Move a Washing Machine

With colossal tasks such as moving a washing machine, there’s no shame in calling the big guns, also known as professional movers, to help you out. For the sake of your washing machine’s safety alongside yours, it’s actually the better option. A fair amount of people don’t really ponder upon things like how to move a washing machine. Simply because the challenge, stress and risk the task poses is not often worth the effort of handling it yourself.

However, this in no way means that you can’t move a washing machine by yourself. Takes a certain amount of strength, discipline, dexterity and planning. Of course, you will also need some helping hands and the right tools to handle the task. So for those with the time, energy and willingness to take care of this themselves, we’re here to help you with this mammoth of a task! Read on to learn about how to move a washing machine with our elaborate guide.

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What Will You Need To Move A Washing Machine?

When it comes to moving a washing machine yourself, we have a clear mantra. Bigger the task, the more intricate the plan should be. So firstly, you might have to make some calls. Assemble a team of capable women or men to help you out. Of course, if you’re living with your family, you could check with them. See if one of your family members is up to the task.

However, you wouldn’t need more than one or a maximum of two people, unless you have a gigantic washing machine. Avoid calling more people than required. It will only slow down the process of moving the washing machine and won’t help your case. At the same time, it’s important to make sure that you involve the people who you trust and can handle the task.

You should be accounting for the weight and the height of your washer before you ask anybody for help. Now this can vary from one brand to another, but normally, the small size washing machine is around 130 to 150 pounds in weight. Weight of the medium one can range between 160 to 180 pounds and for the larger ones, it can start from approximately 190 pounds or so. The upper limit can stretch as high as 250 pounds in some cases too.

Things You Need To Move A Washer

1. Pipe Wrench

The use of this tool would be to aid you in the process of removing the hoses from the wall, water source or the washer itself. When a hose is attached for a long period of time, it becomes a bit difficult to detach it, which is why you will need the wrench.

2. Adjustable Plier

Once again, the purpose of an Adjustable Plier remains the same. It will come in handy to loosen the hose and help you get it off. Normally, either one would suffice. But it’s not like having an extra tool in general is going to do you any harm.

3. Moving Blankets/Furniture Blankets

Both are essentially the same thing. If you have really well padded thick blankets at home, you can use that too. Basically, you will need moving blankets to safeguard the washer and wrap it up too when moving. You want it padded well, which is where these blankies come in handy.

4. Stretch Wraps

Now this sheet of plastic serves the objective of nicely wrapping up the washer, once the padding is taken care of. The idea is to hold the padding in place and avoid moisture or dirt seeping in.

5. Moving Dolly/ Push Cart Dolly

You weren’t planning on lifting the washing machine yourself, were you? Good! Besides, even if you could, it’s better to use a moving dolly for this task. It would also help when you have to load it onto the vehicle. Or for that matter get it out of your house.

6. Duct Tapes

Any good industrial grade packing tape will do in this regard. The point of it is to make sure the padding blanket holds still and doesn’t come off. Which is why a proper strong packing tape will be useful in this case.

7. Washer User Manual

Please do not underestimate the importance of this. You will need to refer to this as often as possible when you will be taking care of disconnecting the washing machine. As every washer is different, it will really help to know how yours works and avoid any wrong moves.

9. Transit Bolts

We hope you didn’t get rid of these when you had purchased your washing machine. You will need to screw them in again to make sure the drum of your washing machine sits in place during the move. The transit Bolts will be very specific to your model and make of the washing machine. In case you misplaced it, check online or an electronic store nearby if you can get transit bolts for the exact model and make of your washing machine.

10. Spanner/Socket

You will need this to bolt and unbolt the screws and get it fixed inside the slots for transit bolts. Basically, it’s all about putting in the bolt head, attaching the tool and then ensuring it’s fixed tightly.

11. Moving Straps/Rope

Either one can work, as long as they’re sturdy enough and have enough tensile strength. You will need these to tie up the washing machine for when it’s going to be transported.

12. Ramp Slope

Since you’re going to be moving a washing machine by yourself, it’s important to have a Ramp Slope for your van or vehicle. If you don’t have one, try to borrow it from someone or see if you can rent it. In case that’s not an option, just but one, it’s a good investment.

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Disconnecting A Washing Machine For A Move

Think of this as the preparation phase of moving a washing machine. We will take you through this phase step-by-step, because it’s not as straightforward as unplugging the washer. Also, keep in mind that while this section will be applicable to almost every washing machine on a broad level, there will be certain specific areas which will be unique to your washer. It’s for those unique aspects that you’ll have to refer to your washer’s user manual.

Step 1: Cleaning The Washer

In a case where there are strong remnants inside the drum, you will need to clean it up. This could be an unfortunate situation where you had washed your clothes recently and forget to rinse the drum. Ideally, we would recommend using the washing machine to rinse the drum with clean water.

It’s kind of like killing two birds with one stone, since the clean water would also push out any remains of the detergent on your hose. But of course, don’t forget to remove any clothes you might have left inside. Hopefully, this is a part you will have the luxury to skip. Not like it would take too much time anyway.

Step 2: Switch The Washer Off And Unplug

This should be the undisputed second step. You should always tread on the side of safety. Whatever checks you want to perform on your washer, it can wait till after you have turned off the power from the main socket, then unplugged the cable. The ideal scenario when taking care of this step is one where your washing machine is all set to move. In any case, you shouldn’t have any clothes inside by this point. But you still have to do some checks!

Step 3: Creating Space To Operate

Washing Machines are often placed against a wall in the garage or a laundry room, with the power points and water supply either behind it, above it or somewhere around it. It’s really important for you to be able to access the backside of the washing machine to handle everything related to the cable, hose and water supply.

So you would have to move the washer ahead to create enough space for you to be able to comfortably reach and access the backside of the washing machine. However, you will have to be careful. Ensure that you don’t stretch the water pipes and hose while you’re making enough space for yourself to operate and access all parts of the washer.

Step 4: Drying The Drum

Think of this part as Cleaning: Part Deux. You will have taken care of cleaning the drum, but it would still quite likely be really wet. So you can use a dry cloth to wipe off the droplets and remains of the rinsing process. If there are any dry stains of soap outside the drum, in and around the body of your washing machine, you can use a mildly dampened cloth to wipe that off too. While you’re at it, just use the opportunity to clean the washing machine in general.

Step 5: Turn Off The Water Valves

In most cases, these valves can be found right behind your washing machine. The objective here is to stop the water supply by rotating the tap, nozzle or value in a clockwise direction. Make sure you do this till the point that it can’t be turned any further. You could have both a hot and cold line of water supply or just one single line of pipe that’s attached to your washer. So if there are multiple water supplies to your washer, be sure to turn it all off.

Step 6: The Bucket And The Towels

The intricate steps involved in moving a washing machine can be a slippery slope. Especially when it comes to the part where you have to disconnect the washing machine. To avoid such slippery setbacks, you have to plan for things like the leaking hose. So once you have enough room around the pipes behind the washer, place a few dry towels below them. Then above those towels you placed, keep a bucket below the hose from where it can leak.

Step 7: Off Come The Hoses, Out Comes The Water

Hope you have the adjustable plier or Pipe Wrench handy, now is when you’re going to be needing it. Use either one to grab the mouth of the hose and then detach it. Once you’ve unplugged the hose from the main water supply, point it towards the bucket and drain out the water left inside it. Do this for both the hot and cold water pipes.

Your next step would be to go on and remove the pipe from the machine as well. Basically, get it out from both sides, the machine and the water supply. Then once again, drain out the water in the bucket. Once you’ve taken care of entirely emptying the water from the hoses, path them dry with an extra dry towel or cloth.

After this, you will have to do the same process for the hose that’s responsible for draining water out from the machine. This is often different from the one that’s responsible for water supply to the drum. So like we mentioned above, drain the hose out completely first, and then you can detach it from the washing machine.

Step 8: The Transit Bolts Fitting

Before you do anything here, just have a look at the user manual of your washing machine. In some cases, there are usually four spots placed in all directions, on the backside of the washer. Generally, this is the case with front load washing machines. But again, it can be different for each brand or model. So first you should figure out where the spots are for fitting the Transit Bolts. Once you have identified that, you should check how it works in your case.

Just so you know, this is actually a simple task once you have established this. All you have to do is put in the bolts in the right spot, rotate it in a clockwise direction, then make use of either a socket or a spanner. For that, first use the spanner to attach it to the bolt head that you partially screwed in the spot. Then, you just have to keep turning it around in a clockwise direction and tighten it up. Do this for all the spots dedicated to the Transit Bolts.

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Packing A Washing Machine For A Move

This is the final part, the one where you will need those helping hands we had mentioned earlier. First thing’s first, move it to a spot where you have enough space to carry out the wrapping and packing. If your laundry room or garage has enough space, then you’re good to do the task there itself. You might have to shift it a little, which is fine. But in another case, you might have to make use of the dolly to move it to a room where you can do the packing.

Step 1: The Miscellaneous

The Hose, the cable, the nozzle and any other detachable parts of your washing machine should be packed individually. Wrap these up in furniture blankets, then string them up with a rope. You can also use a moving strap in this case. Also, you don’t have to wrap it all up together in one blanket. You can use 2 or even 3, depending on how many parts are there. Once done wrapping it all up, you can just place them inside the drum, if padded well.

Step 2: Padding The Washing Machine

Get the moving blankets, wrap it around the washing machine completely. If it’s a pretty thick and dense blanket, once should be enough. You can also choose to double up the layer of blanket if you think the padding isn’t enough. When doing this, also make sure that the blanket is also tucked in at the bottom part. Make sure that one person is holding the blanket in place for you to be able to carry out the second step.

Step 3: Wrapping The Washing Machine

While your deputy is holding the blanket in place, use the stretch-wrap all across the washer. You should start from the top, then move downward as you keep wrapping. As you keep wrapping, don’t forget to go below the washing machine, tuck it in, then again keep wrapping in the upward direction. So once you do the whole wrapping from top-bottom, then continue it from the bottom-top, your padding will be held firmly in place.

Step 4: Taping The Washing Machine

As an added precautionary measure, make use of the packing tape here. It’s all about avoiding the possibility of the padding coming off, so it’s best to seal the stretch-wrap in place just as well.

Moving A Washer

Now, for the actually heavy duty task, you will have to get your moving dolly.

Step 1: Placing It On The Dolly

One of you should lift the washing machine just a little from one side. The other person should be slipping the dolly below the lifted area. Then, you can let the washing machine rest on the dolly. Just make sure you shift it inside so it isn’t hanging out.

Step 2: Strapping The Washer To The Dolly

After you’ve properly placed it on the dolly, make use of the moving straps or rope to firmly hold the washing machine with the dolly so that there’s no way it can shift or slip out.

Step 3: Loading It To The Vehicle

Have your helping hand set-up the ramp, then slowly and carefully slide it up the ramp and place it in the vehicle. As an added measure, you can also strap or rope the dolly to one side of your vehicle so it doesn’t move or shift around during the bumps on the road. If someone is going to be personally manning the dolly with the machine, then you can avoid this step.

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See also: Move Out Cleaning Checklist


Conclusion

There’s certainly no denying that moving a washing machine yourself is a task that is taxing to a good extent. But with some help, it’s certainly doable. Just a word of advice though. It’s best to avoid moving a washing machine yourself altogether if you’re going to have to bring it down from a long flight of stairs. That’s just too much of a risk. But if you live in a building with a functional elevator or a house with no stairs, you’ll have it rather easy. Like we said, it’s definitely something you can do yourself. So don’t worry, you got this!