A shaking washing machine can create a great deal of noise. If you have this problem, it’s easy to troubleshoot by yourself, and save money.
Just keep in mind that the issue and fix may be different depending on if you have a front loading washer or a top loading machine.
Below we will discuss problems for both types of machines and how you will go about fixing them.
Front Loading Machine
There are 4 common reasons why a front loading washer will shake.
Bulky Items in the Drum
While this problem is more common with top loading machines, it can occur in front loaders as well.
Anytime you load laundry into the tub you need to be sure it’s leveled out.
When you wash one large bulky item such as a blanket or comforter it can “hug” one side of the machine during the spin cycle. This will throw the washer off balance and cause it to shake violently.
To solve this problem you can generally add one or more towels to redistribute the weight. After you reset the washer, it should work fine.
Washer is not Leveled
All washing machines are equipped with feet that are either manual- or self-leveling.
Generally, when setting the machine up initially, you make sure all four feet are adjusted and the machine sits level.
Over time, the feet may need to be readjusted. This is an easy problem to check, as you simply try to shake the machine while it’s empty and not in operation.
If you notice the machines moves or rocks, you’ll need to adjust them.
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Manual-leveling feet are usually turned to adjust, however, self-leveling feet work a bit different. To do these you’ll have to lift on the machine slightly and the incorrect foot will self-adjust.
To ensure accuracy, check it with a level.
Shock Absorber is Worn Out
Front loading machines have four shock absorbers that help prevent the tub from shaking too much.
After time and normal wear it’s common for them to wear out. You’ll need to access them and see if they are bad, and if so replace them.
Here’s how to find them on your washer:
- First unplug the machine or turn power off at the circuit breaker to prevent personal injury.
- Turn off the water supply
- Depending on the type of machine you have, you’ll have to determine how to remove the back access panel.
- There may be a hose and some plastic covers to remove.
- Once the back panel is off the machine, locate the two shock absorbers.
- Take a channel lock and turn the shock 90 degrees to release it from the tub.
- Repeat this step to the bottom of the shock.
- If the shock absorber needs to be replaced you’ll simply pull on it. If it comes apart easily, it’s bad.
- To install a new one, line the shock up into the machine’s frame, and twist to lock in place.
- To get the top of the shock in place you’ll need to line it up with the tub and then rotate it 90 degrees to lock it in place.
- Now it’s time to replace the two front shocks.
- You’ll need to remove the front panel and follow these same steps to remove the old shocks and install new ones.
Since the shock absorbers get an even amount of wear, it’s best to go ahead and replace all four at once. This will prevent you from dealing with this problem again in the near future.
The drum spider provides stabilization and support for the washing machine tub. It is located at the back of the basket and has three arms. Each arm is connected to the tub with bolts.
If this part becomes cracked or damaged it will cause the drum to move excessively.
To repair this part you’ll follow these steps:
- First, unplug the machine and keep in mind you need access to both the front and rear of the machine.
- Disconnect the water inlet hoses and the drain hose.
- Begin by removing the top of the machine.
- Next, remove the rear access panel.
- Remove the single bolt that holds the rotor in place, and pull the rotor off the shaft.
- Remove the screw that secures the front control panel to the frame.
- Reach in and disconnect the wire harnesses from the harness assembly and the control panel.
- Move to the front of the machine.
- Remove the detergent drawer, and the screws that hold the detergent housing in place.
- Take the control panel off the front top of the machine.
- Loosen the springs that hold the door bellow in place. Peel the bellow out of the way and tuck into the tub.
- Close the washer door
- Locate the small access door at the front bottom of the machine where the drain pump is located.
- Unclip the drain hose and remove the housing.
- Remove all screws holding the front panel in place, and carefully pull the front panel forward.
- Unhook the wire harness to the door lock assembly.
- Release the wire harness assembly to remove the front panel completely.
- Remove the powder weights from the front of the tub.
- Remove the hinge pins connecting the tub dampers.
- Remove all bolts from around the front of the washer tub.
- Unhook the springs on each side of the tub. This will allow you to separate the front and rear outer tubs.
- Pull the front portion of the tub out and set aside.
- Remove the inner basket.
- Once you have the basket out of the machine, you’ll see the spider assembly.
- This part is held on by 3 bolts. You’ll loosen the bolts, remove the old assembly and install the new.
Top Loading Machine
There are 3 common issues that cause shaking in a top loading machine.
Bulky Items in the Tub
If you are washing large or bulky items such as rugs or blankets, they can shift weight to one side and cause the machine to shake.
If this occurs, you’ll need to open the lid of the machine and balance the load out.
Once the load is balanced again, the shaking should be gone if this is the problem.
Top load machines have leveling feet just as front load machines do.
While you generally balance these feet upon installation of the machine, there are occasions where they may become unlevel overtime.
This is an easy check. You’ll simply try to move the machine while it is empty and powered off. If you can easily move the machine and it wobbles, the feet need to be adjusted.
Worn Out Suspension Rods
The last common problem that causes a top loading machine to shake are worn out suspension rods.
Here’s how you’ll reach the rods and repair them:
- Unplug the machine to disconnect the power.
- Turn off the water supply.
- Access the rear of the machine.
- Remove the water supply hoses and the drain hose.
- Unscrew all screws holding the top hinges on.
- Remove any covers present that will block the top of the machine from coming up.
- Tape down the lid so it doesn’t open when you lift the machine top.
- Reach inside the machine and remove the suspension rod, beginning with the bottom.
- Lift on the rod and take the bearing/socket off.
- Lower the rod (you may need to unhook a spring)
- Once you have the rod out of position, you’ll want to hook it onto the frame of the machine to provide support to the tub.
- Repeat this step on both sides for the two rear suspension rods.
- Move to the front of the machine and do the same for the two front rods.
- Once all rods are released, lower the top of the machine back down, lock it into place.
- Replace two of the screws you removed in step #5 to secure the top.
- Lay the machine down on its back.
- Remove the bottom protective cover and set aside.
- Pull the upper two suspension rods from inside the machine.
- To remove the lower rods, you’ll need to reach in and push in on the suspension spring. This will allow you to unhook the rod from the machine’s frame.
- Always place the bottom suspension rods in first.
- Replace all four rods the same way you removed them.
- Once you have them in place, move the machine upright and continue moving backward through the steps above.
Have you dealt with a shaking washing machine? Which of our fixes did you use? Comment now and let’s discuss.