Though taking a walk is good for our health, it’s certainly not ideal for your washing machine, or your floors. But what causes these large appliances to move around when operating? We’ll troubleshoot some common reasons for a washing machine walking across the floor such as unbalanced loads or worn out shock absorbers.

How to Stop Your Washing Machine Walking: Simple Solutions

Excessive vibration is really what’s happening when we find our washing machine walking during a wash cycle. This often occurs during a front loader’s spin cycle, as these washers can spin more rapidly than top loading machines. Fortunately, pinpointing the cause of the vibrations can lead to simple solutions that halt a walking washer.

Unbalanced Wash Load

If you hear a loud thumping sound as your washer walks across the floor it’s likely due to an unbalanced wash load. This often occurs if the tub is overloaded with too much clothing. However, washing one bulky item, like a rug or comforter, can also cause an imbalance. Usually, this happens if the heavy item clumps along one side of the washer drum.

These tips can help redistribute an unbalanced wash load and stop washing machine walking:

  • Avoid overloading by filling the washer only ¾ of the way full. Refer to your user manual to determine your washer’s specific capacity.
  • Create balanced wash loads by washing both small and large items together. Wash two bulky items instead of just one to avoid clumping on one side of the washer drum.
  • If you hear loud thumping, stop the wash cycle and redistribute clothes on either side of the washer drum. Remove items to wash in a separate cycle if the machine is overloaded. 

washing machine walking

Washer Isn’t Level

Without proper leveling, you can have an unbalanced washer that’s prone to walking. Check your washer with a bubble level to assess for pitching or tilting. Here’s how to fix a washer that isn’t leveled correctly:

  • Make sure the washer’s legs are screwed in as far as possible, providing the washer with a low center of gravity. 
  • If one leg is unlevel, unscrew it as little as possible to level the washer.
  • Add non-slip pads to each washer leg to reduce the effects of any vibration.
  • Check the floor underneath your washer to make sure it’s smooth and even. You may need to rest the washer on a sheet of plywood if your flooring is uneven.

Worn Out Shock Absorbers

A washer’s shock absorbers are located between the outer wash drum and the frame of the machine, cushioning vibrations during a spin cycle. Over time, the shock absorbers can wear out and the washer tub can bang against the frame when spinning. This banging can cause excessive washer movement during a wash cycle.

When assessing a washer’s shock absorbers, first make sure they’re positioned correctly. If the shock absorbers are correctly positioned but appear worn or damaged, the best way to fix washing machine walking is to replace them. Even if only one shock absorber is damaged we recommend replacing all of them at once.

Broken Suspension Rod

A top-loading walking washing machine is likely due to broken suspension rods. These rods act as shock absorbers for top loaders, cushioning the vibrations of a wash cycle. Over time, and with repeated use, these rods can stretch or break. When this happens the typical vibrations of a wash cycle can cause excessive washer movement.

A broken suspension rod can’t be repaired and requires replacement.
If these troubleshooting tips don’t halt your washing machine walking, Same Day Service can help. We’ll have an experienced washer repairman at your door in no time!