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Moving a Washer

May 2nd, 2017 - 12:47 PM

Tips for moving a washing machine​

Whether you have a front-loading or a top-loading washing machine, there’s a little work involved in preparing it for a move. Since washing machines are important investments, you'll want to take care of yours so it works properly when it’s in your new house. Luckily, prepping and loading a washer is easy if you know what to expect. Learn how in just a few simple steps.

moving a washer

Start by finding the manual

Because every model is different, we recommend referencing your owner's manual to check the manufacturer's recommendations for moving. If you don't have the owner's manual, you should be able to search online for 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. And if that doesn't work, a local appliance repair shop may be able to order a manual for you.

Start thinking about how to move your washer at least a few weeks before moving day. That way, if you need to order parts, or have problems finding the owner's manual, you'll still have plenty of time to prepare it properly.

Gather supplies

Before you get started, make sure you have the proper supplies. You'll need:

  • Bleach or vinegar
  • Bucket or large bowl
  • Slip-joint pliers
  • Tape or plastic stretch wrap
  • Household cleaner
  • Washer locks or foam (to secure drum, depending on your instruction manual)
  • Moving blankets or paper padding
  • Dolly or hand truck
  • Rope or ratchet straps

How to move a washer

The following directions apply to both top-loader and front-loader washing machines (unless the owner's manual instructs otherwise — then follow your manual). If you're planning on storing your washer, these steps will prepare it for storage, as well.

The first several steps are just for unhooking and draining the washing machine. We recommend doing these in the listed order to avoid damage to the machine or injury to yourself. If you don't feel confident disconnecting and draining your washer, you can always hire a plumber or appliance technician.

  1. Clean it. Run the empty machine through a normal wash cycle on hot, using bleach or white vinegar to clean the drum and drain lines of detergent residue. Leave the door open for at least 24 hours to allow it to dry completely.
  2. Shut off water supply. These valves are usually located behind the washer on the wall. You may have to shimmy the washer out from the wall to reach behind, but be careful! You don't want to pull the lines loose — just move it enough to turn the supply valves off (typically done by turning them clockwise). 
  3. Turn off the power. Find the washer on your home's electrical panel and disable it.
  4. Unplug the washing machine. Follow the cord to the outlet, and unplug it.
  5. Disconnect and drain the hoses. Once the washing machine stops running, residual water will stay in the hoses. So before you continue, you’ll want to drain the water. Have a bucket or large bowl handy and use slip-joint pliers to disconnect both the hot and cold water supply hoses from the valves on the wall. Keep the hoses upright to keep water from spilling out, disconnect one at a time and empty any water into the bucket.
  6. Remove water hoses from the washing machine. Use slip-joint pliers to disconnect the hoses from the machine, and place them inside the washer so they aren’t misplaced during the move.
  7. Keep the drain hose attached. Secure the drain hose upright on the washer using tape or plastic stretch wrap. Keeping it attached gives any remaining water a place to go instead of leaking while in transit.
  8. Clean the outside of the machine. Use any household cleaner to remove dirt or dust.
  9. Install washer locks. Reference your instruction manual to learn how to keep the drum and other parts in place during your move. Top-loaders usually require you to wedge foam or cardboard between the drum and the case. For 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. Secure the parts. 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. Protect the washer. Use moving blankets or paper padding to protect the washing machine from scratches while it's being moved.

Steps for moving a dryer

Note: If you're unsure about shutting off and disconnecting the power supply or gas line when moving a dryer or other large appliance, always contact a professional utility service provider for help.

  1. Turn off power to the dryer. Again, you’ll do this from the electrical panel. Then, unplug the electrical cord.
  2. If you have a gas dryer, turn off the gas supply. There will typically be a small value on the dryer line to turn to the off position. If you can’t locate that, you can temporarily turn off the main supply for the home.
  3. Disconnect the dryer’s gas line (if applicable). Allow the room to air out for a few minutes. If it smells like gas after several minutes, make sure the main gas line is shut off, and call a professional if the smell continues.
  4. Carefully pull the dryer from the wall. You just want to pull it out enough to access the back.
  5. Disconnect the vent pipe.  You’ll do this by removing the clamp or screws that connects the hose to the dryer.
  6. Keep the cords and lines attached. Use stretch wrap to secure them to the dryer to avoid any tripping hazards.
  7. Prepare the dryer for moving. Clean the outside, secure the door with stretch wrap, and wrap the entire dryer in moving blankets or paper padding to protect it.

 Loading the washer and dryer

Since washers and dryers are typically heavy and bulky, we recommend having help while loading. Once it's all disconnected and prepped, shimmy the washer away from the wall so you can place a dolly or hand truck behind it. Then,

  • Carefully tilt the washer back and slide the dolly underneath. Once it's securely tipped back on the dolly, strap it down to keep it safe while loading it into the container or trailer.
  • Wheel it out of your house and load it. Use extra caution over any thresholds and up ramps to make sure the washer doesn't come loose.
  • Secure the appliance inside the trailer using rope or ratchet straps.

Pro tip: If you load other items on top, make certain they aren't heavy items that could cause denting or other damage.

Have questions about moving a washer?

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

Moving other appliances? Don't miss these helpful guides:

Moving a refrigerator

How to move appliances

How to pack small appliances