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Front loading washer

We purchased a front loading washer for our son & his wife. They have an older home (1920-30). They have renovated the 2nd floor & made a laundry room up there. When they used the washer, apparently the vibration when it was spinning shook the whole house. They were told this always occurs when installing a front loading washer on upper levels of a house. They really want an Energy Star appliance & cannot use it as it is now. Has anyone found a solution to this problem other than moving it to the basement?

A. Spruce
Re: Front loading washer

Question, are the appliances installed on pedestals or are they on the floor? Were they installed level?

We recently researched and purchased new laundry equipment as well. My recommendation to anyone looking at new equipment is to contact a repair/parts supplier and speak to them directly about pro's and con's of the different brands and models. When you go to a retailer, you're only getting the sales pitch, you're not getting useful information about the machines.

It was from a parts/repair house that we were informed that the #1 problem with front load machines is vibration, and the majority of the time it was because the machines were mounted on pedestals. Pedestals have flex and movement that will amplify any vibration and movement of the machine. If the machine is out of level, that can also cause more severe vibrational issues (physics of mass in motion ).

Hope that helps. :)

Re: Front loading washer

Thanks for the reply. They do not have the platforms but their contractor built an elevated section for their placement. I'm sure they were leveled but perhaps the built platform is out of sync. THEY HAVE ORDERED SOME ABSORPTION PADS & HOPE THAT THIS WILL SOLVE THE PROBLEM. It seems with older homes, nothing goes as planned.

A. Spruce
Re: Front loading washer
seauu wrote:

Thanks for the reply. They do not have the platforms but their contractor built an elevated section for their placement. I'm sure they were leveled but perhaps the built platform is out of sync.

As a test, I'd take them off the elevated area and run them.

Re: Front loading washer

I think the reason this happens is that in a front-loader, it's nigh unto impossible to balance the load. Gravity will always cause the clothes to favor one side of the tub when the spin cycle starts.

It seems to me that the designers could engineer some kind of counterweight system to counterbalance the load in the washer. This would be rather complex, since the weight would have to be able to move in or out or rotate relative to the weight of the clothes.

In a second floor laundry room, I advocate installing a drain pan under the washer. Few things can ruin your day like coming home to a flood! This might even get you a break on your homeowner's insurance.

Re: Front loading washer

Well having owned a front loader for three years and having it in my basement I obviously haven't had any issues. I did research this before hand and I'm glad I chose the "hassle" of locating them on my basement floor as opposed to the first floor we were considering.

I have read and spoken with many other "front load families" about this issue and it can happen in a brand new house as well. The front loader does attempt to "balance" the load by spinning slowly at first until it gets up to speed, if it is very unbalanced the machine will stop itself otherwise damage might occur (at least with my Whirlpool model).

I would recommend removing any sort of "shelf/pedestal" that was built out of wood, certainly the carpenter did an admirable job but he probably didn't understand the loads that would be applied to his work. I would get the laundry area back to the basic structure, reinforce the joists underneath with 2x material and then build up layers of plywood and/or cement board. Any type of elevated platform is just going to amplify the problem. You want the machine on as firm and heavy a base as possible. Every gap in between joists that isn't screwed tightly will just act as a spring.

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