole unit stable and together during operation. If this stacking kit was not attached properly or is missing, it could cause the stacked washer to be off-balance and to vibrate, especially during the spin cycle.

  • Unbalanced load: A single large wet item such as a comforter or blanket can 'hug' one side of the washer during the spin, throwing the washer off balance and causing it to vibrate. Adding one or more towels or redistributing the weight and resetting the washer, can often solve this problem.

  • Insufficient floor bracing: This is also a common cause of washer vibrations. If the laundry appliances are on the main floor and adding bracing in the ceiling of the lower level directly below this area is possible, this should give the washer a sturdier, stable floor and minimize vibrations.

  • Adding Support: If bracing is suspected but it's impossible to get at the area to add bracing, you can place a 5/8" or 1" sheet of plywood under both appliances, to increase the stability of the floor.

  • Anti-Vibration Products: There are full size anti-vibration platforms as well as small pads on the market and trying these may solve the problem. Since full platforms are rather pricey, you may want to try other solutions before going this route. The small anti-vibration pads are a more affordable cushioning choice.

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Not all washing machines vibrate during the spin cycle and some vibrate more than others. While a solution may work for one, it may not for another so there is no guarantee that there will be a resolve. Some washers have enhanced vibration reduction features and if you live in a condo or apartment building, this is one washer feature you should have.

Read More About Washers and Laundry Appliances

More About Why a Washer Vibrates
Washer Buying Tips
More About Laundry Appliances, Reviews, Tips
How an HE Washer Differs from a Traditional Topload Washer
Installing a Washer for Best Efficiency
What a CEE Rating Means
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