Excessive Washer Vibration

Eccessive Vibrating Washer

We at Los Angeles Washer & Dryer Service often receive phone calls and emails regarding washers bouncing all over the place.

In our decades of experience there really isn’t a mystery. The problem can be mechanical, in the case of Newton style Maytag Washer the belts can be worn. For most top-load washer machines it is being over-loaded. We have seen occasionally the reasons for an appliance bouncing or producing excessive vibration comes down to the cost of the appliance with regard to its construction and/or, the installation itself.

If your Vibrating Washer is Newly Installed

If the washing machine is vibrating abnormally directly upon installation then first of all check that any transit straps or bolts have been properly and completely removed, failure to do this correctly upon installation can cause untold damage to the machine and, in extreme, cases may render it unrepairable. Bear in mind that if you have not followed the installation instructions properly then the manufacturer’s warranty may well not cover this damage and they could charge you for the service call as well as any spares required.

The second more common cause of vibrating washer problems on a new appliance upon installation is related to the machine itself not being level or the legs not being tightened. That said there are some things that can produce the same effect and is a design failure, for example Samsung have had issues with some of their appliances where they have been installed on a wooden floor and there is a modification kit in an attempt to resolve the issue, and LG has a dampening kit specifically designed to tackle wooden flooring problems.


Overloading the washer with heavy items can cause excessive vibration due to an unbalanced load. If you load items so full that you can barely close the door, the load will have a hard time distributing evenly around the perimeter of the wash tub. Once wet, and the tub begins to tumble, the load becomes entangled and will pack on one side of the tub. This will cause the washer to jump and walk across the floor on the spin cycle. This can also cause premature wear to the door bellow, damage to the door latch and damage to the shock supports and counter-weights. Always follow the manufacturer’s wash load recommendations as outlined in your owner’s manual.

If Washer is Front Loading

When front load washing machine were first introduced some manufactures did not take into consideration the possible problems created by the centrifugal force of the washer’s spinning action. Front load washers often spin or rotating in excess of 1200rpms! A spinning action that fast, coupled with the washers heavy weight and a floor that flexes (even a little) will cause a resonant vibration. In simple terms, it will cause the washer to bounce or walk. 

Unfortunately we have seen an increasing number of bearing failures across the board of front load washing machines. This repair is often not financially feasible and we often recommend replacement.

If Washer is on a Pedestal

If the washer is mounted on a pedestal, this can make the problem worse. Early model pedestals had an open back which caused it to “tin can” when the washer spun. “Tin-canning” is the phenomenon of the sides of the pedestal casing waffling in and out as the weight of the washer rides on top of it. This would also cause excessive vibration. The solution: The manufacturers redesigned the pedestals with an enclosed back that would prevent this from happening. If your washer is a later model, you should have an enclosed back on the pedestal. If there is no back panel, a stiffener kit can be purchased and installed by any Do-It-Yourselfer.

Check that the Washer is Level

Check the leveling of the washer. You need to adjust the feet of the washer ensure it is level front-to-back and side-to-side. The feet are adjusted using a wrench to turn the legs up or down. Use a level to check your work. Once completed, you should be able to place your hands diagonally across opposite corners of the washer top and see if the washer moves at all. If unlevel (just the slightest) the washer will vibrate during the spin cycle. If the washer is mounted on a pedestal, you level the feet of the pedestal, NOT the washer. Make sure the washer is firmly mounted to the pedestal first. Then, level the feet of the pedestal using the same procedures outlined before.

Los Angeles Washer & Dryer Service is committed to solving all your washer and dryer repair need we hope you find this information informative and helpful. If you have questions, please let us know.

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