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  • Front load washer vibration

    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!

  • #2
    Re: Front load washer vibration

    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
    Last edited by philthegreek; 01-14-2009, 11:15 PM.
    It's better to try and fail, than fail to try.

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    • #3
      Re: Front load washer vibration

      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.

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      • #4
        Re: Front load washer vibration

        http://www.frontloadtoad.com/shop/ar...1%26aid%3D1%26

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        • #5
          Re: Front load washer vibration

          That's a good idea Andrew.

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          • #6
            Re: Front load washer vibration

            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.

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            • #7
              Re: Front load washer vibration

              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.
              Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
              Website - Facebook

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              • #8
                Re: Front load washer vibration

                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.
                It's better to try and fail, than fail to try.

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                • #9
                  Re: Front load washer vibration

                  Originally posted by David Meiland View Post
                  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.
                  Drew

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                  • #10
                    Re: Front load washer vibration

                    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.
                    Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
                    Website - Facebook

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                    • #11
                      Re: Front load washer vibration

                      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?

                      Thanks

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                      • #12
                        Re: Front load washer vibration

                        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.
                        Drew

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                        • #13
                          Re: Front load washer vibration

                          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.
                          Kevin

                          www.BadcoDoors.com

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                          • #14
                            Re: Front load washer vibration

                            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.
                            Mike
                            www.thehousewrightllc.com

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                            • #15
                              Re: Front load washer vibration

                              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.

                              scott

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