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Is this an indication of a weak laundry room floor?


nas7016's Avatar
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06-06-13, 04:40 PM   #1  
Is this an indication of a weak laundry room floor?

I have a new construction home with a 2nd floor laundry room and have been struggling with having stable washing machine runs. I've got a Whirlpool front loader on a pedestal and it shakes quite badly during the high spin cycle. On almost every wash, it'll periodically lose footing and "walk." I believe this is due to the floor system being unable to handle the forces, but the builder is disputing it saying it's built "to code" and thinks the washer/pedestal is to blame. Whirlpool came out twice and said the washer is running mechanically fine.

Here's a video I took with a cup of water sitting on top of the dryer which is next to the washer to show the floor movement. These are all vibrations being transfered via the floor from the washing machine. Is this movement normal? If not, is there anything I can do to get this resolved or do I need to replace this fancy washer with an old fashioned top loader?

VID 20130529 153632 - YouTube

Here's two more videos:
Washer Moving - YouTube
Aft Washer Foot - YouTube

Any feedback would be appreciated.

 
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06-06-13, 05:25 PM   #2  
I love it when people use the phrase, "built to code". Code is MINIMUM and minimum is not necessarily adequate. In your case, however, it is likely that the pedestal drawer is more to blame than is the floor construction. I have no problem with my front-loading machine but you might try adding a resilient mat between the pedestal and the floor.

 
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06-06-13, 05:32 PM   #3  
Thanks. When you say pedestal, do you mean there may be a defect with the pedestal itself? Or just the fact that it's on a pedestal? I've considered taking it off the pedestal and seeing how it runs, I'm sure it will be much better since that would lower the center of gravity.

 
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06-06-13, 07:00 PM   #4  
I have no personal experience with the pedestals but I have read numerous accounts of the exact same problem that you are experiencing. All stemmed from the fact that the pedestals are minimally engineered and constructed and tend to amplify the vibrations of the washing machine. In my opinion the sheet-metal pedestals are simply not rigid enough.

 
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06-06-13, 09:14 PM   #5  
I've just noticed that it is the left side of the pedestal that shakes/vibrates the most while the right side is pretty stable. I wonder if this is indication of a pedestal defect or a weak spot on the floor? The right side I am pretty sure is sitting right above a joist, while the left side is not on a joist.

Hmmm...

 
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06-07-13, 03:16 AM   #6  
Pull the drawer out of the pedestal and note the construction of the unit. You will see very little if any cross bracing, it is made of thin stamped metal, and thus will torque. You have a machine that weighs a lot trying to spin a tub with initially unbalanced clothing in it, so don't expect that pedestal to be a happy item.

My daughter had a high end washer dryer system on pedestals. While visiting I asked her where the train station was (in jest). She said it was her washer shaking the entire house. We took it off the pedestal, set it on rubber feet and it purred.

I don't think it is your floor, but the pedestal. I know it is a PITA to remove it, but it's the only way you can find out for sure.

 
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06-07-13, 05:35 PM   #7  
I've considered taking it off the pedestal and seeing how it runs, I'm sure it will be much better since that would lower the center of gravity.
That will put it on the floor but it won't change it's center of gravity. That's determined by the construction of the washing machine itself.

 
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06-07-13, 06:11 PM   #8  
You need to level washer, I run into this every day, Put about 3 or 4 towels in washer, get them wet. Put washer in hi spin. DO NOT TRY TO LEVEL UNTIL IN HIGH SPIN When washer is in hi spin turn one of the leveling feet. (I always do the easiest to reach) turn foot until washer smooths out. Could take as little as a 1/2 turn. If starts shaking more you have gone wrong way.
Washer need all 4 feet solid on floor. It will always shake going up to spin and going down from high spin. Taking pedestal off will make a slight difference not enough to worry about. Level does not mean anything either just four feet solid on floor.

 
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06-11-13, 06:23 PM   #9  
Thanks for the feedback.

I've spent many hours over the course of months leveling and releveling the washer and have been unable to get it to remain stable. Even two Whirlpool techs that came out were unable to resolve it saying the floor I have is weak.

The slightest imbalance will cause it to walk no matter the feet leveling.

Last week, I bought these pads and they seem to have fixed the problem, at least based on a couple heavy wash loads I did:

Amazon.com: Washing Machine KE Shake Away Plus Pads Vibration Pads Super Duty Version: Home Improvement

They seem to do a good job absorbing vibration as well as reduce floor deflection which is what was needed to stop it from walking.

Based on this, I assume I do indeed have a weak floor, which is unfortunate, but I don't think there is anything I can do now, especially since it probably still is technically built to code...

 
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