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How to Plumb and Install a Washing Machine

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How to Plumb and Install a Washing Machine

I’m all about saving time and money. I like to do as much as I can myself, and that includes things like washing machine installation. I hear you wondering if that is actually a sensible idea considering the work that’s involved, but it is actually a pretty easy process if you focus and follow the instructions. I’m here to take you through each of the steps for connecting and installing your washing machine. Ready get the toolkit out and put in some hard work? Well, you’re in the right place.

How to Install a Washing Machine

This is what I’m here to tell you, and at the end of this guide, you will find an excellent and detailed step by step guide on how to do so. Before we move onto anything, though, I want to stress how important it is that you call a professional if you don’t feel comfortable with the task at hand. There’s no shame in getting the experts to help you out when you need it.

Now that’s out of the way; we can get into the good stuff. I want to start this guide by showing you a quick and easy video I sourced that gives you the basics of washing machine installation. It’s pretty handy, and gives you a good idea of what to expect.

How to Connect a Washing Machine

First, the basics on how to connect a washing machine. This is a vital part, because the connection is what allows water to pass through the machine and then back out again. It’s arguably the most complex part of the job, and even then, it’s really quite simple.

You Will Need:

  • Wrench/grips (preferably a mole)
  • Bucket
  • Cloths (clean)
  • Spirit level

#1 Positioning. It needs to be close to a cold water tap so that it can be attached to the piping; like your kitchen. Ideally, it will be behind the machine, or at least nearby.

#2 Measurements. You have to ensure that your new machine is going to fit in the space you have chosen for it. There is a section later on that looks at this in more detail.

#3 Bolts. If there are carriage bolts, these will need to be unscrewed. If there are blanking plates provided, fit these as instructed. Turn off the water valve and prepare the bucket to catch water from the existing machine’s hose. You will also need the clothes to mop up any spillage from the floor once you have detached the existing hose.

#4 The hose. Attach the cold-water machine into the back of the machine first, and then tap second. Turn the water supply back on and check for leaks. If there are some, turn it off and check the hose for holes as well as how well you attached it to the machine and water supply. Now, connect the waste hose. This is already attached to the machine and just needs to be fed down the pipe.

#5 Testing. All that’s left is to slide the machine into the correct position and run a test cycle. This should be done with no clothes in the machine, as it is just to ensure everything is functioning as it should. Once this is done, you are free to use your machine.

How Much Could I Save?

Savings

No matter where you go, you are going to be charged for the installation of your new machine. If you don’t want to do it yourself, but you would also rather not spend a fortune, it’s good to compare companies before you decide on a machine. I will note that you have to weigh up the cost of your chosen washer as well as the installation price to find out where you are saving the most money. However, to keep things simple, here are the top companies and their installation costs:

  • AO: £20
  • Argos: £45 (includes both)
  • Curry’s: £25
  • John Lewis: £25
  • Very: £20

These same companies will also offer to disconnect, remove, and recycle your old machine. Of course, this also comes with an added price. Take a look at the quick list below:

  • AO: £25
  • Argos: £45 (includes both)
  • Curry’s: £20
  • John Lewis: £15
  • Very: £15

Integrated Washing Machines Cost More to Connect

These always cost more because of the extra work that comes with them. The removal fee tends to be the same as a freestanding machine, but as the installer will have to attach a cabinet door, worktop, and/or kickboard, the installation cost will climb. It would appear that Very doesn’t offer pricing for integrated machines, but here is a list for the others:

  • AO: £90
  • Argos: £82
  • Curry’s: £90
  • John Lewis: £90

Double Check the Depth of Your New Washing Machine

This is so important. I recently experienced something similar, but with my new fridge instead of my washing machine. I had a standard fridge, which broke, and the new one was standard too. When it arrived, and I finally got it into the kitchen, I realised that while the height was fine, it was way too wide for the space. Now, there is a fridge in the middle of my kitchen while I work on creating a new space for it.

Washing machines tend to be around the same height and width, which is good news for you, but the depth is what varies. A machine with a larger drum and washing capacity will have a greater depth than those with smaller ones. There is a way to avoid accidentally ordering a machine that ultimately won’t fit though.

When you buy your new machine, you need to allow for 7cm at the top of it. This is so that you are able to safely accommodate your waste and inlet pipes. Why? Well, if there is not enough space, they may bend behind the machine and kink. This will cause pressure to build up, and it will eventually burst, causing some serious flooding and definite mould.

Disconnecting and Removing an Old Washing Machine

This is also a really simple process, and one that won’t take you much time to complete. In fact, I actually wrote a dedicated guide to the topic, which you can easily find. To give you an idea of what the process involves, here’s a handy video I found that details the process.

Installing and Connecting a New Washing Machine

Now you’re ready for the final stage, where you get to install and connect your new washing machine. Follow each of the steps below, and you are sure to achieve success in no time at all.

#1 Use the Manual

You should never ignore the instruction manual that comes with the washing machine, and this should be read carefully before you get started. There is a lot of valuable information in there, which will help you to install and connect your washing machine correctly. The manual is usually at the top of the box, so you can flick through it before you unpack.

#2 Remove the Polystyrene

Now that you have read through the manual, you can remove all the packaging from the box and take out your new machine. My advice would be to get rid of the polystyrene and plastic, then take a knife and cut down the side of the box so that it opens up. This means there is no awkward lifting of what is already an incredibly heavy machine.

#3 Removing Carriage or Storage Bolts from the Back of the Washing Machine

You are likely to find that there are bolts on the back of the washing machine. These are known as carriage, or storage, bolts and will need to be removed before you can get started. When they have been taken out, you can place provided covers on them.

Once this is done, ensure the space for your new washing machine is on level ground and that there is hard flooring underneath. This keeps the machine steady, but it also means that if there are leaks, it will be easier to clean than if it were on carpet.

#4 Attaching the Cold Water in Hose

You need to locate the cold-water hose, which should be in the drum of the machine. When you open the door, all the parts you need will be found in there. You will need to screw the hose into the attachment at the back of the machine.

You’ll see a filter here, and should make note of this for future reference as it may need to be cleaned should the machine stop working in the future. The other end of the hose can then be attached to the cold-water supply. You can then turn said supply on to check for leaks and ensure that everything is done properly.

#5 Attaching the Wastewater Hose to Your Water Waste

This one is really easy because it is already attached to your washing machine. All you need to do is manually feed the hose into the water waste pipe in your home. Usually, it will come with a U-bend that can be attached to the waste in order to make the process a simpler one.

This will also help you to avoid blockages and kinks in the future. It can even be attached to the wall, but I don’t recommend this as it is easy to forget if you ever need to pull the machine out at a later date. Once the waste is attached, you can push the machine right back into place.

#6 Levelling Your Washing Machine

It’s surprising how important a level floor is. If the floor is uneven, it can actually damage the machine over time as it vibrates excessively and even moves around a little. Not to mention the awful noise it causes as a result. The best way to check everything is even is with a spirit level.

This can be placed on the floor right in front of the machine to check that everything is level. However, if you don’t own this little tool, there is something else you can do. Hold the washing machine on each side and wobble it around. If it moves, the floor is not level enough.

You can even it out by hand, although you might need a wrench, because all you need to do is adjust the legs. This will raise or lower the machine as necessary, and you can lock them into place with the wrench. Once the machine stops wobbling, you can step back, satisfied with your work.

#7 You’re Ready to Start Washing Clothes

That’s all there is to it. Now that everything has been installed you can actually start washing your clothes. As I have mentioned before, it is best to run a test wash with an empty load just to ensure it’s all functioning correctly. Once that’s confirmed, get your laundry in there and enjoy some clean clothes.

To Conclude

I hope that this guide has been able to show you how to accurately plumb and install a washing machine. At the risk of repeating myself, I do want to remind you that this isn’t a job for everyone. Washing machines are bulky and heavy, which can make them difficult to install. If you’re not confident with what you’re doing, give a professional a call and ask them to come out. Otherwise, these steps are simple to follow and should give you more than enough information to carry out the entire task.

What did you think of my washing machine installation guide? Were you left feeling good about your work, or are you scratching your head? I love hearing from you, so make sure to leave a message in the comments below.

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