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Tips for Moving Appliances

Front-Load Washers

Front-load washers are designed for high-efficiency operation while using low energy. Unfortunately, they can represent a challenge to the homeowner and, ultimately, those in the moving industry when moving these machines. Some consumers have experienced mildew or unpleasant odors developing. Once present, these issues can be quite difficult to resolve. A little tender loving care and proper maintenance may prevent such occurrences. Not all front-load washers have this problem. Some manufacturers have made design modifications to prevent, or at least reduce, the risk of this type of problem.

What may cause this mildew or odor in front-load washers that does not normally occur in top-load machines? Front-load washers use low water levels. This can lead to wash residue (such as grime, dirt and even skin flakes), as well as water softeners and detergents not always fully draining out of the washer. Using cold water for most loads can also add to the problem. Residue can build up in the rubber door gasket, soap/softener dispenser or other parts of the washer, and mildew can begin to form.

Tips for Preventing Mildew and Odor Problems

Both the manufacturers and the appliance industry at large have suggested a number of tips and suggestions. Here are some of the most common:

  • Always leave the door and dispenser unit slightly ajar after the laundry is done.
  • Frequently check the gasket just inside the door opening, remove any visible debris and wipe to speed the drying process.
  • Never leave a wet wash-load in the washer overnight.
  • After a load is done, always rotate the drum with your hand to see and remove all items.
  • Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for the proper detergents and fabric softener.
  • Occasionally wash some loads, such as whites, in warm or hot water to help flush out wash residue.
  • Always clean your washer as directed by your product manual.

Cold Weather and Your Appliances

Washers: Even when the pump is drained at origin, the washer will always maintain some water in the mixer valve, pump housing and internal hose areas. Attempting to operate the machine while this water is frozen can result in damage to belts, pump impellers, hoses and other components. Operating temperature should be above 60°F.

Gas and electric dryers: When subject to freezing temperatures, igniters and heating elements become brittle. Attempting to operate the dryer will cause a sudden temperature change and may damage internal parts. Operating temperature should be above 60°F.

Refrigerator icemakers: A refrigerator may be plugged in on delivery day. The icemaker, however, should not be connected to the water supply for at least 12 - 24 hours after delivery. Residual moisture in the solenoid valve, supply lines and cold-water reservoir may be frozen and will restrict normal operation. If the cold water reservoir was not drained at origin, it may be frozen solid and damaged. Hairline cracks in the water reservoir housing may go undetected on delivery day. It is prudent to let all components of the icemaker system reach operating temperature so a thorough system check can be completed after hooking up the water supply.

Water softeners/reverse osmosis systems: Residual water in supply tanks will freeze during winter, and units will not operate properly until thawed. The units should be allowed to reach room temperature before installation.