Washing machine - vibration vs. levelness
May 24, 2013 8:02 PM   Subscribe

New LG washing machine vibrates more than desirable. It is level in both directions to within a degree of horizontal. How sensitive is vibration to levelness? Specifically, is it worth leveling it more precisely, say to within +/- .2 degrees? This is a project I would prefer to avoid if it will make no difference. One of the "feet" with the leveling screws is hard to get at. Thanks.
posted by Kevin S to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
We have and LG washer drying combo in our apartment and it vibrates wildly but only for about a minute or so before it balances itself. We tried levelling it more to try and make it quieter so we don't disturb our neighbours but have had no luck improving this.
posted by srboisvert at 8:14 PM on May 24, 2013

Washing machines vibrate due to unbalanced loads more often than levelness, but it is common for four-footed appliances to rest primarily on three feet. If you can rock it when it is at rest, then you should adjust that fourth foot so that it hits the floor. You could always use some rubber pads instead of adjusting the threaded feet that are difficult to reach. If it balances itself after a minute, as in srboisvert's case, then the problem is likely with an unbalanced load, rather than the feet.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:32 PM on May 24, 2013 [3 favorites]

Does it vibrate if you run it without a load? If yes, and all four feet touch the ground as weapons-grade pandemonium suggests, then something internal is unbalanced.
posted by mosk at 8:43 PM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

I was just coming in to say what snickerdoodle said. We spent hours trying to level our washing machine, and it turned out that we just hadn't removed the stabilizing screws that the manufacturer puts in to ship it.
posted by bove at 9:23 PM on May 24, 2013

I've an LG washer and dryer stacked atop each other, had it installed, and ran a load. It will vibrate at lower speeds on occasion, but can crank up to ridiculous RPMs for the spin cycle without any sort of vibration at all. When it was initially installed, it vibrated like crazy, and the installers said that it's just something I'd have to live with-- it was about as level as they could make it.

There's some button combination you can enter to run it through a cycle to check for this. I can't remember it off hand, and I can't remember if I got it from the folks who installed the machines or if I called customer support. But I do remember using that stupid tiny wrench to adjust the three feet I had access to and running through these cycles until it was smooth. From what I remember, I used a spirit level (which I still have, and I know to be not super accurate), and it was NOT level in the end.

The washer itself does some sort of balancing act with loads so that it slows down, lets things settle, speeds things up, and repeats until it gets to what it can be considered "pretty ok to crank the sucker up to X limit."

That being said, I'd recommend: calling LG, asking for this code. Running the thing empty with the code, seeing how things go. If it runs through smoothly, there's really not much more you can do. If it doesn't make small adjustments to the feet using the supplied wrench. How to know which one to adjust? As suggested above, brace the whole machine and shake it back and forth to see which foot has some play.
posted by herrdoktor at 9:32 PM on May 24, 2013

Response by poster: Forgot to mention, it's a front loader. Dryer is next to it, not on top of it.

Stabilizing screws are removed (and stored for future re-use!).

I think w/o load there is no vibration. But that's a good point; we'll double check that.

Herrdoctor - I think the test code is included in the instructions. When the installers ran a test cycle (via the code) with a small load of towels, the machine vibrated like crazy and started "walking" across the floor. But I like the idea of running the test with no load.

It's useable as is, and in the basement, so noise and shaking are not an inconvenience. It's just that the previous machine, also a front loader but presumably less sophisticated, didn't seem to shake nearly as much.
posted by Kevin S at 9:54 PM on May 24, 2013

I would reject it as unfit for purpose.
posted by BenPens at 5:26 AM on May 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Our washing machine used to make a hell of a noise until I wadded up some tissue paper and squeezed it in between the top of the unit and the worktop above it. Job done.
posted by walrus at 5:43 AM on May 25, 2013

I'm with benspens, why did the installers walk away from the thing when it was vibrating that much?

Demand a replacement. Presumably they set it up as the manufacturer intended and it still isn't working correctly. It's likely just a dud. I've had dud fridges and dud small appliances. It's not that unlikely and will be much easier to deal with now than in a few weeks/months.
posted by emptythought at 1:53 PM on May 25, 2013

Response by poster: It's already on the 2nd replacement (i.e., copy 3) - it's a long story!

As matters stand, the vibs are acceptable but if I can moderate them a little that would be nice.

An unrelated problem has come up so we may end up returning it yet again, and presumably switching to another brand.

posted by Kevin S at 3:16 PM on May 25, 2013

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