An unbalanced load can lead to your washing machine shaking and shifting, making more noise. Many washing machines today have sensors that can detect how big or small your load of laundry is, and they can ensure that a balanced load will lead to better performance. However, a shaking washing machine won’t only cause issues with your laundry, but it could also affect your plumbing.

As your washing machine shakes, it creates more than just an awful sound of shifting across the floor. That shifting also means that it will move all parts attached to it, including the plumbing and pipes connected. The violent motions themselves can cause trouble, but the shaking and rattling can cause another problem within the pipes, and that is a phenomenon called water hammer

Water hammer can happen because of a pressure surge or a high-pressure shock wave in your pipes. If water in motion is forced to change direction, or if it is forced to a sudden stop, then that shock wave may occur. When a valve is forced to close suddenly, water can slam into it. While that may not seem like it could cause a lot of damage, the effects of water hammer can become worse.

Leaks are always something to look out for when it comes to your plumbing, and water hammer can lead to leaks around your washing machine. It may also damage the pipes, leading to ruptures and significant property damage. 

Once you hear your washing machine shake and rattle, take the immediate steps to remedy the problem, not only for the efficiency of your appliance but also for the safety of your home’s plumbing. The first step comes as you start a load of laundry, and ensuring that the load is balanced. By evenly distributing clothes, bedding or towels, you can limit the vibrations and the shaking.

Another issue your washing machine may have is that the washing machine itself is not balanced. This can be fixed by adjusting the feet on the bottom of the machine. If your washer wobbles just by pushing against it, then you should check to see if the feet need to be raised or lowered. Placing a level on the top of the machine will help you find the right balance.

A more difficult fix will come if you discover that the floor is unbalanced. You may place a plywood under the machine to create a basic platform. If vibrations still occur, then you could add anti-vibration pads under the washer, or even a mat of thin foam or fabric, to better dampen the vibrations.

Protect your washing machine and protect your plumbing. Eliminating the shaking and vibrations will stop not only the annoying noises, but will also stop the potential damage that may be done to your pipes. For more information on water hammer or how to stop a shaking washing machine, call Kellermeier Plumbing at 616-866-5134. At Kellermeier Plumbing, we pride ourselves on being honest and upfront with our customers and strive to provide our clients with the highest level of service.