If you are looking for an answer on the question “Why washing machine shakes the whole house?” this article will guide you through the most common issues and how to fix them.
But first, you need to understand how washing machine works and what parts may fail, in order to, you will be able to fix it by yourself.
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TYPES OF DOMESTIC WASHING MACHINES
Front Loading Machine
The front-load washing machine has a horizontal rotating drum.
It works by filling the base of the inner tub with a limited quantity of water and utilizing the rotation of the tub and gravity to move the garments through the water.
The side paddles within the drum lift the garments and move them all through the water.
This gives the mechanical scrubbing activity needed to remove grime, dirt, and soil from the clothing.
Front-loading washers use less water than a top-loading washing machine.
The front-loading washing machine offers several benefits such as not only it consumes less water and also utilizes less detergent.
The lesser quantity of detergent will produce less foam and fewer bubbles and lesser detergent remains in the garments after the wash.
Top Loading machine
There are two common types of top loading washing machines:
- Standard top loading washing machine: It uses a center agitator with paddles shaped like a propeller that move the clothings through the water from the top of the washer tub to its base. The top-to-bottom agitation takes place in the wash cycle, pushing water and detergent through the texture of the clothing to remove any grime and dirt from them.
- High-efficiency top load washers: These machines have a drum turning around a horizontal pivot like a front loader, however, there is no front door. These machines work and turn simply like a front-loader and use much lesser water and detergent to wash the clothes efficiently.
During the normal wash cycle, the clothing agitator spins around, moving the garments through the water.
The agitator is powered by the main electric motor connected by a rotating belt.
During the spin cycle, the same electric motor turns the internal drum at high speed, pushing the water through its openings into the external drum.
When the wash is complete, the pump pushes out the water from the external drum into the drain.
WHY THE WASHING MACHINE SHAKES AND MAKE NOISES?
Since the machine has a heavy motor that rotates a drum, some vibration is expected and is normal.
However loud thumps and knocks are certainly not normal and should be checked.
We will discuss here reasons for shaking, rattling, and thumping when a washing machine is operating in its normal wash, rinse and spin cycles and find possible solutions to them.
PROBLEM WITH THE SHOCK ABSORBER IN FRONT LOADER WASHERS
The purpose of this damper is to control the movement of the drum during a cycle.
The shock absorbers also called struts are connected to the base frame and the external tub and you have to remove the front panel or the back panel to access them.
If the shock absorbers get worn out or are damaged, unbalanced pressure will make the washer shake or move and the machine will make thudding sound during the spin cycle.
If the machine isn’t repaired promptly, it can damage other parts of the machine.
HOW TO EXAMINE THE SHOCK ABSORBERS
Here is how you can examine a shock absorber of your washing machine:
- Unplug your washing before starting the job.
- You have to locate the shock absorbers. Depending upon your model, you should remove the front or back panel to access it.
- Inspect the shock absorbers and look for any signs of broken connections, spilling liquids, or weakened dampening action.
- If you find any of the damage to the shock absorber, you should replace the shock absorbers. You ought to replace both the shocks simultaneously, regardless if even just one of them shows any damage.
SUSPENSION SPRING AND TUB SPRING
The suspension springs on the washing machine are utilized in two ways. First, they are used to separate the tub assembly from the body of the machine.
Secondly, they stabilize the tub assembly to the washer base.
The suspension springs also absorb the vibration of the wash basket while the machine is in the spin cycle.
Periodically these springs will get damaged or separated which can cause loud noise and vibrations by the machine during the spin cycle.
HOW TO EXAMINE THE SUSPENSION SPRINGS?
The following is the way to examine the suspension springs:
- Disconnect the power supply from your appliance.
- Remove the top or front panel of the washing machine to access the suspension springs.
- Assess for stretching or damage and check if they are securely fixed at both ends. Carefully check the tension in the springs.
- If you discover any indications of damage, stretching, or wear and tear, replace the suspension springs.
SNUBBER RING AND DAMPER PAD AND TUB WEAR PADS
The snubber ring is located at the bottom of the washing machine. It provides a cushion between the base of the machine and the tub support assembly.
The snubber ring also called tub wear pads are made up of either hard plastic or fabricated felt.
If the washing machine has been in use for a long time then they may wear out to a point where the metal base touches the metal tub.
In such a case, the washer will shake uncontrollably during operation.
HOW TO EXAMINE THE DAMPER PADS
The following are the steps to inspect the damper pads:
- Unplug the washing machine from the power source and remove the front panel.
- Locate the damper pads.
- Remove the tub springs to access the snubber.
- On the plastic snubber, look for indications of white residue on or near the snubber. Look if pads are worn out or damaged completely.
- If you find both the snubber and pads worn then replace them both.
LEVELING THE MACHINE
The washing machines have an auto or manual-leveling feet. When setting up the washing machine for the first time, it is important to ensure that each one of the four feet is balanced and the washer is in a level position.
The self-leveling feet have an alternative mechanism that automatically lifts the machine to a level position.
If your washing machine is shaking or vibrating during the wash or spin cycle you should check if the machine is completely horizontal by a level guide and is firmly stable on its all four feet.
HOW TO CHECK THE LEVELLING?
- Unplug your washing machine from the power source.
- Shift or tilt the washing machine on its front, side, or back to approach the leveling feet.
- Check if all the leveling feet are touching the floor. If you find that one or more are not, run a test cycle to check whether the issue has been resolved. If not, check the feet for any indications of wear and tear or damage, and ensure that they are secured properly.
- If leveling legs are broken or damaged then replace them.
STACKING KIT ISSUES
The stacking kit comes with the stacked washers and dryers.
If the stacking kit is not attached properly or is missing, it could make the washer be unbalanced and vibrate, particularly during the spin cycle. Make sure that the stacking kit is in place.
The vibrations can be caused when the washer is loaded with a single large item.
This could be a comforter, a blanket, or a rug. Such an item can stick to one side of the washer during the spin cycle and this will cause noisy vibrations.
Pause the operation and fluff the article to that the weight is evenly distributed. Restart the machine and see if this act balances the weight and the machine runs smoothly.
INSUFFICIENT FLOOR BRACING
If the washing machine is located on the top floor, adding bracing to the ceiling under the washer may be considered as this will give the washing machine a stable floor and limit the vibrations.
If it is not feasible to add bracing to the floor, you may put a 5/8-or 1-inch sheet of plywood under the appliance to increase floor stability.
TUB DAMPENING STRAP OF THE TOP LOAD WASHING MACHINES
Some top-load washing machines use tub dampening straps to protect the vibrations of the tub during the spin cycle.
There are four straps located near the top of the tub. Such straps are made of rubber and can get worn out in time with normal usage.
Loud banging noise from the washing machine is heard if these straps are damaged or stretched. The straps will get damaged quickly if you routinely overload your washing machine.
HOW TO EXAMINE THE TUB DAMPENING STRAPS?
- Unplug your washing machine from the power source.
- Open the cabinet of your washer. Check the cabinet to make sure if the dampening straps are located in the right place or not.
- Most washing machines have four straps. They are connected to the washtub and a corner of the cabinet. Look for signs of fraying, damage, wear, or examine the tub dampening straps.
- If you find any of the damage on any one of your straps, you will need to replace all four dampening straps together.
If none of these measures work for your machine, then consider buying a full-sized anti-vibration platform.
These platforms absorb much shock and vibrations and you get a smooth operation from your washer.
A low-cost option is to get small anti-vibration pads that you can put under the feet of your washing machine.
This may help in dampening the thudding and thumping noise.
If none of these measures work and you still get a lot of vibrations and abnormal noises then you have to get the machine checked by a specialist technician.