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How to fix an unbalanced washing machine drum

Updated May 10, 2017

Ideally, your washing machine should clean your laundry quietly and efficiently. Occasionally, however, the washer may start thumping or even moving across the floor when it spins. An unbalanced washing machine drum is often the culprit. Even if you are not terribly handy, you can probably remedy this situation on your own.

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  1. Redistribute the clothing in your washer. If you are washing a load of heavy items, such as towels, jeans or blankets, they may be congregated on one side of the washing machine. Open the lid, wait for the drum to stop spinning, and move the items around. Close the lid and allow the washer to begin spinning again. You may need to do this more than once in order to equally distribute the clothing.

  2. Make sure that the corners of your washing machine are level. Your washing machine has adjustable feet. If, after redistributing the clothing, your washing machine is still moving and shaking during the spin cycle, you may need to adjust the feet. Wait until the washing machine is empty and get someone to help you to lift one corner at a time.

  3. Open your washing machine to inspect the internal components. Unplug the washing machine first. Look to see if any belts are hanging. Scan for rusted, corroded or broken parts. If you see any of these, call a service person.

  4. Be sure that your washing machine is on a stable and flat surface. If the floor of your laundry room or basement is not level, your washing machine will have a hard time staying balanced. One cheap and easy way to fix this is to place a large piece of plywood under the washing machine. It must be big enough for all four adjustable feet to fit on the wood. If your dryer is located next to your washing machine, get a piece of wood that is big enough for your dryer to fit as well to improve overall stability.

  5. Warning

    Never attempt to open the inside of your washing machine before unplugging the unit. If you can not figure out what the problem is, contact a professional.

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About the Author

Michelle Kulas worked in the health-care field for 10 years, serving as a certified nurses' assistant, dental assistant and dental insurance billing coordinator. Her areas of expertise include health and dental topics, parenting, nutrition, homeschooling and travel.

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