How I fixed a loose drum in the washing machine?

To fix the washing machine’s loose drum, it is important to identify the source of the problem in the first place. It’s always best to gain complete access to the drum to inspect it thoroughly and this will require you to detach a few access panels depending on the model and type of your washing machine.

Key Takeaways

  • It is recommended to avoid running a washing machine with a loose drum to prevent unwanted damage.
  • The drum can be loose due to worn-out bolts that secure the drum in place or it can be a bearing that is pushing the drum off track.
  • Faults in the suspension system, drum spiders, drum belts, and tensioner pulleys can also be a cause of loose drums.
  • You will need to access the drum to identify the actual cause and fix it accordingly.
  • The possible fix to a loose drum is to either tighten the drum or replace the problematic components like drive belts, drum bearings, suspension springs, etc.
  • If you are confused about the symptoms, it’s best to reach out to a service professional.

Why did my washing machine drum become loose?

It’s a common problem for the drum to become loose over time and cause a rattling noise.

Before I begin let me tell you what happens if the drum becomes loose in a washing machine.

  • You will hear a loud thudding noise coming from your washing machine drum.
  • Unusual vibration can be observed during function.
  • It will cause the drum to eventually start to move around inside the machine.
  • Finally, it can cause damage to the connected components including the entire washing machine.

So how did my washing machine drum become loose?

The first thing to understand is that washing machine drums are designed to rotate and spin with heavy loads.

So, it’s important that you do your best to ensure that the laundry load inside the washer is spread evenly so that the drum moves freely, causing as little vibration as possible.

Here are a few factors responsible for a loose drum (includes the reason why my washer drum was loose).

Poor installation

Improper installation is one of the factors that can contribute to a loose washing machine drum.

When you install or set up a washing machine, it’s important to make sure that all of the components are secure and properly installed.

If parts are left loose or not properly secured, this can cause extra vibration, which can further cause the drum to become loose.


If you are moving your machine from one location to another, make sure it is properly secured and that the transit bolts are installed.

This will help prevent the internal parts, such as the drum, from moving or banging and will also help keep your drum in place for longer.

Overloading / Uneven loading

Overloading or uneven loads can lead to several problems for the washing machine, especially for the drum.

This is the most common factor in premature wear-outs in a washing machine drum.

If you do it frequently, you are merely jeopardizing the life of your washing machine.

Overloading will not only create immense pressure on the drum but also affect the connected components.

So, it is always advised to use the washing machine wisely when it comes to loads.

Uneven floor/leveling issue

Another cause of the washing machine drum becoming loose is due to improper placement or if the washer isn’t level.

The likelihood that the washing machine drum will go off track and become loose increases when you set up and use the machine on an uneven floor.

So, it is always important to level the washing machine in order to prevent damage to the drum and other internal components.

This is one of the top reasons why my washer drum was loose (it was slightly tilted towards left, barely visible through naked eye but I guess it was enough to amplify the loosening process).

How to fix a loose drum in the washing machine?

To begin, locate the target area where the washing machine drum has become loose.

To determine the same, you will need to have proper access to the drum and its connected parts.

Let’s take a quick look at the below steps to fix a loose drum in the washing machine.

Step 1: Unplug the washer from the power

Unplug the washing machine from the power source and disconnect the water supplies.

Step 2: Move the washer

Move the washing machine away from the back wall to gain better access.

Step 3: Remove the access panels

Depending on your washing machine model and type, you will need to remove the back, front, and top panels (outer body).

Removing all the required panels is necessary to access the drum from all sides.

Depending on the grooves, you may need screwdrivers, wrenches, and pliers to remove the screws and nuts and separate the access panels.

You will also need a flathead screwdriver or a putty knife to pry out the secured tabs.

Simply refer to the user manual of your washing machine’s type and model to learn how to remove the access panels properly.

Step 4: Locate the drum

Once the access panels are detached, you will have access to the drum and its connected components.

Step 5: Inspect and fix the connecting points

This step involves multiple checks around the drum and its connected components.


You can now start inspecting the connecting points to the drum, such as the screws or nuts that hold it to its frame.

Most importantly, check the tension of all the screws to make sure they are not too tight or too loose.

If the screws are found to be loose, tighten them, or if they are worn out, simply get them replaced; this should solve the problem.

Suspension rods

When it comes to suspension rods in washing machines, you should know their importance.

Suspension rods are metal rods that are connected directly to the tub of the washing machine.

They help support or balance the weight of the washer drum and ensure that it rotates smoothly when in use.

Unfortunately, over time, the suspension rods can become worn or damaged and cause problems such as excessive vibrations and noise during operation.

Additionally, it is also possible that one or more screws that hold them in place have become worn or loose.

Check to see if any of the screws are loose and if so, tighten them.

However, if there are signs of wear and tear, then simply get them replaced.

You can tighten a loose washing machine drum by simply adjusting the suspension or tension rods.

In most cases, there are two of them, so to tighten the drum, you simply turn the securing bolts clockwise on each one.

But if the rods are worn-out then they will need replacement.

With all that said, the replacement of suspension rods should only be done if you have a little know-how about appliance repair.

In case you’re not confident in your ability to repair the suspension rods, then it’s best to contact a professional repairman who can perform the job safely and correctly.

If you are confident enough and still choose to attempt a DIY repair, here’s what you need to do:

  • As you already have access to the drum you will also be able to locate the suspension rod assembly.
  • When disassembling, it helps to keep track of what pieces go where so you can put them back together with ease.
  • Once everything has been identified, use a wrench to loosen and remove any screws or bolts that secure the suspension rods in place.
  • Next, carefully lift out the old suspension rods and install the replacement part.
  • Make sure to use an identical size and the right replacement part as per the model of your washing machine.
  • Reattach all screws or bolts that were removed earlier and tighten them properly.
  • Reverse the steps to reassemble the washer and run a test cycle to confirm if everything is working as expected.

Also Read: How to grease suspension rods in the washing machine?

Drum Belt / Pulley

Most washing machine drums are surrounded by a belt connecting to a pulley and the motor.

It aids the drum’s motion in activities like spinning and rotating.

Washing machine drum belts are typically made of durable rubber and can last as long as the washing machine does.

However, over time, they can wear out and may need a replacement.

A worn-out belt can lead to a loose drum and result in excess vibration and noise.

To remove the belt, simply loosen the screws that secure the tensioner or pulley.

Next, pull out the belt from the machine in a gentle manner.

Install the replacement belt and align it over the drum properly.

Finally, make sure to tighten the screws holding the tensioner pulley.

Then, try to rotate the drum with your hands and check if it moves smoothly.

Similarly, if the tensioner pulley shows signs of damage, replace the pulleys.

Unscrew it carefully and install the replacement pulley.

Reinstall everything back and run a test cycle.

Loose bearings/Off-track drum

It is possible for the drum to go off the track due to excess vibration over time.

This can be due to the loose or worn-out bearing of the drum.

Uneven loading or overloading a washing machine frequently is again responsible for this cause.

In such a situation, you will need to adjust the tracks on which the drum sits by adjusting or tightening any bolts or screws that secure the drum track in place, including the bearing.

Make sure to refer to the user manual to fix the bearings in your washing machine’s model and type.

This may require some force, so make sure that it is securely tightened before testing it out.

If you are unsure about the troubleshooting steps, it is recommended that you contact a service professional for help.

Why is the washing machine drum hard to turn by hand?

If you can’t turn the washing machine drum by hand, there might be a number of causes, such as mechanical obstructions, worn or broken drum bearings, difficulties with the belt or motor, pulley problems, or suspension system issues.

To ensure that your washing machine is operating correctly, it is important to visit a qualified expert who can identify and fix the precise problem that is causing it.

The majority of the time, it’s either because of faulty bearings or because something is wedged in between the drum and the outer tub.

Why does the washing machine drum wobble when spinning?

An unbalanced laundry load, an unlevel washer, an uneven floor, improper installation, worn or damaged drum bearings, loose drum pulleys, damaged shock absorbers, loose or damaged suspension springs, or a worn or damaged drive belt can cause the drum to wobble during the spin cycle.

It’s important to address any issues with a wobbling washing machine drum promptly to avoid further damage or potential safety hazards.

Regular maintenance of your washing machine, including cleaning the drum and checking for any loose or damaged parts, can help prevent issues like a wobbling drum.

Following manufacturer guidelines for loading and operating your washing machine can also help prevent issues like an unbalanced laundry load.

If you are confused or unable to fix the wobbling issues on your own, a professional technician can diagnose and repair the specific issue causing the problem to ensure that your washing machine is working properly.

Final Thoughts

If your washing machine drum has already become loose, the first step is to check all of its connected components and make sure they are secure and properly installed.

It’s important to identify the actual cause in order to go for a permanent fix.

Excessive vibration is simply a symptom of an underlying cause, it can be as silly as overload or as complex as problematic suspension rods or bearings.

So, once the actual cause has been identified, you can get it fixed before using the washing machine to run the next cycle.

That being said, as a part of basic troubleshooting, you can always try to reduce vibration by using a rubber mat or other cushioning material between the floor and your washing machine.

Additionally, try to balance the washer and see if that helps.

Doing this will ensure the drum is stable, especially during a function, and prevent it from moving off track.

If basic troubleshooting does not help, contact a professional repair person without any hesitation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal for the washing machine drum to be loose?

It’s not typical for the drum of a washing machine to be loose. It is important that the drum is well-mounted and stays put while it is in use. The suspension system, drum bearings, or other parts of the washing machine could be at fault if the drum is loose and banging around. In order to avoid further damage to the machine, it’s important to take prompt action to address this issue.

Can you repair a washing machine drum?

Depending on the severity of the issue and the make and model of the machine, repairing the drum of a washing machine can be time-consuming and costly. Replacement of worn or damaged drum bearings may solve the problem if that is the cause. In cases where the drum assembly has been severely damaged (by dents, cracks, or corrosion), a replacement may be necessary. It may not be worthwhile to repair the drum of a washing machine in some cases.

How do you tighten a drum belt on a washing machine?

To tighten the drum belt, insert the motor all the way into the machine and press it down, then turn the mounting screw clockwise. As you press down on the motor, you’re creating stress in the belt; therefore, it’s crucial to press the motor downward.

What are the signs or symptoms that indicate a loose drum in a washing machine?

Signs that your washing machine drum may be loose include loud banging or thumping noises, pronounced vibrations or shaking, a loose or wobbly drum, and a misaligned or out-of-balance drum.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)