how to install a washing machine

How to Install a Washing Machine (Plumbers Guide)

Want to learn how to install a washing machine?

Learning how to install a washing machine is straightforward if you are fitting it in the same place as the old one. I have been plumbing for over ten years and have fitted quite a few washing machines and dishwashers.

If you are good at DIY, then you should be able to install a washing machine without the need to ring a plumber.

When fitting it into a new place that has not had a washing machine there before, you might need to arrange for a plumber to run a water supply and waste pipe in first.

Fitting a Washing Machine in Same Place as Old One

Replacing your old washing machine for a new washing machine in the same place is the most common situation us plumbers come across when asked to plumb in a washing machine, and the easiest way to do it for a DIYer!

It’s simply a case of disconnecting the old pipes and fitting the new ones in the same places. Then make sure it’s level and plug it in.

How to Disconnect a Washing Machine

Knowing how to disconnect a washing machine is needed before you can plumb in a new one.

You should start by turning off the water supply to the washing machine. You can do this at the washing machine valve, but it’s probably best to turn the mains water off at the stopcock if possible (normally under the kitchen sink). Then open the tap to let the pressure out.

You will then need to disconnect and remove the old washing machine by disconnecting the electric supply, the water supply inlet hose (there might be two), and the drain hose.

Disconnect The Inlet Hose

How to install a washing machine hose red and blue
Washing machine inlet hoses

To disconnect the washing machine water supply pipe, normally a flexible blue inlet hose, you will need to find out where it connects to the washing machine valve. 

Some washing machines will have a hot water supply also with a red inlet hose and red valve handle, if so, you will need to disconnect both.

To disconnect, you have to turn the plastic nut on the end of the hose with your hand anti-clockwise and keep turning until it comes off.

Then pull the hose away from the valve. There will be water in the hose still, even after the water has been turned off, so you should put a towel or bucket underneath to catch it.

How to Disconnect The Drain Hose

washing machine drain hose
Washing machine drain hose

A washing machine drain hose should be a grey flexible hose that is either poked in to a vertical stand pipe, or connected to the waste pipe or trap under the kitchen sink.

If the drain hose is in a stand pipe, you can simply pull it out. If connected to your waste pipe under the sink, then should be able to pull it off. You might need to use a screwdriver to remove the hose clamp, if there is one there.

Disconnect The Electric Supply

Find the plug socket and remove the plug. You might have to pull the washing machine forward to get to the plug, but you might have to disconnect the washing machine hoses first if they are stopping you from moving the washing machine.

Plumbing in a Washing Machine

When plumbing in a washing machine for the first time, it can be quite confusing. But once you work out what pipe is what, it’s really quite simple.

Remove The Transport Bolts

If it’s a brand-new washing machine, then the first thing you need to do to plumb in your washing machine is remove the transport bolts from the back with a ratchet or spanner. Then you need to fit the supplied plastic covers in the holes where the transport bolts were.

Connect to Cold Water Supply

Most washing machines nowadays only need a cold water supply plumbed in. You should get a new inlet hose supplied with a new washing machine, normally blue or grey, but you can use the old hose if it’s easier.

If your old washing machine has a cold and a hot inlet hose, then you can leave the hot disconnected when fitting the new washing machine.

You will need to screw a 3/4 inch blank nut on the old hot washing machine valve after removing the hose to make sure it does not leak or accidentally get opened in the future.

Connect the water inlet hose to the connection on the washing machine, and the other end on to the washing machine valve with the blue handle. Then turn the water back on by turning the handle on the valve.

Connect The Drain Hose

The new grey flexible waste water hose should be connected to the same place as the old one. Make sure to use a hose clamp if needed and the horse shoe clip should be connected to the hose before pushing one end in to the stand pipe if you have one.

How to Install a Washing Machine in New Location

There are three things to consider when learning how to install a washing machine where there hasn’t been one fitted before –

  1. Cold water supply 
  2. Waste water pipe
  3. Electrical socket

Cold Water Supply

A Washing Machine Valve
Washing machine valve

You need to make sure there is a cold water supply close to where you want the washing machine installed. This could be the pipe fitted to an outside tap under the kitchen sink, for example.

There needs to be a washing machine valve on the cold water pipe to be able to connect the washing machine to your water mains supply via a flexible inlet hose. Inlet hoses are normally 1.5 meters in length, but you can get 2.5 meter hoses also.

Waste Pipe

You will also need a waste pipe near to where you want your washing machine fitting. This should be a standpipe with a trap on the bottom where you can poke the flexible drain hose into, or you can run it to a sealed waste pipe connection under the kitchen sink.

Electrical Socket

You will need an electrical socket to plug the washing machine in to.


This guide should teach you how to install a washing machine if you don’t already know how to, and you feel competent enough to give it a go. 

If you are plumbing in a washing machine in a new location that hasn’t had one before, then you will most likely need to arrange for a plumber to run some pipes in to where you need them.

You might also need an electrician to install a plug socket.


Frequently asked questions –

Can I install a washing machine myself?

Yes! If you are competent and confident, then installing a washing machine can be simple.

Do washing machines come with waste pipe?

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

How long does it take to install a washing machine?

It depends. I would say, for a plumber, anywhere between 10 mins and an hour depending on what needs to be done.

Do I need to turn off water when installing a washer?

Yes! You need to turn off the water. You can do this at the washing machine valve, or you can turn off the mains water supply at the stopcock in your home or in the street.

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