Stopping Vibrating Washing Machines

Sales of front-loading washers are up. They can save you energy but some also have a problem.

Their superfast rotation speeds can make them vibrate violently. Consumer Reports just tested devices designed to stop all that vibrating.

Some front-loading washing machines have a whole lot of shaking going on. It's especially a problem in the spin cycle.

Consumer Reports tested seven devices that promise to help. Most are pads, ranging in price from $25-$47.

Bob Markovich of Consumer Reports says, "You place the pads under each corner of the washer. They're supposed to reduce the transfer of vibration to the floor."

To test the devices, Consumer Reports used a washer that vibrates badly.

Testers added the pads and placed a sensor on the floor to detect any vibrations. A computer analyzed the results.

So did any of the devices help?

Markovich says, "Not really. None of the pads reduced vibration noticeably in our tests."

Consumer Reports also tested the Steadywash Isolation Platform, which costs a lot more-$200. And at 24 pounds, it weighs a lot more, too.

The washer still visibly moves from side to side, although the Steadywash does reduce vibration to floor.

Markovich says, "You're better off getting a washer that doesn't vibrate a lot, And we found several in our tests."

A good choice-the Samsung WF520AB. It doesn't vibrate much at all and is very good at cleaning. It costs $1,400.

If you're looking to pay less for a washing machine, Consumer Reports named and $800 washer from Sears a Best Buy. It's Kenmore model number 4027-2.

It vibrates a bit more than the Samsung, but it's excellent at cleaning.


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