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Moving a Washer

October 27th, 2015 - 3:35 PM

How to move a washing machine

Whether you have a front-loader or a top-load washing machine, there’s a little work involved in preparing the washer for your move. Let’s talk through the steps for moving your washer.

moving a washer

Find the manual for your washer

Start thinking about moving your washer early. We recommend starting the process a few weeks ahead of moving day. That way, if you need to order parts, or if you have problems finding the owner's manual, you'll still have plenty of time to prepare it properly.

Speaking of owner's manual, the first thing you should do is consult it and find out the manufacturer's recommendations for moving. If you don't have the owner's manual, you should be able to Google the brand, model and “owner’s manual.”  For example, you might search for “Samsung WF520ABW/XAA owner’s manual” to find one online. If you still can’t find it, Manuals Online is a good resource. If that doesn't work, a local appliance repair shop may be able to order a manual for you.

Steps for moving a washer

For both top loader washing machines and front-loaders, follow the same directions (unless the owner's manual instructs otherwise – then follow your manual):

  1. Clean the washing machine. Run the empty machine through a normal wash cycle on hot. Instead of using detergent, use bleach or white vinegar to clean the drum and drain lines of detergent residue. To let it dry, leave the lid or door open for at least 24 hours.
  2. Shut off water supply. You should be able to do this by turning the hot and cold water supply valves clockwise. They’re usually located behind the washing machine on the wall. If you’re in a tight space, be careful to pull the washer out just enough to fit your hand behind it.  You don’t want to pull the lines loose.
  3. Turn off power to the washing machine. You’ll do this from your home’s electrical panel.
  4. Unplug the washing machine.
  5. Disconnect the hoses from the valves. You’ll need a bucket handy in case water is still present in the hoses. Using slip-joint pliers, remove and disconnect both the hot and cold water supply hoses from their valves. Make sure to disconnect just one at a time, and make sure to hold it upright to keep water from spilling out. Empty any remaining water into the bucket.
  6. Disconnect the hoses from the washing machine. You’ll need slip-joint pliers for this, too. Place the hoses inside the washer so they are kept with the washer during your move.
  7. Keep the drain hose attached. This gives any remaining water a place to go instead of it leaking out while in transit. Secure the drain hose upright to the washer using tape or plastic stretch wrap.
  8. Clean the outside of the washing machine.
  9. Install washer locks. This is where the instruction manual comes in handy. It will tell you how to prepare your specific washer for moving. You will need to install washer locks to keep the drum and other parts in place. Top-loaders usually involve wedging foam or cardboard between the drum and the case. On a front-loader, you’ll typically insert shipping bolts in the rear of the washer to secure the drum. If you no longer have the washer locks that originally came with your washer, you can purchase some from the manufacturer.
  10. Get the washer ready to move. Secure the lid using plastic stretch wrap, and attach cords to the back of the machine with tape. This helps you avoid a tripping hazard on moving day.
  11. Wrap the washer. Using moving blankets or paper padding, protect the washing machine from scratches while it's being moved into and out of your home.

Loading a washer

Since washers are heavy and bulky, you’ll want to grab a friend when the time comes to load it. Shimmy the washer away from the wall, and place a dolly behind it.  Tilt the washer back and slide the dolly underneath. Once it's securely on the dolly, strap it down to keep it safe while loading it into the container or trailer. Carefully wheel it out of your house and load it.

When it's placed inside the trailer, secure it well using rope or ratchet straps. If you load other items on top, make certain they aren't heavy items that could cause denting or other damage. Also, be mindful of the control panel.  If you have external knobs, you may want to avoid stacking items on top so you don’t damage the controls.

Have questions about moving a washer?

If you have other questions about packing a washer or other appliances, just leave a comment below. We’re happy to help.