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Washing Machine Vibration Facts

Here are a few quick facts on washing machine vibration.

  1. All washing machines and dryer vibrate.  Dryers usually have less vibration than washers because the load is only wet clothes (as opposed to a drum of water and clothes).  Front loading washing machines cause high frequency vertical oscillation while top loading washers usually have horizontal oscillation.
  2. Almost all front loading washing machines are not recommended for use on standard joist-construction floors (most common floor type, compared to a concrete slab sub-floor).  Manufactures like GE, LG, Maytag, Samsung, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Bosch and more, all recommend installing a pad like Silent Feet under the washing machine to absorb the vibration.
  3. Prolonged use of a front loading washing machine on regular joist floors will cause structural damage.
    Joist construction sub-floor

    Most laundry rooms are constructed on a joist type floor. Here long wooden joists support a plywood sub-floor. Vibration weakens the joints between all the parts of the floor.

    This can result in minor issues like creaks and cracks in the floor all the way to sagging and collapse of the floor.

  4. The only alternative to using Silent Feet pads to prevent structural damage is costly upgrading of the sub-floor.  This usually involves adding a second layer of plywood sub-floor and adding sister boards to the rafters that support the floor.  But even this won't reduce the amount of vibration noise that you hear.  Sub-floor upgrades can cost thousands of dollars.
  5. Vibration can also cause appliance "walking" (unwanted movement) usually during the spin cycle.  Simply installing a pad designed to prevent walking can solve this problem and mean that you'll never have to reposition your washer after every load again.  Both Original Silent Feet and Anti-Walk Silent Feet prevent walking, however for washers that move a lot or stacked units it is recommended that you install Anti-Walk Silent Feet for the best results.

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