James grew up working on a cattle ranch in Northern Utah, which taught him how to do many ad hoc repairs and to make use of limited materials. Two years of missionary and humanitarian work in the Philippines with Operation Smile instilled a great appreciation for the opportunity to work, to avoid wasting resources, and to help others. Now back in the U.S., James has worked as a programmer/data engineer for several Fortune 100 companies.
When purchasing a new place, one of the first things you may need to install is a new washer and dryer hookup. Even if you’ve lived in your home for a long time, years of dirty laundry can start to wear on your steadfast helper, so maybe you've decided to send it off into retirement. If you've never installed a washer and dryer before it can seem a little intimidating at first, but don’t worry! I’m going to walk you through step by step and have you feeling like a DIY champ in no time.
Let’s start by setting up our new dryer. The first thing we need is a ventilation duct hose. These are fire resistant metallic hoses that transfer the heat from your dryer away from your home. When selecting a hose, make sure you look for one that’s approved for either gas or electric depending on your dryer. I recommend getting a hose that’s longer than what you need so that it doesn’t get stretched when you connect it to the wall.
Once you’ve purchased your new ventilation duct hose and opened up the package, you should see that it also comes with a circle clamp. You'll want to start by unscrewing the clamp so it becomes loose enough to fit around the hose, or even unscrewing it all the way so that you don’t have to worry about sliding it on. Place or slide the clamp loosely around the hose so that it’s two or three inches away from the end, being careful not to tear or puncture it.
Next, move the dryer away from the wall and clean up any debris that may be behind it. Make sure to clean around the floor and directly inside the vent as well so that there’s no buildup.
With that clean, grab the ventilation duct hose and carefully place it on the dryer vent. Check that the vent is completely covered then tighten it down with the clamp, making sure it doesn't bend or crush the hose.
Next we’re going to connect the hose to the wall vent. Most homes will have a hookup that you can attach to that protrudes out of the wall, mine just happens to be an inset vent box. The benefit of an inset vent box is that once you finish installing the ventilation duct hose, you’re able to push the dryer back so that it’s flush to the wall. The technique will work exactly the same for both so don’t worry if you don’t have one.
Whether it’s protruding or inset, all vents generally have an oval shape to them instead of being a precise circle to match our hose. To make it fit, gently squeeze the last four to six inches of the ventilation duct hose until it gently forms into an oval shape that matches your wall vent. While shaping and stretching your hose, make sure you’re grabbing it gently from the middle so the side that’s attached to the drier doesn’t pull free.
Once the hose has been formed into the required shape, you can start to attach it to the wall vent. Slide it far enough on to the vent that approximately three inches are covering it like indicated in the picture, again being careful not to puncture or tear the hose. Once it’s in place, secure it to the vent by slipping the loosened clamp around both parts, tightening it with your screwdriver and making sure it’s firmly secured.
Now that we have the hose hooked up, be sure to clean the whole area again with a rag to ensure you aren’t getting any dust and dirt buildup.
With the vent in place and the area cleaned, the next step is to plug it in! Look behind the dryer to locate the outlet, and determine if it’s compatible with your cable. If they match up, you’re all set! If they don’t match up that’s fine too, simply click over to my tutorial on how to wire a four prong plug before continuing on to the rest of this lesson.
Once the whole thing is plugged in and ready to go, you can now push the dryer back against the wall to it’s new forever home! If you don’t have an inset vent box like mine, make sure that you only push your dryer back as far as it can go without crushing the hose. Now let’s give it a whirl! Turn the dryer on and see if it works, then grab a load and dry your way to warm flannel city!
Now that your dryer is all set up, we're ready to move on to the washer! The good news is that washers are even easier to hook up than dryers. The first step is to pull the washer away from the wall so you have enough area to work.
On the back of the washer there are a few specific parts we’re going to be dealing with. There’s the cold and hot threaded valves, a cable for a 15 amp plug, and a drain hose (usually found on the bottom of the washer.)
We'll start by hooking up the drain hoses, which can be picked up at most hardware stores. Inside of the kit you'll find a red hose and a blue hose, as well as rubber sealing washers. To use the washers, simply place them inside the nozzles on each hose and push them in so that they’re sitting nice and snug.
Looking at the back of your washing machine, connect the hoses to the threaded valves of the corresponding color (red to red and blue to blue). Once connected, use a wrench to gently tighten them onto the valves, being careful not to break the plastic.
Next, connect the opposite end of your hoses to the hot and cold water valves located in the wall behind your washer. They should be clearly labeled and color coded to match your hoses.
Now we’re going to hook up the drain hose. Instead of a threaded connection you'll notice that one of the ends is actually curved into a sharp U-shape. This shape allows it to sit inside the drain pipe and stay in place without being screwed in. Looking at the image above, you can see that there are two plastic caps, one of which has been marked by the plumber who installed the plumbing initially, and one that hasn’t. If your pipes have never been used before like mine, you’ll need to cut off the marked cap before you can connect your hose.
Now that we’ve installed our hoses and drain pipe, we can try turning on our hot and cold water! To do this, simply flip the valves and you should immediately start to hear water going through the pipes. Once you hear that, you’re in the clear to push your shiny new washing machine back against the wall to join it’s fancy new dryer buddy!
Now It’s time to plug in your washer and put it to the test! Grass-stains have nothing on you now.