A washing machine is among the essential appliances that you use in your daily life. It makes washing your clothes easy. But if the washing machine’s drum is loose and makes noise during the spinning, it can get annoying.
A worn drum, an unleveled washing machine, an overloaded drum, or a broken rear drum might be the reasons behind a loose drum in your washer. To fix these problems, check the inner and outer parts of your washing machine to find the exact reason for the loose drum, and fix the issue accordingly.
In this article, I will explain the exact reasons and fixes for loose drum problems in a washing machine. So, keep reading.
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Why is my washer drum loose?
These are some reasons why a washing machine drum might be loose.
1. Worn dampening straps
The dampening straps hold the tub inside the washing machine.
The 4 dampening straps are located in 4 corners of the washing and help reduce the drum’s vibration due to spinning.
If any of the 4 straps are worn out or damaged, the drum will loosen up, and you have to replace all four.
2. Damaged suspension springs
The suspension springs hold the washing machine’s outer tub when loaded with clothes.
They are located at the base of the top-loaded washing machine and the top or the side frame of the front-loaded washing machine.
If they are worn, or one of the springs is damaged, you should replace all the springs to avoid losing the washing machine drum.
3. Damaged shock absorbers
The shock absorber is located between the outer tab and the base frame.
The drum has two tubs, outer and inner.
The outer tub secures the inner tab, and the inner tab helps in washing the clothes.
The base frame is located behind the washing machine.
It holds the gearbox and motor.
The shock absorber helps move the inner drum smoothly, but if the drum is losing and making a loud noise, there might be problems with the shock absorbers.
4. Broken drum bearings
Drum bearings are small metal rings that help to spin the drum.
It is located behind the drum of a front-loaded drum and the bottom of the top-loaded drum.
But for long uses, the bearings can wear out or be broken.
And this can cause a loose drum.
5. The washing machine isn’t level
Sometimes, an unleveled or unbalanced washing machine can cause a loose drum issue in the washing machine.
If the washing machine isn’t leveled according to the surface or the locknuts on the base of the legs, the drum will get loose.
6. The drum screw is loose
The drum of the washing machine is held by some screws.
And you can access the screws from the back side of the washing machine.
If the screws aren’t tightened up, the drum can be loose and make loud noise during spinning.
6 ways to fix loose drum in a washing machine
Here is how you can fix the loose drum.
1. Replace worn dampening straps
If the dampening straps of your washing machine are worn out, you should replace them with new dampening straps.
To do that, you have to follow the below directions:
- The first step is disconnecting your washing machine’s power and water supply.
- Now, unscrew the control panel.
- Once the screws are removed, move the control panel slightly forward and slide it sideways to the left.
- Now disconnect the panel wire harness and the clips on the wire harness.
- Once it is done, take a couple of spring clips that are 3 inches in size and depress them in the top space of the front panel. Now pull out the front panel and take it aside.
- Now you find two screws that secure the top of the washing machine cabinet, unscrew them using a quarter screwdriver.
- Slide the top of the cabinet forward, gently lift it and set it aside.
- Now, look through the top of the cabinet. You can find 4 dampening straps on 4 each corner. To replace one of the dampening straps, you must replace all 4 dampening straps.
- Take a hex-inch head screwdriver, remove the screw that holds the dampening strap to the tub, and lift the strap off. Also, unscrew the screw attached to the cabinet mount near the cabinet wall.
- Now remove the old strap from the tub and put the new dampening strap in the black cabinet mount. Make sure it is seated fully, then lock the tab into the cabinet through a rectangular slot. Push it up, tilt it into place, and hold and screw it. Make sure you don’t over-tighten it. And now, do the same with all 4 dampening straps.
- Finally, reinstall all the parts.
2. Replace the suspension spring
If your washing machine is balanced, but the drum inside the washing machine is shaking, there must be an issue with the suspension springs.
In this case, you should replace the suspension spring.
Before replacing the suspension spring, you have to access it.
- To access the suspension spring, you must remove the washing machine’s front panel because the springs are located behind it.
- We have to tip back the top panel assembly to remove the front panel.
- Before lifting the top, use a piece of tape to prevent the lid from opening.
- Now use a putty knife to press in and release the clip that holds the top panel in place and do the same for the other side.
- Now you can tip back to the top.
- Now, look through the top inside the machine.
- You can find two screws that hold the top panel. You have to loosen and remove these screws.
- Use a screwdriver to loosen up and remove the two screws.
- Once the screws are removed, tilt the front panel forward and lift it. And that’s the way you can remove it from the washing machine. Now take it aside.
- Once the front panel is removed, you can see the six suspension springs at the machine’s base.
- Now remove the springs. To do so, use a pair of locking pliers, simply grab on the springs, lock it in place, and now pull up, and that’s how you can take the spring out of its mounting.
- Then you need to rotate the spring slightly from the bottom, and you can pull it out of its mouth.
- To install the new spring, add a dab of grease to the bottom of the spring, install it in the cabinet or the mouth hole, and rotate it around until the ends come out.
- After it, use a pair of locking pliers to grab onto the spring, then carefully pull it up and put it in position.
- Now reinstall the front panel, the top panel, and all the other parts.
3. Replace the shock absorbers
The shock absorbers help the inner drum move smoothly.
But if the drum is loosened up, you must check the shock absorbers once.
And if you see the shock absorber or absorbers damaged, you must replace them.
To replace the shock absorber, you can follow the steps:
- Disconnect the wire from the main and the hoses.
- Take two blocks and place them under the washing machine. To do that, you must tilt its backside.
- Take a nut driver and remove the bottom access panel by simply unscrewing the screws.
- Begin with the two outside ones first, then remove the center one last. You need to maintain the machine when removing the screws.
- Let the access panel drop, pull it away, and set it aside.
- Now you can access both front shock absorbers. They are attached to the base of the machine with a locking pin. The locking pin has a little lock tab on the side of it.
- To retract the locking tab first, you must press it in and tap the pin completely out of its socket.
- At the top portion of the shock absorber, you can find a little arrowhead fastening the twists into an opening in the bottom of the tub. Turn it 90 degrees by using a wrench and drop them out of the tub.
- Now reach into the access panel and depress the locking tab on the pin.
- Now remove the pins from the base brackets by using pliers and adjust them so you can catch one jaw with the pliers against the end of the pin and the opposite jaw against the mounting bracket on the bottom of the washing machine. Or you can use a large flat-blade screwdriver and get it in behind the head of the pin and depress the locking tab simultaneously.
- Once the pin is started to move, grasp it with the pliers and pull it out. Now discard the original pin.
- Once it is done, pull out the base of the shock absorbers of the bracket and turn the upper portion 90 degrees by using a wrench until it pops out of the opening.
- Now remove the old shock absorbers.
- To install the new shock absorber, position it on top, put the arrowhead opening, and then turn it 90 degrees clockwise.
- Now take the pin and push it into the opening till it lines it up. You can push it by hand.
- Do the same procedure on the right side of the base to replace another shock absorber.
- Now reinstall all the parts and structure it completely.
This completes the replacement procedure.
4. Replace the worn bearings
If the drum of the washing machine loses up, then the bearings must have a problem.
If the bearings are damaged or worn out from long use, you should replace them with new ones.
To replace the bearings, you need to follow these steps:
- Before starting anything, disconnect the washing machine from the mains and switch off the hoses.
- After disconnecting the machine, unscrew and remove the lid.
- Remove the soap drawer and disconnect the hoses on the back of the draw housing.
- Then lift the housing and move it out of the way.
- Next, remove the retaining spring holding the door seal to the front panel.
- Now remove the control panel and bottom access panel.
- Now remove the front panel by unscrewing it. To do that, you must also disconnect the door lock from the inside.
- Now check the bottom of the washing machine and disconnect the pressure chamber and hose from underneath the tub.
- Then check any other pipes connected to the front tub and disconnect them.
- Next, unscrew and remove the rear panel back side of the machine.
- Remove and disconnect the drum motor. If your machine is not a direct drive machine, remove the pulley and belt.
- Now disconnect all the electric connections. And also, check around the drum if you find any other connections and disconnect them.
- Take off any removal weights fitted to the tub. These can also be located at the bottom of the back.
- Remove the dumper pins connected to the dumper and pull them out. If the damper can be removed, disconnect the dumper at the other end.
- Remove the spring from the top of the cabinet and lift the drum out.
- Now place the drum on a mat or the floor. And unscrew all the bolts holding the two tubs of the drum together. If there are any clips, you also need to disconnect them.
- Now separate the two halves.
- Using a soft-face hammer or mallet, tap the end of the drum shaft to release it from the bearings. You may need a socket extension to push it out.
- Remove the heater from the tub so that you can lay the tub down flat.
- Use a screwdriver to pull the seal out of the tub. When the seal is removed, apply the penetrating fluid on the inner bearing to make it easier to remove.
- Turn the tub over and use the soft face hammer and drift to knock the inner bearing out of the tub. Now turn the tub back over to remove the outer bearing.
- After both bearings are removed, clean the housing before knocking on the new bearings.
- Now knock the bearing, and ensure you are applying pressure evenly around the side with a soft face hammer, not at the center until it is fully located.
- Now push the new seal into the bearing housing.
- Now lower the drum of the tub so that the shaft sits into the bearing.
- Then add the two halves correctly and reinstall the drum inside the machine frame. Also, reinstall other parts of the machine and set it properly.
5. Level the washing machine
If your washing machine is shaking when washing the clothes, there might be a leveling problem.
If the washer is not leveled up with the floor or is not set properly, it causes losing the drum.
To fix the issue, you first follow the steps:
- Take a spirit level and check the top of the washing machine to see if it is leveled.
- If the top of the machine is leveled, still your washing machine is shaking, then check the legs of the machine and raise the lower metal or rubber legs.
6. Tighten the drum screws
The loosened drum screws are also liable for a loose drum issue.
To fix the issue, you should tighten the screws.
To tighten the drum screws:
- Remove the rear panel of the washing machine.
- And then, you can get access to all the screws added to the drum.
- Tighten them up and attach the rear panel door.
These are all possible reasons and fixes for a loose drum washing machine. You just need to check your machine for which problem it is facing and then fix it according to the problem.
If you don’t want to face the problems the second time, you must avoid overloading and heavy weight loading inside the machine.
If you find the fixes difficult or think you cannot fix the washing machine, then you can call an expert. If your washing machine still faces a loose drum issue, you can buy a new one.
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Reference: LG Official Guide, Kenmore User manual, GE washer front load user manual, Maytag Front Load Washing Machine Official Troubleshooting Guide.