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Monthly Archives: April 2011

  • 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.
  • The Secret is in the Sorbothane

    It's no secret that the market is flooded with many different types of washing machine vibration damper pads.  There are pads of many different shapes, sizes and materials.  There are pads made of recycled tires, neoprene, foam rubber, cork, natural rubber and even complex platforms of steel and springs.  But amongst all the options today, one has stood out year after year.  That product is Silent Feet Anti-Vibration Pads made with Sorbothane.

    Sorbothane is so much more than just a polyurethane rubber.  It has been designed to offer the absolute best vibration absorbing characteristics.  This means that it is actually what is called a "visco-elastic polymer."  This fancy term means that it has characteristics of both a liquid and a solid.   Think of the ideal vibration isolation situation, it would probably involve a material that could significantly deflect and deform to smoothly absorb all impact and vibration energy, much like a thick liquid syrup.  But syrup wouldn't work well for long because it wouldn't hold it's shape, so the ideal material would also need to have shape memory, like memory foam.  But all foam rubber is made with millions of tiny bubbles in it.  Over time these bubble pop and wear out causing the material to become less effective and fall apart.  So the ideal material would be a solid rubber with perfect shape memory and a fluid like feel.  That is what Sorbothane is.

    If you touch Sorbothane you will notice that it feels soft like the palm of our hand.  It feels this way because it was actually modeled on possibly the best impact absorbing part of the human body, the soft flesh of your heel.  It has very similar characteristics to this natural anti-vibration pad.  When you run or walk, the impact energy of your foot on the ground is smoothly absorbed by your foot and heel.  If you took a ball of Sorbothane and dropped it on the ground it would only return one tiny bounce before coming to rest.  Compare that to a ball made of normal urethane rubber or foam which will return a bounce at least half as high as the original bounce height and then continue to bounce for a long time.

    That comparison is the true secret to why Silent Feet washing machine and dryer pads continue to be the number one most effective product.  All other rubber pads no matter what material they are made of, even fancy and expensive metal platforms with springs all will cause a violent and strong rebound force.  Any time your washing machine is installed on those inferior pads the vibration will amplify and spread.  Just like if you dribble a tennis ball with a racket, the ball retains more energy than is dissipates.  So make the right choice today and install Silent Feet or Anti-Walk Silent Feet under your washing machine to see a dramatic reduction in vibration and noise.  The Sorbothane rubber in your set of Silent Feet pads will continue working just as hard 10 years from now as it will on day 1 to absorb and smoothly dissipate spin cycle vibration.

    One final benefit of Sorbothane rubber is that it is made in the USA (Kent, OH) by a skilled American workforce and is comprised of materials sourced only from the USA.  The Vibration Solution supports the creation of American jobs for American workers and is committed to delivering the highest quality products to the world.

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