The best way to transport a washing machine from one house to another is to refit the original transit packing or transit bolts that came with the washing machine. If this is possible, instructions on how to do this should be in the instruction book or manual. (Miele transit packing can definitely be refitted and they even design it to clip into the back panel so it won’t get lost)
In reality, the majority of people no longer have access to the original transit packaging so the question arises, how do you transport a washing machine safely without transit packing?
Before transporting a washing machine: preparation
Once you have disconnected the washing machine from the plumbing you need to get rid of all the water and secure the drain hose. If you don’t then this water will inevitably run all over the floor, as well as the legs and shoes of anyone moving it. The last time the washing machine was used most of the water was pumped away but there is always at least a pint of water left inside the sump hose and water pump. To remove this water you need to let it siphon out through the drain hose by lowering it below the level of the water inside the washing machine.
How to drain out any water left inside
The most effective method of siphoning the leftover water out of the washing machine is to move it over to the back door where you can drop the drain hose outside and let it drain away there (What’s best way to pull a washing machine out?) Carefully tip the washing machine back a little and then tip it forward to allow as much water as possible to flow into the hole in the bottom of the tub. However, I wouldn’t use this method unless you can get the washing machine over to the door easily and without damaging the flooring. Washing machines are really good at ripping flooring.
If it is difficult or impractical for you to move the washing machine over to the outside door then pull the washing machine out as much as you can and lower the end of the drain hose into a washing-up bowl. If a washing-up bowl isn’t available use a large saucepan or similar vessel. A bucket is too high, remember the object is to get the end of the drain hose as low as possible.
Alternative to draining through drain hose
Some drain hoses may be difficult or even impossible to lay down flat. If the hose isn’t laid flat then the water can’t siphon out. An alternative method might be to get several towels and placed them around the front of the washing machine where the pump filter is (where is washing machine pump filter?). You could then slowly remove the pump filter and allow the water to drain onto the floor. Obviously this is not advisable unless you are just draining the last bit of water out of the machine.
Secure drain hose and fill hoses
Once you have drained the water out you need to secure the drain hose. Try to secure it as much as possible using any clips provided at the back of the machine. Use strong tape to secure it to the top of the lid so it doesn’t flail about during transit. With the fill hoses it is best to unscrew them and put them inside the drum. Also make sure that the plug and mains cable are properly secured. A mains cable unplugged dropping onto the floor during transit can be a real hazard.
The original transit packing or transit bolts stop the tub from swinging or bouncing up and down during transit. This could damage some parts inside or dint the cabinet. If you don’t have the transit packaging you could try taking off the lid and packing a bed sheet on top of the tub. Replace the lid so that it presses down on the sheet and has some effect on stopping the tub bouncing up and damaging parts if the road is very bumpy. Do not forget about this sheet and try using the machine with it in place.
Second stage: Transporting the washing machine –
The washing machine is best kept standing upright throughout the process. If the washing machine is being transported in a car or small van and cannot be kept upright I would lay the washing machine on its back. If this is how it will be moved it is doubly important to have drained out as much water as possible (as shown in the above section). This is because once laid down water can run inside the washing machine and run onto electrical parts causing an electrical short and of course expensive damage when the washing machine is next plugged in
Using a trolley
If using a hand trolley make sure when you tip it back that you tip back the trolley and the washing machine together otherwise you could either lever the washing machine over or cause damage underneath the washing machine with the trolley’s plate
No transit packaging?
I can’t advise that it is perfectly ok to move a washing machine without any transit packing but I have moved many hundreds of washing machines over the years and rarely if ever remember any problems. It depends very much on the design of the washing machine, the quality of its suspension and the way it is transported including how bumpy the road and how carefully the driver is.
Ask your removal company about moving washing machines. They do it every day and will know if it is ok to transport them without packaging. I suspect most would advise that it is and they should know. I have just moved house myself and my removal men didn’t mention transit packaging, they just picked the washing machine up and secured it in the removal van. I personally didn’t put any transit packing in place and the washing machine was ok at the other end.
Once your washing machine has been moved, make sure you keep a very close eye on it the first time it is used to make sure it is ok and it isn’t going to leak.
The list below contains related articles. The first 3 are particularly relevant if after transporting and connecting your washing machine there seems to be a fault that wasn’t there before you moved it –
- Washing machine won’t fill with water
- Washing machine won’t drain after being moved
- 5 things to check for after repairing or installing a washing machine
- Tips for installing a washing machine – fill hoses (questions covered – Can I use the old washing machine hoses or should I fit the new ones? | How tight should I connect the fill hoses? | Washing machine hoses not long enough? | in particular were has that I have a hot and cold water supply, but the new washing machine only has a cold water valve – what do I do? | Washing machine is a hot and cold fill, but I only have a cold water supply)