Q: What do you do when your washing machine starts spinning so hard it's basically walking? If you're mentally answering 'turn up the volume' or 'calling an expert', we might be the answer you need.  

If your washer is walking to the sound of its own spin, read our top tips to find out why your machine might be going for a stroll.

 

1. Stop Overloading 


Whether you’ve got a front loader or a top loader, both are prone to overloading. For top loaders, make sure you distribute the clothes on both sides of the agitator for balance. Whereas for front loaders, use the one-hand rule, that is, if you’ve loaded your clothes in and can still fit one hand in the drum, it’s perfectly loaded, if not, you’ve overdone it. 


Constant overloading can cause serious damage to the motor or bend the washer’s frame. Once this happens, you only have two options: repair or replace, so be mindful next time you load up your machine!

 

2. Fix the Feet


Check underneath your machine to make sure there’s nothing causing it to tip off balance. If it’s looking all clear, check that all four feet of your machine are sitting evenly. To do this, simply place your hands on opposite corners of the machine and try rocking it – if it rocks back and forth or side to side, it’s time to adjust the feet. Start by using a wrench to loosen the locking nuts and adjust the feet accordingly. Once balanced, tighten the locking nuts then repeat with the others. 

 

3. Tighten the Bolts


If levelling doesn’t solve your downward spin cycle, there’s one more thing you can try at home – tighten the bolts of your front loader. Firstly turn off the power, then remove the lid (located on the top cover of a front loader) and look for the bolts that hold the drum in. Once located, tighten them and pop the lid back on.


Top loaders use a different system. They rely on suspension rods to control the vibration and carry the tub. When they lose efficiency, the vibration is increased in the top loader, which causes the drum to whack side to side. The machine will then go off balance and require a reset of the wash cycle. This can worsen over time and professional maintenance is needed to prevent further damage. 

4. Call in the Pros

Ticked all of the above and still have a walking machine? With frequent washing, your machine can go through wear-and-tear, and regular maintenance is necessary. Over time, suspension rods (in top loaders) and shock absorbers (in front loaders) lose efficiency. When they do, they can also cause the front load washing machine to vibrate excessively which results in a walking forward washer. If left without repair, excessive damage can occur due to the aggressive vibration.


If you’re looking for a sign, this is it. It’s time to call in the experts to get your machine rebalanced! 


Fun fact: Did you know that front loaders are much heavier than top loaders because they have about 25 kg of concrete blocks inside? It’s true.
The heavy blocks actually help the front loaders stay balanced, due to all the tumbling action that happens when a spin cycle takes place. It does means that you're far more likely to have a 'walking' problem with a front loader. 

April 11, 2023 — Frankie Layton