Can You Lay a Washing Machine on Its Back?

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Under most circumstances, washing machines remain upright during moving, installation and use. However, there are times when the washing machine is being transported or repaired when the machine should be set on its back. While laying a washing machine down on its back is not advisable, there are necessary steps that can prevent damage.

Drain Hose

  • The first thing to do before moving or changing the position of the washing machine is to disconnect the power supply. Place towels on the floor behind the washing machine and disconnect the drain hose, allowing the hose to empty into a bucket because there might be quite a bit of water in it. Hold the drain hose below the water level inside the washing machine to allow all the water to exit the hose.

Moving Preparation

  • Turn the water faucets off and then disconnect the hot and cold water hoses from the faucets and the rear of the washing machine. Clean out the hoses and set them aside. Secure the power cable and plug as well, using clips or a strong tape to bind them to the top of the washer. Stuff towels between the basket and the inner housing of the washing machine to prevent the basket from bouncing around.

Draining the Washer

  • Before moving the washing machine, have someone help you tilt the washing machine back almost to the floor. This lets any remaining water drain out of the washer onto the towels you set on the floor previously and prevents the same water from sitting inside the washer during transport. When all water has drained out, carefully set the washing machine back up.

Moving the Washer

  • Set a large, thick blanket or towels on the ground where the washing machine is to be set, and then slowly lower the machine onto its back. Keep the washing machine lowered only as necessary and return the washer to standing as soon as possible to minimize the chance of water entering the electrical components inside the machine.

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  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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