NEW WASHING MACHINE SHAKES VIOLENTLY DURING SPIN CYCLE

NEW WASHING MACHINE SHAKES VIOLENTLY DURING SPIN
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Does your newly installed washer shake or vibrate during operation? Don’t worry, it’s normal. You should also expect the vibration to increase during spinning. That too is normal.

But if it shakes violently, even during the spinning phase, then you have a genuine reason to be concerned.

We can divide your concerns into 2:

  1. Why does a new machine vibrate heavily during spinning?
  2. What are the solutions?

Let’s address each concern, one at a time.

WHY NEW WASHING MACHINE VIBRATES

There are 4 main reasons why a newly installed machine will shake “violently”. And 3 secondary reasons.

  1. Faulty installation
  2. Unbalanced floor level
  3. Transit bolts
  4. Unbalance leveling legs
  5. Overloaded payload
  6. Insufficient payload
  7. Uneven distribution of payload

FAULTY INSTALLATION

The key to washing machine stability is BALANCE. 

During installation many factors need to be set just right. An error during installation can tilt your machine.

This imbalance might be so minute that you can hardly tell merely from looking at the setup.

Errors like this only become evident when you need balance the most… and that is during washing operation.

As the speed increases during spinning, the imbalance becomes more noticeable.

And the result is that your machine begins to vibrate violently, in some cases.

HOW TO TELL IF YOUR INSTALLATION IS FAULTY

MEASURE WITH A PLUMB

The best way to determine if your newly installed washer is well balanced is to use a tool called plumb or leveler

NEW WASHING MACHINE SHAKES VIOLENTLY DURING SPIN
Leveler or Plumb

You will find this in the toolbox of masons, carpenters and plumbers. 

If you have one of these persons as a neighbor, simply borrow it from him. 

If you don’t, you can get one at the local shop.

HOW TO USE A PLUMB

  1. Place the flat end of the equipment at the top of your washing machine.
  1. There is a small case containing water at the middle of the leveler. The case contains water and a large bubble.
  1. If the bubble is at the middle of the water case, then your surface is leveled.
  1. If the bubble tilts to one end of the water container, your washing machine installation is out of balance. 
  1. Repeat steps 1-4 at all four edges of your washing machine. 

You should have the bubble at the center of your plumb’s water case. Any thing other than this means your washer is out of balance.

WHAT TO DO IF THE INSTALLATION IS FAULTY (SOLUTION)

  • Call a plumber.

Washing machine installation is a technical setup. Probably the incompetence of the first installer might have cause the problem you’re currently facing.

Unless you’re good at technical stuff, do not attempt to fix the issue yourself.

If you call a plumber, you must have one thing in mind. His job is to find a way to balance the installation. 

He’ll work with the plumb at every step of his adjustment, until the plumb is balanced at every angle of the washing machine.

UNBALANCED FLOOR LEVEL

Washing machines need a balanced surface to be stable. Constructing a base for the washer is ideal. But this is seldom the case in many households.

SOLUTION

  • Construct a platform or base
NEW WASHING MACHINE SHAKES VIOLENTLY DURING SPIN
Construct a platform for your washer

If you installed it directly on the floor, you can consider placing it on a manually constructed platform. 

The platform should not be to simply raise the washer from the floor. Your aim should be to even out the tilt on the floor.

In this case, try to employ the help of a profession

Attempting it yourself only increases the chance of not getting the balance right.

Again it can not be overemphasized, you must work with a leveler of plumb.

No matter how skilled a technician is, insist he works with plumb or leveler.

  • Use a wedge

Another option is to use a wedge. Wood, metal or any hard item will do.

Simply place it on the affected foot and you should get a balance. 

Depending on the type and size of the wedge, you might end up worsening the imbalance. In that case, simply remove it and use a different wedge. Or discontinue your use of wedge entirely.

SHIPPING BOLTS

shipping bolts
Illustration of washing machine shipping bolts

This is the king of them all.

After manufacture, bolts are attached to the washing machine’s rear to provide support for shipping.

These are called shipping or transit bolts.

When a washer is newly installed, these bolts must be removed. When they’re left in place, they create a major imbalance of the washing machine.

Failure to remove these shipping bolts are a major cause of vibrations in newly installed washers.

To determine whether your vibration issue is the bolts, do a physical inspection of the washer. A quick look at the back of your washer is all you need.

If the bolts are in place, you’ve found the cause of your problem.

SOLUTION TO SHIPPING BOLT ISSUE

Remove it.

That’s all you need to do. Just remove it.

Some washing machine manufacturers attach spanners to the washing machine. If yours come with one, then use it to remove the bolts.

Of course you need more than just strength to do so. You should be familiar with using equipment like this.

If you’re not good at using such tool. Or if it will be a potential injury hazard, kindly ask for the help of someone capable.

A male in the house, your neighbor or someone with the strength and know-how should be enough.

If you have none of these persons close-by, you can call a technician.

Please know that it is your duty to remove these bolts. So the moment you buy a shipping, first ensure the bolts are removed and kept in a safe place. You might need these if you need to relocate from your present location.

UNBALANCED LEVELING LEGS

Can you imagine walking with 2 legs of different lengths? That’s what happens to a washer with unbalanced legs.

You see, every washing machine has footings. And most of these are adjustable.

The advantage is that they can be installed in surfaces that are not not so leveled. All you need to do is adjust the legs to compensate for the difference in level.

The irony is, in a leveled surface, these footings can backfire. If they weren’t set to be of equal length during installation, they will create an imbalance that becomes obvious during operation.

The other 3 reasons are not peculiar to newly installed machines. They are:

  1. Overloaded payload
  2. Insufficient payload
  3. Uneven distribution of payload

We covered them in a different article. 

You can read more on them here.

WASHING MACHINE VIBRATION CHECKLIST

S/NPROBLEMSOLUTIONCHECK
1Faulty installationCall a technician
2Unbalanced floor levelAdd a braceCreate a platform
3Shipping boltsRemove shipping or transit bolts
4Unbalance leveling legsAdjust washer legs
5Overloaded payloadReduce payload to 85% – 90% of maximum load.
6Insufficient payloadAdd more laundry to washer. Target 50% of maximum payload.
7Uneven distribution of payloadApply solutions to problem 5 and 6 above.Reposition the load
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CONCLUSION

One basic principle I’ve learnt as a technician is that the loudest problems usually have the smallest solution.

As a user you are tempted to weigh the problem by the effect you can see physically.

Dubious technicians prey on this fear to charge high prices to repair simple problems.

Do not fall for these traps.

If your new washing machine shake violently during spin, take a deep breath and analyze the problem

You can use the checklist above to determine the likely cause and solution.

Please feel free to print it out and paste it somewhere close.

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