How To Move A Front Load Washer Without Shipping Bolts (Do This!)

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante
Shipping bolts are a common way for homeowners and contractors to move a front-loading washer. But what happens if you don’t have shipping bolts available? Follow along as we explore the only way to safely move a front-loading washer without shipping bolts.

Moving a front load washing machine is a daunting task, and it requires some great planning. The last thing that you want to do is damage your front load washer before it gets to the next destination. With that said, is it okay to move a front load washer without shipping bolts?

It is not recommended that you move front load washers without shipping bolts, and it can damage the machine. If you cannot use shipping bolts, you’ll want to make sure there’s no water in the bottom of the tub, and fill it with furniture blankets. Remove the drain hoses and power cord, wrap the machine with dolly straps, and load it onto a hand truck or dolly for transport.

If possible, try to get ahold of shipping bolts so that you can ensure your washer’s safety. Otherwise, exercise caution and follow the steps that we are about to dive into. Follow along as we explore how you can move a front load washer without shipping bolts.

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Can You Move a Washing Machine Without Transit Bolts?

You can move a front load washer without shipping bolts, but it is strongly advised against by manufacturers. The shipping bolts on your front load washer are there to keep the machine safe during transit. Because homeowners remove shipping bolts when a washer arrives, many people lose them in the process.

That causes homeowners to attempt to move the front load washer without the shipping bolts. It is wise to put the shipping bolts somewhere that you’ll remember for when it’s time to move the machine. The shipping bolts hold the washer’s drum in place so that it doesn’t rattle around while moving.

You technically can move a front load washer without shipping bolts if you keep it upright in the process. With that said, you can’t just move a front load washer without preparing for safe transit first.

Stabilize Your Washer Without Shipping Bolts

How To Move a Front Load Washer Without Shipping Bolts

Moving a front load washer without shipping bolts requires a lot of care and attention. You need to make up for the lack of shipping bolts by keeping it upright and securing the drum. Follow along as we dive into how to safely move a front load washer without shipping bolts.

Step 1. Drain the Washer

You need to fully drain your front load washer before you can safely transport it. First, turn off the washing machine, unplug it from the outlet, and tape the cord to the top of the washer. Carefully slide the washer away from the wall and inspect the back for the drain hose and water supply.

You will often find color-coded knobs that correlate to the cold and hot water supply lines. Turn the red and blue knobs in the opposite direction to shut off the water supply. Gather a bucket and pull the drain hose out of the drainpipe in the wall, and put the hose in the bucket.

A 50-gallon bucket should be large enough, and the water will rush out of the hose quickly. Slowly lower the hose and angle it further down as the water begins to slow down. Once it’s empty, you can remove the drain hose and tape it to the back of the washing machine.

Step 2. (Optional) Reinstall Shipping Bolts

This step is optional, and if you want to move it without shipping bolts, you can skip it. Look for the small plastic covers that go over where the shipping bolts were placed upon purchase. Remove the plastic covers with a screwdriver and set them to the side so that you can insert the shipping bolts.

Use your hands to insert the shipping bolts into the holes and secure them with washers if they came with them. The washer is a key part of making sure that movement is minimized while you move the front load washer. First insert the bottom left bolt, bottom right, then the top left and top right shipping bolts.

Hold onto the plastic bolt covers so that you can reinstall them once you get to your destination.

Step 3. Fill the Drum With Blankets

If you are unable to install shipping bolts, you can compensate by putting blankets in the washing machine drum. Furniture blankets are your best bet to minimize movement while the washing machine is in transit. The shipping bolts hold the drum in place, and without them, the furniture blankets can act as supplementary support.

Open your front load washer and load 1-3 furniture blankets into the drum so that the inside is full. Make sure that the blankets aren’t overly heavy so that they don’t damage the drum. Position the blankets so that they touch all of the walls inside of the washer drum and leave no wiggle room.

You can test the durability by shaking the washing machine and seeing how much leeway the blankets give. Ideally, you’ll have enough blankets to fill the drum without overstuffing it and damaging the inside. Now, use dolly straps to wrap around the front load washer so that the door to the drum doesn’t come open.

Step 4. Place Washer On Dolly

You’ll want to place the front load washer on a dolly or hand truck so that you can safely transport it. Whether you use a hand truck or dolly, make sure that you keep the washing machine straight as you move it. Slanting or tilting the washing machine can cause the drum to rattle around and lead to possible damage.

Before you place the washer on the dolly, make sure that the power cord and water hoses are taped to the back. If you hear the drum thrashing around, you may need to stop and make sure that the blankets are in place. Otherwise, you can proceed and take the washing machine to the truck or its destination.

When you load the washing machine into the truck, walk-in backward for safety purposes. That way, the washer won’t fall on you or anyone else if it happens to come loose from the dolly.

Related Questions

Are shipping bolts necessary?

Yes, shipping bolts are necessary because they protect the drum while a washer is being moved. Movement can damage the suspension on a washing machine and that can make it function improperly. If you don’t move a washer with shipping bolts, you must pad the drum with something like a furniture blanket to minimize movement.

What happens if you move a washer without shipping bolts?

You can seriously damage a washing machine if you transport it without shipping bolts and it is not advised. The movement will cause the drum to move freely without shipping bolts, and that can cause it not to work. It can also be damaging if you run the washing machine while the shipping bolts are still installed in the unit.

Where are shipping bolts on the washer?

You can typically find shipping bolts in the back of the unit on a front load washing machine. There are usually 4 shipping bolts in place, but some manufacturers only install 2 shipping bolts. Not all washing machines have shipping bolts, and that includes top load washers which generally have none.

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Summing It Up

You shouldn’t move a front load washer without shipping bolts, but it is possible. You’ll need to unplug it and drain the tub and hoses so no water leaks from underneath the washer. Dry out the inside of the drum and fill it with furniture blankets to make sure that it doesn’t move around.

Moving a front load washer without shipping bolts can cause major damage if you aren’t careful. Wrap the washing machine in dolly straps so that the door doesn’t come open as you move it. Use a dolly or hand truck so that you can safely load the washer into a truck without hurting yourself.

Load the washer onto the truck by walking into it backward for safety purposes. Once the washer is inside of the truck, make sure that it is standing up straight on an even surface, and strap it in. If you must move a washer without shipping bolts, take every precaution and do it safely.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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