Prepping a washing machine for a move
Whether it’s a front-load or a top-load washing machine, it’s important to make sure it’s ready before the moving truck arrives.
We recommend starting the process a few weeks ahead of time. 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 consultant it and read 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 person may be able to order one for you.
Moving a Washer: Step-by-step How-to
For both top loader washing machines and front-loaders, follow the same directions (unless the owner's manual instructs otherwise):
- Clean the washing machine. Run the empty machine through a normal wash cycle on hot. Instead of using detergent, use bleach or white vinegar. This cleans the drum and drain lines of detergent residue. Now, leave the lid open for 24 hours to allow it to dry.
- Shut off water supply. You should be able to do this by turning the hot and cold water supply valves clockwise. They are located behind the washing machine.
- Turn off power to the washing machine. You’ll do this from your home’s electrical panel.
- Unplug the washing machine.
- Disconnect the hoses from the valves. You’ll need a bucket handy in case water is still present in the hoses, and slip-joint pliers for removing the hoses. 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.
- Disconnect the hoses from the washing machine. You’ll need slip-joint pliers for this, too.
- Remove drain hose from the back of the washer. This will depend on the type of washer you have – if it’s a spring clamp, you’ll squeeze the tabs together with your fingers. If it’s a screw-type clamp, you’ll remove the clamp with a screwdriver.
- Clean the outside of the washing machine.
- 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. If you no longer have the washer locks that originally came with your washer, you will need to purchase some. Contact the manufacturer to purchase them.
- Tape the lid closes and tape cords to the back of the washer. This helps you avoid a tripping hazzard on moving day.
- Wrap in moving blankets and/or paper padding. This will protect the washing machine from scratches while it's being moved into and out of your home.
Moving a Washer: Moving and Loading
Use a dolly and get a friend to help you place it on the dolly. Once it's on, strap it down to keep it secured while it's moving into the container or trailer. Then, 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.
If you have other questions about packing a washer or other appliances, just leave a comment below.