Hooking up a washer/dryer is one of the easier do-it-yourself projects around your home. Most installations require only a pair of channel lock pliers, utility knife, and screw driver if the appliances are going into an area that has the rough plumbing and electric for a laundry room in place. The most common concern is whether the laundry room is equipped for an electric or gas dryer (or has both) and identifying the dryer you want to install.
Inspect the space where the appliances are being installed.
There should be:
- Two water spigots (hot&cold) for your washer supply lines.
- Laundry tub or discharge pipe/drain (usually in the wall in a "gray box" that also contains the water spigots).
- A minimum of a 1/2" gas supply (usually 1/2" black iron pipe, but sometimes 5/8"OD flexible copper is used) for a gas dryer.
- The proper circiut for an electric dryer. It will probably be a 220V outlet for a residential installation. You will need to make sure the circuit matches the amperage of the dryer you want to install. Although they are usually marked on the receptacle and on the plug, you can tell by the configuration of the plug. Residential dryers can require 30, 40, or 50Amp circuits and a 30Amp plug will not fit into a 40 or 50Amp receptacle. The dryer circuit should be marked on your electric service panel and the dryer should have a spec sheet somewhere on the back or inside the door.
- 4" dryer vent through the wall of the house to the exterior.
- Enough space!!! Get out your tape measure and see how much room you have for your appliances. Subtract a minimum of 3" from the total space if going side by side in a niche so there is an at least an inch on each side and in between.That way, you can get the appliances pushed in.
Install the washing machine.
Two black supply lines come with a new washing machine. They look like 8 foot long garden hoses. On the back of the machine are two 3/4" male connectors sticking out of the back of the washer. Screw a hose to each one of these making sure a rubber hose washer is being inserted into each connection. There will be a marking on the back of the washer, usually the letters "H" and "C" punched out of the sheet metal backing that identify which connector is which.
Line up the washer in front of where it is being installed; grab the drain hose, the two supply hoses, and the plug; and slide the washer almost all the way back into place, leaving it about a foot from the wall.
Screw the hot and cold supply hoses to their corresponding water spigots, again making sure to insert a rubber hose washer into each connection.
The drain hose usually is attached to the washer with the end of the hose formed into an upside down "U" shape so it can hook right onto the side of the laundry tub or into a washer discharge pipe.
Plug electric cord into existing socket.
Push washer back close enough to the wall without kinking any of the hoses.
Install the dryer.
- Using a flexible gas line (a 60" usually leaves enough play to make your
connections) screw one end to the valve and one end to the 1/2" nipple
protruding from the back of the dryer. The nuts on the ends of the flex line are a flair thread and require a brass fitting to convert over to the tapered iron pipe thread. Make sure you are versed in the correct fittings and use pipe joint compound or gas teflon tape for all of your iron pipe thread connections. Be sure to use two wrenches or pliers on each connection, one holding the female side and one spinning the opposite way on the male side to make sure each connection is tight.
- Cut a piece of 4" flexible dryer duct that will reach the vent out of the house to the back of the dryer and connent with one 4" vent clamp on each end.
- Plug in dryer electric cord.
- Open gas valve and check for leaks with soapy water or gas leak solution.
- Push dryer into space taking care not to kink gas or vent lines.
- Unless you are very proficient with home wiring, you should call and electrician if you do not have a 220V socket of the correct amperage in place. If you do, plug dryer's electric cord into socket with the power to receptacle off.
- Hook up dryer vent as described above.
- Push dryer back into place taking care not to kink vent line and turn on circuit power.
Using your channel lock pliers (or your fingers, if someone is tipping the machine back for you), screw the front left and right feet up or down until you have adjusted any unevenness and there is no rocking of the appliances as you put pressure on all corners.