How To Repair A Washer That Shakes and Moves

How To Repair A Washing Machine That Shakes and Moves

About this repair:

  • Rated as REALLY EASY
  • 353 repair stories
  • 5 step by step videos

Shock Absorber

If you have been hearing a loud banging noise from your top-loading washing machine, and it is shaking and moving during the spin cycle, you’ll want to check on the shock absorbers, or struts. These go between the outer tub and the base frame to moderate the shaking of the tub during the spin cycle. If the shock absorbers aren’t doing their job any more, you’ll hear the banging of the tub against the frame while the clothes spin. And that tub movement could break other parts of your washer. So unplug the washer, find the shock absorbers behind the front or rear panel, and check them for signs they’ve become worn, loose, weak or have fluid leaks on them. It’s best to replace both of the shocks at once.

Suspension Spring & Tub Spring

One feature that is meant to reduce the vibrating and moving of the washer during the spin cycle is the suspension springs. The tub, on some models, hangs from the cabinet on these springs, or the springs could be stabilizing the tub against the washer base. If the springs have come loose, have stretched out, broken or distorted, your washer could be shaking and moving more than it ought to. Unplug the washer, take off the top panel or the front panel, and carefully unhook the springs if they are damaged or stretched out. Because of the nature of tightly stretched metal springs, gloves and safety glasses should be worn. If the problem is that a spring’s been detached, put it back in place. If replacing, all of the springs should be replaced at once.

Snubber Ring & Damper Pad & Tub Wear Pads

Under the tub of your washer, some models feature a plastic ring or a lubricated felt pad to absorb vibration during the spin cycle. With time and use, these pads or rings can get worn out, and then the tub could shake too much or even grind against the base of the machine, which causes really extreme shaking. Unplug the washer, take off the front panel, and carefully unhook the suspension springs. Because of the nature of tightly stretched metal springs, gloves, and safety glasses should be worn. Locate the snubber ring or pads under the support assembly of the tub. If the snubber ring is plastic, check for signs of ground plastic dust or a worn down appearance. If your washer has felt damper pads, they should not be dry, worn down, or knocked out of place.

Tub Dampening Strap

If you have been hearing a loud banging noise from your top-loading washing machine, and it is shaking a lot, you’ll want to check to see if your model features tub dampening straps. These are rubber bands stretched between the top of the tub and the four corners of the cabinet to moderate the shaking of the tub during the spin cycle. If the tub dampening straps are broken, too stretched out or worn to do their job, you’ll hear the banging of the tub against the frame while the clothes spin. While the straps wear out eventually with normal use, yours may have worn out faster if you’ve been doing a lot of wash or sending heavy loads through. You can check on your tub dampening straps by raising the top of the machine. If they are slack from being overly stretched, or torn, replace all four at the same time.

Leveling Legs

You washer will shake if it is not level, so make sure to check the leveling legs in a shaking or moving machine. Make sure the washer is firmly on the ground at all four legs, adjust the legs so that the machine is level, and tighten the locking nuts on the legs that are threaded. Keep the washer as close to the floor as possible. Your model might have rear legs that level themselves, or it might have threaded legs all around. Make sure the rubber feet haven’t worn out. Replace any missing or damaged legs and feet.

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