Sunday, September 20, 2009

Simple Fix for Vibrating Washers

High-efficiency front loading washing machines are fantastic. They clean clothing very thoroughly, yet provide great savings in both energy and water. Yet there is a little known problem with front load washers that come to light sadly only after the owner has purchased and setup these machines in their home. LG, Kenmore, Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, etc... it doesn't matter what make/model, they're all susceptible to this problem. Due to the orientation and high rotational speed of these machines during spin cycle, they can react violently with the floor that they're placed on.

If you're experiencing such problems, before reading further, recommend that you check to ensure that you've removed ALL of the shipping bolts from the back of your machine. If you're not sure what shipping bolts are, or you're not sure that you've removed all of them, or you trusted that young kid installer from where you purchased the machine, or your hubby is so smart that he doesn't need to read user manuals, I think we may have found your problem.

OK, you've tried the reasonable tips in the video, and your washer is still vibrating. Front loading HE washing machines can also build up a resonant vibration at high spin cycles (think tuning fork vibration, it's very similar). These vibrations may be less pronounced on cement or solid tile floors, but can be very pronounced on some wooden floors, especially if installed in mobile homes or on an upper floor of a house (again think placing a tuning fork to wood). Indeed the vibrations can resonate throughout the house, with the machine visibly vibrating, again, just like a tuning fork.

But just as easily as a tuning fork can be dampened by lightly touching it, so can the resonant vibrations of these front loader machines. An extremely simple method of dampening these vibrations is illustrated in the following video. All you need is a $3 piece of swimming noodle foam. (Note: shipping costs bump these up to about $10 if you order online in the Fall/Winter. But if you check your local X-mart stores swimming toys section in the Spring/Summer, they usually only cost $3 in the store. UPDATE 2/26/2010: Just saw these today in Dollar Tree for a buck! All you need is one for the fix. Just cut it in half, one-half length for each side of the washer.).

The foam is cut and wedged high-up horizontally along the sides of the machine. The foam serves to dampen the resonant vibrations of the machine, again similar to touching the sides of a tuning fork. Although it seems too simple to work, it is very effective. If you decide to try it yourself, but do not have a nearby wall or dryer, think of moving other items nearby to provide the side support. This could be a cabinet or other piece of solid furniture. Good luck, and please leave a comment below on how this worked (or didn't) for your situation.

Here's a video with the washer in spin cycle.


And for those would like to see a "before/after" video, I say to them, sure...



As you're rushing out to fix your own vibration problems after seeing the above, remember to use a foam or other "spongy" material to dampen the vibrations. Don't recommend cardboard, rolled up towels, or other non-spongy materials. Stiffer materials may not effectively dampen the vibrations, and may actually transmit them through your walls.

9 comments:

  1. This is very creative but it still doesn't stop the transfer of vibration to the laundry room floor which wasn't properly built to begin with. When these machines vibrate they with time loosen the subfloor from the floor joists and the vibration makes the floor "bounce" on those joists. This amplifies the sound throughout the home. You need a anti-vibration pad to buffer the machine from the floor. Try the VIBEAWAY which is solid rubber recycled from used tires (your helping save the environment). We know how good a vibration insulator solid rubber is, since your cars motor mounts are made from rubber which doesn't allow the engine vibration to transfer to the passenger compartment.

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  2. The swim noodles seems to have fixed our problems - or at least minimized them such that we don't mind. Thank you!

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  3. Washing Machine Prices India
    This amplifies the sound throughout the home. You need a anti-vibration pad to buffer the machine from the floor.

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  4. Your simple fix has saved my sanity !! Although I've used large Styrofoam squares like the ones that the washer-dryer come packed with. Now I know why they're included, thanks to you. I never post comments to anything, but I hope you get this message. Your fix is :
    1. Simple
    2. Cheap
    3. Effective
    4. AWESOME !!

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  5. I'm trying this as soon as I get home! Sounds a heck of a lot easier and cheaper than laying plywood and drilling into floor joists. :) Thanks!

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  6. Rubber washers or pads are used in washing machines to avoid unwanted movement and noise. Objects in the washing machine can cause vibration and thus leads to damage to the apparatus. Hence the rubber material like rubber pads or anti vibration mounts are used.

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  7. Excellent post! I must thank you for this informative read. I hope you will post again soon.
    Kind regard
    Laundry Machine Manufacturers In India

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  8. Our washer and drier shake a lot when running at full speed. Although it isn't a huge deal we are annoyed by it. We want to buy some mounts for it so it'll stop.
    John Bond | http://www.missionsupplyonline.com/product-lines/trelleborg-anti-vibration-mounts

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