Plumbing In a Washing Machine: DIY Guide
PLUMBING IN A WASHING MACHINE
Plumbing in a washing machine for fully automatic operation is a job where it pays to have a go yourself. Often, modern connection gadgets make it possible to do without plumbing skills altogether. And even where the installation isn’t quite so easy, you can save money by doing some of the work yourself, then calling in a plumber for the tricky parts.
Siting the washing machine
As a rule, the nearer the washing machine is to hot and cold pipes and to a drainage outlet, the easier the installation. For many people, this means siting the machine in the kitchen, near the sink. But cloakrooms and downstairs utility rooms shouldn’t be ruled out, since they, too, often have the necessary plumbing facilities — plus the advantage of more space.
Bathrooms are more of a problem. The regulations on using electrical appliances here are so restrictive that in most cases it simply isn’t practical to install a washing machine. In a very large bathroom it may just be possible, but seek expert advice before proceeding.
When you’ve decided on a location, run through the connection options and see which suit it best. You should also read through the installation details supplied with the washing machine and make a note of any special recommendations.
Supply With some machines, you have a choice of connecting to both hot and cold supplies, or to cold only (so saving on hot water). The connections are the same for both.
Drainage Most machines pump out the waste water, allowing you to connect the drain hose to the nearest waste pipe via a special trap or a-in connector. But a few still rely on siphonage to remove the waste, and must be connected via a vertical standpipe.
Some makers also advise standpipe installation as a safeguard against blockages caused by fluff. In this case, connection by any other method may invalidate the warranty.
Shopping List for Plumbing in a Washing Machine
For other types of supply connection, you may need:
Washing machine stoptaps
These are sold with push-fit or compression connections for the supply pipes, and threaded connections for the machine supply hoses.
15mm supply pipe and fittings
These can be plastic push-fit or copper with compression joints. Work out the length and direction of the pipe runs beforehand: you’ll need tee fittings for joining to the existing pipes, plus 90° elbows for making bends. Buy pipe clips, wallplugs andif the runs are longer than lm (3ft).
For other types of waste connection, you may need:
Washing machine trap
This replaces an existing plastic sink trap and has a mixture of-on and adjustable push-fit parts, enabling alignment with the existing pipes. There is normally a push-on fitting for the machine outlet hose.
These are sold in kit form, complete with trap. Buy 38mm (1-1/2") plastic pipe plus wall clips to make up a new waste run, or a swept tee fitting for connection to an existing waste pipe. Choose from push-fit or solvent-weld (glued) joints. See Problem Solver – Washing Machine Drainage Problems for other types of waste connection.
Tools (depending on connection method): junior, adjustable spanner, electric drill.