How to Level a Washing Machine

Close-up of green fluid in leveler
A clean, organized laundry room can be an efficient place to get chores done. However, a washing machine that vibrates excessively or shakes the entire house during the spin cycle disrupts the haven you have in mind. When the washing machine shakes, it can damage internal mechanisms and anything near the appliance, including the walls and floor.

The problem is simple: the machine is not sitting level.

Fortunately, the fix is just as simple, thanks to adjustable legs that screw up and down. This makes it easy to learn how to level a washing machine without professional assistance. Just follow these instructions.

Leveling a Shaking Washing Machine

  • Find out if the machine is level: Use a carpenter’s bubble level or find an app on your phone that mimics this tool. Set your device of choice on top of the machine, first from side to side and then front to back, to see if it’s level. If the bubble doesn’t center itself, you have some adjusting to do.

  • Loosen the lock nut: The washing machine’s two front legs screw up and down. Before you can adjust them, you must loosen the lock nut on each.

  • Adjust the front legs: The machine is less likely to vibrate if it sits low to the ground. To keep the appliance as low as possible, screw one leg all the way in and adjust the others as needed until the washer sits flat according to your carpenter’s level or Smartphone app.

  • Check the rear legs: Most washing machines have self-leveling rear legs. Once you get the appliance level from side to side, have a second person help you tip it forward so the rear legs lift off the floor by three or four inches. When you set the washer back down, the legs should adjust automatically so the machine sits level from front to back. However, some washing machines have the same type of adjustable legs in the rear as they do in the front. In this case, you must adjust the rear legs manually until the machine is level.

  • Re-tighten the lock nuts: With all the adjustments made, double check the level of the washer from side to side and front to back. Then, tighten the lock nuts against the machine to prevent the legs from rotating over time. Lean against the appliance to make sure it doesn’t rock back and forth.

  • Test the washer: Run the spin cycle and check for excessive vibration. If the washing machine still shakes, double check that all screws are tight on stacking units and storage bases. Then, assess the laundry room floor. Leaks may cause the floor to become rotten and uneven, which calls for a replacement.

  • Check your washer every few months: It’s possible for your home to settle over the years and even shift from season to season. If you notice excessive vibrations, reassess the washer’s level. Then, keep in mind that unbalanced clothing in a top loader can cause shaking during the spin cycle, so take the time to load each batch evenly. Also, check the balance of your front-loading unit every few months because these appliances use significantly higher spin speeds than top loaders.

Schedule Laundry Room Services

Regardless of your laundry room’s location, it’s annoying when the washing machine shakes. Now that you know how to level a washing machine, you shouldn’t have this problem anymore. Just remember, you can always count on Mr. Appliance® for washing machine repair, gas dryer repair and electric dryer repair, dryer vent cleaning, and other laundry room services whenever you need them.

To schedule your next visit, please contact Mr. Appliance today!