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How Do I Balance a Washing Machine?

A washing machine that is unbalanced will not wash clothes efficiently.
Concrete is the best surface for a front-loading washing machine.
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  • Written By: Kendra Redman
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2014
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If your washing machine makes loud noises, it might be because the machine is unbalanced. A washing machine which is not balanced will not wash clothes efficiently. When trying to balance a washing machine, you may need to check the load, make sure the floor and machine are level, and see if the drum of the machine is unbalanced. Before you try balancing a washing machine, make sure to unplug it or shut off the power at the fuse box.

You can begin to balance a washing machine by checking the load of wash to see if it is causing the machine to be unbalanced. Heavy items in the washer can be one cause of this problem. Open the washing machine lid or door and redistribute the items inside. If redistributing the contents and restarting the machine does not resolve the problem, take some clothes out, as smaller loads are less likely to become unbalanced.

If a heavy load did not cause the problem, take a carpenter's level and check the washer from side to side as well as front to back. If the level indicates the machine is tilted, check to see if the washing machine feet are adjustable. If so, adjustment the feet until the machine is sitting level. If you cannot adjust the feet, try placing a piece of foam or rubber under the part of the machine that appears to have the problem.

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The best surface for a washing machine, particularly a front loader, is a concrete floor. Washing machines can become very heavy weight due to the weight of the water. If the machine is not on concrete, you may want to reinforce the floor joists, if possible, which may help balance a washing machine sitting on a floor that has sagged.

The compartment inside a washing machine where the clothes are placed is called the drum. Many machines have a weight attached to this drum, designed to prevent too much vibration. Check to see if the bolts on the drum are loose, and if so, tighten them using a wrench.

If your machine is still unbalanced, it may not have been installed properly. A restraining bolt usually holds the drum in place during transport, and if this is not removed properly, it can cause problems. Check the drum for a bolt or clips and make sure nothing is blocking the drum from moving properly.

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anon309371
Post 3

My washer started to make loud noises during the spin cycle. Then it started to make loud noises during the agitation cycle too. It sounded bad. I re-leveled the washer and now it's even quieter than before it ever started to make any noises. Balancing the washer worked great.

Kat919
Post 2

@robbie 21 - Good tip! A lot of washing machine problems (or problems with any appliance) can be avoided or solved by reading the directions!

If you can't have a concrete floor under your washing machine, ceramic tile is worth the expense, especially if it's just a small room or closet. My sister's washing machine totally tore up her laminate floor, and then she had to have it replaced--should have just had a hard floor in the first place! It also makes it easier to move the machine for maintenance.

robbie21
Post 1

If your washing machine is out of balance, some of the newer ones can sort of fix themselves. You just tilt it toward you and hold it for a second. (I think you can also tilt it away, but I'm not sure.) Check your manual. And if you're lost the manual, call the company--a lot of them either have the manual online or can send you another one for free.

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