View Full Version : Front load washer vibration

01-14-2009, 06:39 PM
Built a new wood frame house, 16" oc 2x10 floor joists, glued & nailed, etc. on a crawlspace. They have a big Kenmore front-loading clothes washer that spins so fast it's incredible. When the unit is in spin cycle, it shakes 1/2 of the house. The machine is level and seems to be set up properly. I suggested the client adjust loads so they are more even and try a lower speed, but they want us to figure out how to stop the tremendous vibration.

I know this is from the floor system vibrating "in-tune" with the washer, but am not sure if we should be shortening the span with a pony wall, adding a brace across the bottom of the joists or what. I'm looking for suggestions from someone who has dealt with this in the past. THANKS!

01-14-2009, 07:07 PM
you might try going to .... dare I say it ....... Home Cheapo and buying an anti fatigue mat for kitchens. They have a commercial one there big enough for the washer to sit on. Lay it down with a piece of 1/2 ply and leave a 1/2" space at edges abutting any wall. This should eliminate the transmission of the vibrations, I think, and its a relatively cheap fix. Density and disconnect = quiet

01-14-2009, 07:43 PM
I have done as you suggested and added support under the floor joist directly under the machine. This reduced the vibration noticeably but did not eliminate it. Retailers should notify customers that if it’s not on a slab it going to shake the walls.

Andrew R.
01-14-2009, 09:36 PM

01-14-2009, 10:29 PM
That's a good idea Andrew.

01-15-2009, 03:42 AM
I have a front loader that spins ultra fast and shakes the floor only a minimal amount. No special measures taken and it is on a floor just like yours, 2x10, 16"OC.

Sounds like your joists may have a lot of deflection from a long span. Or you may be hitting resonance. In either case, shortening the span should help. You can do that by putting a girder and support column in the appropriate spot.

David Meiland
01-15-2009, 05:51 AM
Did you remove ALL of the packing materials and temporary bolts, etc? With the euro washers I have installed there are always a couple of those that have to come out, and you have to read the manual completely to know it, you can't just plug it in and start washing.

01-15-2009, 06:22 AM
I have had a front loader for some years now and the only time it shakes is during wind-up for the spin cycle as the clothes orient themselves. Once the machine gets up there in speed, it is really smooth. I am thinking Dave is on the right track, or even that there may be a problem with the balance ring. If the machine is empty and you turn the drum and hear a sloshing sound, it's the balance ring, it's filled with liquid that shifts to accommodate the load imbalance.

01-15-2009, 04:56 PM
Did you remove ALL of the packing materials and temporary bolts, etc? With the euro washers I have installed there are always a couple of those that have to come out, and you have to read the manual completely to know it, you can't just plug it in and start washing.

Hmm...Yup, there are some tricky things to find.

The service guy finds them and removes them quickly, almost as quick as he drains your wallet.

Bang head here.

David Meiland
01-15-2009, 05:04 PM
Last one I put in was a Bosch. Owner used it before I realized I had to remove four large bolts from the back to free up the stabilizer. The machine walked all the way down to the corner tavern where I found it sitting on a stool buying everyone shots of Jack. Took out those bolts and now it stays in the closet.

01-15-2009, 09:45 PM
Thank you for the input. I'm not clear on which of these suggestions - other than making sure the machine is properly unpacked - any of you have used with success.

The machine seems to be set up right (it was in use in their prior home) so I'm thinking is just finding how to stop the vibration. Spans are nothing special.

So, have any of you with suggestions used them and they worked?


01-16-2009, 06:43 AM
We used some mats under ours until the packing was found. They worked fine. They are 2' x 2' "puzzle" peices about 3/4" thick. We got them at WallMart.

I put them under the washer and dryer and trimmed them so they didn't show.

Pearce Services
01-16-2009, 06:59 AM
Another issue is when installed on a second floor. When on the first floor, the joists are on foundation walls, but the second floor is supported by 2x4 walls that are more willing to transfer vibration.

I built a box that worked well, not perfect. I framed a wall 12" high and ran it around the perimeter of the area where the washer and dryer would be installed, so basically a four sided 34"x72" frame, on that I installed rubber from a conveyor belt on the top plates of the frame.

I then made a 2x4 framed platform with a plywood floor to lay over the frame. This basically raised the machines making it easier to use them, and it created a way to absorb most of the vibration. I faced the 12" front wall with a 15-1/4" piece of plywood to cover the framing, and capture the platform, (I think I should have installed rubber on the part of the plywood that meets the platform). I covered the floor with linoleum, and a chrome stair edge that hid the transition between the sheets of plywood. I hope this made sense.

01-17-2009, 07:19 AM
Do you have bridging in the floor. I know that most engineers will tell you it is useless until you get into deep joists, but it does do an effective job of dampening vibration inf a floor system.

Another idea might be to use isolation mounts like are used to hang air-handlers in attics. I don't know the aesthetics of the appliance install, but that might be a consideration. HVAC suppliers should have them, for a variety of applications.

01-17-2009, 07:51 AM
I actually just bought a new frontload set (LG). Do you have the bases (drawers) underneath? I was going to buy these for my mainfloor laundryroom and the store (my neighbour owns) said definately NOT on an upper floor. They vibrate like CRAZY apparently. He said they are fine on a basement/slab floor.

He said one of the things is the high speed that they spin at. Maybe they were in the basement or on a slab in the previous house?

They other thing may be that they are overloading the washer.


01-17-2009, 08:40 AM
Almost certainly the shipping bolts did not get removed.

01-17-2009, 09:03 AM
Almost certainly the shipping bolts did not get removed.

The machine seems to be set up right (it was in use in their prior home) so I'm thinking is just finding how to stop the vibration.

Wasn't new- shouldn't be bolts unless it always did it

01-17-2009, 02:22 PM
We had the whirlpool/Kenmore one in a house, shook the chandelier below so much that the glass tinkled!
This occasioned a great conversation about how to add a little floating slab, we were thinking HVAC vibe pads, then two layers of Durock glued together with squishy glue, maybe another set of pads...
As a first step we removed the 'riser drawer' accessory things, no problem since then.

01-19-2009, 08:06 AM
My Frigidare front load ( one of the first) & (I think) Kenmore are the same vibrated bad, found shocks that support the drum were broke and needed replacement . I replaced and put a rubber shower mat ( weaved rubber) under it also. No more moving around and a lot less vibration. My floor is 2 x 10 , 16" o/c , 3/4 fir sub. 3/8 'pro board' underlay and laminate flooring. And yes, you have to really look for all the shipping bolts and blocks to remove them.

01-29-2009, 09:56 PM
The best solution to this problem is to buy a new Samsung
washer with VRT (vibration reduction technology)
Installed this one after experiencing the vibrating the whole
house scenario Now just a small vibration at the start of the
spin cycle I believe any reinforcement of the floor will make it even

02-02-2009, 08:04 PM
I second the notion that it may be the washer. I have a new front loader that replaced the old front loader, on the SECOND floor and neither had much vibration at all - Except when the shocks failed on the the first one and then it gradually went bad. I left it long enough that the main bearing in the back failed and I had to replace the washer. There is a know tendency for the 1st generation shock absorbers to fail prematurely, creating ever increasing vibration. They are relatively cheap and easy for someone handy to install. Install them yourself and bill the customer if that fixes it.

Perhaps even more importantly, the shipping bolts must be re-installed when moving it - and I would guess that like 95% of the time nobody has or thinks to reinstall the shipping bolts. The damage from moving it is quite possibly causing the problem.

Having said that, some machines do vibrate on 2nd floors. Although it is a lot of work perhaps the machine could be temporarily set up on a more stable surface to see if it is the washer or the floor. The anti vibration pads / feet do help.

02-04-2009, 02:27 PM
another thing to keep in mind, dont overload these washers. they dont take big loads as good as a conventional washer.

02-04-2009, 04:59 PM
Here's a pic of a laundry base that went into an old closet, in lieu of the factory base. The W/D were bolted to the base, the frame is completely isolated from the walls and we placed a post and beam directly underneath the unit. She purrs like a kitten.