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How to install a washing machine

By Matt Stevens

Installing a new washing machine yourself could save you around £25 for a freestanding model and £100 for a built-in machine.

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Save money on your new washing machine by doing the installation yourself.

Given the size, weight and general bulkiness of a washing machine, this isn’t going to be a job for everyone. But if you’re OK moving a big and heavy white box, around and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, this is a useful way to save around £25 in installations costs for a freestanding washing machine and around £100 for a built-in or integrated model. No need for a plumber for this job!

If you’re still searching for the right washing machine to install in your home, check out the 300+ washing machine reviews on our site to find the best model for you.

How to connect a washing machine

  1. Empty your old washing machine
  2. Switch it off and unplug it
  3. Switch off the cold water supply isolating valve
  4. Unscrew the cold water in-pipe
  5. Pull out the waste water hose
  6. Remove carriage bolts from your new washing machine
  7. Attach the cold water-in hose
  8. Turn on water-in isolating valve
  9. Attach waste water hose
  10. Level your machine.

You'll need:

  • Mole grips (or mole wrench)
  • Bucket 
  • Spirit level

Read on for the 'how to' for each step.

How much could I save? Compare washing machine installation costs

The costs involved in connecting a new washing machine vary from shop to shop, but wherever you go you’ll be charged. We’ve looked at the prices charged by four leading washing machine stores for both freestanding and built-in models.

AO washing machine installation costs

Installing a new washing machine costs £20 at AO and it’s another £25 for it to disconnect your old machine and take it away for recycling.

Argos washing machine installation costs

Delivery and installation of your new machine and the removal and recycling of your old one cost around £45 at Argos.

Currys washing machine installation costs

It costs £25 to have Currys install a washing machine purchased from them. Removal and recycling of the old machine is from £20.

John Lewis washing machine installation costs

Connection with installation costs £25 for washing machines purchased from John Lewis, and it will also switch it on and test it. It charges another £15 to take away your old machine.

Integrated washing machines cost more to connect

Integrated or built-in appliances cost more to install as a kitchen cabinet door needs to be attached to the appliance door. The kickboard in your kitchen will also need to be removed to install the machine.

Argos charges £82 for installation of a freestanding washing machine and £15 to remove your old machine. Curry’s and John Lewis charge £90 for integrated appliance installations, and £15 to remove and dispose of your old appliance with AO charging £90 to install the new washing machine and £20 to remove the old one.

Prices were checked in October 2017.

Double check the depth of your new washing machine

If you already have a washing machine installed and you’re buying a new one, you might think that any machine will easily fit in the space. But although washing machines are usually around the same height and width, you’ll find differences in depth measurements. Machines with larger drums and wash capacities tend to be a few centimetres deeper than smaller capacity machines.

When ordering your new washing machine, allow for around 70mm on top of the depth of your machine to make sure that you can safely accommodate your waste pipe and water inlet pipes.

Disconnecting and removing an old washing machine

Before you disconnect your washing machine, remember to empty it of any clothes that may be in the drum, and switch it off at the mains and unplug it.

Pull your machine away from the wall and then switch off the isolating valve on the cold water supply. This will usually be a small blue tap.

The cold water supply will attach to your mains water via a hose that is attached to the top of the back of your machine. 

Check that the cold water supply is switched off and unscrew the cold water in pipe. Have a bucket or tray handy to catch any water from the hose. Water from the cold water supply will now be switched off, so there should only be drips coming through that one.

You’ll see another hose that’s going from your washing machine into your kitchen floor. That’s the waste-water hose. To disconnect this you simply need to pull it out.

Now your old washing machine is disconnected from the electricity, has had the cold water in isolating valve isolated, and has both its cold water and waste supplies disconnected, you’ll be ready to move it out of the way and connect your new machine.

Installing and connecting a new washing machine

Keep the washing machine manual to hand

Make sure you refer to the manual before carrying out any installation work. The advice provided here is general and should be used to give you an idea of the work that needs to be carried out. The manual will deal with the specifics, so keep it handy.

Removing the polystyrene

Remove the polystyrene from around the edges of the machine. Sometimes, you’ll also find polystyrene blocks underneath the machine at the front. Refer to the manual for how to do this, but removing the blocks should just be a matter of tilting the machine to release them.

Removing carriage or storage bolts from the back of the washing machine.

Bolts are attached to the back of washing machines which will need to be removed before you install and start using it. The bolts are designed to secure the drum from moving around and potentially getting damaged while the machine is in transit.

The bolts are screws attached to plugs which, while they’re in place, press against the drum to secure it. There will usually be four bolts and all of them will need to be removed.

Removing them is an easy job, just unscrew them and once loose, they can be removed easily.

Attaching the cold water-in hose

The hoses you’ll need to install your new washing machine are often found inside the drum of the machine, so open the door to find the parts you’ll need.

Screw the cold water-in pipe to the attachment at the top of the back of the machine. Use mole grips to do this (for the DIY novices, this looks like the more heavyweight brother of a spanner and is also known as a mole wrench, vice grips or vice pliers). As you do this, you’ll see a filter inside the attachment. Bear this in mind as something to check should your machine ever stop working in future; the filter can be unscrewed and washed under the tap.

The other end of the water-in hose attaches to your cold water supply and again can be screwed into place.

Once the cold water supply hose has been attached to the washing machine, release the isolating valve to allow water to flow though the pipe. Once the water is released, check whether everything has been sufficiently fastened by looking for any dripping leaks.

Attaching the waste water hose to your water waste

The waste water hose will come attached to your washing machine and will just need to be manually fed into the waste water down pipe.

Many machines will come with a plastic U-bend that you can attach the hose to. Rigid U-bends like this are useful as they help maintain the shape of the hose and avoid blockages building-up in a kinked hose. You can attach the U-bend to the wall, but remember this when you pull the machine out in future.

Now you can push your washing machine back into place.

Levelling your washing machine

You’ll need to make sure that your washing machine is level before you start to use it. This is important as the machine could be spinning at speeds of up to 1,600rpm and an unbalanced washing machine will cause unwanted vibration, noise and could end up damaging the machine and reducing its lifespan.

Once your machine is in its final position, use a spirit-level to see if it’s level. If you don’t have one to hand, hold the machine in either corner and try to rock it back and forth gently.

If it moves or if the spirit level shows that it isn't level, you’ll need to adjust the legs at the front of the machine to make it stable. You might be able to do part of this job by hand, but keep a spanner handy, too.

You’ll need to loosen the locking nut, which locks the legs in position and once this is loose, use the spanner on the legs to raise or lower the machine. Check that your machine is level with the spirit level and then tighten the locking nut against the underside of the machine to make sure the machine’s legs stay at the height you’ve set.

You’re ready to start washing your clothes

With the machine unpacked, the carriage bolts removed, water-in attached and waste water flowing away to the drain and the machine nicely level on your floor, your machine is now installed and ready to start washing clothes.

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