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Do devices to stop washer vibration work?

July 26, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Sales of front-loading washers are up. They can save you energy, but some also have a problem: their superfast rotation speeds can make them vibrate violently. It's especially a problem in the spin cycle. Consumer Reports tested seven devices that promise to help stop all that vibrating. Most are pads ranging in price from $25 to $47.

"You place the pads under each corner of the washer. They're supposed to reduce the transfer of vibration to the floor," said Consumer Reports' Bob Markovich.

To test the devices, Consumer Reports used a washer that vibrates badly. Testers added the pads and placed a sensor on the floor to detect any vibrations. A computer then analyzed the results.

The tests found that none of the pads reduced vibration noticeably.

Consumer Reports also tested the Steadywash Isolation Platform, which costs a lot more -- $200. And at 24 pounds, it weighs a lot more too. The washer still visibly moves from side to side, although the Steadywash does reduce vibration to the floor.

"You're better off getting a washer that doesn't vibrate a lot," said Markovich.

Consumer Reports recommends the Samsung WF520AB [P], which costs $1,400. It doesn't vibrate much at all and is very good at cleaning.

If you're looking to pay less for a washing machine, Consumer Reports named the $800 Kenmore 4027-2 from Sears a best buy. It vibrates a bit more than the Samsung, but it's excellent at cleaning.


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