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Fixing an Unbalanced Washing Machine

When your washing machine starts vibrating madly it can be alarming. But is it actually an indication of a problem? Yes, it is. The problem may be something easily dealt with or it may be an indication of something more serious. In any case, if your washing machine is shaking, thumping, and threatening to walk out of its place, you need to pay attention.

Distribution in the Drum

When your washing machine gets off balance only occasionally, the cause may well be the distribution of the items in the drum. Sometimes a particular item may be much heavier than others and its presence can make the machine start to shake, especially during the spin cycle. For instance, if you are washing your bath mat along with your bedding, the material of the bath mat absorbs much more water than the cotton sheets. The difference in weight between that single item and the others is enough to throw the washing machine off balance.

Overfilling

Another reason that your washing machine may get off balance sometimes is overfilling. When too many items are in the drum, the agitation and the spin cycles of the machine are compromised. You may think that you’re saving time, energy, and water by filling your washing machine beyond capacity, but you’re not. If the clothes can’t be vigorously agitated, they can’t be cleaned properly. If they can’t move around enough for the spin cycle to be effective, it will take much longer for the dryer to dry them. So now you’ll have several problems instead of the one issue of your washing machine being off balance.

What To Do

You may be tempted to just ignore your washing machine if it gets off balance once in a while. Don’t. Every time your washing machine goes off balance, it is straining and potentially damaging the internal workings. If you hear it thumping and shaking, you need to act. If the problem is unequal distribution, remove the heavier items and spin them separately. If the problem is overfilling, take some of the items out and restart the washing machine to be sure your clothes get clean. Doing this may cause some inconvenience, but it may save your washing machine.

Machine Not Level

Both of the examples above result from specific laundry loads causing the machine to go out of kilter. If your washing machine vibrates and shakes every time you use it, there’s something else going on. It may be that your machine is not actually level. All buildings settle and it’s entirely possible that your laundry room floor is not completely level. In order to determine if this is the issue, simply place a level on top of your washing machine. If it indicates that there’s a problem, then adjust the feet of the washing machine until the level shows true.

None of the Above

When you have eliminated all of the above causes and your washing machine is still threatening to walk out on you, it’s time to call in the experts at Dave’s Appliance. It’s probably an issue with the internal parts of the machine. Anything from loose or displaced screws or bolts to a broken belt could be the culprit. In any event, it’s important to get the problem resolved. Just as driving a car that has no oil can ruin the entire motor, ignoring an off balance washing machine can ruin the whole machine.

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Helpful Hints

Things to check before you call:

  • CHECK for a blown fuse
  • CHECK that the appliance is plugged in
  • CHECK that the dryer vent is clean
  • CHECK that refrigerator controls are at the proper setting