Sometimes you just don’t want to leave your washing machine behind. Yes, its transportation will cost money, but your initial pre-move assessment shows that the effort will be well worth it.
Of course, the easiest way to move a washing machine is to contact professional movers and let them do it for you. Naturally, that will cost you even more money.
So, you may choose to move your washing machine by yourself in order to save some cash. However, let’s get one thing straight: moving a washing machine without hiring experienced movers is not going to be easy at all. Doable, but in no way is it a walk in the park.
Follow these tips for moving a washing machine on your own, and things should be quite alright in the end.
What to do before moving a washing machine
Regardless of whether your washing machine is a front-load model or a top-load model, there are a number of things you just have to do to get ready for the actual steps to moving a washer from one home to another.
Pay close attention to these preparation steps because they are really important. Skipping a single to-do task will definitely make things more difficult for you, and may even render the entire washing machine moving operation impossible depending on the nature of the skipped step.
1. Find helpers
Yes, it’s possible to move a washing machine without hiring movers – following these washer moving tips and steps will help you do just that. However, you can’t finish the job entirely on your own – you’re still going to need at least two other helpers to keep things safe.
If you are unable to secure friends or family members to give you a hand, then you must seriously consider hiring the pros to get it done for you.
2. Consult your washer’s instruction manual
Check to see if you keep the owner’s manual of your washing machine. You’re going to need it in order to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations when transporting the washing machine.
If you can’t find it, do a Google search with the brand of your washer, its model and the word “manual” at the end. If that fails too, contact the home appliance store you purchased it from and ask them for assistance.
Keep in mind that consulting the owner’s manual is a recommended step, it’s not something you must do to move your washing machine successfully.
3. Prepare the transit bolts
Transit bolts (aka shipping bolts) are metal rods that are inserted into special slots of washing machines to keep the drum immobilized and stabilized while the appliance is being transported. Drum suspension mechanisms are very susceptible to damage caused by excessive vibrations or sudden jerking motions, so you must find the shipping bolts your washer came with when you purchased it.
You are strongly advised against moving a washing machine without transit bolts because doing so is very risky and could lead to costly damage to your household appliance. If you have no idea where those bolts are, then contact the local home appliance store for assistance.
The installation method of washer locking bolts (washer locks) is not overly complicated but it does vary from model to model. This is why it’s important to consult the instruction manual of your unit to learn exactly how it’s done.
4. Get an appliance dolly
You’re going to need an appliance dolly to get your washer out of your home and load it onto a moving vehicle. Washing machines are both big and heavy, so there isn’t any good way around this – you do need a moving dolly to keep things safe.
How much does a washing machine weigh? Large washers weight 160-230 lbs., medium front-loading washing machines weight approximately 180 pounds, and small front-loaders weigh around 140 pounds.
Rent an appliance dolly from a local moving company, or purchase one for yourself to use in the future. As you well know, a moving dolly is an extremely helpful piece of equipment that you will utilize every time you have to move out.
5. Secure all required supplies for moving your washer
You’ve arranged friendly assistance when the time to move your washing machine comes. Check.
You’ve found the washer’s owner manual. Check.
You’ve found and prepared the appliance’s shipping bolts. Check.
And you’ve made sure you’ll have an appliance dolly to transport the washer to the moving van. Check.
What else do you need to move a washing machine?
- furniture blankets to protect the washer;
- a small bucket to catch the drain water;
- a pair of slip-joint pliers to disengage the drain hose;
- rope or moving straps to secure the washer onto the dolly;
- packing tape.
How to move a washing machine by yourself: step-by-step guide
What is the best way to move a washing machine? The best way to move a washer is to hire experienced movers with extensive experience in moving all types of household appliances. And because experience alone plays a major role in the moving industry, using the services of a top-rated moving company should mean zero stress for you and total safety for both your appliance and your home.
And in case you’ve made up your mind to try and move your washer without any professional help, then the steps below will give you a pretty good idea what to do when moving a washing machine. The first several steps are all preparation steps and will instruct you how to get a washing machine ready to move – cleaning, disconnecting and draining the washing machine, followed by the actual steps of packing and moving that major home appliance.
Step 1. Empty your washer. Take out any clothes from inside your washing machine.
Step 2. Clean the drum and drain lines. Clean the washer’s drum and drain lines of any detergent residue by running the shortest normal wash cycle (water only, do not use detergent of any kind) or by running the specialized Clean Cycle that’s present on most modern washers. Then, leave the door of the washing machine open for at least 24 hours so that the drum can dry out completely.
Step 3. Turn off the power. Remember to always turn off the power to household appliances before handling them to avoid any risk of electric shock. Follow the power cord of your appliance and just unplug it from the wall socket to disconnect it from the electric network.
Step 4. Turn off the water supply. Locate the local water valve – located usually behind the washer unit – and turn it clockwise (the usual direction) to turn off the water supply. In some cases, you may need to pull out the washer a little bit to access the water valve. Be careful not to pull any of lines loose if you do need more room to reach the water supply valve.
Step 5. Drain the water supply hoses. How to drain a washing machine to move? It’s only logical that some water will remain in the hoses even after the washer has finished its Clean Cycle.
To drain the water from a washing machine, use the slip-joint pliers to disconnect the hot and cold water supply hoses (for washer models where the water is NOT heated inside the unit) or the cold water supply hose (for washing machine models where the water is heated inside the unit).
The moment you disconnect a supply hose from a valve, keep that hose upright to avoid any unnecessary water spills, then empty it into the bucket you have prepared in advance. Make sure you disengage and empty the hoses one at a time.
Step 6. Remove the water supply hoses. Use the pliers again to disengage the cold water supply hose or the cold and hot water supply hoses from the washing machine. Place the hose(s) into a plastic bag, seal it with tape and pack it or them separately in a cardboard box. Label the box WASHER ACCESSORIES.
Step 7. Empty the drain hose. Disconnect the drain hose of the washer from the drain hose that leads to the waste water canal, if applicable, then empty into the bucket the amount of water that has remained in it.
Keep the washer’s drain hose attached to the unit, secure it on its own holding bracket or tape it securely onto the back of the appliance.
Step 8. Place the transit bolts. Remember that you should not move a washing machine without shipping bolts. As explained above, the drum suspension mechanism of your washing machine is rather sensitive and may easily break during transport unless it is properly stabilized and immobilized. To do that, you’re usually required to insert the transit bolts in the rear side of the washing machine, thus securing the washer drum.
However, the exact insertion method of the washer locking bolts varies from model to model, and that’s why it’s very important that you consult the user’s manual of your household appliance. If you’re not sure how to do it or if you still haven’t got the shipping bolts, ask for professional assistance instead of risking possible damage to your expensive appliance.
Step 9. Secure the power cord. Secure the power cable to the back of the unit using a piece of tape. This action will eliminate the risk of tripping on a dangling cable on Moving day.
Step 10. Muster your helpers. Of all the steps to moving a washer, Step 10 is where your helpers should make an appearance on the scene. You may have completed all the above preparation steps entirely on your own, but this is where heavy lifting is required, so it’s time to do it the proper way.
Step 11. Wrap the washer in blankets. Moving a washing machine is about SAFETY, so you’re going to have to protect the appliance while it’s being transported to its destination home.
With the help of your friends, move the unit just a short distance away from the wall, then wrap it up in thick furniture blankets, and finally fix those protective blankets in place using tape or rope. Leave no areas of the unit exposed to accidental hits or scratches during the haul.
Step 12. Load the appliance onto the dolly. How to move a washing machine with a dolly? With the assistance of your helpers, tip the washer backward to create enough space underneath it to slide the appliance dolly. Then, use straps or rope to secure the unit onto the dolly, and finally – tilt the piece of moving equipment back until the washing machine gets balanced on its rubber wheels.
Step 13. Take it out of the home. Slowly, maneuver the protected washing machine out of the home in the direction of the awaiting moving van. Keep the furniture dolly balanced at all times.
Be extra careful when moving the washing machine downstairs or upstairs – use all the manpower you’ve got and go only one step at a time and as slowly as you can.
Step 14. Keep the washer upright. As you already know, the drum suspension mechanism is the most fragile part of a washing machine, hence the necessity of using shipping bolts during transport. Also, the best way to move a washing machine is in an upright position.
Can you move a washing machine on its side? No, you are advised against laying down your washing machine on its side because the drum could lose its proper factory-tuned alignment.
Step 15. Load it up. Use the loading ramp of the moving truck to load the household appliance that’s been wrapped up in blankets and strapped to an appliance dolly. Strap the washer to the side of the van using ratchet straps or rope – it’s imperative that the appliance do not move or shift during the haul to the new home.
3 bonus tips for moving a washing machine
Here are 3 bonus tips for moving a washer that you should keep in mind to make the whole moving process easier and safer too.
Don’t forget to remove the shipping bolts before using the washing machine in the new home. Also, use the washer’s adjustable legs to level it prior to its first use in the new place.
- Do not start the procedure of moving a washing machine unless 1) you have secured at least 2 friends to help you out, and 2) you have rented or purchased an appliance dolly to avoid damage to the washer or the home, and prevent personal injuries of any sort.
- Don’t try to be a hero. Moving a washing machine by yourself – without using professional movers – can be plain dangerous. As you already know, washing machines are very heavy (an average weight of around 180 pounds) and they are big too. If you’ve never handled such large household appliances before, then you’d better call in the pros.