What Causes Washing Machine Vibration

Washing machine vibration is a very common problem. It is especially common with front loading washers. In this section we will discuss the most common causes of washer vibration, and make a few suggestions on how to reduce it.

The first thing you should check is to make sure the shipping bolts or brackets have been removed from the washer. Sometimes inexperienced installers don't realize that they need to remove these shipping brackets. Not removing the shipping brackets and bolts will definitely cause a washer to vibrate. You can also make sure that the leveling feet on the washer are as far up as possible. When the leveling feet are extended too far down, the base of the washer will have a tendency to flex. This will cause vibration, mostly during spin.

Another thing that causes a washing machine to vibrate, front loading washers, and top loading washers, is a weak sub-floor. A weak sub-floor acts as a momentum booster to a washing machine. There is a simple test you can do to find out if you have a weak sub-floor. Place a half-full glass of water on the dryer next to the washer. When the washer is spinning, look at the water in the glass and see if it is vibrating. If it is, your floor is moving. And don't think because you have a new home, you have a solid sub-floor relative to your washer. It has been my experience that new homes have some of the weakest sub-floors. In some cases the sub-floor is so weak, that the washer simply cannot be mounted on the pedestal. Washers installed on concrete floors, almost never have vibration issues.

Okay, assuming that the shipping brackets have been removed, and a weak sub-floor is not the issue, what can you do to reduce washing machine vibration? Full loads... you should wash with full loads. When a washing machine is not completely full the clothing tends to bunch together. When clothes in a washer are wet they are very heavy. If you put a full load of clothing in a washer you will reduce the potential for vibration dramatically. Also, you should wash like type clothing. In other words, don't wash blue jeans and shirts together. Inevitably the blue jeans will wind up on one side during the spin cycle and the shirts will be on the other side. This will definitely cause vibration. You should only wash towels with other towels. Never wash sheets and towels together. You can imagine how heavy a towel is when it is completely full of water. Now compare that to how heavy a bed sheet is full of water and you can see the potential for vibration.

And finally, they won't tell you this at the store where you purchased your front load washer, but washer pedestals are a big source of complaints about vibration. If you consider where the center of gravity is on a front load washer resting on a pedestal, relative to that same washer on the solid floor, you should be able to see how the extra height of a pedestal can be a potential vibration issue.