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How to install a washing machine

Putting in a new washing machine can be a straightforward process – just follow these steps.

washing machine with a spanner and hose
Last updated: 17 February 2023

Installing a washing machine is a relatively simple process and only requires a few tools. Installation methods differ only marginally for front loaders and top loaders, too.

Before you get started, if you have a front loader, you'll need a spanner to remove the transit bolts, which are there to stop the internal drum swinging about in transit (many washing machines come with a small tool for this).

If you have any leaks from the water faucets going from the hoses you'll probably also need some electrical tape to make sure the faucets stop leaking.

Accessibility considerations

If you have a front loader, bending down to put clothes in and take them out can become tiresome, especially if you're washing multiple loads a week. Consider whether you need a plinth to put the washing machine on to make things a bit easier.

For a top loader you'll be bending into the machine from above to access your clothes, so a steady stool can be a helpful aid if the washer is too high.

Steps for installing a washing machine

  • Choose a location for the washing machine. Against a wall or in a corner is ideal and can help stop the machine from shaking. It should also be close enough to an electrical outlet without needing an extension cord. 
  • The washing machine should be close to a water source, and the floor should be level. Try and position it away from living areas for sound level reasons (though your options might be limited here).
  • Remove the transit bolts from a front loader machine, and consider retaining them for when you next move. A top loader won't have any transit bolts.
  • Assemble the hot and cold water hoses, as well as any additional hoses for a drain.
  • Connect the hoses to the appropriate valves on the wall and to the back of the washing machine. Make sure that all connections are tightened securely.
  • Place the washing machine in its chosen location and level it by adjusting the feet. Using a spirit level will help you  do this (some washing machines even come with one).
  • Plug the washing machine into the electrical outlet.
  • Turn on the water supply to full and check for any leaks at the hose connections.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions to complete the installation and perform any necessary tests or calibrations.
  • Test the washing machine.

If you're unsure about any part of the installation process, it's recommended to consult the owner's manual or a professional appliance technician.

Who can install a washing machine for you and how much does it cost?

If you're not keen to tackle the installation yourself, a professional service repair person can install the washing machine for you. Sometimes even the retailer you bought the washer from can do this work for free as they're generally experienced enough to do a decent job. Pricing for an experienced professional to install a washing machine can reach upwards of $200.

Can you install a washing machine in a bathroom or kitchen?

As long as you have the room, power and faucets for it, you can install a washing machine in these areas. You'll want to consider whether you want it in a kitchen or bathroom and whether you can put it in a cupboard so to dampen the sound.

How to get rid of your old washing machine

Washing machines are a big purchase and generally tend to last anywhere from five years (for budget/entry-level models) up to 11 years (for high-end models), and yours might last even longer. When the time eventually comes to replace your washer, here are some of your options:

  • sell it on a local or national online marketplace (like Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace)
  • donate it to a friend or family member (assuming it's still in working order)
  • have it removed when your new washing machine is delivered (many retailers do this, sometimes at no extra cost)
  • take it to a scrap metal dealer
  • book a council clean-up.
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Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.