Have you noticed your washing machine vibrating or moving around significantly, and are concerned that there is a fault or serious problem with it? Here we detail the various possible causes for you.
THE POSSIBLE CAUSES FOR THIS PROBLEM:
The washing in the machine can sometimes cause the appliance to become unbalanced. The soaked items get clumped together inside the drum, which makes the appliance unbalanced, especially during spinning. When this happens, the washing machine will move around significantly, and may even "walk" across the floor. Be careful to ensure you don't put too light or too heavy a load in your appliance. Also avoid putting too many highly absorbent items in it at the same time (e.g. thick cotton towels). A shirt made from synthetic material will not absorb and retain water to the same extent as a downy jacket, for example. It is advisable to fill the drum with a variety of different kinds of items and to avoid putting just a towel in it, for example.
The floor beneath the washing machine can cause the appliance's movements to be amplified, depending on what type of surface it is. It is advisable to have the washing machine standing on a hard surface (e.g. on concrete or tiles, or on a floor with a low-pile carpet). Avoid placing the appliance on a floating wooden floor with a substantial insulating layer underneath, or on a thick carpet or rug. Excessively slippery tiles can also be an issue. Put a piece of very thin carpet in place to stabilise the appliance if you have this problem.
If you are noticing a lot of movement from the washing machine during spinning or rinsing, the drain pump may be the cause. If this pump is obstructed, the water will struggle to drain and will remain in the drum for longer than normal. This will have an unbalancing effect on the appliance. Check the condition of your drain filter, and clean all components that could potentially prevent the drain pump from operating properly.
The sump hose (which is shaped like an accordion) connects the tub to the drain pump. It is possible for it to get blocked by objects such as coins and paper tissues. This can lead to the washing machine becoming unbalanced, causing it to vibrate or bang during rinsing or spinning. Remove the sump hose and check it isn't obstructed or blocked. It will normally be located underneath the washing machine, and is very easy to access.
All washing machines are normally fitted with adjustable feet. You must to take steps to ensure the appliance is always absolutely level. Place a spirit level on the top surface of the machine and adjust the feet to get the appliance standing perfectly upright. Note: the protective rubber coverings on the feet can wear out over time. Replace them if they get damaged.
The tachometer measures the speed of rotation of the motor. If it's defective (due to water running or dripping onto its connector for example), the appliance will first begin to race, causing the drum to turn very fast, then finally come to a complete stop. If you notice this problem occurring, check the condition of the tachometer (for damage, traces of water, etc.) and replace it if necessary.
If your washing machine is brand new, make sure you've removed all the transit bolts. When you purchase a brand new washing machine, there will initially be safety bolts in place to stabilise the drum during transportation. This is to avoid any damage occurring to the appliance. It is important to remove these bolts before first use, otherwise you risk damaging the washing machine's tub.
If your washing machine is already several years old, and checking the other potential issues mentioned above has not resolved your problem, turn your attention to the machine's shock absorbers. The shock absorbers on a washing machine are not very difficult to replace. If you do need to change them, replace all of them together (washing machines normally have two). Also check that the tub suspension springs are not broken or stretched: these can be found in the upper part of the appliance, beneath the top cover.
Your washing machine is equipped with counterweights (made from concrete or cast iron). These particularly heavy components are fitted to the tub to prevent it from vibrating or moving when the appliance is operating. If any of the counterweights is broken or not properly fixed in place, the appliance will become very noisy and begin to move around. The noise a broken counterweight makes is unmistakeable: you'll hear what sounds like repeated hammer blows. Check these components are properly fixed in place, and replace them if necessary.