Transporting a washing machine

If you will be transporting a washing machine, especially over a long distance, you might be wondering if you need to prepare the washing machine for the journey. This article advises on how necessary this is, and what steps you might want to take before moving it.

The first job is to disconnect the washer from the plumbing and electrics, and pull it out (what’s best way to pull a washing machine out?). Once you’ve done this you might want to get rid of the residual water inside the pump and sump hose.

This is because although the last time the washing machine was used most of the water was pumped away there is always some water left inside the sump hose and water pump.

How to Drain All of the Water

If the washing machine will be kept upright during its transit then it’s not essential to drain the water. However, draining as much water as you can will prevent water running out if the drain hose drops to the floor.

It can also stop water dribbling over the legs and shoes of anyone moving it when the washing machine is tipped onto its side during canning.

Alternatively, just make sure that the drain hose is secured so it can’t fall to the floor whilst being moved. (How to drain water from washing 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. If it is possible for it to fall to the floor then use strong tape to secure it to the top of the lid so it doesn’t flail about during transit.

Secure the fill hoses too. However, it is better to unscrew them and put them inside the drum. Make sure the rubber seals don’t fall out though.

Also make sure that the plug and mains cable are properly secured. Any one of these parts dropping onto the floor during transit can be a real safety hazard.

Transit packing

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 how do you transport a washing machine safely without transit packing?

The original transit packing stops the main drum from swinging and bouncing during transit. This prevents the drum (which is mounted on suspension springs) damaging parts inside or denting the cabinet.

No transit packaging?

If you don’t have the transit packaging you could try taking off the lid and packing something like a small duvet or bed sheets on top of the tub. Replace the lid so that it presses down on the sheets and has some effect on stopping the tub bouncing up and damaging parts if the road is very bumpy. But do not forget about this “packing” before using the machine!

To be honest, packing the top of the drum is probably a bit over-cautious, but I can’t guarantee that it is perfectly ok to transport a washing machine without any transit packing. I have moved many hundreds of washing machines over the years without any transit packing though. I don’t 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 careful the driver is. These days there is arguably more potential for damage because there is a lot less room between the bigger outer drums and parts.

If concerned, ask your removal company about moving washing machines. They do it every day and should know if it is ok to transport them without packaging. I suspect most would advise that it is and they should know.

When I moved house myself my removal men didn’t mention transit packaging, they just picked the washing machine up and secured it in the removal van.

I didn’t put any transit packing in place either, and the washing machine was ok at the other end.

Transporting the washing machine

The washing machine is best kept standing upright throughout the process. But if the washing machine is being transported in a car and cannot be kept upright I would lay the washing machine on its back. If this is how it will be moved it is important to have drained out as much water as possible (as shown in the first section).

This is because once laid down, water can run inside the washing machine and run onto electrical parts. This could cause an electrical short and expensive damage when the washing machine is next plugged in. Also, if laid down, the drum will not bounce around on its suspension, so transit packaging would definitely be unnecessary.

Using a trolley

Most washing machines will be moved by two people lifting it. But if using a hand trolley make sure when you tip it back that you hold the top of the washing machine and tip back the trolley and the washing machine together.

Otherwise you can either lever the washing machine over or cause damage underneath the washing machine with the trolley’s plate.

Make sure the back of the washing machine is against the trolley.


Once your washing machine has been moved and reconnected 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.

Follow the check list and troubleshooting guide in this article 5 things to check for after connecting a washing machine.

If you connect it up at a different house and it doesn’t pump out the water when you first use it then read this article – washing machine won’t drain after being moved.

Related articles

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 drain after being moved
  • 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)
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Comments need to be on topic with the article (Moderated before appearing).

34 thoughts on “Transporting a washing machine”

  1. Hello Alex: I agree it does sound quite drastic. If you have drained out the water it can’t freeze and cause damage. You could never get rid of every drop of water but I can’t imagine how little bits of water could freeze and cause any damage. For it to damage something it would need to be enough to expand with nowhere to go and crack something.

    Water left in the water valves could potentially freeze and would not be removed using the instructions in my article. As a precaution I would try to remove as much water from the valves as well as draining the machine.

    The way I would do it is as follows –

    • If the washer is cold fill only just put it onto any wash programme , but if it has a hot valve too you need to find a programme that takes hot and cold in simultaneously (non fast coloureds should do it) The object is to get any fill valve to take in water
    • Once water is running through all valves turn off the taps so that the valve is still energised trying to draw in water but there is none to draw in. You only need to leave it trying to draw water in for a few seconds or so
    • Once this has occurred abort or cancel the wash programme or turn it manually to a drain programme to empty away the water
    • This should help to draw into the washing machine most of the water that would otherwise be held inside the water valve

    Now you can follow the rest of the instructions in my article to try and remove the rest of the water.

    I would also fill the drum with lightly scrunched up newspapers or paper kitchen towel to draw any more moisture out overnight.

  2. Hello Anju: I can’t think of anything more to add without a specific question as all the advice is already in the main article and the subsequent comments.

  3. i transported a washer on it back, once i got where i was going i notice some oil had spilled. what should i do? HELP!!!

  4. Hello faye: I presume yours must be a top loader? My article is only really about UK front loading washing machines which don’t have any oil in. Even so I wouldn’t expect oil should come out of any part unless a seal is worn so it needs looking at by an engineer.

  5. martin pereira

    i bought a hotpoint washer/dryer from currys late last year in manchester and had it shipped to trinidad and tobago.i recieved it in march of this year in trinidad.since then i have tried getting it to work properlybut to no avail.the machine just keeps washing on the wash cycle,no rinse,no spin,no dry!i am very disappointed in currys and hotpoint ,can you assist me in having the machie work.

  6. Sorry for the delay in replying over the bank holiday weekend. I don’t know of any time issues after moving a twin tub or dryer although if it is a modern dryer with a heat pump which is a compressor similar to that in fridges it may need to be left overnight to settle.

  7. Hi,
    I left the transport screw in while using the machine for the first time. It made a horrible noise. I think I broke it. I’ve taken it out now, but not sure it’s working. Please help.

  8. It wouldn’t normally damage anything unless it was left thumping around for a while but it’s possible. The only thing you can do is check to see if you can see anything damaged by taking the top and back panel off, and that the tub is held centrally in place and the suspension bounces up and down ok when you push it from the top. After that it’s a question of watching it on a few washes to make sure there are no leaks.

    If you have any problems it depends on the symptoms as to what the possible issue is but you’d probably need an engineer to look at it then.

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