How To Immobilize A Front-Loading Washing Machine To Protect It From Damage During Moving

Posted on: 10 August 2015

Moving most large appliances is a matter of grunt work, but it also requires that finesse and care be exercised during the packing, loading, transport and unloading processes. Some appliances are more susceptible than others to being damaged during a move, and this is particularly true with front-load washing machines. Unlike their top-loading cousins that contain a drum fixed firmly on top of a motorized shaft, front-loading washers suspend the clothes drum inside the machine's cabinet. It is held in a balanced position by a finely-tuned system of springs, counterweights and other flexible attachment points. Jolts, jars and shocks can cause significant disruptions to this arrangement, and the washer may require expensive repairs to fix the damage. That's why you should properly prepare the washer in-advance to prevent it from being damaged:

Tools and materials needed

  • Ratchet and socket set

  • Nut driver set

  • Screwdrivers

  • Adjustable pliers

  • Cable ties

  • Pillows and blankets

  • Work gloves

  • Paper and pen or marker

  • Packing tape

Step-by-step procedure

1. Disconnect the washer's power supply and water hoses - before performing any work on your washing machine, be sure to unplug the power cord from the wall outlet. Washing machines contain unprotected electrical components inside the cabinet, and you could receive a serious shock, particularly if you get wet or are standing in water while working.

In addition, disconnect the hoses from the wall and the washing machine, too. Turn off the valves controlling the flow of hot water and cold water into the machine, and turn the hose connectors counterclockwise to remove them. You will probably need to use a pair of adjustable pliers to remove the tight connections. However, be careful not to twist too tightly, or you could damage the threads on the machine.

Once you remove the hoses, it's a good time to take a few seconds to inspect them for signs of wearing, bulging or fraying. Discard worn-out hoses and purchase new ones at a home improvement center or hardware store; the last thing you want to have happen at your new home is flooding due to a burst hose. If your hoses are still in usable condition, bind them together with a cable tie and place them inside the machine's drum for storage during the move.

2. Remove the back of the cabinet - after the washing machine is disconnected from both power and water, locate the back panel screws and remove them with an appropriately-sized socket, nut driver or screwdriver, depending upon the specific fastener type used. Place the screws in your pocket or in another safe location.

Once the screws are removed, put on your work gloves to protect your hands from sharp sheet metal edges. Gently pull back the washing machine panel while lifting upward; the panel should come free unless you missed a screw. Set the panel aside where it won't be dented or bent.

3. Immobilize the drum - front-loading washing machines are shipped with immobilizer screws, but these are often removed and discarded during the installation process. However, you can safely immobilize the drum by inserting pillows and blankets into the spaces surrounding the drum. Be sure to use only washable pillows and blankets since they may be exposed to grease or dirt inside the machine.

Strategically place pillows and blankets into gaps both above and below the drum. Do not force these items into tight spaces, or you may dislodge springs or other components. Continue adding pillows and blankets while periodically testing the drum for movement. Once the drum will not bounce or jostle easily, you have added enough material to protect it.

4. Complete the job - after immobilizing the drum, replace the back panel on the washer. Wrap a couple of turns of packing tape around the end of the electrical cord prongs and tape a sign to the front of the washer door warning that the unit is immobilized. This will prevent someone from accidentally attempting to use the washing machine while it still contains pillows and blankets inside the cabinet.

If you want, you could save yourself some time by having professional packing services help you out.


Moving to the Dream Home

I’m a middle aged person who still needs to save money for a couple of more years before moving into this coveted piece of real estate. For many people, moving into a dream home comes later in life. By the time many people are able to achieve this goal, they already have young or older children living in their homes. Planning a move with children can be challenging, stressful, and time consuming. Making numerous trips from a current residence to a new home in a vehicle laden with belongings and children can be a disaster. For this reason, you should consider hiring a moving company to assist you with a pending move. On this blog, you will learn about the benefits of hiring a moving company to do the heavy lifting for you.