Moving a washing machine is no small feat, and knowing the average weight gives you an idea of what you're facing. The typical mid-sized, top-loading washer weighs about 150 pounds, while a mid-sized front-loader can be closer to 200 to 250 pounds. This weight varies depending on factors such as the machine's size, capacity or type. The wash water is another matter.
If a washing machine wasn't at least a bit heavy, it'd practically dance across the floor with all the movement going on inside when it's in operation. Manufacturers include concrete counterweights in washers to control movement and for balance, and these can weigh upward of 55 pounds.
Heavyweights: Front-Loaders Vs Top-Loaders
Common washer capacity size ranges from about 3.9 to 5.1 cubic feet with a popular width being 27 inches, regardless of whether the machine opens on top or in the front. Using the median point of 4.5 cu ft -- or any size you're interested in knowing more about -- compare a few front- and top-loading styles; for example:
Top Loader Models:
- GE GTAN2800DWW -- 155 pounds
- LG WT4970CW -- 147 pounds
- Samsung WA45H7000AW -- 126 pounds
Front Loader Models:
- Whirlpool WFW95HEDC -- 244 pounds
- GE GFWS2600FWW -- 243 pounds
- LG WM4270HVA -- 200 pounds
You'll notice that front-load washers often trend heavier than top-loaders. The difference may be that front-loading machines use less water, and therefore require more weight or counterweight for balance and movement control. If you're concerned about a washer's weight because of a home's iffy construction, for instance, don't forget that a machine's weight increases when it fills with water.
To find a specific washer's weight, refer to the manufacturer's specifications or dimensions chart.
One gallon of water weighs roughly 8.3 pounds. Considering this conversion, do the math: An old washer -- predating 1998 -- fills with about 40 gallons or 332 pounds of water to wash and rinse clothes, while a new standard model uses 27 gallons or 225 pounds, and the energy efficient ones just 14 gallons or 117 pounds -- or less. Granted, the machine fills and drains a couple of times, holding just parts of these water weights per cycle, but from a conservation standpoint, the less overall water use, the better.
On the Move
Your washer's weight only tells you so much about what to expect when you have to move it. Besides unplugging it and draining the machine's hoses, contemplate at least a few other basic tasks and requirements:
- Install the washer's shipping rod or locking kit, which includes bolts to keep important moving parts still, reducing the chance of damage in the process.
- Move the machine with a moving dolly, using straps to secure it.
- While walking the heavy washer over slopes or up or down a moving-truck's ramp, remain on the dolly's high side, following the machine down for safety -- your washing machine seems even heavier when gravitational force plays a part.
Lorna Hordos is a home-flipping business owner and freelance writer. She writes friendly, conversational business, home and lifestyle articles for Bizfluent, azcentral, Daltile, Marazzi, Lowes, Philips Lighting, WordPress.com and numerous other publications.