A washing machine drum can be made of steel, aluminium or plastic material. Unfortunately, the design is usually not sturdy enough to cope with the rotation and movement needed during use. You may experience noise issues such as poor balance, vibration and severe wobbling too. The drum may need tightening at times to ensure it rotates effectively.
What causes this?
There are different reasons for this issue so you must check each one before proceeding with any repair process:
- Poorly designed dryer may wobble because the fasteners on its base were not installed correctly or worn out.
- Washing machine snags various articles of clothing that tend to put pressure on the cabinet and cause vibrations and shaking which result in loosened drum and noises too.
- A gap between the washer and dryer that is not well covered can also cause vibrations and make your drum wobble.
- Loud thumping noise could be because of a broken suspension spring which must be replaced immediately to prevent further damage to both machine and clothes.
How to Tighten Washing Machine Drum?
Tools and materials needed:
Socket wrench, U-joint if available, spring cone washer (1), 3/4 x 1-inch screws (2), rubber cushion (1). The procedure is as follows:
STEP 1: Use the socket wrench to release the screws securing the front panel where suspension springs are attached. You can now pull out both springs carefully by hand.
STEP 2: Loosen the setscrew located on top of each vertical support frame located at either side. Rotate each frame until its holes line up with holes located in the top corners of the cabinet. Now you will need two 3/4 x 1-inch screws that fit into these holes to tighten your drum again.
STEP 3: Push down both sides of the front panel and slide it out carefully until you can access the screws that hold drum support braces. Loosen both setscrews on top of each brace.
STEP 4: Using a socket wrench, release the screw on either side securing the drum to drive the shaft. Now pull up on the drum by hand to remove support braces from the drive shaft. You will be able to pull it up by about an inch or two before its rubber cushion comes off the base.
STEP 5: Push down on sides of the front panel with one hand while pulling up on back edge with another hand to make spring cone washer drop into place through cabinet opening. Then rotate the washer until the hole is located under the hook in the cabinet bottom bracket using your hands or push rod if available (shown in step 5).
STEP 6: Slide drum back into place until it sits on base’s rubber cushion. Now push the front panel down to lock assembly in place. Finally, use a socket wrench to replace both setscrews securing drum support braces and tighten them by hand only. Push downsides of the front panel again making sure the spring cone washer rotates downward under cabinet bracket hook (step 4)―washers are manufactured specifically for each machine model so make sure yours is correct before tightening.
If you can’t rotate your washer downwards then there is no gap between it and the cabinet bottom bracket therefore rotation is not possible. Follow this procedure first to see if shifting or loosening has occurred:
1) Pull up on cabinet top edge using one hand and push down on cabinet front edge with another hand to see if it releases.
2) Now pull up on the drum using one hand and push down on top of the cabinet using another hand to check for movement. If none is present, the problem is most likely related to a gap between the washer and dryer not well covered by either machine which causes vibrations and makes you wobble when in use. If so, seal the gap after checking both machines thoroughly for any damage caused by poor support or installation before proceeding further with the tightening drum procedure.
If you are having vibration issues only during the spin cycle then the issue may be related to worn out suspension springs that must be replaced immediately. Washer manufacturers recommend replacing both springs at the same time as they are more likely to break during the next few months of use whether one or both are already broken. After changing springs, clean washed clothes thoroughly before placing them in the dryer to prevent lint from sticking to damp clothing and avoid any damage caused by heat as it can melt some fabrics.
Warning: Never tighten your drum without replacing support braces and spring cone washers as this can cause cabinet cracks and back panel or drum bearing failure which is not covered under warranty.
The process for tightening a washing machine’s drum is fairly simple. If you follow these steps, you should be able to fix the problem yourself within minutes.