How to Move a Washer and Dryer
Learn how to safety move a washer and dryer to your new home.
Moving appliances around your home or transporting them to a new home can be stressful if you aren't sure how to get these heavy, bulky objects from point A to point B. However, if you take the time to disconnect the appliances, prepare them for moving, and rent or purchase the appropriate equipment to help handle the weight of the washer and dryer, the job can be much easier.
Keep in mind that even with the proper preparations moving a washer and dryer isn't a simple task, so if you aren't confident in your own abilities, including your physical strength and health, then it's a better idea to get help from a someone better equipped to take on this task or hire a professional mover. The last thing you would want in the middle of a big move is to hurt your back or have your health suffer because you attempted to haul a washer and dryer pair out of your home.
Plan to have at least one other person on hand to help move these appliances and make sure to follow the steps provided to successfully learn how to move a washer and dryer pair.
The biggest obstacle to moving a washer and dryer pair is that these appliances are bulky and heavy. Attempting to lift a washer or dryer on your own isn't a good idea. Plan to have at least one other person available when you are moving to help lift the appliances on to an appliance cart and balance the washer and dryer while you move them through the house and into the moving truck.
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Adjustable wrench
- Wire cutters
- Appliance cart
- Plastic wrap
- Moving blankets
Detach the Drain Hose to Drain the Washer
The first step to moving your washer and dryer is to drain the washing machine. Locate the water supply valve and turn off the water to the washer, then find the large, plastic drain hose. Remove the drain hose from the current position and place it into a nearby laundry sink or into a bucket to drain any remaining water from the line.
You can also set the washer to a spin cycle to help remove any water that is still left in the machine. Following the spin cycle, the washer will drain the water through the drain line and into the bucket or laundry sink. It's a good idea to allow the washer to dry out with the lid open for about 24 to 48 hours before the move.
Disconnect the Hot and Cold Water Hoses
The inlet hoses for the washer are usually located at the back of the machine. Double-check to make sure that you have turned off the incoming hot and cold water valves, then disconnect the hoses from the washer. Some hoses can be disconnected without the use of tools, but other washer connection may require an adjustable wrench.
After disconnecting each hose, place it in a nearby laundry sink or a bucket to drain any water remaining in the hoses. When the hoses appear to be dry, put them into a sealable bag for transportation. The drain hose remains attached to the washer, but you can tie it to the machine with rope or tape to prevent it from moving or shifting while you work.
It's recommended to turn off the power to the washer by flipping the breaker to the off position in the breaker box. This helps to prevent accidental electrocution when you are disconnecting the water lines. Make sure to unplug the electrical cord from the outlet before turning the breaker back on.
Secure the Shipping Bolts
Washing machines have an agitator and tub that move around during a wash cycle to better clean the laundry. This feature is very useful for getting out tough stains, dirt, and grime, but it can cause problems during a move if the agitator and tub are not properly secured. Check the appliance manual to determine where the shipping bolts are located on the washer.
Shipping bolts are used to hold the tub in place, so it cannot shift while the washer is being moved. They can be found at the back of the washer, though if your washer doesn't have shipping bolts, you can also wedge a piece of cardboard or foam between the drum and the frame to prevent unnecessary movement.
Turn Off Electricity to the Dryer
Regardless of whether you have a gas or electric dryer, there will be an electrical connection. Electric dryers rely exclusively on electricity to provide heat and power to drive the rotating drum. Gas dryers burn natural gas or propane to provide heat for drying the clothes, but they still have an electrical connection to power the rotating drum.
If you are concerned about the risk of electrocution, turn off the electricity to the dryer at the breaker panel. If you have a gas dryer, call a professional to disconnect and cap the existing gas line.
Unplug the Dryer
Unplug the electrical cord and tape it to the back of the dryer to keep it out of the way during the move.
If you have a gas dryer, call a licensed professional to shut off the gas, disconnect and plug the gas service feeding the dryer.
Detach the Ventilation Hose
The ventilation hose is a large-diameter flexible pipe that vents the exhaust from the dryer to the outside of the home. This hose is typically secured with simple clamps that can either be loosened or cut off with a pair of wire cutters. Detach the ventilation hose and check to make sure that it's clean before putting it into a sealable bag and storing it inside the dryer until it's ready to be reinstalled at the new home.
Prepare the Washer and Dryer for Moving
In order to prevent the washer and dryer from getting damaged during the move and the keep the doors from opening, it's recommended to pack moving blankets around the outside of the washer and dryer, then wrap each machine in plastic wrap. Tape the plastic wrap to prevent it from shifting during the move. This should also help to keep any pipes or cords in place and out of the way.
Use an Appliance Cart to Move the Washer and Dryer
Don't try to haul your washer and dryer out of the home and onto a moving truck without using an appliance cart or furniture dolly. You can usually rent these tools from the moving truck rental company or you can purchase an appliance cart from a home renovation store.
With at least two people, lift one side of the washer to get the appliance cart or furniture dolly under the machine. Have one person hold the cart in place and pull the washer, while the second person pushes and lifts the washer onto the appliance cart. Strap the machine to the cart with furniture or appliance straps, then move the cart through the home and out to the truck. Repeat this process with the dryer.
Position the Washer and Dryer on the Moving Truck
If the moving truck has a ramp, then one person can push the appliance cart up the ramp and onto the truck while the second person steadies the washer to prevent it from slipping off the cart. Go slow to avoid driving the cart off the side of the ramp.
If the moving truck has an elevator, then simply wheel the appliance cart onto the elevator and activate the lift until it is level with the truck, then load the washer onto the truck. If you are dealing with a moving truck that doesn't have a ramp or elevator, then you will need to lift the washer up onto the truck.
Ideally, you will have at least three people to help lift the washer up to the bed of the truck. Go slowly and take care to lift with your legs instead of your back. Wear safety gloves to prevent cutting or otherwise damaging your hands. Repeat this process with the dryer.
Position the washer and dryer at the back of the truck, nearest to the cab. Always pack these appliances upright and never on their sides to avoid unnecessary damage in transit.
Unload and Set-Up the Washer and Dryer
Once you have arrived at your location, load the washer onto the appliance cart, then carefully wheel the cart into the home, remembering to support the appliance with at least two people at all times. Repeat the process with the dryer and position the washer and dryer in the new laundry room or laundry area.
Turn off the electricity and water to the laundry room before installing the washer and dryer. If you have a gas dryer, call a licensed professional to make that connection.
If necessary, remove the shipping bolts or take out the cardboard or foam wedge you put into the washer to keep it from shifting. Put the drain hose in place, connect the water lines, and plug in the washer. Turn on the electricity at the breaker panel and open the hot and cold water valves.
Plug in the dryer, attach the exhaust hose with clamps. Turn on the electricity.
Check the water vent connections for any signs of a leak. You should also place a level on the top of the washer and use the leveling feet to ensure it is level in its new position. Repeat this process to level the dryer as well.