There are 3 things that need to happen when you want to install a washing machine: getting the water supply nearby, installing a drain pipe, and getting an electric outlet nearby. Let’s take a look at how we can do this. In the following video, you can see how to hook up a machine if everything is in place already. Later in this article, we will discuss how you can install a drainpipe and water supply in your home.
Install the water supply lines
A washing machine can be connected to a faucet. This is handy as you can close it if you want to replace the washing machine or if you don’t plan to use it for a while. There are several types of faucets but it is great to invest in a proper one.
Washing machines require quite a lot of water pressure so check the manual of the machine and make sure that your water supply meets this. Washing machines might not work properly if the water pressure is too low. Some washing machines need hot and cold water. This makes the installation more complex as you have to run 2 water supply lines. Luckily, there are installation kits that make it easy to attach to the wall.
The way in which you install a faucet largely depends on your plumbing system:
-If you have a PEX system, it is often easy to add a pipe to your manifold. Cut off the water supply and install the pipe. If possible, you can try to get the pipe under the floor. You can go above the ceiling as well if needed. This might require some drilling though.
If there is already a pipe nearby, you can add a T connector. Shark bites or other fittings can be used for PEX-B, for PEX-A you might need a machine to install it. Make sure that the pipe is wide enough so that you have enough water pressure. This is especially important for PEX-B as the fittings are inside the pipe, restricting the water flow.
-If you have a copper system, you have more work to do. You have to cut off the water supply to this circuit and drain the water. Then you cut open the pipe, debur it, and add a T-shaped fitting. We have discussed how to easily add a fitting to the copper before HERE. Make sure that there is enough water pressure when you do this. If you are lucky, you can just use the existing system:
-If you have a stainless steel system, you can turn off the water and drain it. You can add a T-shaped fitting to your pipe. This is often done by cutting a piece of the pipe and adding threads. A machine is needed for this. Once this is done, you can add some Teflon tape to the end of the pipe. Then you can add the fitting.
Adding a faucet is quite easy. Just add support brackets. In most instances, you add some Teflon tape to the faucet and turn it in the connector. Once you have a faucet, you can simply add a flexible pipe and add this to the washing machine.
How to install a washing machine drain pipe
In most instances, a flexible drain will be included with your washing machine. If it isn’t, you should get a fiberglass or metal hose. Don’t get a rubber hose as these are less durable and might flood your house.
You can push this in a PVC standpipe (it can be a copper pipe in older systems). This creates an indirect connection and makes sure that no water flows back to your machine. Washing machines can tremble a lot and a fixed connection might break due to this. You might have to drill a hole in your wall or closet to connect these two pipes.
This straight PVC pipe is often 2” and can be attached against the wall with support brackets. We need a P-trap before the pipe enters the wastewater pipe. This is just a P-shaped piece of pipe that you can get in your local hardware store. S-traps are not used anymore and should be replaced. Check your local code as there might be requirements for the height of this P-trap. Be sure to get the right diameter of the P-trap while you are there. This makes sure that no odors or dirty water get back in your machine. This could break the machine or lead to expensive repairs. A P-trap is therefore essential if you want to install a washing machine drain. Inspectors will note this if you don’t install this and want to sell the house.
The pipe and P-trap are often glued together with PVC glue (we have discussed how this needs to be done HERE). The rest is then glued to the wastewater pipe with PVC glue. If the wastewater pipe is using another material, such as PP, you have to find a connector to attach it. This is mainly found in commercial buildings so we won’t discuss this. Local codes often have a lot of requirements for this P-trap so check with your local hardware store what is needed.
Check that the wastewater pipe is properly vented so that the water can flow out of it easily without disrupting other systems in your house.
It is essential that this drain is installed properly as it can leak over time. Given that this is not clearly visible, it can cause a lot of damage. Some machines will warn you if there is an issue with the drain but most won’t. You can get a water sensor to check on this. Check after a few wash cycles if this area is dry and clean. A small leak might only be visible after a while.
You’ll need the following materials to install a washing machine :
1) PEX, copper, or stainless steel pipe.
2) A faucet or connection kit
A washing machine roller can be handy:
3) The correct screws (for your home) and support brackets.
4) Saws and drilling machine
5) Flexible pipes and drains
6) PVC pipe and glue
7) Protective equipment
How to take care of a washing machine
We are plumbers so won’t comment on how to install electricity. Make sure that you add vibration pads under the washing machine. This way the machine won’t damage your floor when it is shaking. Newer machines use programs that save water but they can shake quite a lot. A drain pan can also be a great idea. If your machine leaks, the water will get drained away. This might require another PVC drain though.
When you purchase a new washing machine, it is important that you read the instructions included with the washing machine. If you are unsure of what to do, contact the manufacturer for helpful tips.b Use the right soaps and load the machine correctly.
Once your washing machine is installed in your home, remember to keep it clean and dry. Washing machines need to be cleaned at least once per month. Washing machines also need to be unplugged when not in use. You can also add cleaning products once every quarter to clean the drains and the machine.
To conclude, we can state that installing a washing machine can take quite some work. It is essential that you check that the diameter of the drains and pipes is wide enough. This ensures that the machine gets enough water and can easily remove the dirty water. Installing vibration pads under a washing machine is a great idea as well. Plumbers often have to come out to install a washing machine as you need to be able to work with a lot of materials, from PEX to PVC. Also, check your local code for further requirements.