Washing Machine Plumbing Explained

washing machine in a laundry room

Unless you live in a small or apartment or prefer to do your laundry in a laundromat, washing machine plumbing is something that you will probably encounter at some point in your life. Whether you own a washing machine now, or plan on buying one in the future, it is a good idea to know how to properly hook up the plumbing for the washing machine.

When the delivery men bring your new washing machine to your home, they will be happy to do the plumbing for you. However, they'll probably charge about $50 to $100 to do so. So, use this easy to follow step-by-step guide to learn how to properly hook up your washing machine.

What the Colors Mean

When you un-box the new washing machine, you will probably notice that there are three outlets on the rear of the machine. These outlets are all color-coded to make them easier to hook up to the plumbing in your laundry room. If you know what the colors mean, you'll know where to connect the hoses for the washing machine.

Unless you purchase a washing machine that only has a cold water connection, there will be two outlets on the rear of the machine where you hook up the hot and cold water hoses . The red outlet is used to connect the hot water hose, and the blue outlet is used to connect the cold water hose. There is a third outlet which is usually gray in color and is used to direct the waste water from the washing machine into the drain.

Plumbing the Water Supply

Washing machine hot and cold hoses

Once you have your washing machine in place and have made sure that it is level by adjusting the feet on the bottom of the washing machine, you can begin hooking up the water hoses that supply water to your machine. Before you connect the hoses, you should check the bag that the hoses came in for any rubber washers or grommets that you will need to install before attaching the hoses. Once that is done, you can simply screw the end of the cold and hot water hoses onto the outdoor type faucets that supply the water. You do this much in the same way as you would connect a regular water hose outside your home.

After you've connected the hoses to the water supply faucets or shut off valves, you will connect the hoses to the rear of the washing machine. Twist on the connector from the hot water faucet to the hot water outlet on the back of the machine. Do the same for the cold water hoses. Once this is done, you have finished plumbing the water supply for your washing machine.

Waste Water Plumbing with Washing Machines

You'll probably notice that the waste water hose is quite different from the water supply hoses. While the water supply hoses are usually a mesh or rubber type hose similar to a garden hose, the waste water hose is usually a hard plastic hose that is attached to the rear of the machine with a clip. So, follow the instructions that come with the washing machine for attaching the hose with the clip on the back of the machine. Then, place the waste water hose so it drains the water out into the drain, or you can place the waste water hose into a large laundry room sink. The waste water from the washing machine will then use the drain of the sink rather than a floor drain.