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Can you overload a front load washer? Explained

Can you overload a front load washer? (Answered!)  

    January 3, 2023; AZMAIN AHNAF

    No, you can’t. Out of curiosity, you might wonder, what would happen if you overload your front load washer?

    Firstly, your front-load washer won’t be able to wash clothes if you overload it. Cause the clothes won’t get shuffled, and the drum won’t be able to slap them evenly. Secondly, overloading the front-load washer will ruin the motor and the suspension mechanisms. So you should never do it.

    In this article, I’ve explained the impact of overloading a front-load washer part by part to make you understand why you should always avoid this entirely.

    Why shouldn’t you overload a frontloader?

    If you overload a front load washer, it can’t wash your clothes properly; secondly, it might cause significant damage to the washer and several other troubles.

    However, understanding the washing procedure of a front loader might help you realize the issue more clearly.  

    1. Your clothes won’t be washed properly.

    Front-load washers use gravity and drum fins to shuffle the clothes and rub & slap them with each other. The clothes can’t move freely and get jumbled when you overload them. 

    However, water splash and detergent mixtures or foam can’t get evenly soaked by the clothes due to the overloaded state.

    As a result, the washer can’t clean clothes at all.

    2. Your machine will go unstable.

    When the washer spins the drum at high speed, the drum gets imbalanced, and the whole washer starts shaking dangerously. If anything remains stuck on the top or at the side of the washer, that might get severely damaged.

    3. The machine’s suspension and hydraulics might get failed.

    The drum of the washing machine remains attached to the suspension hydraulics. Those can handle a certain weight level that your washer offers.  

    Overloading clothes increase the weight severely when clothes get wet. If the drum starts spinning at a high RPM, the suspension and hydraulics might get broken or severely damaged.

    4. The motor’s shaft or belt might get damaged.

    Generally, the motor spins the drum with a belt, or a few high-end front load washers come with a direct drive drum motor.

    Overloading the washer may imbalance the drum during spinning, and the belt might get torn, or the motor shaft might get poorly broken.

    5. Safety Hazzard

    An overloaded shakey washer might hurt you during spinning or forcefully push things that remain beside it.

    How do I know if my front load washer is overloaded?

    You will find a clear visual indication if your front load washer is overloaded. 

    Firstly, the clothes will stay frozen in the same place, not get shuffled from top to bottom, and keep circling in the same place. 

    Secondly, you will find the door hard to close.

    Thirdly, the machine will start dangerously shaking during the high RPM spin or the rinse cycle.

    Sometimes the washer might get failed to spin.

    Can overloading a front load washer cause it to break?

    Not really, but overloading a front load washer might cause severe damage.

    Generally, the frame of front loaders is very sturdy and has been manufactured to absorb twice or more weight than its capability.

    So, it’s hard to break the chassis by overloading, but the drum holder brackets, the hydraulics, and the motor shaft might get damaged.

    Washing machine sizes chart: How heavy is too heavy?

    If you load more than the capacity of a front load washer, that’s always too heavy for the machine. Below, I’ve noted the dry weight capacity of the front load washers according to their cubic feet measures. 

    SizeCubic FeetWeight Capacity (Dry)
    Small size1.5 to 3.4 Cubic Feet4 to 8 Pounds per Load
    Standard3.5 to 4.4 Cubic Feet12 to 16 Pounds per Load
    Large4.5 to 5.0 Cubic Feet16 to 20 Pounds per Load
    Extra Large5.1 to 6.2 Cubic Feet20 to 25 Pounds per Load

    You should follow this chart to ensure the load size. It’s not a good practice to excessively overload or underloads the washer.

    Will a washing machine not spin if the load is too heavy?

    Yes, it might occur during the rinse cycle, especially if your washer has an inverter.

    The front-load washer has a clutch mechanism similar to your motor car. If the load is too heavy, the clutch shaft doesn’t create enough traction to spin the drum ideally.

    But if the washer spins with an unnecessarily heavy load, the washer will feel a severe shake and might get displaced and damaged.

    Can you overwork your front load washing machine?

    Technically, yes, you can overwork your washing machine. This means you can use the washer multiple times a day. 

    For high-end heavy washers, it’s not a problem, but the best practice is to maintain a 2-hour break period after each complete cleaning cycle.

    This will increase the lifespan and helps to keep your washer trouble-free for years.

    How do you know the weight limit on a washing machine?

    Generally, in Europe and Asia, the weight capacity of the washing machine remains clearly mentioned on the chassis or somewhere around the detergent drawer. But in America, washers are measured by cubic feet.

    But in the instruction manual, you should find the information. Or, if you don’t see it, I’ve mentioned the measurements above, which you may follow as a standard.

    Can overloading a washing machine cause it to leak

    No, it can’t. Overloading a washing machine might break or damage it, but it can’t leak the washer. 

    If you find any leakage, that might happen to any malfunctioning of the drainage system or similar facts. 

    What to do if you overload a washing machine?

    If you identify that your washer is overloaded, you should press the PAUSE button and unlock the door. Before this task, you should keep a towel at the bottom of the door cause opening the door might cause a water splash.

    Then you should keep half of your clothes out and start the washing cycle again.

    Final Verdict

    You should never overload a front load washer. Cause overloading, it will damage the washer, and more importantly, your clothes will be unwashed.

    Azmain Ahnaf is a Software Engineer and a passionate blogger who likes sharing tips and tricks and home appliances-related topics in handytalker blog. He believes that sharing knowledge with each other can create the world much easier!

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