Front loader washing machine shaking/vibrations

MEA707February 10, 2013

I've been struggling with some shaking/vibration problems with my Whirlpool Duet front loader washing machine. I believe the main problem is the floor isn't sturdy enough as it tends to shake quite a bit, especially during the high spin cycle, but I'm wondering if there may also be a problem with the washer itself.

Here's a video I've filmed. Some washes the vibrations are worse with it sounding and reacting like a jack hammer:

The washing machine is perfectly level and all four feet are firmly planted to the floor. It doesn't rock at all when you push on the four corners, so it's either a problem with the washer or the floor or a combination.

Thanks for any help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Washing machine run

This post was edited by MEA707 on Sun, Feb 10, 13 at 20:32

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Is that spinning an empty drum?

Could be bad bearings. Try grabbing the rim of the inner stainless drum with both hands and rocking it sharply side-to-side or up-down to see if it seems loose or wobbles the outer tub. The entire assembly will of course oscillate on the suspension springs and shocks ... but if the inner drum is obviously loose or wiggles inside the tub, that's a sign of bearings worn.

The drum support (aka spider), which is a 3-armed cast aluminum piece to which the drum attaches (the drive shaft is part of the support) can deteriorate and crack on one (or more) arms, which throws the drum slightly off-kilter during high-speed spin. It's an obvious, very catastrophic failure if the drum breaks completely loose from the support during spin, or if two of the three arms are cracked.

This post was edited by dadoes on Sun, Feb 10, 13 at 21:39

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:23PM
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Nope, the drum is loaded. I'd say a medium to medium-heavy load of mixed fabrics.

I've regularly pushed the drum side to side and up and down and it seems normal. Doesn't seem loose nor is it bumping against the sides or anything.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:57PM
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Maybe a broken/bad shock.

Does it rattle when spinning empty at maximum speed? I refurbished a 5+ years old Duet 9400 recently that had bad bearings. The drums are manufactured balanced pretty well but not necessarily 100% perfect so there may be a smidgeon of vibration even when empty, but much less than when loaded. Worn bearings were obvious by rattling when it got up to full speed, along with looseness of the inner drum.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:23PM
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I haven't ran it empty, I'll have to try that.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:26PM
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That sounds like my sisters Kenmore making the same rattle as if they were a TL'r belt drive machine and her's is on a double joist foundation.

I would think one of the shocks are worn!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:09AM
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Is it level, and does each corner carry equal weight?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 1:57PM
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Yes, as I mentioned in my post, it is level with all four feet firmly planted on the floor. It does not rock when you push on the corners.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:27PM
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IF the problem isn't with a defect in the machine and you are convinced it's the floor, put two layers of 1-1/8" Sturd-I-floor under the equipment. Screw two panels together before installing on a FLAT floor. That will effectively make the equipment "think" it's sitting on concrete. If the floor ISN'T totally flat, use a floor leveling compound prior to setting down the Sturd-I-floor. available at Home Depot.

NOTE: if there is an issue with the equipment, fixing a flimsy floor isn't going to help. good luck

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 10:18AM
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My Duet washer started making the same racket. Took the top off and discovered the internal drain hose had come loose from the rear plastic clip retainer that holds it in place. Snapped it back in place and problem solved.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 5:03PM
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Just installed a LG FL washer and it wasn't the smoothest at first. Some thoughts.

1. Is the machine attached to the base with brackets? If so, did you tighten the feet on the machine 1/2 turn or so after the brackets were installed and tightened? This puts some load on the feet and pretty much eliminates any movement between the machine and the pedestal.

2. The LG manual and others here have recommended a "tuning" of the feet. You need to loosen the locking nut on one foot, and have a wrench that you can use to tighten/loosen that foot while the machine is acting up in the spin cycle. I found it helped to first loosen it to make the shake worse, and then slowly tighten until it stops or greatly reduces. Tighten too much at it should start to get worse again.

Takes some time and patience sitting on the floor waiting for it act up, but can help. I "tuned" ours with about a 11 lb load.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 3:32PM
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That's not really all that uncommon with that particular model. It's a five point suspension belt drive rather than the 6 point suspension direct drive all the Whirlpools have now.

Being on a pedestal makes it worse. Small loads will be more difficult for it.

The bearings sound fine. It's a 3.5 cu ft washer. So don't go putting really huge loads in it.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 7:46PM
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