Cause of Vibration From a Washing Machine

Updated February 21, 2017

A vibrating washing machine may or may not be indicative of a more serious problem with the washer. Some of the newer, front-loading models are notorious for vibrations that resonate throughout the entire house. For these machines, there are several products on the market that claim to lessen the vibration, but, according to Consumer Reports, the improvements are not significant. However, if your washing machine is not in this category, you'll need to identify the cause of the vibration so you can rectify the problem.

Off Balance or Overloaded

If the machine is off balance, it will cause the appliance to vibrate. The weight of the laundry should be equally distributed in the washer as opposed to having heavy items on one side and lightweight items on the other side. Also, if there are too many clothes in the washing machine, this overloading effect will also throw the appliance off balance and cause it to vibrate.

Spin Basket

On front-loading machines, the spin basket may bend out of shape. Open the washer's door, and spin the basket by hand. If it moves out of place by more than 1/4 inch, this is an indication that it is warped and is causing the appliance to vibrate.

Support Pads

The washing machine sits on small plastic pads, and if they start wearing out, the machine will vibrate excessively. Fortunately, these pads can be replaced at a cost of £6 for the entire set as of July 2011.


The weights on the washing machine tub may be loose; if so, simply tighten them. However, if one of the weights has fallen off, or if the spin bearings at the back of the tub have fallen off, the tub's outer shell will have to be replaced.

Other Considerations

On some washing machines, the shipping rod is inadvertently left on the machine after installation. According to GE, the shipping rod, which is located on the bottom ride side of the washer, can be removed by "grasping it firmly and pulling it straight out to release the suspension system."

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About the Author

Terri Williams began writing professionally in 1997, serving as media manager for a large nonprofit organization where she also edited books and created promotional content. She has written extensively on business communication, ethics, leadership, management, education and health. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.