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How To Fix And Stabilize An Unbalanced Washing Machine

Your front or top loading washing machine can at times become unbalanced and vibrate. We are going to show you some common easy solutions to fix this problem. There are different factors that can make your washing machine wobble, shake, dance, and cause it to make a very loud vibrating sound. It does not matter if your washing machine is a top load or front load washer, the principals are the same. We recently received this question from one of our members… See below.

vibrating washing machine FIX!Question: My washing machine started vibrating VERY LOUD today and dancing and rocking until things were falling off of the top. It actually moved around the laundry room I would say nearly 6 inches to the left. For some reason it is not stabilized correctly. I checked the floor to make sure it is on a level surface and also the “leveling feet” and they are perfectly level. So do you have any ideas how to fix it or am I better off just getting another newer washing machine?



Answer #1: If the washing machine “feet” are level, the floor is level, and you have not just recently installed the washing machine, then we would bet that this is from an “imbalanced” or “overloaded” washing machine load. The first step is to check that you don’t have all the clothes on one side. If the “clothing” load is not overloaded or to one side, then it is possible that something fell off inside and the drum is no longer balanced. You may be able to open the front panel of the washing machine up and find out why just by doing a quick visual sweep. However, check that you did not overload the washing machine drum with clothes as this is the most common reason for a dancing and vibrating washer.

overloaded washing machineAnswer #2: Check the washing machines “feet” and level them to make firm contact with the ground. If you have tiled floors then this is most likely the cause of the vibration. You can usually just turn the legs with your hand. Turn them to “loosen” and they will come downward and make contact with the floor. If all 4 legs make contact with the ground in the washing machines current location, the unbalanced and vibrating should cease. See Illustration below…

washing machine vibration

Answer #3: We had this same issue and we were not overloading it. The problem was because our washer drum had a slight defect that caused it to not be centered or properly balanced. When we washed clothes it would vibrate slightly and was not too much of a problem. However the noise was annoying and needed to be stopped somehow. We did some research and found anti-vibration pads that slid under the feet of your washing machine. These small rubber discs actually absorb the vibration defect on our washer and has completely stopped the noise. So maybe check those out and buy a set as they are not expensive and completely fixed our problem.



anti vibration pads for washing machinesAnswer #4: Overfilling a washing machine adds stress and shortens the life span not only of your washer but also your clothes. When you overload the washer and after washing you pull out a twisted pile of clothes, it is because the clothes could not properly move within the washer during the cleaning cycle. Not only does this not clean your clothes properly, but it can actually vibrate parts loose and make the washer stop working altogether.

washing machine vibration ratings by manufacturer chart

Washing Machine Vibration Ratings Chart by Manufacturer – Which Brand Is Best?

ALLEN VETTER - DIY Repair Assistant
Allen is a Home Maintenance/Appliance Tech and the author/creator of this website. He has 33 years of experience troubleshooting and repairing all types of appliances. Contact here

25 thoughts on “How To Fix And Stabilize An Unbalanced Washing Machine”

  1. ROBERT L GARDNER JR

    We just replaced a 15 Year old Whirlpool Duet front loader with a Maytag front loader(MHW5630HW) The Maytag seems much louder in all phases of operation! Is that normal? It is level and in the same spot as the old washer.
    The first load was large and the spin cycle was violent! The Duet would stop spinning and turn slowly to rebalance its self then spin again. Do the new ones not do that?

  2. Samsung washing machine I have change water pump with no problems,but the mount that hold the pump one of the screw is stripped won’t tighten can’t get th screw out mount is loose, my question would this affect machine with vibration. Please help

  3. I have a small 4cu size front loading Whirlpool washer. When it is on the spin cycle, there is an extremely fast spin that sounds like a ‘jet engine’.
    The washer dances and fell over on its side at one point.
    When I load the washer, I make sure that clothes inserted are of the same weight and balance each other.
    Also I do not overload because the washer is small.

  4. I have a Samsung top loader washer which is in the recall for excessive vibrating. Mine will unbalance itself and continuously refill with water in an attempt to balance the load which is costing me money. The fix that they are advertising doing doesn’t make sense to me to fix the unbalancing problem. Reinforcing the top of the washer frame? I want to buy a different washer but I know I’ll just get new problems with a new one. What can I do to fix this myself?

  5. My Hotpoint model hswp1000m2ww TOP LOAD washer made by GE vibrates, on spin cycle. So bad I always have to be nearby to turn it off.
    My problem is the clothes inside they all ways are bunched up on one side of the machine. Why does this happen all the time?
    Machine is on concrete floor.
    It happens with all size loads.
    All water levels.
    Once I stop machine and even out the load by moving clothes around it works ok.
    I got this washer second hand.
    The balance concrete block under machine looks good, is not damaged. The four straps that hold drum top look good.
    The 4 rods that hold drum up look ok.
    I think has something to do with agitator itself, its loose and wobbles but seems to work ok.
    Once in wile I notice clothes get stuck under edge of agitator.
    The wobble is in agitator itself, not the part it snaps onto.
    Im thinking its might be some thing wrong with agitator.
    Maybe I should cut down FINS on agitator so it don’t grab clothes so good.

    1. DIY Project Help Tips

      AL,
      Put a level on top of your Hotpoint washer to be sure it truly is level. Even if the washer is tilted a few degrees off it can have the effect you just described.
      Get it completely level and then run a load.
      If it is vibrating then something inside is loose and needs to be checked visually.
      -RR

  6. I have a LG Tromm WM2016cw that will not keep balanced. Bought the four rubber pads but still marches to the left.

    1. DIY Project Help Tips

      Del,
      Have you made sure your LG washer is properly level? If not level it may walk. Check it with a level on top. If not level, use the feet to make it so.
      -RR

  7. My 2012 Kenmore Elite washer sounds off balance during the first part of the spin cycle. It then evens out as the cycle continues and the drum spin picks up speed. My footings are solid and level. Any thoughts?

    1. DIY Project Help Tips

      SSpencer,
      What is the model number of your Kenmore Elite Washing Machine? Have you checked to see if the springs or straps that hold the tub centered are not broken or missing?
      -RR

  8. I have a top load washer that will not spin out it says it is out of balance. We can move clothes around but doesn’t always work. It works sporadically. When it wants to… I was told to make sure it was level and it worked for a couple of days then went right back to same problem.

    1. DIY Project Help Tips

      david novak,
      Before you do anything, get a level and lay it on top of the washer to be sure it is perfectly level. If not then extend the legs to level it out. If you still have issues then a sensor may be at fault.
      -RR

  9. No particular noise while spinning. Serious vibration and walking. I placed the rubber foot pads under each foot and revealed the cabinet. The washer performs all functions with the exception of the vibration.

    1. DIY Project Help Tips

      Ted Burchfield,
      Be sure the washer tub is centered and balanced. Check the springs or tension bars that hold the tub centered. They may have fallen off or become loose.
      -RR

  10. Top load Kenmore vibrates in spin cycle. I replaced all of the springs that attach to the tub and the 3 pad under the tub on the frame, this repair has made no improvement. help!

    1. DIY Project Help Tips

      Ted Burchfield,
      If your Kenmore top loader is vibrating, and the tension tub springs and pads were replaced, is it the tub that is still vibrating or is the spinning cycle causing a vibrating noise as if a panel or component is loose? Where is the vibration coming from and what IS vibrating?
      -RR

  11. When we moved my husband forgot to put the tub bolts back in and now the tub is out of balance, what steps do we need to do to rebalance the tub?

    1. DIY Project Help Tips

      Anita,
      You should be able to put the tub bolts back in with the washer empty and that should balance it. Make sure you put the bolts back in with all the same torque value. Do not tighten one more than another.
      -RR

  12. I have the Samsung front load washer and it ramps up at the rinse cycle. I have noticed that it has been moving around because its spins so hard. I currently have it on my tile floor but wondering if i should put it on the stand that came with it. If get it on the stand should it continue to jump around??

    1. DIY Project Help Tips

      Candace,
      Have you checked to be sure your washer is on level ground? If the washer is not level it can be pulled to the direction that it is leaning. Get a level and place it on top of the washer to be sure it is level. If not, adjust the feet on the washer to make the washer 100% level.
      You may be overloading the washer therefore causing an imbalance and the washer “walks”.
      You could install anti vibration feet to your washer which absorbs the vibration and keeps the washer steady when washing in spin cycle.
      The stand should help if you have one. The washer stands have rubber at the bottom that should stop the washer from “walking”. Just be sure the washer is properly seated and connected to the stand.
      -RR

  13. My washer makes loud banging noise when in spin mode. What is the reason for it to do so, washer is balanced as well the load. Please advise

    1. DIY Project Help Tips

      Norma,
      Assuming you have a top load washer, the drum may have springs holding the drum in place to keep it centered. If one of the springs have fallen off or has become broken, you will have an unbalance issue. Check under your washer with a flashlight to inspect for a spring that has fallen off. If you have a front load washer, there are tension bands that hold the drum centered. Check your washing machine manual to find where they are located and how to access them.
      -RR

  14. My front load GE washer has started to vibrate until you think it’s going to blast off. It just started doing this when a pipe broke in the wall and had to be fixed. Every since the spin cycle is in severe vibration. It also now has started to do this in thee wash cycle. I have tried it with an empty washer and it is no better.
    CAN YOU HELP ME????? I did a master reset according to the instructions and it helped some but you can see that the drum is spinning unevenly.

    1. DIY Project Help Tips

      Jacci,
      We would suggest unplugging the GE washer from power. Open the panel to gain access to the inside. Carefully check inside looking for anything that may be loose or has fallen off. Usually there will be springs or something similar that will keep the washing machine drum perfectly centered. When the drum spins unevenly, usually something is worn, loose, or missing. You can type your washing machine model number into Google and look at the schematic. This will help you to make sure there is nothing missing.
      -RR

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