There are several reasons why your washer could be vibrating excessively during the spin cycle and becomes unbalanced. The most common reason is the washer’s balance ring has come loose and is no longer properly supporting the tub to keep it spinning straight and balanced.
This guide will help you repair a washing machine that vibrates too much by changing its balance ring.
What You’ll Need:
- Screwdriver (large and small)
- Adjustable Wrench
- Wire Cutters
- Wire Strippers
- Hacksaw Rag or Cloth Putty Knife
- Coupling Nut
- New Balance Ring
How To Repair A Vibrating Washing Machine By Changing The Balance Ring
Step 1: Unplug the Washer and Remove Water Supply
Your washer is probably still under warranty, so if you are hesitant to open it up yourself, take it to your local appliance repair shop to avoid voiding the warranty.
However, if you find that your washing machine has come out of warranty, read on… Turn off the water supply to your washer at the wall stop valves. Drain any remaining water by opening up one of the hoses beneath where the water enters into the tub.
Step 2: Remove the Side Covers
To access the washer’s balance ring, you’ll need to remove one of the side covers. Use a large flathead screwdriver and pry off both lower corners of either of the side panels.
Then unscrew and remove them with your pliers or adjustable wrench.
Step 3: Remove the Front Panel
Next, you’ll need to disconnect all remaining electrical connections leading from controls on the front panel, top panel, and rear panel, including any sensors for water level or soil level in the tub itself, if available in your model washer design.
Disconnect these at their corresponding screws on each connection strip. Then you can use a screwdriver to pop off all knobs and levers that are on the front panel.
Finally, remove the screws that are holding on the front panel to remove them completely.
Step 4: Remove Balance Ring
Next, you’ll need to remove the washing machine’s balance ring which is located around the main drive shaft of your washer behind where you just removed all of these parts. If there is no separate balance ring visible, then this is likely a tub-less washer design (aka bottom-load model) and you will need to use an alternate method for balancing your machine as described further below in our article.
To access the balance ring with this type of washing machine design, first turn off the water supply to your washer at stop valves, disconnect hoses beneath any water entry ports on the tub, and disconnect the drain hose for removing water from the tub.
You can then use a large screwdriver to pry off the top of the washer’s access panel. This access panel typically screws on and has an attached wire-mesh grate so be sure to handle it carefully and note its orientation as you remove it to avoid scratching or marring its surfaces.
With that out of your way, you’ll be able to see the balance ring behind the driveshaft. This ring is held onto the tub with a coupler nut as described below.
Use pliers or adjustable wrenches to loosen this nut (counter-clockwise) until you can slide the balance ring downwards out of place it should still be connected by its wire harnesses.
Pull the balance ring carefully away from the tub while holding onto the wire harnesses to avoid straining them. If they appear to be damaged, you may need to replace some or all of the wiring which is more difficult but not beyond the abilities of some DIYers.
Step 5: Replace Balance Ring or Coupler Nut on Tub
Note that this coupler nut is often a lower quality item than what washer designers hoped for in terms of durability. They are quite often found with stripped threads making it impossible to tighten down onto housing retaining ring assembly effectively.
For these machines, if stripping has occurred on your coupler nut, then DO NOT try replacing it back into place as you’ll likely end up with a loose nut in no time that can’t be tightened down correctly to keep your washtub balanced.
Instead, you’ll need to replace the entire retaining ring assembly (or if available just the individual balance ring depending on washer design) where this fits onto your machine’s driveshaft. As these balance rings usually fit snuggly onto their axle without any tools, you may find it helpful to use a pair of needle-nose pliers or adjustable wrenches to remove the old one and install the new one.
Step 6: Reassemble Washer
Finally, re-install all panels, side covers, knobs/levers/etc., and reconnect any electrical connections between them before turning on the water supply at wall stop valves again and attempting to run a test cycle to see if your washing machine is balanced enough to allow the tub to spin properly now.
Step 7: Verify New Balance
You should verify that your washer is now properly balanced by trying to spin its tub again. If it still won’t spin, then see our related article here on how to troubleshoot the lack of proper balance.
If these methods don’t solve your problem or if you would like to understand the principles behind what we described above in more detail, please refer to our various related articles for further explanation and details. As well as specific instructions for particular models where applicable.