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10 steps to plumbing in a washing machine

Woman Setting Washing Machine

Fitting a new washing machine can be an exciting improvement to your home, but if fitted wrong, it can also be a domestic disaster. To help, we’ve created an easy-to-follow guide to plumbing a washing machine in correctly.

Before you start

Tools On Worktop

You'll need:

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

Before attempting to plumb in your new washing machine, make sure you’re physically capable of the appliance. If you’re not able to do so, seek help from a loved one or organise a professional installation.

Try placing your washing machine on a firm, level floor which is close to an external wall. Ensure that the appliance is level using a spirit level to avoid additional vibrations during use.

Before moving your washing machine, tape or tie any pipes or hoses to the top of the appliance so any water that’s left in them doesn’t spill out. Alternatively, you can drain the pipe into a bucket and remove them before moving your washing machine.


1. Switch off and unplug your old washing machine

Before disconnecting your washing machine, remember to empty it of any clothes that may be in the drum and turn it off at the mains before unplugging it.

Unplug Washing Machine

2. Switch off the cold water supply isolating valve

Pull your washing machine away from the wall and switch off the isolating valve in the cold water supply, this is typically a small blue tap.

Cold Water Supply Valve

3. Unscrew the cold water-in pipe

Your machine’s cold water supply is connected to your mains water through a hose that is attached to the top section of the back of your appliance.

Check that your cold water supply is switched off and unscrew the cold water in-pipe. Make sure you’ve got a bucket or tray handy to catch any water from the disconnected hose. Water from the cold water supply will now be turned off, so there should only be drips coming through.

Unscrew Cold Water Pipe

4. Pull out the waste water hose

You should also see your water waste hose, a pipe that’s going from your washing into your kitchen floor. To disconnect the hose, you simply need to pull it out from your appliance.

Now that you’ve disconnected your washing machine from the cold water supply, electricity supply and water waste hose, you’re ready to remove your old machine with your new machine.

Remove Waste Water Hose

5. Remove carriage bolts from your new washing machine

The carriage bolts are attached to the back of washing machine. These will need to be removed before you install and start using it. The bolts are designed to keep the drum from moving around and potentially getting damaged while the machine is moving.

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

Cartridge Bolts

6. Attach the cold water-in hose

The hose you’ll need to install in your new washing machine is typically found inside the drum of the new washing 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 rear of the machine. As you do this, you’ll see a filter inside the attachment. Bear this filter in mind as something to check should your machine ever fail in the future. This filter can be unscrewed and washed under a tap.

The other end of the water in hose attaches to your cold water supply, this can be screwed into place.

Attaching Cold Water Hose

7. Turn on water-in isolating valve

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

Cold Water Supply Valve

8. Attach waste water hose

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

In many cases, your machine will come with a plastic U-bend that you can attach to the hose too. Rigid U-bends like this are handy because they help maintain the shape of the hose while avoiding blockages. You can attach the U-bend to the wall but keep this in mind when you pull the machine out in future.

Now push the washing machine back in place.

Attaching Waste Water Hose

9. Level your washing machine

Finally, you’ll need to ensure that your washing machine is level before you begin using it. This is important to ensure the machine can spin comfortably without causing unwanted vibrations, noise, and damage.

Once your machine is in its final position, use a spirit level to confirm it’s level. If you don’t have one to hand, hold the machine in both corners and try to rock it back and forth gently. If it moves or the spirit level shows it isn’t level, you’ll need to adjust the legs at the front to make it secure. You might be able to do part of this job by hand but keep a spanner to hand.

You’ll need to loosen the locking nut, which locks the legs in position. Once loosened use a spanner on the legs to raise or lower the machine. Check your machine is level once again, then tighten the locking nuts again.

Levelling Washing Machine

10. Your washing machine is ready to go

With the machine unpacked, the carriage bolts removed, water-in and waste water supplied, and the machine nicely levelled, your machine is now ready to use.

Woman Setting Washing Machine