6 Reasons Your Washing Machine Is Off Balance (+Fix)

Does your washing machine constantly vibrate and shake during the wash cycle? If so, it is off balance. And it is a problem that you can’t ignore, so I’m here to help you with ways to fix it.

Your washing machine might be off balance due to uneven clothes distribution. In such a case, you must pause the cycle and distribute the clothes evenly throughout the drum. Placing the machine on a bumpy surface can also make it off balance. To fix this, you must adjust the legs of your washer.

In this article, I will help you figure out why your washing machine is off balance. I will also equip you with a step-by-step process to fix the issue. So, keep reading.

Check out our list of top-handpicked products for all your electrical, appliance, and HVAC system needs to keep your home running smoothly.

This post includes some affiliate links.

Why is my washing machine off balance? (+Fix) 

A washing machine might be off balance due to many reasons.

Although I didn’t experience this personally, my mom did.

I had to research and find out why this was happening and help my mom fix this.

And that is what I am going to help you with too.

Here are all the possible reasons behind your washing machine going off balance.

1. Undistributed load

When loading the clothes inside the washing machine, ensure they are evenly distributed.

Clothes dumped on one side and emptied on the other cause the washing machine to become off balance.

At this stage, the washer will produce an unusual noise indicating the issue.

This issue is common in the top-loading washing machine, where the clothes are swirled around the agitator.

Then it becomes important to check if the clothes are evenly distributed around the drum.

Here is how you can fix this issue:

  • Pause the cycle immediately after hearing the rumbling noise from the washing machine.
  • Open the lid of the washer; you will notice the clothes bumped at one side of the washer, putting the weight on one particular side. It causes an imbalance in the washing machine.
  • Now you must redistribute the clothes evenly throughout the washer’s drum. Put heavy clothes like jeans on one side and balance the other side with the same amount of clothes.
  • Make sure to let large clothes like bedsheets and towels wash alone in a single load as they tend to settle in one area during the wash cycle.
  • Remove the clothes swirled around the agitator and distribute them throughout the drum. Agitators are in the middle of the top loading washer, letting the washer rotate the drum. The clothes swirled around the agitator, causing the washer to be imbalanced.
  • If the water is overloaded with clothes, it will also cause the washing machine to go off balance. If that is the case, remove some of the clothes from the washer. Run the washing cycle with the remaining clothes. Run the removed clothes in the second cycle.

2. Bumpy surface

It is important to place the washer on a flat surface.

If you place it on a bumpy surface, the wash cycle will be disturbed and cause the washing machine to go off balance.

Placing the washer on an uneven surface will cause damage to its internal parts.

In such a case, the legs of the washer will need to be adjusted, or you have to relocate it to a flat surface.

You can also keep the vibration absorber under the washer to prevent it from vibrating and shaking. 

Here is how you can deal with the issue:

  • Move the washing machine backward, and inspect the legs of the washer.
  • Check if all the legs of the washer are of the same length. When these legs are uneven, they tend to shake and cause imbalance. Make sure their length is the same; even a slight difference is not okay.
  • If you find the legs uneven, take a wrench to adjust them. Locate the nut to wrench it to shorten or extend the legs. Rotate the leg counterclockwise to extend and clockwise to shorten them.
  • Sometimes the legs may be rusted, making it difficult to shorten or extend. In that case, tap the wrench firmly to adjust them. 

While doing these, ask someone to help you in the process. 

3. Faulty shock absorbers

You can locate the shock absorbers between the tub and the base frame of the washer.

They are useful in reducing the vibration and unnecessary movement of the washer’s tub during the wash cycle.

You must replace it if you find it leaking and not connected at the ends.

Here is how you can fix the issue:

  • Disconnect the power supply from the washing machine.
  • Move away the washing machine from the wall, and elevate the front side of the washing machine to locate the screws to remove them.
  • Remove the front panel by removing the screws and securing it with the washing machine.
  • After removing the front panel, you can locate the two shock absorbers in the base of the washer with a locking tab.
  • You must press the tab and release it out of the shock absorbers.
  • Keep a wrench handy to release the shock absorbers by pushing it at an angle of 90 degrees. Now you can easily remove the shock absorber.
  • After removing the faulty shock absorbers, you can fix the new ones in their place. Fix the shock absorbers in the position, and connect them with the arrowhead in the opening.
  • Use a wrench, and position it in an upper position. Please don’t keep it in a wide position as it will damage the top side of the absorbers. 
  • Use a wrench to lock it in 90 degrees and push the base of the shock absorbers in the brackets. 
  • Finally, fix the locking tab back into place.

4. Faulty driver bearings

Driver bearings can be located at the center of the tub spindle and the motor.

It helps to keep the washing machine in balance.

Sometimes worn-out driver bearings will cause the washing machine to be out of balance.

In such a case, you must replace the bearing. 

Follow this step-by-step process to replace the driver bearing:

  • Begin by disconnecting the electricity and both cold and hot water supply. Remove the hoses from the washer to disconnect the water supply.
  • Locate the screws securing the front panel with the washer. Remove the front panel to access the inner parts. 
  • After removing the front panel, pull out the belt, securing the large pulley and drum. This belt keeps the large pulley and drum attached to the drive motor.
  • Disconnect the wires and hoses from the drum housing.
  • Remove the shock absorbers and springs holding the drum in place.
  • Now you can lift the drum and disconnect it from the washer. Keep the drum in a safer place.
  • Using a wrench, remove the bolts securing the large pulley shaft. Now detach the pulley completely.
  • Remove the motor clamps by unscrewing the bolts to separate the drum. 
  • Next, keep the screwdriver handy to disconnect the ground wire by removing the connecting screws.
  • At this stage, you need help from your housemates to hold the drum. And disconnect the drive shaft.
  • Disconnect the stator and keep it in a secured place.
  • Disconnect and remove the armature from the drum housing. Keep the armature in a safer place.
  • Using a wrench, separate the half side of the housing. Pull the rubber seal out. 
  • You can locate the bearing with the drive shaft. Sprinkle the penetrating liquid on the bearing to make it easy to Remove.
  • Remove the bearing out of the cavity using a screwdriver.
  • Clean the bearing cavity to wipe out all the rust and dirt. 
  • Now replace the new bearing in the cavity. Using a hammer, tap until the bearing sits well in the cavity.
  • Place the inner bearing by following the same way. 
  • After fixing the bearing, reassemble the machine by following the same procedure. Consider referring to the user manual while reassembling the machine.

And if all these seem overwhelming, you can call an expert to do this for you.

5. Faulty suspension springs

You can find suspension springs on all types of washers.

They hold the tub above the basement.

In the long run, they might have loosened or worn out. 

If they have worn out, you have to replace the spring.

Here is how you can replace the suspension springs:

  • Begin by disconnecting the electricity.
  • Disconnect the cold and hot water hoses by rotating them counterclockwise.
  • Using a screwdriver, remove the screws holding the top-loading lid.
  • Next, locate the brackets on the back side of the washing machine. Push the brackets upwards and pull them outwards to remove them from the machine.
  • Again use a screwdriver of 9.5 mm to remove the screws securing the wiring cover of the washing machine. Remove it and keep it aside.
  • Remove the top panel of the washer. Lift the top panel and keep it in a safe place. 
  • After removing the top panel, you can locate the suspension springs inside the machine. 
  • Pull the spring to let it come out of the plastic hook. 
  • After the spring is detached, remove the rod. 
  • You can remove the rod from the base of the washer.
  • Attach the new rod the same way you detach the old rod.
  • Push the rod to the joint hole from the bottom of the machine. And secure the rod there.
  • Attach the spring to the rod and make sure they fit in the right way.
  • Reassemble the top panel and wiring cover back. 
  • Run the machine and ensure it is back to a balanced state.

6. A faulty snubber ring

A snubber ring is commonly found on the top-loading washing machine.

It acts as a cushion for the washer tub. 

If they are damaged or worn out, the washer tub will touch the base of the washer. 

It will not only lead to a noisy washer but also affect the cycle by causing the washer to become imbalanced. 

In such a case, you must replace the snubber ring.

  • Disconnect the electric supply from the washer to prevent yourself from electric hazards.
  • Unscrew the 2 bolts, which you can find at the base of the front panel.
  • Now remove the front panel by unscrewing the bolt that holds the front to the washer. 
  • Undo the screws to lift the top panel from the washing machine. To separate the top panel, detach the switch wires.
  • Now you can easily lift the top panel from the washer. Keep it aside.
  • As a next step, access the tub inside the washer. Move it towards you and locate the suspension springs. Remove the suspension springs and keep them aside.
  • With the help of a wood block, elevate the dome.
  • Keep a steel hook handy to push the faulty snubber ring out of the washer.
  • Install the new snubber ring. Make sure that the arrow is pointed up while installing the snubber ring.
  • After fixing the snubber ring, lift down the elevated dome.
  • Now reinstall the removed suspension springs. 
  • Fix the washer’s top panel and screw the bolts using a screwdriver.
  • Connect the switch wires which you disconnected while dismantling the top panel.
  • Reinstall the front access panel by securing it with the screws.
  • Now it’s time to reinstall the front panel. Fix the front panel in the position, and secure it with the screws using a screwdriver.
  • Secure the base of the front panel with the screws you removed.
  • Finally, plug the washing machine into an electric outlet and Turn on the electricity.

Run the washing machine to check if it is well balanced now.

How much does it cost to fix an imbalanced washing machine?

The cost of repairing the imbalanced washer depends on the issue in your washer. 

It also varies based on whether you hire a professional or do it yourself.

The average cost ranges from $150-400.

Can an imbalanced washing machine cause damage?

An imbalanced washing machine vibrates and produces a loud noise, affecting the washing quality.

It also affects the internal parts, which can lead to hazards. 

An imbalanced washing machine will not clean the clothes as it used to. 

After loading the clothes in an imbalanced washer, you must wash them one more time to make them look fresh and clean.

Final thoughts

Overloading your washing machine will reduce its efficiency and make it off balance. Pay attention to the unusual behavior when you see your washing machine vibrating.

Once you inspect the machine and find the issue, fix it by referring to the step-by-step process mentioned in the article. You can fix most of the issues by yourself. Call a professional to fix the issue if you find it too technical.

Also read: Can You Run A Washing Machine With A Generator?

Reference: APPLIANCE STANDARDS AWARENESS PROJECT, LG Official Guide, Kenmore User manual.

Sharing is caring!

Jeniffer Smith

Hi, I am Jeniffer Smith, a housemaker and blogger, and I grew up in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. I have been researching and fixing appliances and other things around the home and kitchen from a young age to help my single mother. Every time something went wrong, I couldn't rest until I fixed it. And ever since, I have enjoyed fixing things around my home, and I am always ready to help my friends and family with advice and hands-on help. Since we were always looking for affordable ways of fixing things, we rarely hired experts and tried to fix most things ourselves. That interest brought me to write for this blog, as I realized my knowledge could help many people trying to fix things around their homes on their own without spending hundreds of dollars.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts