How To Balance A Washing Machine

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Mark Jardine
March 09, 2023
Home appliances
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You've probably encountered this when using your washer. As you start the spin cycle, it starts making a distinctive sound, much like a jet powering up for takeoff. If your washer violently vibrates, it could signify several issues. Your washing machine might be out of balance, and your unit needs repairs or minor troubleshooting to get it balanced again. While you might wonder why your washer is suddenly "walking." Let's figure out what causes it and how to fix it.

What Is The Drum Of A Washing Machine?

First, let's understand a vital component of any washer, the drum. The inner tub or the wash basket carries the laundry while the outer tub remains stationary and holds the drum in place, catching the wash water and draining it out. The wash basket spins during the wash cycle to agitate the laundry and evenly distribute water and detergent to wash your laundry. Washer drums vary in materials, positioning, patterns, and other elements. Front-load washers have their drums positioned and spin horizontally, while top-load washers have them vertically.

Unbalanced Drums And Other Internal Controls

Balance is essential when it comes to the washer. An imbalance in the inner tub can lead to several problems, one of which is creating a loud noise and violent shaking during a spin cycle. The imbalanced inner tub may start chafing against the inside of the outer tub, making a loud noise, and the rapidly shifting weight can cause your washer to move across the floor. If left alone, the violent revolutions of the inner drum could cause wear and tear on the inside of the washer. Some models have a particular sensor to detect the uneven distribution of laundry, which would unbalance the drum.

To prevent this, group similar size laundry in different loads to evenly distribute the weight inside the tub. You could also check the washer display to see if it is balanced.

Why Is The Washer Off Balance?

The most likely culprit is the suspension rods. These rods limit the unusual movement when a washer enters the spin cycle. These rods suffer wear and tear over the years, will no longer work as intended, and need replacing. You should check that the machine is level. The washer will make a violent motion when the drum is uneven.

  • Overloading. A common mistake by washer owners is overloading the wash basket. The heavier the load, the harder it is for the machine to spin. Uneven weight on the drum could also cause the tub to shake and collide against the outer tub. This commonly happens in top-load washers with an agitator.
  • Poor Leveling. It is crucial to place your washing machine on an even plain or leveled floor. A slight jagged slope could cause the unit to have an uneven drum and make it unbalanced.

How to level a washing machine?

You can make simple adjustments with a make-shift spacer out of scrap materials to place under the lock nuts, which are off-balance.

  • Shipping Bolts Left Intact. You have to make sure to remove all shipping bolts installed in the washing tub. These bolts keep the drum in place and safe during transit and should get removed before installation. Failure to unscrew the bolts could cause rattling noise inside the machine and shaking on the unit.
  • Damage of Internal Parts. The washer comprises several moving parts, not just the drum, from the agitator or impeller to the motor, drain, and water inlet valve. These parts can get damaged due to age, rigorous use, and wear and tear. Even one malfunction on any of these can cause issues to the whole unit. You must keep these components in check to ensure your washer works appropriately.

Look for Laundry Caught Below the Tub

One unapparent cause of unbalanced drums is objects or laundry stuck around or under the inner tub. Things such as bra wires and pieces of cloth can get jammed around the drum and make the washer work inefficiently. Check them regularly and remove them for a properly working washing machine.

When Nothing Fixes The Issue

If you follow these troubleshooting tips and still find yourself with an uneven washer, there is likely damage to the internal parts. Missing bolts, worn-out drive belts, and shock absorbers can cause your machine's unbalanced loads or violent shaking. If the problem is out of your hands, have your unit checked by an expert technician.

How Can Home Alliance Help You

If you hear your washer making a banging noise with every spin cycle or shakes so violently that it slowly moves across the floor, let the technicians at Home Alliance help you. We handle several brands of washers and have replacement parts ready in stock to refit any faulty component on your washer. You can count on us to take the repairs and make it right the first time.

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