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How to install a washing machine

Bought a new washing machine but haven’t quite worked out how to install it? Fear not, our guide will help you with all you need to know.

Bought a new washing machine but haven’t quite worked out how to install it? Fear not, our guide will help you with all you need to know.workman fixing washing machine pipe

Whilst these machines are easy to buy online with a few clicks, when they arrive it can be quite daunting if you don’t know how to correctly plumb your machine in. If done incorrectly, you can damage your plumbing system and your new washing machine. Read on to find out how to install a washing machine in the UK.

Preparing for installation

Before beginning installation, we recommend reading your machine’s provided instruction pamphlet. This will give you any tips needed to install your machine, alongside showing you the purpose of each button and valve as every machine is different. A washing machine is usually connected to the cold and hot water system, however, it will work just fine connected to cold water. If your machine is supplied from the pipe that services your kitchen tap, the water will be at mains pressure.

A washing machine will also need to be plugged into a standard socket. It is easiest to run a spur from a socket to a switched fuse connection on your work surface, then run a cable from this to an unswitched socket below the surface of your worktop. The connection unit will have a handy neon light to indicate whether the machine is on or not. This saves you from needing to reach behind the machine to turn it on.

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How to install a new washing machine

First up, you will need to decide whereabouts your new washing machine will be placed. For practical reasons, this should be close to a water source for easy pipe access. Your washing machine should also be kept away from any sources of heat, like a stove, boiler, or kettle.

Equipment needed

The basic equipment you will need is as follows:

  • Measuring tape
  • Mole wrench
  • Spirit level
  • Solvent glue
  • Utility knife
  • Saw
  • Standpipe
  • Primer

Once you have all of your equipment, it is vital to measure the space you have to ensure it fits. Then follow the below steps:

  • Plan the placement of your machine, using a spirit level to ensure accuracy.
  • Assess the plumbing you need to do, do you have a standpipe already installed? If not you will need to fit this first, then attach your washing machine.
  • Attach the drain hose to the standpipe, fastening securely.
  • Run the power supply from behind the machine to your worktop.
  • Push the washing machine back into place, but careful not to push it back too tightly or you will constrict water flow through pipes.
  • Run an empty test cycle, looking out for any leakages or issues with your machine performance.

For more information on the plumbing in part of installing a new washing machine, take a look at our guide on how to plumb in a washing machine.

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How to install a washing machine drain hose

The washing machine drain hose is the long, thick main hose, found at the very back of the machine. The drain hose will be attached to the standpipe already in your wall. There also should be hot and cold pipe fittings at the back of your machine that need to be attached to the supply hoses. Whilst it may seem like an easy task, those attempting to DIY often leave pipes leaking, as some force is required to screw the hose tight. We recommend running a quick cycle before pushing your machine against the wall, letting you check for any possible leaks.

One of the most difficult tasks of fitting a machine is pushing it into place, as some machines can be very heavy. If hiring a plumber, they will be able to do this for you.

How to install a standpipe for a washing machine

The most secure method is to install a standpipe and secure it to the wall framing. A standpipe is a pipe connected to a P-trap which is then connected to a drain. The standard washing machine expels enough water in your drainage system to empty other P-traps close by, such as toilets or sinks. This is caused by a lack of air in your drainage system. To avoid this, ensure there is proper ventilation on the line.

How to install a washing machine valve

If your house has copper piping as most do, you will have to solder a tee onto an existing water line in your home. Before valve installation or soldering, you will need to turn off your water first. To ensure the soldering is successful, we recommend making sure there is absolutely no water in your pipes. This means turning off your water and thoroughly draining your pipes before you begin installing.

How much does it cost to hire a plumber?

If you have decided a DIY job is not for you, you can hire an expert to fit your machine and plumb it for you. Hiring a professional will mean there are no mistakes or damage caused to your drainage system. The cost will depend on what service you require and the amount of plumbing you need doing.  A professional washing machine installation should be quick and relatively straightforward. The average hourly rate for a plumber is around £50 an hour. For an accurate installation quote, we recommend contacting your local plumber.

Benefits of hiring a professional

Whilst it may be tempting to DIY this job, you could risk damaging your drainage system and your expensive new washing machine in the process. With the cost of washing machine installation being fairly minimal, this will save you the hassle and stress of installing it yourself.


How long does it take to install a washing machine?

For an amateur, installing a washing machine could take a few hours. For a professional, it should be a straightforward procedure lasting around one hour.

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