How to Balance a Front Load Washing Machine

The hum of the washing machine is one of the most common household noises of modern time. Babies fall asleep, homework gets done and family meals are eaten all to the comforting sound of its low-level vibration. That's why when that low-level noise suddenly changes, it is jarring on our ears and is the sign that something is not right. If you suddenly notice that your washing machine shakes violently during a spin cycle or generally makes a lot of noise, it may be the case that your washing machine is off balance.

Woman loading laundry to the washing machine
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How to Balance a Front Load Washing Machine

It is important to balance your washing machine during installation and, if necessary, rebalance again later. An unbalanced washer does not clean or drain clothes properly. Balancing or rebalancing your washer also helps prevent damage to the machine and extends its life.

Check If the Washing Machine Is Balanced

First, use a level to determine whether your washing machine is balanced and to eliminate other causes of excessive noise. Place a level across the top front of the washing machine and see if the bubble is in the center of the level or not. Then, move the level and position it across the top back of the washer and note the position of the bubble again. Turn the level 90 degrees, place it along the top side and finally place the level on the opposite top side. You will have four readings of levelness. If the bubble is not in the center of the level on one or all readings, the washing machine is out of balance.

Check for Objects Underneath the Washer

Check for obvious reasons that your machine might be off balance. It might be as simple as removing a foreign object from underneath it. Some machines have "packaging support" underneath the machine that needs to be removed prior to installation. An LG front load washer comes with packaging support that "fits up into the machine and nestles against the bottom of the tub" If it's not removed, your washer will vibrate more than needed and may come off balance.

Finally, check that there aren't any foreign objects underneath the feet of the machine.

Leveling an Unbalanced Washer

If you made sure there is nothing underneath the washer, it may be that it is sitting on an unleveled surface. In that case, you will have to adjust the washing machine's feet to level it.

Tip the front loader back and place a piece of wood under the edge to support the tilted washing machine. This allows you to access the leveling feet. Leveling feet are threaded pieces of metal with a flat base. The threaded end passes through the washing machine housing while the flat end rests on the floor.

Depending on the type of leveling feet on your washing machine, you may need to unfasten the locking nut first to turn the feet. Turn the adjustable feet in or out to raise or lower the height of the machine, using your hand. When you're done, tighten the locknut using the appropriate tool.

Place the level back onto the front-loading washing machine and, using the same method as described above, make sure it is level. If the bubble is not in the center, adjust the leveling feet again. Keep in mind that even a quarter of the turn of the leveling feet can make a difference.