Prepare your washing machine
- Choose the right place: Depending on your living situation, you may be limited in where you can place a washing machine. However, try to find a spot that reduces the risk of uneven loading, leaks, and potential damage to your appliance or home. It’s also important to have access to hot and cold water, a drain, and an outlet that can both support your washer and dryer. A flat, hard floor is an ideal location for a washing machine. Make sure the room temperature does not fall below 0 degrees Celsius. The washing machine should also be away from heat sources such as an oven, radiators or fireplaces. Because of the usage requirements, most houses and apartments have specific rooms intended for use with a washer and dryer.
- Measure the area to ensure a good fit: Washing machines come in a number of shapes and sizes, so you may need to measure yours to make sure it fits well in the space you plan to use. You’ll also need to measure the doorways it needs to pass through to reach its final destination. Keep in mind that you need to measure both the width and depth of both the washer and the space you will be using to ensure a proper fit. Make sure that the inside dimensions of the doorways are wider than those of the washing machine. Many washing machines are at their narrowest when carried from the side or loaded onto a trolley.
- Adjust the levelling feet: Levelling feet are the small feet underneath the appliance itself. They are adjustable and should be calibrated so that your washing machine is as horizontal as possible. If you turn the leveling feet clockwise, that angle of the washing machine will go down, and if you turn it counterclockwise, it will go up. Place a level on the top of the unit and then turn the feet at the bottom of each corner as needed until the level is level. A nut around each leg will keep them from rotating once you have set the correct height for each corner. Loosen the lock nuts by turning them counterclockwise, independent of the leg itself. After you have leveled the unit, turn the nuts clockwise until they are tight to lock the legs in place. Remember to use the level both left to right and front to back, as the washing machine must be level in all directions.
Connecting the new washing machine
- Remove the old washing machine: If you’re replacing an existing one, you’ll need to completely disconnect and remove it before putting the new one in place. Be sure to shut off the water to the old machine before disconnecting it, and leave a bucket in place to catch any remaining water as it flows out of the pipes after they are disconnected. Make sure no water comes into contact with the washer and dryer’s electrical outlet. Be sure to turn off both the hot and cold water leading to the old machine before disconnecting it. You may need pliers or a wrench to disconnect the hoses attached to the old washer.
- Connect the water supply hose: The water supply hose feeds water into your washing machine when you start washing. If you have pipes running to the location of your washing machine, you can easily attach the hoses here. Be sure to tighten the water connections to prevent leaks, but don’t over-tighten them. You can usually tighten these connections enough with just your hands. If the hose is too short, you can buy a longer one that is meant to withstand higher pressure. Never try to stretch the hose, as this can cause it to break. Connect the hot and cold hoses to their respective water pipes. These pipes should be similar to a threaded hose connector for screwing on water pipes, although some houses and washers may use a different connection method. Many connectors have a rubber ring to keep water from leaking through the wire when it is connected. If yours does, you can wrap on the stud in Teflon or plumber’s tape.
- Install the drain hose: The drain hose must be installed correctly to prevent leaks. If your washing machine is near a sink, you can feed the drain hose over the edge and into the sink. If you don’t have a drain or sink near the washing machine, you may need to use a standpipe. Make sure the pipe is secure and that it won’t loosen over time, causing a flood. If you’re using a sink, attach a plastic hose guide to allow the hose to curve downward, and make sure the hose doesn’t rise too high above the washing machine – 60 to 90 centimeters (23 to 35 inches) is ideal. Your washing machine may come with a plastic hose guide. If not, you can purchase one at your local hardware store or through an online store. If you use a standpipe, choose one with a larger diameter than the hose. Position the standpipe so that its top is higher than the water level of the washing machine. If your washing machine does not indicate the water level, you can estimate it by examining the inside of the washing machine.
- Do a test run: Once your washing machine is plugged in, you should be ready to do a wash. However, rather than loading your laundry and leaving it unattended, it’s best to keep a close eye on your washing machine for the first few loads to make sure there are no leaks. Wait by the washing machine and check around, under and behind it. If you see signs of leaks, tighten all the connections around that leak, making sure you don’t over tighten them. If the washing machine doesn’t stop leaking, turn it off and call a professional plumber to inspect your pipes and connections.
Preventing damage to your washing machine
- Check the supply hoses: Old supply hoses that are cracked or worn are likely to cause problems. Check your supply hoses regularly to make sure they are still in good condition. If possible, try to look at the hoses every few months. If you see any cracks or stretch marks, you should replace the hoses as soon as possible. If you’re installing new supply hoses, consider buying a hose break. They have a stainless steel jacket that prevents them from cracking and thus protects them.
- Use a Drain Pan: If your spray hose bursts, it could leak many gallons of water and cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home. An easy way to reduce this risk is to use a washer drain pan under your appliance. If your washing machine is located on a floor other than the basement, it is especially advisable to use a catch basin. Some buildings may even require tenants to use a bin. To install a catch basin, simply move your washing machine and slide the bin underneath. If your spray hose bursts, it could leak many gallons of water and cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home. An easy way to reduce this risk is to use a washer drain pan underneath your appliance. If your washing machine is located on a floor other than the basement, it is especially advisable to use a catch basin. Some buildings may even require tenants to use a bin. To install a catch pan, simply move your washing machine and slide the pan underneath.