Your household move is just around the corner and there are so many things you are yet to take care of before the move-out day itself. Together with figuring out how to pack up and move your large furniture pieces, another major concern of yours will be how to transport your heavy household appliances from your current home to the new house or apartment.
The best way to move a washing machine is to let professional movers handle the whole complicated process of packing up your washer for a move, taking the heavy appliance out of your home and then loading the machine safely into the moving vehicle. However, if you can’t afford to hire the pros or if your preliminary calculations show that a self-move is the more economical option to go, then you should know that the washer moving mission will be doomed unless you follow these steps for moving a washing machine by yourself.
Knowing how to move a washing machine by yourself is primarily about knowing how to get a washing machine ready to move: following the instruction manual, preparing an appliance dolly and moving blankets, disconnecting and draining the washer, installing the transit bolts, securing the hoses, and more.
What do you need to move a washing machine?
It won’t make much of a difference whether your washing machine is a front load model or a top-load one – you still need to follow a number of important universal steps to moving a washer to be able to call the entire appliance moving operation a success. Here’s what to do before moving a washing machine from house to house:
Get yourself a furniture dolly
Rent a moving dolly from your local moving company for easy and safe transportation. If you’re still hesitant whether you can manage to move a washing machine by yourself without using that piece of equipment, then you should hesitate no more – the moving dolly will also prove to be an indispensable helper when moving other heavy and large household items such as your furniture pieces, refrigerator, dishwasher, electric stove, and so on.
Get some furniture blankets ready
The moment your washing machine is completely ready for transportation, you will need to protect it against accidental hits and scratches on the road. Professional furniture blankets will provide the best protection for your washer, but ordinary house blankets or large sheets of bubble wrap will also do nicely.
Find the instruction manual
Consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for moving a washing machine safely. If you bought the electric appliance brand new, that user’s manual should be somewhere with the purchase documentation – the invoice and warranty. If you bought your washer second hand, then that instruction manual may have never been in your possession.
Do a quick search online for the owner’s manual for the exact model you have – type the brand and model of your washer, and then the word “manual”. If you still can’t find it, then it’s a good idea to call the store that sold you the washer and to ask them for assistance.
If the manufacturer of your washing machine has provided detailed instructions on how to prepare your washer for moving, do follow them. If not, then our general tips for moving a washing machine should be enough to make sure nothing bad happens to your trusted appliance.
Locate the transit bolts in advance
Washing machines are always shipped with installed washer locks that secure the drum, thus protecting it from harmful vibrations on the road. Front load washing machines usually have shipping bolts installed in the rear of the appliance, and if you bought your washer brand new, then those transit bolts should be somewhere in your home.
Hopefully, you’ll have a good idea where they are. If not, contact the home appliance store and see if they have the required bolts for your model.
Read also: How to move a refrigerator by myself?
How to get a washing machine ready to move
Unless the instruction manual of your washing machine tells you otherwise, follow this step-by-step guide on how to move a washer by yourself:
- Step 1. Empty your washing machine of any remaining clothes, either washed or waiting to be washed.
- Step 2. Clean your washing machine drum by using a normal wash cycle (select the shortest one) or by using the special Clean cycle that most modern washing machines have. Do not use any detergent.
- Step 3. How do you drain a washer to move it? Turn off the water supply by closing the water supply valve – rotating it clockwise usually does the trick.
- Step 4. Remove any water remaining in the hoses by first activating a warm wash cycle for about 30 seconds or so, then switching on the Spin Cycle to get all of the water out of the washer through the drain hose. Catch the drained water into a bucket.
- Step 5. How do you disconnect a washing machine? This one is easy – turn off your washer and unplug it from the electric network.
- Step 6. Your washing machine may have only one water supply hose – meaning that the water is heated inside the washer itself, or the machine may have two water supply hoses – one for cold water and one for hot water. Either way, disconnect the supply hose(s) of your washer from the water supply by using slip-joint pliers. Empty any remaining water into a bucket.
- Step 7. With the help of the slip-joint pliers, disconnect the supply hoses from the washing machine, place them in a large sealable plastic bag and keep it close by. You may even choose to place that bag inside the washer to keep it safe.
- Step 8. Leave the drain hose attached to the machine and secure it upright using plastic stretch wrap or a piece of thin rope or twine.
- Step 9. Leave the door or lid of your washing machine open for approximately 24 hours so that the drum can dry up completely. This step will guarantee that there is no moisture inside it and will prevent any possible formation of mildew. If you don’t have that much time, then dry up the inside of the machine with a dry piece of cloth.
- Step 10. Clean the outside of your washer with a piece of damp cloth. Don’t overdo this task as you’ll probably have to repeat it after the move is over.
- Step 11. Here comes the most important step when moving a washing machine to another home – the installation of the transit bolts. Skipping this step altogether or failure to insert the shipping bolts properly may result in costly repairs. You cannot move a washing machine without transit bolts. Keep in mind that the drum suspension of your washer is rather susceptible to damage and that complex mechanism relies entirely on those shipping bolts to keep it immobilized, stabilized and safe during transit. The precise method of installing those bolts varies from washer to washer, so it’s imperative that you consult the installation manual. Get qualified help you are not sure how to do it the right way.
- Step 12. You can’t do following moving steps on your own, so make sure you have at least two other friends to help you out.
- Step 13. Secure the door or lid of your machine with plastic wrap to eliminate the possibility of accidental opening at the worst possible moment. Also, secure the drain hose and power cable to the back of the washer to avoid any chances of tripping accidents.
- Step 14. Slowly, get your washing machine a short distance away from the wall. Wrap large pieces of bubble wrap or a few (moving) blankets around your washer and tape the protective layers in place. This way, you won’t have to worry too much about accidental scratches or direct hits with other objects.
- Step 15. Tip the washing machine slowly backwards until there’s just enough space to slide the appliance dolly underneath it. Then, secure the household appliance to the moving dolly with straps or rope for added security.
- Step 16. Warning: moving a washing machine without professional movers can be plain dangerous due to its enormous weight. How heavy is a washing machine? Large-capacity front load washing machines can weigh anywhere between 160 and 230 pounds, medium-capacity front loading washers weigh around 180 pounds, while small-capacity front-loader weigh an average of 140 pounds.
- Step 17. Can you lay down a washing machine on its side? The proper way to move a washing machine is in an upright position. It’s too risky to move a washing machine on its side as that could cause the drum to lose its correct alignment.
- Step 18. Have friends help you maneuver the secured and loaded washer out of your home. Be especially careful when moving your washing machine up or down stairs – go very slowly – only one little step at a time. As long as you keep the appliance dolly balanced, things should be fine.
- Step 19. Load the washer into the moving vehicle by using the loading ramp. Once inside, tie up the machine in place with straps and rope to reduce the amount of abrupt and unexpected movements your expensive appliance will be subjected to.
- Step 20. Once you find yourself in your new home, the two most important tasks ahead of you are to 1) level your washing machine with the help of its leveling legs, and 2) remove the shipping bolts before using the washer again.
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