How To Move A Stacked Washer/Dryer (Easy how-to guide)9 min read

A stacked washer and dryer weighs around 350lbs and without the correct technique, can be very challenging to move. Fortunately, there are effective techniques to move the dryer off the washer separately or to easily move the washer and dryer as a unit. 

Move a stacked washer and dryer by first undoing the stacking kit from behind the appliances. Then slide the combined units out together slightly do de-attach hoses before wiggling the dryer onto a wheely garbage can. If the stacking kit is inaccessible, you’ll need to slide both units out before removing the dryer. 

Some cupboards that house stacked washing machines and dryers can be really tight, so it’s important to follow specific steps in successfully removing the appliances. Within this article, I take you through the most effective techniques for doing so. 

This article has been expert-reviewed by Andy Fulenchek, a professional appliance repairman with over 10 years of experience and owner of Grace Appliance.

how to move a stacked washer dryer: the basics

There are two ways to move a stacked washer dryer: as separate units or as a paired unit.

As separate units, you’ll need to disconnect the stacking kit first which can be challenging especially if your washing machine and dryer are in a small cupboard. 

For this reason, even if the dryer needs repairing, often professionals will remove the stacked unit before detaching the dryer. 

Stacked Washer Dryer

Note: the dryer should always be located on top of the washer since it’s around 100 lbs lighter than a washer. This also keeps the greater spinning mass (i.e. wet clothing and tub) of the washing machine closer to the ground to keep a lower center of gravity.

4 easy steps to moving A Stacked Washer Dryer Individually 

Moving a stacked washer and dryer as separate units is the same as simply removing the dryer from the top of the washing machine. This can be advantageous because it’s less work and means you don’t need to disconnect all the pipes and wiring from the washing machine. 

When I move my stacked washer/dryer I always remove the cupboard doors first too as shown in the picture below. This gives me far more space to work with.

Remove doors from washer/dryer cupboard

Within this section, I’ll tell you how to remove the dryer only from the stacked washer-dryer units. 

Step 1: Turn Off The Gas Supply And Disconnect The Dryer

The first steps you’ll want to take to ensure safety are the following: 

Before you do anything, turn off the power: Locate the electrical breaker or fuse for the dryer and switch it off to cut off the power supply. 

Washer and dryer fuse cupboard
  1. Unplug the power cord: Once the power is off, unplug the dryer from the electrical outlet. 
  2. Shut off the gas supply (if applicable): If your dryer operates on gas, you’ll need to shut off the gas supply before disconnecting it. 
  3. Disconnect the gas line (if applicable): If you’ve shut off the gas supply, you can now disconnect the gas line from the dryer. 
  4. Detach the vent hose: Locate the vent hose, which is usually connected to the back of the dryer, and disconnect it from where it enters the wall.  
  5. Remove the drain hose (if applicable). They can be screwed on really tight so you’ll probably need to use a pair of pliers.

Note: Depending on the location of your stacked washer/dryer unit, you may need to slide both units back slightly before being able to complete the disconnection instructions above (step 3 in my instructions). 

Step 2: Assess How Your Stacked Washer Dryer Are Connected

Stackables are usually placed one at a time with the upper unit clipping into the lower unit with a ‘stacking kit’. The purpose of the stacking kit is to keep the dryer safely on top of the washing machine, especially when it’s spinning. The stacking kit is normally behind the washer dryer and is disassembled by simply removing the screws or bolts holding it in place.

Washer Dryer Stacking Kit
This is what a washer-dryer stacking kit looks like. It’s normally bolted to the back of the machines and is undone with a screwdriver.

If you’re unable to access the stacking kit you may need to slide both units out together before unscrewing it (step 3). 

Step 3: Slide Both Units Out Slightly Together

If you’ve been able to disconnect all relevant connections and undo the stacking kit then you can skip this section. The lines (water, power, gas, vent) are almost always long enough to get the unit free of the closet and then reach behind it. Check as you go, using a mirror if need be. 

You’ll probably need to move both units together and here’s how you do that: 

  1. Spray something slippery underneath the feet of your washing machine. Something like White Lithium Grease (on Amazon) works well, but you could also use oil or soapy water.
  2. Optional step: Remove the washing machine door for more leverage. For the next step, you’ll be pulling the washing machine from the inside and some people find it easier to remove the door. It’s normally just two Phillips head screws. 
  3. Pull the washing machine from inside the drum (but don’t grab the drum itself and be careful of the rubber gasket), left then right. Pull at a slight angle to start ‘walking’ it forward. Each next pull should be on the opposing side, walking it out. Remember to use your legs and not your back, and not to pull too hard as you don’t want to damage a water line. Use a flashlight or phone to take a picture if it gets stuck.

Once you’ve done this you should be able to undo the stacking bracket and disconnect the various cables mentioned previously. 

Step 4: Pull The Dryer Onto A Garbage Can (Or Lift It Off)

For this step, you’ll need to find an object that you can slide your dryer onto. In the past, I’ve found a garbage can that works really well because it’s roughly the same height as the washing machine and has wheels. Compost bins or recycling bins are the same. In any case, try and find something strong and at the same height or shorter than your washing machine. 

Garbage can with wheels

If you can’t find anything the right height, at this stage you could simply lift the dryer off instead. 

Once on the garbage can, you should be able to wheel the dryer to wherever you’d like and the job’s a good ‘un! 

Front load washers have around 45 lbs of concrete inside them, used as counter balance weights that are literally boled on to the front of the tubs. Some professionals routinely remove these weights to load/unload these machines into the back of trucks.

Andy Fulenchek
Fully removed dryer from stacked washer/dryer

how to move A Stacked Washer Dryer As A Unit

The alternative is to remove the washer and dryer as a stacked unit. Whilst this is heavier, some people say this is safer and potentially easier as you don’t need to remove the stacking system. You may also need to move the stacked washer dryer together before being able to unbolt the stacking kit. 

Before I get into this section, I want to recommend a few products. I hadn’t come across these previously, but doing a lot of research into moving large appliances there’s some pretty cool technology out there I wouldn’t have previously considered: 

The Air Sled (on Amazon). This is a really cool device that basically has two very thin inflatable sleds that slide underneath your stacked washer/dryer. The motor inflates the sleds and you’re able to easily slide out the appliance. 

A furniture jack (on Amazon) allows the user to easily raise loads of up to 660 lbs. This would be particularly useful if you wanted to momentarily raise your washing machine, for example to get it over the lip of a cupboard. 

These are fantastic! (…) For professional movers or installers, this would be a no brainer to own.

Andy Fulenchek

A furniture mover (on Amazon) lets you raise furniture or appliances (up to 1100 lbs) and then slide some wheels underneath, enabling you to wheel heavy items around. Depending on the setup of your stacked washer and dryer, this could work a treat!

A puck board (on Amazon) is a large polymer board that can be slid under a unit that is tipped rearward, then sliding the entire board toward you sliding the appliance on top of the board instead of the flooring. 

Use caution to jack the appliance from a sturdy point as damage to the panels can happen if not. In tight spots, you will only be able to access the front side of the units and therefore will only be able to use the sliders on the front 2 legs. Even this helps a lot however. 

Andy Fulenchek

Move a stacked unit by following these steps:

  1. Carefully Pull the Unit Away From the Wall

Carefully pull the unit away from the wall by wiggling it gently from the sides. Pull it just far enough from the wall so you can easily access the hoses and electrical outlet.

You may want to spray underneath the washing machine with grease to make it slide (furniture polish works really well) or to also utilize any of the products I mentioned above. The Air Sled is particularly effective.

  1. Turn Off and Unplug the Power Supply

Turn off the power to the machine from the wall outlet or breaker panel and unplug its electrical cord. Tape the cord to the back of the dryer so it doesn’t get in the way while you’re on the move. 

If your machine has a gas dryer, you might want to call a licensed professional to shut off the gas supply, disconnect, and plug the line feeding the unit.

  1. Detach the Drain Hose

Turn off the water supply to the washer, then locate the large, plastic drain hose. Remove it from its current position and place it in the laundry sink or into a bucket to drain any residual water.

Note: When reinstalling the drain hose, be sure that the end of the hose does not insert into the drain line in the wall more than 6″ to 8″, then zip tie in place. A few years back I failed to do this, and it caused back-siphoning during the spin cycle and a flooded laundry room… unhappy wife!

It’s best to set the washer to a spin cycle to remove any water that’s left in it through the drain line.

  1. Disconnect the Hot and Cold Water Hoses

The inlet hoses for the washer are usually found at the back of the unit, and you want to double-check that you’ve closed their respective water valves before disconnecting them. Some washers have hoses you can easily disconnect, but others need slip joint pliers (or channel locks) to detach.

Once you’ve detached each hose, place it in a laundry sink or bucket to drain residual water. Once they’re dry, put them in a sealable bag for transportation, or store them inside the tub to prevent water from leaking out during transit.

  1. Secure the Shipping Bolts

Your washing machine must be secured prior to being moved in a truck. Washing machines are designed with intricate parts and suspensions that will easily be destroyed if not secured properly.

Be SURE to use the appropriate length shipping bolts for your specific washer. These are model specific and have a part number that can be looked up by model number. Years ago, I was called out as a warranty call for a “leaking Bosch front load washing machine after having a recent move” This was the only initial information that was given to me. Upon arrival I found a beautiful virtually BRAND NEW washing machine which was clearly leaking after filling up. 
Ultimately, I discovered that the movers had used entirely too long shipping bolts in place of the needed shorter Bosch shipping bolts. They ran a shipping bolt right through the outer tub of this $2,000+ washing machine!  YIKES!

Andy Fulenchek

Check your appliance manual to determine where the shipping bolts are located on the washer unit. You’ll need them to secure the tub in place so it doesn’t shift about as you move the machine.

If your top-load washer doesn’t have shipping bolts, you can wedge a piece of foam or cardboard between the drum and frame to restrict their movement. However, I highly recommend using shipping bolts for front-load washers. Failing to do so will destroy the front gasket, can have springs come out of their holders and the entire tub then falls down inside the machine.

  1. Detach the Vent Hose

The vent hose is a flexible pipe with a relatively larger diameter that channels the exhaust from the dryer to the outside of your home. It’s typically secured with simple clamps that you can quickly loosen or cut off with a pair of wire cutters.

Detach the vent hose and ensure it’s clean before putting it in a sealable bag. While you can put it inside the dryer during transportation, it’s best to transport it separately so things don’t tumble into each other and loosen.

  1. Use a Dolly to Move the Machine OR undo the stacking kit. 

Once the washer dryer is out of the cupboard, you should be able to undo the stacking kit or continue moving it. If you are able to undo the stacking kit, go back to the first section where I explain how to just remove the dryer. 

Dolly for washing machine

Or, use a dolly to haul the stacked washer and dryer from your home onto a moving truck (or wherever you’d like to move it). You can purchase a dolly or appliance cart from a home renovation store. You can also hire one from a moving truck rental company.

And as practical and sensible as it can be, this part needs at least two people. Have your helping partner hold the cart in place and pull the stacked machine as you push and gently lift it onto the dolly.

Can a Stacked Washer and Dryer Be Moved On Its Side?

You should always keep a stacked washer and dryer standing upright as you move it and don’t move it on its side. Laying the machine on its side can cause the inner and outer tubs to bump against each other, which can cause damage.

The bumping can misalign the tubs and alter the way your unit works. It can also damage the suspension or loosen the support pads. You should also secure the drum with shipping bolts or washer locks that you insert in the back of the machine.

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Hi, I'm Ed, and I run BuildFanatic! I enjoy providing the best possible information on a range of home improvement topics.

Andy Fulenchek
Owner at Grace Appliance | Website | + posts

Andy is a professional appliance repairman and business owner with years of hands-on experience. He co-authors and reviews appliance articles, ensuring accuracy and top-notch information for readers.

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