Why your Washing Machine may be Unbalanced (+Tips to fix it)

Washing machines are a convenient, effective, and time-saving solution for keeping your laundry clean. Most of the time they work reliably, are quiet and require little or no monitoring during the wash cycle.

Occasionally, the washing cycle may be interrupted with an error message that the washing load is unbalanced or the machine may shift position too because it is unbalanced.

The good news is that most times this imbalance is easy to fix and can be done by yourself without the support of a technician.

So, in this article, I’ll cover the common reasons why the washing machine may be unbalanced, what signs you can look out for to confirm that it is and I will provide some tips on how you may be able to fix it.

Why your Washing Machine may be Unbalanced

There are several possible reasons why the washer might be unbalanced during the spin cycle. Some of the common ones are:

  • the laundry not being evenly spread around the washing basket in the washer,
  • remains of packaging materials fixed at the factory to protect it during transportation still in the washing machine,
  • washing machine installed on an uneven floor or
  • even if its support feet have not been adjusted to the same level for it to stand firm.

Signs your Washing Machine is Unbalanced

An unbalanced washer tends to be noisy instead of being quiet in its operation.

It vibrates violently during the spin cycle, and you may hear banging noises as the washing load shifts position during the cycle.

Sometimes the vibration of the washer is followed by the washer moving position as the weight is shifted from position to position during the spin cycle.

The washer may not drain properly leaving the clothes wetter than they should be.

If the washing machine is unbalanced, inspect it immediately and make the necessary adjustments to avoid damage to it.

Why You Need to Fix an Unbalanced Washing Machine?

If the washing machine is unbalanced, it does not wash as well and may stop the washing cycle each time the sensors detect an unbalanced load.

In some cases, the washer can suffer physical damage as it vibrates and shifts position during the spin cycle.

Why your Washing machine may Keep getting Unbalanced

One common reason why your washer might keep showing the unbalanced message is if the washing load is not loosely placed around the washing basket.

When loading the machine, spread the closes loosely around the washing basket to avoid the washer having an unbalanced load.

Tips to Fix a Washing machine that is unbalanced

#1. Is the washer new? If so, you should confirm that the packing materials and bolts fixed to hold it in position have been completely removed (consult your washer’s owner manual) otherwise they can make the washer unbalanced too.

#2. Check that there are no bulky items in the washer. These can cause the machine to go out of balance and vibrate during the spin cycle.

#3. Check that the floor where the washer is mounted is level. If not, this can cause the washer to be unbalanced during the washing machine spin cycle.

#4. Is the washing machine level? Washers usually have adjustable legs, check them to confirm that they are adjusted to the same length and that all of them are equally supporting the washer.

The legs usually have to be locked in position. If they are not adjusted right, your washer may for instance be supported by only 3 out of the 4 legs with the one slightly off the ground.

To check that the washer legs are firmly placed on the ground, you can use a spirit level placed first on the front and then adjust the legs of the machine accordingly.

Next, place the spirit level on the side and make the necessary adjustments to the supporting legs of the washer until the spirit level confirms that it is level.

You can also try to rock the front and side of the washer. If it rocks then the legs are not firmly on the ground and you need to adjust them again.

#5. In case the washing machine is not draining properly and leaving the laundry wetter than it should be because it is unbalanced, as an interim solution, you can try running the drain and spin cycle to drain the washer (Check the washer’s owner manual on how you can do this or contact the manufacturer customer support).

Final Thoughts

If your washer keeps showing the unbalanced load message, always check that the laundry has been spread around evenly.

If not, spread it as a first step. You can check that it is firmly standing on all its four supports by gently rocking it to see if there is movement or not.

If it is can be rocked then, its feet may need to be adjected or the floor may not be level.

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