Picture of a washing machine

Installing and repairing your washing machine

Posted on 20/06/2018

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 your washing machine breaks down? How do you go about getting a new one? Where do you begin?

Read on to learn the Local Heroes best practices for washing machine installation, and what 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.

Washing machines are large and heavy, 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.

Installing your washing machine

When it comes time to install your washing machine you’ll want to make sure that it’s situated in an optimum location. Local Heroes recommends that the washing machine is not placed in a room that will fall below zero degrees Celsius 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.

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!

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. Then you simply need to connect the new pipe.

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.

However, 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.

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

Testing your new washing machine

A simple step, a boring step, but an important step.

Once your machine is connected, turn it on with a normal laundry load to see how it fares; make sure you stick by the machine so you’re on hand to deal with any potential leaks. It may not sound particularly thrilling, but it’s recommended you do this for at least the first few cycles.

Run your washing machine several times to ensure it’s working correctly

If these tests go off without a hitch, then congratulations, you’ve just successfully completed your first washing machine installation.

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:

  • Routinely inspect the rear hoses for damage, once a month or so.
  • Don’t ignore any irregularities, such as leaking or noises
  • 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.
  • Keep it clean - that goes for the interior, the trays, and the door – using a mixture of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda
  • Use a good quality detergent – you may have to do some research to find the best for you
  • Be vigilant! Look out for any signs your machine is behaving differently.

Repairing your 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 to see if you can remedy the situation yourself.

  • If you’re washing machine is leaking water then you should check the hoses and if need be, buy replacements.

  • If your washing machine is not spinning this may be because you’ve put 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
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

If you feel that your washing machine problems are more complex than you are able to deal with then don’t be afraid to call in the professionals.