Lifting a Washing Machine onto Pedestal
February 17, 2013 6:43 AM   Subscribe

My dad built a proper pedestal for our new washing machine and dryer. It is 19 inches high. The challenge is getting the washer up onto the pedestal. The washer weighs 232 lbs. It is just the two of us today. I don't want to throw my back out. Neither does he. What equipment or physics tricks can we employ to get this thing up on the pedestal?
posted by jasondigitized to Home & Garden (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Straps. like this or better yet this. If you don't want to buy either of those a tow strap or anything similar will work. However you choose to it lift with your legs!
posted by no bueno at 6:52 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Lifting straps like the Forearm forklift really do work quite well for hoisting washers and dryers. They aren't ideal for stairs, but will make your project simple. They should be available at all hardware stores.
posted by Lame_username at 6:52 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

A dolly would do it if you have the space to lean the dolly back enough to prop it up onto the new platform.
posted by zug at 7:04 AM on February 17, 2013

You may want to attach the washer in some way to avoid having it 'walk'. So, method 1: lay the washer on its side. Attach base pedestal. Set combined unit upright. Requires lifting but much easier, safer than having to lift entire washer off the floor. Alternative, method 2: use a few cinderblocks. Protect floor with a blanket. Tip washer up, slide two blocks under, tip the other way and slide two more. Now washer is sitting on 4 cinderblocks about 8 inches up. Use similar technique to tip washer up to the pedestal level.
posted by beagle at 7:05 AM on February 17, 2013 [3 favorites]

If you have somewhere you can anchor a solid hook on the ceiling, I've used a block and tackle to do almost exactly what you describe. Makes the job a piece of cake - you hoist it up without even breaking a sweat, your father positions the stand and washer, you let it down on the stand.

Just make damned sure the hook and rope will hold. :)
posted by pla at 7:08 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Is there room to lay down a couple of decently thick planks to make a ramp, and slide or trolley it up that?
posted by flabdablet at 7:15 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think the key is going to be tilting it, if possible. That's going to allow you to keep at least part of the weight on the ground, meaning you don't have to lift as much. I'd say get it close to where it needs to be, tilt it to get the platform under it, and then slide it into place.
posted by markblasco at 7:30 AM on February 17, 2013

Slide the washer in front of the pedestal oriented the direction you want the washer to face.

Each of you stand on one side of the washer. Reach to the back of the washer with one hand and grip it at the top of the cabinet (not the lid/top/backsplash as you can pull those items right off). Your other hand goes on the top front of the cabinet.

Pull/tip the washer forward balancing it on the front legs. This will be hardest when you first start and get easier the farther forward you tip. At some point the washer will balance on the front legs/front of the cabinet. Be aware not to over balance it at this point or the washer will fall on it's front.

You can now walk the washer backwards over the pedestal on it's front legs by tipping it back and forth.

Once you either touch the pedestal or the washer is slightly more than half way over the pedestal lower it to the pedestal and then tip the washer upright.

Push the washer to the back of the pedestal. The lower down you push the better; I mostly contact the washer with my knees to slide them back. When the front legs get to the pedestal you'll need to tip the washer back slightly to clear the legs.

I can do this solo standing in front of the washer with the washer sitting on a four wheel moving cart so it's fairly straight forward for two people from the side on non moving floor. Like markblasco said you don't actually lift anything using this technique so you don't really need a lot of strength.

Warning: If your floor isn't concrete you'll want to throw a chunk of carpet or plywood or even a few layers of of cardboard (like what the washer was shipped in) down under the washer otherwise the legs can damage the floor.
posted by Mitheral at 7:44 AM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

Do you have a tire jack? I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I imagine it would be helpful for lifting.
posted by Elly Vortex at 7:48 AM on February 17, 2013

The guys who delivered my refrigerator used those shoulder lifting straps to carry it from the truck to my kitchen. I'd call around to tool rental places and see if they happen to rent them.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:56 AM on February 17, 2013

Hire movers from Craigslist. This could cost you $20 and no pain.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:36 AM on February 17, 2013

Using a pair of tire ramps for changing your oil should allow a dolly to get pretty high up -- high enough to tip the washer up on the platform, anyway.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:53 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Several years ago, my dad and I replaced a built in double oven which was in an opening about 24" above the floor. We had a whole bunch of scrap lumber in the garage, so we used several lengths of 2x6 that were about as deep as the oven. The technique was to line the oven up on the floor in front of the hole it was going into, and rock it to one side and insert a 2x6 underneath the side of the oven, then, rock it to the other side and insert a 2x6 on that side. We kept rocking on alternate sides, inserting more boards, until we had the oven up to the correct height, and then just slid it into the hole.

Just make sure you use wide enough boards that your stack stays stable, otherwise you run the risk of the whole thing falling over sideways.

I don't know if it will work as well for a pedestal, as there's probably a lip you'll have to clear, but if you can get it to the correct height, it may be simple enough to just walk it back an inch or two at a time.
posted by yuwtze at 11:56 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just make sure you use wide enough boards that your stack stays stable

Or you could put each layer at right angles to the one below, turning the whole affair into a big Jenga tower.
posted by flabdablet at 2:35 AM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Everyone is making it too difficult with the ramps. Please try the straps, it is unbelievably easy. My 60 yr old parents moved their washer with them.

And lame_username - straps are actually the best way to do stairs. Person up the steps from the lower person lengthens his/her strap and the person at the bottom shortens theirs. Both people are able to stand completely upright instead of awkwardly carrying it while bent over.
posted by no bueno at 7:00 AM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

The rocking and packing thing is slow, but can work even for ridiculously heavy loads.
posted by flabdablet at 7:15 PM on February 18, 2013

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