As was discussed in Parts 2 and 3 of this “Packing & Moving” series, even if you are hiring a professional to do your packing and moving, these tips for preparing your household appliances for a move will still be relevant. Again, your particular moving company will inform you of your specific responsibilities regarding your washer and dryer. As always, it is important to consult your owner’s manual/manufacturer as they serve as the ultimate authority. The tips below are meant to serve only as guidelines to help you.
Please note: moving companies do not disconnect or service household appliances, it is the home owner’s responsibility to be sure this is done. However, many moving companies will contract someone for you if you request it, but it is a third-party service that will be charged to your bill of lading (usually with some mark up). You are welcome to contact Gord’s Appliance directly to service your household appliances pre/post move as we do provide this service at a reasonable price.
Several days before moving, unplug your washing machine and open the door to let it air out. Disconnect your water supply to the washing machine and pull it from the wall. Remove the drain lines from the back with a wrench. Look at each corner of the back panel, there should be a hole for a bolt – sometimes they are labelled “shipping bolts”. The shipping bolts came with your washing machine and were removed from these 4 holes when your machine was installed. (Hopefully they will be found in an envelope or baggie kept with your owner’s manual or taped to the back panel of your washer.) If not, you can get replacement bolts from an appliance repair shop. The drum of a washing machine must be secured with the shipping bolts for a move otherwise the drum can become misaligned. A washing machine drum out of alignment won’t work properly and will definitely need to be serviced.
If you have a top-loading machine, tilt it over on an angle so that any standing water can flow out of the drainage opening. Secure a towel around your water supply hose ending with an elastic band. Place the covered end of the hose inside the washing machine. You can also put in some pillows to add stuffing and keep those hoses from banging around. And remember the trick from Parts 3 and 4 of using the dry coffee grounds in the stapled shut paper bag to absorb latent moisture and odour? You can do this with your washer too while it is in transit and storage. Keep your electrical cord, door and knobs taped securely for transport.
A couple of days prior to your move, pull your dryer away from the wall if need be in order to unplug the power cord (and access the gas line if applicable). The following procedure applies to both a gas dryer and an electric dryer with one exception. The gas dryer must have the gas to the appliance shut off and the gas line capped off. Once the dryer is disconnected from electricity (and gas when applicable) as well as the vent duct, pull the dryer well away from the wall. I recommend giving your dryer a thorough cleaning because it just makes sense to do it while everything is disconnected so that it will be operating at peak efficiency in your new place. Remove the lint trap and vacuum around inside with the crevice tool of your vacuum cleaner. If you are in the practice of using dryer sheets regularly, wash your lint screen with boiling water and ammonia or a multi-purpose cleaner and be sure that it is completely dry before putting it back. (Dryer sheets leave a build-up of tallow on the lint screen which will impede the flow of air.)
Remove the back panel and vacuum off lint debris with the brush/crevice attachment of your vacuum cleaner and then fasten the panel back into place. If your dryer has knobs rather than a touch panel, you can pull off the knobs and vacuum the cavity from which the posts protrude. Replace the knobs, tape them in place, as well as the door and power cord.
Avoid Unnecessary Service Calls
Again, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The little bit of time required to properly prepare your washer and dryer for a move could forestall the need for a service technician later. Follow the instructions of your moving company/owner’s manual or manufacturer as applicable.
If you have some unique moving tips to share here about preparing your washer and dryer for moving, your input is always welcome.