How to move a washer and dryer

Make sure you have the physical capability and a partner to help

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matching set of washer and dryer in a modern home

Moving a washer and dryer can be an intimidating task, especially considering that each appliance weighs hundreds of pounds. Plus, a washing machine has water connections, and a dryer can have a gas connection that you have to remove and reassemble with care and caution.

It’s best to hire a professional mover, plumber, appliance technician or handyperson to help — especially if you have physical limitations. However, if you cannot afford to employ help, you can move a washer and dryer with the right tools, a helper, preparation and attentiveness.


Key insights

If you are moving a washer and dryer without a professional, ask one other person to help you during the moving process.

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Have the phone number of a professional on hand in case you encounter an obstacle, such as a water or gas leak.

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Ensure you have the proper tools, your washer and dryer’s manuals and the appliances’ warranty information.

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Moving a washer is not the same as moving a dryer, as both have different parts and connections.

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Moving a washer and dryer yourself vs. hiring a professional

Washers and dryers are complex machines that typically have electrical, gas and water connections. If these lines are not removed, closed and reattached properly, you could end up dealing with a hazardous water or gas leak.

You should, if possible, strongly consider hiring a professional to help you move a washer and dryer. Specialists also have the expertise and supplies to save you time, avoid damage to the machines or surrounding environment and prevent injury to yourself or others. If you have physical limitations, you will especially want to consider hiring a professional to help.

The main factors to consider when deciding whether or not to hire a professional to move a washer and dryer are cost, time, your disassembly and reassembly knowledge, whether you have the right tools, if you can get somebody to assist you and if you have any physical limitations or injuries.

To find an expert who can help, reach out to family, friends, neighbors or social media connections for recommendations. You can also use resources like TaskRabbit and Thumbtack to find a professional plumber, mover, electrician or appliance technician in your area.

If you cannot afford to hire someone to move a washer and dryer, you can do it yourself with the proper tools, a helper, knowledge and care. Expect it to take several hours. However, you should have the phone number of a plumber, appliance technician or handyperson at the ready in case you have a question or encounter an obstacle.

» LEARN: Moving yourself vs. hiring movers

Preparing for the move

Once you decide whether you are going to hire a moving company or go the do-it-yourself route, you will need to take the time to prepare for your move.

If you hire a moving company:

  1. Before moving, measure the future location of your washer and dryer to ensure that both appliances will fit in the space. Measure any doors you plan to move the units through to confirm that they will fit.
  2. Read reviews online and request references to check that you are hiring a reputable moving company.
  3. Ask the moving company how much it will charge to move your washer and dryer. If the company is already moving your other belongings, ask if they charge extra for washer and dryer removal and transportation.
  4. Inquire if the moving company can disconnect and reconnect your washer and dryer or if you will need it to be disconnected prior to moving. Ask if the company will charge extra fees for this service, and if so, how much. If the moving company cannot help with this part of the process, you may have to do it yourself or hire a plumber, appliance technician or handyperson.
  5. Have your washer and dryer manuals and warranty information on hand.
  6. Remove any clothes from your washer and dryer.
  7. Clean the area where you aim to keep your washer and dryer after moving.

If you’re moving them yourself, first acquire the necessary supplies:

  • Measuring tape
  • Washer and dryer manuals
  • Warranty information
  • Gloves with a good grip
  • Close-toed shoes
  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers 
  • Bucket
  • Towels 
  • Moving blankets
  • Extra padding
  • Cardboard
  • Shipping bolts or a stabilizer kit (designed to minimize a washer’s movement)
  • Packing tape
  • Zip ties
  • Plastic wrap
  • Moving box
  • Moving straps
  • Hand truck appropriate for the units’ weight and size 
  • Moving truck or van
  • Ramp

Then take the time to plan the move carefully:

  • Measure any doors, hallways and stairwells you plan to move your washer and dryer through to ensure they will fit.
  • Acquire a moving van or truck that can fit both your washer and dryer. You can rent one from a company like U-Haul.
  • Map the route, taking note of any stairways or tricky corners in both the washer and dryer’s current and future locations.
  • Ask a friend to help with tilting and maneuvering the washer and dryer during the moving process.
  • Locate and read your manuals. Not all washers and dryers are the same, so you will want to be aware of any moving instructions that are unique to your appliances.
  • Verify that you have a hand truck that can handle both the size and weight of your washer and dryer.
  • Have the phone number of a reputable plumber, appliance service professional or handyperson in case you need assistance. Be prepared to wait for a call back, which could take 24 hours depending on business hours.
  • Take note of where the water, gas and electrical lines are before beginning the removal process.
  • Wear close-toed shoes to prevent injury.

Don’t forget to enlist help

  • Ask one other person to help you move your washer and dryer. It would be especially helpful if the person you ask has experience with this type of task.
  • Provide them with gloves with a good grip, or ask your helper to bring their own.
  • Make certain that your moving helper is wearing closed-toed shoes to prevent injury.
  • Make your helper aware of your moving plans and route.

Moving the appliances

While moving a washer follows a similar protocol to moving a dryer, there are key differences to note. After all, these machines operate differently and do not have the same parts. For instance, many dryers use gas in addition to electricity, while washing machines are connected to a water line.

The most significant obstacles you may encounter when moving a washer and dryer include disconnecting and reconnecting the water and gas lines, which could require the help of a professional to prevent any leaks.

While disassembling your washer and dryer, take notes or film a video so that you remember how to reassemble each appliance. To move a washer and a dryer from one location to another, Brandon Walker, superintendent at water, fire and mold restoration company ASAP Restoration, outlined the proper steps.

How to move a washer

According to Walker, these are the steps you should take when moving a washer:

  1. Empty the washer of all clothes. You will need to dry the clothing in your dryer before starting the moving process.
  2. Unplug the unit, secure the power cable with a zip tie and tape it to the back of the machine. Or, detach the cable from the machine if possible. Label the cable and place it in a moving box designated for your washer and dryer.
  3. Find the hot and cold water valves behind the unit and turn them clockwise to close. You may need a wrench to turn the valves. If you are unsure about this step, call a plumber.
  4. Detach and remove the water supply lines that connect to the washer. You may need a screwdriver or other tool for this task.
  5. Washing machines always have water left in the hoses, so you must drain them before moving to prevent water leakage, Andrew Hancock, president of Gilman Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, said in a Qwoted response. Therefore, with the help of a friend, he suggested taking a bucket and tilting the machine a bit to allow any remaining water to flow out into the bucket.
  6. Remove the drain hose. You may need pliers.
  7. Ensure there is no water left in the washer using towels to collect extra moisture.
  8. Secure the washing machine drum in place using shipping bolts or a stabilizer kit, a set of components designed to minimize a washer’s vibrations and movements that generally come with your washing machine.
  9. Check to see if your washer has removable dispensers for detergent or fabric softener. If it does, remove them.
  10. Secure the washing machine’s door closed using a moving strap or plastic wrap.
  11. Wrap the washer in moving blankets to prevent it from getting scratched or damaged during transport.
  12. Locate your hand truck that’s designed to handle the weight and size of your washing machine.
  13. Ask for someone to help you lift and maneuver the washer out of the home.
  14. Wear a pair of gloves with a good grip to get a helpful handle on the hand truck and washing machine. Make sure you and your helper are wearing closed-toed shoes.
  15. Position the hand truck under the washing machine and then tilt it back slightly to lift the washer onto the hand truck. Secure the washing machine onto the hand truck with included straps or ratchet straps of your own. Keep the machine upright.
  16. Wheel the washing machine out of the home, taking extra care around corners and down stairs.
  17. Use a ramp to wheel the washer up onto your moving van or truck.
  18. Position the washing machine against the side of the vehicle.
  19. Secure the washing machine to the vehicle with ratchet straps.
  20. Ensure the washer is covered with moving blankets or padding to prevent damage during transport.
  21. Check that the washing machine cord and door remained in place during the move.
  22. Reverse the above steps to install the washer in your new home. Make sure that it is completely level in its new location. Remove any shipping bolts or stabilizer kits that you previously installed.
  23. Test the unit to make sure that it runs properly, checking the connection lines to verify they are not leaking.

Don’t be left with water damage

Washing machines often have water left in the hoses, so you must drain them before moving to prevent water leakage, notes Andrew Hancock, president of Gilman Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. With the help of a friend, take a bucket and tilt the washing machine a bit to allow any remaining water to flow out into the bucket, he suggests.

How to move a dryer

To move a dryer, Walker provided the following instructions:

  1. Remove any remaining clothes from the dryer.
  2. Unplug the dryer, coil the electric cable and tape it to the back of the dryer. Or, if possible, disconnect the cable from the dryer, label it and place it in your moving box.
  3. If your dryer uses gas, shut off the gas supply and use a wrench to carefully disconnect the gas hose from the dryer. Ensure all connections are closed tightly and check for leaks. If you require assistance, call an expert.
  4. Allow the room to air out for at least five minutes. If you smell gas after this time has passed, you may have a gas leak. If this happens, shut off all gas lines in the home, go outside and call 911.
  5. Label the gas hose and place it in your moving box for the washer and dryer.
  6. Use straps or plastic wrap to secure the dryer door shut.
  7. Cover the dryer with a moving blanket to prevent scratches or dents.
  8. Acquire a hand truck that can handle the specific weight and size of your dryer.
  9. Find someone who can assist you in lifting, tilting and moving the dryer.
  10. To maintain a proper grip on the hand truck and dryer, you may want to wear a pair of gloves with grip dots.
  11. Place the hand truck under the dryer and tilt the unit back to lift it onto the hand truck.
  12. Secure the dryer to the hand truck with straps. Keep the machine upright at all times.
  13. Wheel the dryer out of the home, up a ramp and onto your moving truck. Employ extra caution when going down stairs or around corners.
  14. Position the dryer against the side of the vehicle and secure it there with straps.
  15. Pad the dryer with moving blankets to prevent damage while in motion.
  16. Once you arrive at your new location, follow the above steps in reverse.
  17. Run a test cycle to check that the dryer runs properly, making sure that the gas connection is secure and not leaking.
  18. If you smell gas several minutes after reconnecting, you may have a gas leak. If this happens, shut off all gas lines in the home, go outside and call 911.

How to reassemble your appliances

When reassembling your washer and dryer in a new location, there are several steps you want to keep in mind. For the washer specifically, if you used shipping bolts or a stabilizer kit, make sure you remove these components before reassembly. Also, check that your washer is perfectly level on the floor, adjusting the washer’s leveling feet as needed.

According to ASAP Restoration’s Walker, before you fully position your washer or dryer in their exact spots, you should reconnect all the power, water and gas lines. “Try to do this before completely positioning [the unit] in the new spot because space limitations usually make reconnecting it much more difficult,” he said.

Once your washer and dryer are reconnected, you will want to run test cycles for both appliances. If you hear any strange noises, notice a water leak or observe that one or both machines are not running correctly, turn off the machines and water line and call a professional. If you have a gas dryer and smell gas several minutes after reconnecting the appliance, shut off all gas lines in your home, go outside and call 911.

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FAQ

How do I move a washer and dryer up the stairs?

To move a washer and dryer up the stairs, first make sure you have an appliance hand truck that can hold the weight and size of your washer and dryer. Ask someone for assistance and follow the above steps to disassemble the unit and move it toward the stairs. It may be helpful to have one person steer the hand truck while the other person navigates from the front. You will want to use straps to keep the washer or dryer in place on the hand truck.

Once you reach the stairs, position the hand truck so that the wheels and handle are against the stairs. If you are worried about damaging the floors, place moving pads, blankets or cardboard down beforehand. One step at a time and with assistance, lift the hand truck to move the washer and dryer up the stairs. You can have one person lift from the top of the machine while the other lifts from the bottom. To avoid injury, lift with your legs and not your back by keeping your back straight and bending your knees.

When moving a washer and dryer up the stairs, move slowly. Take breaks to catch your breath, rehydrate and regain your energy. Once you reach the top, ensure that the washer or dryer is completely level on the ground before releasing your grip.

How can I relocate hookups for a washer and dryer?

It is highly recommended that you contact a licensed plumber and electrician to relocate washer and dryer hookups. According to Andrew Hancock of Gilman Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, the experts will make certain that you have the correct amount of space and the right number of electric, water and gas connection lines in the area where you plan to keep your washer and dryer. They will also confirm that the new hookups meet all local building codes and manufacturer requirements.

“For your washing machine, you’ll need hot and cold water supply lines and a 120-volt or 240-volt electrical outlet depending on the machine's requirements. It’s also important to have proper drainage to handle water output,” Hancock said. As for a dryer, you will require a gas line hookup if it is gas-powered, a 240-volt electrical outlet if it uses electricity and a ventilation system that includes a vent to the outside of the home, he said.

What is the best way to transport a washer and dryer in a truck?

When moving a washer and dryer onto a truck or van, use a hand truck, straps and a ramp. You will want to confirm that the hand truck was designed to handle the weight and size of both the washer and dryer. Keep both units upright during the entire process.

“To ensure a stable position, place the units in a corner of the truck to minimize movement,” Hancock said in a Qwoted response. “Placing other heavy items near the units will also help anchor them in place, but make sure to wrap the units with blankets to prevent scratches and dents.” Once the washer and dryer are in place, attach them to the vehicle using ratchet straps. Confirm that you have all of the appliance parts with you during the move.

Bottom line

Moving a washer and dryer requires specific supplies and knowledge if you plan to go the DIY route, but it can be done. In the industry, this type of task is known as “remove and reset,” according to Brandon Walker of ASAP Restoration.

In addition to knowing how to move both a washer and dryer, it is important to know the differences between them. Washers, for instance, require water connections and careful leveling, while dryers need a vent, and some may need a gas connection, depending on the type of dryer.

If you are unsure about any part of the moving process, lack the time, or have physical limitations, hiring a professional may be beneficial. The cost could be worth it if it saves you from injury, damage to the appliances or your home or a gas or water leak.


Article sources
ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
  1. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” Accessed Jan. 23, 2024.
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