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How to install a washing machine and what to do if it breaks down?

Posted on 12/2/2021

Washing machines, you don’t miss them until they’re gone and then you wonder how you ever lived without them. These convenient appliances have saved us countless hours over the years, but they are known for being quite temperamental. What do you do if you need to get a new one? How to fix a washing machine? And where do you even begin?

Read on to learn the Local Heroes best practices for how to install a washing machine and what to do when yours is in need of repair.

Before you install your washing machine

Installing larger appliances yourself is a great way to save that extra bit of cash, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can seem like quite a daunting challenge.

Before you begin installing your washing machine, there are a few things that you should be wary of. For one, washing machines are not typically small, so be prepared for a bit of manual labour when moving your new appliance. If you feel that you can’t manage to move it on your own, then don’t be afraid to ask a friend for help.

You’ll also need a few tools to help you which might require a small investment on your part. Local Heroes recommends that you equip yourself with a pair of locking pliers, a bucket, and a spirit level. This probably won’t set you back too much but it will ensure that you’re prepared for any future installations ahead of time.

Washing machines are large and heavy, don’t be afraid to ask a friend for help

How to install a washing machine?

Follow these steps and you can start enjoying your brand new washing machine right away:

  1. 1. Decide on the best location

Make sure that it sits in an optimum location. Local Heroes recommends that the washing machine is not placed in a room that will fall below 0°C to avoid the pipes freezing. We also advise that it is kept away from heat sources such as radiators and fireplaces to avoid overheating.

Image of a washing machine in a fitted space Most homes will already have specific areas for washing machines and other appliances to sit

However, most homes will already have a specific area set aside for these appliances due to utility requirements and building regulations. If you’re having trouble getting your washing machine to fit the space, try adjusting the feet on the bottom of your appliance.

  1. 2. Check if it’s connected to the water supply

Now, the first major step in washing machine installation will be to ensure the plumbing is properly connected — it’s no good having a washing machine that has no water!

  1. 3. Disconnect the old washing machine

If your old washing machine has already been removed then that’s great. If not, you need to ensure that the water to the old appliance is switched off. The valves are usually located behind the appliance and should be turned clockwise until they no longer move.

Avoid placing your washing machine in rooms that can fall below freezing, such as garages

Once this is done, you can disconnect the old pipe, but make sure you’re ready with a bucket to catch any excess water.

  1. 4. Plug in the new pipe and drain hose

After disconnecting the old pipe, you simply need to connect the new one.

Lastly, the drain hose needs to be correctly plugged into the wall. Again, this will just be a removal of the older unit and the insertion of the new one. If you use your sink for draining, then all you need to do is swap the old pipe for the new.

  1. 5. Talk to us and we’ll help to install it for you

If you feel that this may be a step above what you can manage, then get in touch with Local Heroes and we’ll be happy to help.

  1. 6. Wash and wash again to your heart’s content

Once this is done, it’s time to take your new machine for a spin.

How to test a washing machine?

A simple step, a boring step, but an important step. And here’s a step-by-step on how to do it:

  1. 1. Once your machine is connected, turn it on with a normal laundry load to see how it fares
  2. 2. Make sure you stick by the machine so you’re on hand to deal with any potential leaks
  3. 3. It may not sound particularly thrilling, but it’s recommended you do this for at least the first few cycles
  4. 4. If these tests go off without a hitch, then congratulations, you’ve just successfully completed your first washing machine installation.
> Run your washing machine several times to ensure it's working correctly
Close up image of a washing machine drum Keeping the interior of your washing machine clean can extend its life

Tips for washing machine maintenance

Now that your machine is up and running, you’re going to want to keep it that way. Follow these simple steps to get the most out of your machine:

  1. 1. Routinely inspect the rear hoses for damage, once a month or so
  2. 2. Don’t ignore any irregularities such as leaking or noises
  3. 3. Don’t go overboard with your loads, wash your clothes in smaller sets if need be. Always make sure you check the instructions for the recommended size
  4. 4. Keep it clean — that goes for the interior, the trays, and the door — using a mixture of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda
  5. 5. Use a good quality detergent — you may have to do some research to find the best for you
  6. 6. Be vigilant! Look out for any signs your machine is behaving differently.

How to fix a washing machine?

Nothing lasts forever, and washing machines are no different. If you’re experiencing any of the problems listed here, then try following these steps on how to fix a washing machine to see if you can remedy the situation yourself:

  1. 1. If your washing machine is leaking water, then you should check the hoses and, if need be, buy replacements
  2. 2. If your washing machine is not spinning, this may be because you’ve put in too much laundry or, in some cases, not enough! Try again with a different load and see how it goes
Image of a Local Hero repairing a washing machine If you are having issues with your washing machine that you can't fix, there's a Local Hero for that
  1. 3. If your washing machine refuses to drain, simply place the drainage hose in the sink, or let it flow outside, and see if it drains. If not, the problem may be more serious
  2. 4. If your washing machine is too noisy, then check the drum to make sure nothing is stuck — the bearings may be broken and need to be replaced. Alternatively, the pipe may have something stuck, in which case you should look for the problem in the filter. If you’re not sure where you can find your filter, check the instruction manual, either a hard copy or download a pdf
  3. 5. Lastly, if you are experiencing the “walking washing machine” problem, and your appliance is bouncing around the room, it might be worth checking that the feet are levelled properly and correcting them. If not, it may be that the shock absorbers on the drum may be worn out and it might be worth employing a repairman to fix this or purchase a new machine
  4. 6. If you feel that your washing machine problems are more complex than you can deal with, then don’t be afraid to [call in the professionals](/appliances).

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