Plumbing in a washing machine

How to Plumb in a Washing Machine: Complete Help Guide

Last updated on January 23rd, 2024

Plumbing in a washing machine is straightforward if you are fitting it in the same place as the old one.

If you are good at DIY, you should be able to plumb in a washing machine without the need to call a plumber.

I have been plumbing full-time for over a decade and have installed many washing machines and dishwashers over the years.

Here I’ll show you how to plumb in a washing machine based on my on-the-job experience.

Washing machine under worktop

How to Plumb in a Washing Machine

There are three things needed to plumb in a washing machine, they are:

  • A water supply: You need to make sure there is a cold water supply close to where you want the washing machine installed. This water supply will need a washing machine valve to connect the hose to from the washer.
  • Wastewater pipe: A waste pipe is needed to drain the dirty waste water. This pipe (typically under the kitchen sink) will need a connector for the drain hose, or the hose can go into a standpipe trap.
  • An electric supply: An electric supply (a plug socket) is needed to power the washing machine.

If you are installing a washing machine in a place where there hasn’t been one before, you will need to make sure you have these three supplies and connections installed first.

Washing machine connections

Replacing a washing machine in place of an old one means you will already have all the connections needed.

You will need to disconnect the old one first.

How to Disconnect a Washing Machine

Disconnecting a washing machine is needed before you can plumb in a new one when replacing it.

Here’s how:

  1. Unplug the washing machine’s electric cable from the plug socket
  2. Turn off the water supply to the washing machine
  3. Disconnect the water supply pipe by turning the plastic nut anti-clockwise
  4. Disconnect the drain hose by pulling it out of the standpipe, or pulling it off the waste pipe connector under the sink – You might need to use a screwdriver to remove the hose clamp if there is one there
Disconnected washing machine pipes
Washer pipes and cable disconnected

Plumbing in a Washing Machine

To plumb in a washing machine you need three things, a drain hose and cable which are fixed to the washer, and a water inlet hose which you will usually get with a new machine.

1. Remove the Transit Bolts

If it’s a brand-new washing machine, the first thing you need to do is remove the transit bolts from the back with a socket and ratchet, or an adjustable spanner.

Then fit the supplied plastic covers in the holes where the bolts were.

Transit bolts keep the drum still when moving the machine and there’s usually 4 or 5 bolts to remove.

2. Connect to the Cold Water Supply

Disconnected water inlet pipe

Most washing machines only need a cold water supply, but some need a hot also.

You should get a new inlet hose supplied with a new washer (typically blue or grey), but you can use the old hose if it’s easier.

Connect the inlet hose to the connection on the washing machine by turning the plastic nut clockwise, and the other end to the washing machine valve with the blue handle.

Then turn the water back on by turning the handle on the valve.

Washing machine valve turned on
Washing machine valve turned on

3. Connect The Drain Hose

The grey flexible drain hose should be connected to a drain hose connector under the kitchen sink. Make sure to use a hose clamp if it’s loose.

Washing machine drain hose on connector
Drain hose on waste connector

You can also push the drain hose into a washing machine standpipe trap if you have one, the horseshoe clip should be connected to the hose before pushing it in.

Drain hoses are fixed to the washing machine, but you can buy an extension kit if yours isn’t long enough.

Washing machine drain hose
Washing machine drain hose

4. Plug in the Cable

Washing machines are always fitted with a standard plug on the end of a cable.

This plug needs to be plugged into a wall socket and the socket needs to be switched on.

Plug socket turned on

Once the three connections are made, you should give it a test run (empty) on a quick cycle or rinse to make sure all is good before adding any laundry on a full cycle.


Plumbing in a washing machine can be difficult when doing it for the first time.

Washing machine and dishwasher

A washing machine needs to be connected to the water supply, the waste pipe, and an electric supply.

If you already have all these connections near to the new washing machine location, plumbing it in should be simple.

If you have to run new supplies in then calling a plumber might be the best option.

If you click a link on this page and buy any items from Amazon, I may earn a commission.

Feel free to ask me any questions in the comment section below and I’ll try my best to help.

Please share this post if you find it helpful.


Can I plumb in a washing machine myself?

Yes! If you are competent and confident, plumbing in a washing machine yourself can be simple. There are two pipes and an electric cable that need to be connected.

Do you have to turn off the water to install a washing machine?

Yes! You have to turn off the water to install a washing machine.

You can turn off the water supply at the washing machine valve or turn off the mains water supply at the stopcock.

Washing machine valve turned off
Washing machine valve turned off

Do washing machines come with a waste pipe?

Yes. Brand-new washing machines come with a drain hose already connected to the washing machine.

These are usually grey plastic hoses that need to be connected to a trap connection under the sink or into a washing machine standpipe trap.

How long does it take to install a washing machine?

It depends. I would say for a plumber to install a washing machine can take anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour or more depending on what needs to be done.

What connections are needed for a washing machine?

The three connections needed for a washing machine are the water supply inlet pipe, the wastewater drain hose, and the electric supply plug.


  • Steven Reid

    I am a full-time plumber and Gas Safe registered engineer. I incorporated Housewarm Ltd. in 2011 to provide heating and plumbing services to homes in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. I now blog about what I've learned over the years to help DIYers and plumbers.

    View all posts
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