When your Whirlpool washer goes into the spin cycle to remove the water from the laundry, there is usually some noise and slight vibration. This is a normal part of the process of cleaning your clothes. However, when the machine begins to vibrate and shake violently, causing a loud disturbance, it is a problem that could damage your machine or floors. Often the problem causing this vibration requires only a simple fix. Following a few tips to diagnose and fix your machine yourself will help you get back to doing your laundry quickly.
The best way to determine the cause of shaking and vibration in your washer is to start with the simple. When the washer vibrates, it is because the drum inside is spinning the load at a rapid rate. The gravitational force on the load pushes the clothes against the outside of the drum, which then pushes on the washer. If the majority of the load weight is on one side of the washer, it throws the machine off balance during the spin cycle and makes it shake.
Avoid washing single items if possible, because this naturally makes the load unbalanced. Mixing variously sized and weighted garments allows for an even load distribution, according to Whirlpool.com. When loads are balanced in the washer, there may be no need for any repairs.
For the spin cycle to run smoothly without any shaking, it is necessary for the washer to be sitting on a level surface. However, even if the floor is completely level, the legs supporting the machine may not be. Luckily, this is easily fixed.
If you can rock the machine back and forth even the slightest bit when it is turned off, then the legs need to be adjusted. Using a level on top of the washer will provide the most accurate test, according to Whirlpool.com. If the washer is not level, then prop the unit up on a block and use a wrench to adjust the legs until it is perfectly level. Generally the legs raise and lower with clockwise and counter-clockwise turns.
Your washer may shake and vibrate because the shocks that dampen the energy of the spinning drum and spread the energy evenly across the machine are weak. Just like shocks on cars, they do not last forever. This repair may require the assistance of a repair worker, but if you purchase the correct replacement part you can to do it yourself.
Locate the access panel, usually found on the front of the washer, depending on the model of your Whirlpool. Check if one of the four shocks around the tub has come loose at the connector tabs or if there is oil leaking around the shaft of a shock. If one has come loose, reattach it. If there is oil around the shaft of the shock, the part likely needs to be replaced, according to ApplianceJunk.com.
Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.