A complete guide to move a washing machine

Moving large appliances is a time-consuming project. Mostly because they need to be prepared in advance for the move. In other words, it’s not something you want to leave for the moving day. And it doesn’t matter if you’re relocating short or long distances, it’s always best to secure your belongings as much as possible. If you plan to move a washing machine, there are some tips and tricks to make this transition easier, for you and for your appliance. Of course, having a moving guide is helpful, but don’t hesitate to ask professionals for help as well. Washing machines in particular are tricky to move. However, while some things depend on the type of machine you have, there are some general and universal rules that apply to all of them. And you can view them all in this guide.

Should you move a washing machine or not?

Before you do anything, ask yourself if moving a washing machine is really worth your time and money. Moving is a great way to get rid of some of the older or no-longer useful items and upgrade them for better ones.

  • Older model that is behind newer one – while there are brands of washing machines that can work for decades, newer ones come in all shapes and sizes. They might even have some functions that are more eco-friendly and cost-effective.
  • Required space – size is not everything when it comes to washing machines. So if your washing machine is overly big for your new home, try looking for a smaller one you can buy once you move in.
  • Too many repairs – think about all the times your washing machine broke in the past years. If you’ve been repairing it more than once per year, it’s might be for the best to buy a new one instead.
couple smiling while moving
Moving a washing machine can be stress-free

Therefore, if most of your answers to the questions above are positive ones, consider leaving your washing machine behind. For any short distances, your local movers will be more than happy to assist you with moving the washing machine. However, if you plan to move long distances, it might be a good idea to buy a new machine if your old one is no longer suitable. 

What to do before you move a washing machine

First of all, take a look at your washing machine and determine its weight. You can always check in manual or online if you’re unsure about this. This is best done before anything else because you might need a helping hand. In general, small-size washing machines are around 130 to 150 pounds, while the medium ones can be between 160 and 180 pounds. Anything bigger than that is large for the washing machine size. So if you have a bigger one, consider asking your friends or family for assistance.

The second most important thing is to clean and dry the washing machine. As mentioned above, this is not something you can do as a last minute relocation task. Take everything out of the washing machine and let it run an empty wash on the warmest cycle. If you want to refresh it a bit, you can put a small amount of white vinegar instead of washing detergent. This will give it a nice shine and smell. After the cycle is done, open the door and leave it like that for at least 24 hours. If you’re moving during colder seasons, it’s best to leave the washing machine to dry up to 48 hours before the move.

sneakers in a washing machine
Having a dry drum is essential if you plan to move a washing machine

Turn off water and power supplies 

Once the machine is clean and dry, it’s time to disconnect it from water and power supplies. The location of the power supply is dependent on where you leave. If you have a house, go ahead and turn off the power for the machine in your panel. However, if you live in an apartment building, you might want to check with your landlord or professional electrician where the panel is. Once done, simply unplug the machine from the socket. To turn the water off, locate the water supply valve on your machine. Rotate the valves clockwise and the water will be turned off as well.

Water supply hose and valves

Depending on the type of the washing machine, it may have only one water supply hose, or two. One for cold water and one for hot water.  In case you’re not sure about this step your residential movers will be more than happy to assist. Prepare a bucket and slip-joint pliers. Disconnect the hose or hoses and put the bucket below to collect any remaining water. Don’t disconnect the drain hose that is attached to the machine. Simply wrap it up using a plastic wrap or with a piece of thin rope. As for the valves, disconnect the wall valves first. Then you can safely detach the valve connected to your machine.

Transit bolts

The most difficult task here is identifying the transit bolts of your washing machine. They usually come with the machine itself. Furthermore, if you had a professional install the machine, they probably handed you the transient bolt for safekeeping. If you’re not sure how they look for your type of washing machine, check the user manual or online. The second thing you should do is locate the four spots where these transient bolts are. In most cases, they are on the backside of the machine, placed in all four directions. However, this can be different for each brand or model.

a row of washing machines
Moving a washing machine is a risky, if not an impossible feat

Once you identify all of this, the easier part of the task begins. Put the bolts in four spots and rotate them in a clockwise direction. To make sure they are secured properly, use a spanner or a socket. Of course, you can tighten them enough with your hands only, but using a tool will yield better results. Keep turning the bolts until they tighten up and are no longer able to be moved in that direction. If you’re unsure about any of the steps above, check out the guide to transit bolts and how to identify and use them. As with all the previous steps, do not hesitate to ask for help.

Last but not least important, is to wrap up the washing machine and secure the drum. This will help you move a washing machine with no issues. For the drum, use a soft blanket or pillow. This will stop it from bouncing during the move. As for the rest of the machine, you can use blankets as well, but plastic or bibble wrap is also a good option. Overall, if you follow all the above steps, your machine will arrive in your new home in perfect condition.

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