1 Reason Your Washer Might Be Acting Up And 3 Steps To Fix It
Is your washer making noises or walking across the laundry room? Did it stop spinning or draining and start giving you a weird error message? There may be one simple thing that’s gone wrong, but don’t worry! It can be easy to fix.
Your Washer is Unbalanced
If the washer itself or the drum inside becomes unbalanced, you might see all these problems at some point. There is a sensor inside your washer that ensures it stays balanced to prevent water from leaking out and to protect the internals from damage. The installers should balance the appliance when it’s first delivered, but frequent, heavy, lopsided loads of laundry can easily throw it off. So how do you fix it?
1. Level your unit
On the bottom of your washer in each corner are “locknuts”, kind of like feet on screws. These can easily be adjusted to ensure that your washer remains level even on uneven surfaces.
Simply place a spirit leveler on your washer and loosen the locknuts by turning them counterclockwise. Do this on each foot of the washer until the bubble in the spirit leveler sits in the center.
If your washer sits on an especially uneven patch, you can use ply boards to help even out the area, then proceed with the above steps to perfect your washer’s balance.
2. Limit load size
Large, heavy loads might be your problem. Particularly heavy fabrics like terry cloth, denim, and down comforters, once filled with water, can dramatically shift the weight of the drum inside the washer. Especially when you pair heavy items with lighter ones, the weight is not evenly distributed, causing it to shake, shimmy, and stop working.
Be sure to limit the size of your load. For a top load it’s recommended that you leave at least 6 inches from the top of your clothes to the top of your drum, and for front load washers you want to keep the load to about 80% of the drum, leaving the remaining 20% for the water to move through it. For more tips on how to avoid overloading, read our blog about it HERE.
3. Remove the shipping bolts
If these tips haven’t helped, you may be using your washer with the shipping bolt still in it (oops!). Not sure? There’s an easy way to check.
Open the washer door and press firmly on the bottom edge of the drum while applying pressure to the top. Your drum should have some movement, but if your drum doesn’t move at all, your shipping bolt may still be in there. Don’t fret! They’re easy to remove.
Check the back wall of your unit and you should see four to five bolts (it varies by model) with plastic washers. These are your shipping bolts. Take a wrench or socket and loosen the bolts until you can remove them easily with your hand, and you’re done.
If you have any questions or are uncomfortable removing these yourself, you should call the place you got the unit from. These bolts should be removed upon installation, so it’s not your fault if they’re still there ruining your laundry day.
If none of these resolve your problem, you’ll probably want to seek professional assistance. There are a great many other things that can cause your washer to be unbalanced or that can become damaged from the washer being unbalanced. Shock absorbers, suspension springs, snubber rings… if you’re not sure what these are or how to find them you might want to call a pro.