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Washing machine shakes

I just got a washing machine that shakes horribly. I checked the balance by the legs and made sure the rear legs were stabilized and they are. The tub sits off to the right, like a spring is missing but the washer is only a year old and the springs are in excellent shape so I don't think one is missing and I don't believe a hole has rusted through. I don't know how to tell is there is one missing or if maybe the one there is stretched. When I tilt the washing machine over I can see everything inside but it seems really complicated to get the back of it off. What to do?

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  1. Find out the reason for the shaking during the spin cycle. The cause will usually be either a badly out of balance load, or a poorly leveled and set up machine.
    • Balance the load of clothes by opening the lid, and looking to see if there is a lot more on one side of the agitator than the other, and if this is the problem, move them around, close the lid, restart the spin cycle, and observe the results. You may try repositioning the clothes in the tub slightly more if you original efforts helped significantly.
  2. Try to tip or tilt the machine. If it wobbles when you do, the adjustment screws on the machine's base may not be set correctly, or on older machines, the threads may be stripped or corroded out, causing them to fail.
  3. Relevel your machine and insure it is supported correctly. This is done by kneeling down in front of the machine, and rocking it to see which corner seems to be floating, or not in contact with the floor. The leveling screw should be screwed out (clockwise, if viewed from above), which lengthens it, or the adjacent side should be screwed in (shortened), so that each leveler is in contact with the floor.
  4. Use a pair of pliers if the thumbscrews are too tight to turn with your fingers, and spraying the screws with a lubricant may help, also.
  5. Restart your machine when you have made sure all the leveling screws are in contact with the floor.
  6. Use shims to support the machine if the screws have become unusable for some reason (broken, stripped, or otherwise damaged). Shims can be made of almost any resilent, non-degradable material which can be cut easily, like scrap vinyl composition tile, rubber matting, or even plastic margarine container lids.
  7. Cut a number of shims, about 3 or 4 inches in width, and stack them under each corner where they are needed, until the corners are equally supported.
  8. Restart the machine and observe your results.

Posted on Sep 28, 2009

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