What would happen if I just stacked my dryer on the washer? I know if falls but I"m try to determine the most likely cause. My quess ss unbalanced washer as that's the only time I'm seen major movement and i'm guessing the most common major vibration cause.

How could I stop the dryer from falling if I didn't have a kit for the stackable?

I know they sell kits i just want to understand the most common reasons they fall so I can make a stack kit if need be.

It seems the washer would have more weight and would start vibrating and the top would fall.

A loaded washer would be more dangerous.


Rather than simply "stacking" the dryer on the washer (as the term implies), it's important to secure the dryer above the washer with a solid connector. The stacking kits provided by manufacturers accomplish this task. The problem is not just large vibrations, but frequent tiny ones that cause them to move away from each other - similar to a vibrating phone moving on a table.

The dryer is commonly (if not exclusively) put on top of the washer for weight reasons, as you suggested. The washer will be filled with water, whereas the load in the dryer will weigh much less.

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You're right that the most likely cause is vibration and movement of the washer during the spin cycle. An unbalanced load will make the washer "buck", but even normal spinning has some vibration. Vibration is used in production environments to move things. It reduces friction and can offset gravity by making things bounce.

If one unit is sitting directly on top of the other, rather than on a separate, independently supported surface, it doesn't make a lot of difference whether the washer or dryer is on top. The vibration separates the two and causes movement. So basically, you need to either mechanically lock the two together, or put the top unit on a separate surface so the two units are mechanically isolated from each other.

From an ergonomics perspective, the washer on top is better (wet stuff is heavier and it's easier to let gravity help you get it into the dryer). But if the washer falls on your head, that's not so ergonomic. :-)

With a properly designed support system, you're better off with the washer on top. However, the washer is heavier, especially when full of water, which makes stacked units top-heavy. That creates additional requirements to prevent any risk of the stack falling over. If you don't have the background to properly design the support, or plans designed by an expert, put the dryer on top. The dryer is typically put on top because it is lighter and much less prone to movement, which greatly simplifies the requirements.

In any stacking arrangement, it's important to use a washer designed to minimize vibration and movement. These have features like built-in counterweights, unbalanced load detectors, etc.

If you have units designed to be stackable, that's your best bet. The manufacturer has already figured out what's needed to safely stack them.

You can make your own stacking arrangement. Typically, the designs involve the units sitting inside a substantial cabinet or framework that confines their movement, or the support for the upper unit has a lip to hold the unit in place, or the two units are fastened together.

Here are a few examples:

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A little less elegant:

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images courtesy Pinterest

Notice that these examples have the dryer on top.

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  • Great response. I am pissed off and Whirlpool and have to get a new washer after 4 years. It failed 1 month after warranty. Cost to repair == price to replace – BryanWheelock Jul 7 '17 at 14:00
  • I'm thinking Speed Queen but I don't want to buy matching units with a working dryer. – BryanWheelock Jul 7 '17 at 14:01
  • I looks like there is a rubber mat between units on the blue strapped version. Am I correct? – BryanWheelock Jul 7 '17 at 14:02
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    @BryanWheelock, geez, you've got good eyes. Yeah, it looks like they stuck a rubber mat between them. I'm not sure how useful that is. The underside of the units is generally open, with minimal brackets to hold small feet. Very little of the mat would actually be supporting the top unit unless you got very fancy. Maybe a solid, lipped tray on top of a mat. You would want to strap the units together or otherwise constrain them because you can get weird coupling that can magnify the motion at certain frequencies. The right mat material and thickness is complex. – fixer1234 Jul 7 '17 at 17:06

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