As the saying goes, “proper prior planning prevents poor performance.”
We thought that this important 4-step guide would prepare you properly for your washer dryer installation. It is written in plain-English and includes descriptive pictures, so you are set up for success.
We realize that people have busy lives. Therefore, it only makes sense to prevent repeat trips and unexpected installation costs right at the planning phase.
Preparing for Installation in 4 Steps
We see shiny ads for new washers and dryers everywhere. As nice as it would be to instantly have a brand new laundry set, this decision requires thinking about two things:
- Fit – Do you have adequate space for the new set?
- Connections – Do you have suitable water, gas, and electric hookups?
Here are some of the common scenarios that can be challenging during the preparation phase:
- I have a washer now but I can’t fit the new one through my basement door/stairs.
- My current dryer has an electric cord so I thought it was an electric dryer. I needed a gas dryer instead.
- I thought I could use my old water hose. Do I need a new hose?
- My washer fits in the laundry closet, but my closet doors don’t close.
- My new laundry does not fit underneath the counter, it’s too tall.
- In my setup, my washer faces the dryer and I do not have enough room to open their doors.
- My dryer stopped working. I bought a new one but didn’t know it wouldn’t stack with my washer.
Step 1) Measure
Washer and dryer sizes are NOT standard. If you are replacing an old washer, even if you stay with the same brand, you can almost be sure that dimensions have changed.
If you have your laundry in a closet or surrounded by cabinets, including a shelf above, please measure the dimensions of your total space. You will need to compare this information against the specifications of the new laundry set.
Also, please make sure, depending on the location of your water, gas, electric, and vent you need to leave a 2 1/2-inches to 6-inches allowance in the back for connections.
We will address the exact connection requirements in the next section.
Step 2) Get Your Parts & Connections Ready
The Correct Parts
You will need the following parts when installing a new washer and dryer. As of 2019, most manufacturers, except for Miele and Bosch, do not include installation parts in their packaging.
- Stainless steel braided water intake hoses (installers covered by insurance cannot use old hoses).
- Y-Connector if you have a steam dryer. As opposed to your old dryer, most contemporary dryers now have a steam feature that requires a water connection.
- Power cord for the electric dryer. 3-prong or 4-prong depending your outlet type. (Installers covered by insurance cannot use old cords.) Washing machines still come with power cords.
- Flex gas line for gas dryers. (Installers covered by insurance cannot hook up previously used gas flex lines.)
- Semi-rigid dryer vent kit (universal for all vented dryers).
- Stacking kit that is specific to your washer and dryer if stacked.
The Washing Machine Connections
Washing machines use standard 110-volt, 3-prong electrical outlet. There are only a few exceptions to this rule. See the section at the bottom of this article regarding “edge cases.”
- Make sure you have a water shut-off valve that is in working condition, corrosion-free, has a metal connection, and requires no plumbing alterations to connect to a standard water intake hose.
- Make sure you have hot and cold water faucets along with a drain line within 4-ft of the washer.
The Gas Dryer Connections
- Ensure the gas shut-off valve is in working condition and has a metal connection. This valve should be located directly behind the appliance.
- If your home has liquid propane gas, make sure you have purchased the appropriate conversion kit. (There may be additional charges for conversion.)
- A standard 110-volt 3-prong electrical outlet is within reach of the power cord.
- A standard vent line is within 4-ft. (ventilation must be run to the outside of the dwelling.)
The Electric Dryer Connections
Electric dryers require that an appropriate 220-volt outlet is available and located within 4-ft of the appliance. Electric dryers cannot be hardwired. In older homes, 220-volt electrical outlets have either 3-prongs or 4-prongs. In newer construction, the 220-volt outlet has 4-prongs.
At this time, only Miele makes 110-volt electric dryers.
Some electric dryers do not require venting (usually apartment size, compact 24-inch products). Most people refer to these as a condenser or heat-pump dryers.
If you have a standard vented dryer, please make sure your vent line is within 4-ft. (ventilation must be to the outside of the dwelling.)
Step 3) Door Swing
Washers and dryers have doors that swing sideways. The factory finish on the door swing usually varies by manufacturer.
Some laundry products have field reversible hinges. If your configuration requires door swing reversal, please check the specifications document and ascertain that your model has a field reversible door.
Most appliance stores offer a door reversal service for a reasonable fee.
Step 4) Measure the Path to Installation Location
Finally, measure the pathway to where you’d like to install your laundry set and ensure that there are no tight turns that may obstruct getting the units where you’d like them.
Washer and dryers are heavy and difficult to maneuver. During the day of delivery, please clear the path and protect delicate items such as furniture.
Congratulations on your new washer and dryer purchase. New laundry sets are both water and energy-efficient and with today’s feature-rich cycles, doing a load of laundry has never been easier.
Once you’ve selected and purchased your new laundry, your delivery and installation crew will have a much smoother trip as long as they know what to expect. We are here to answer any questions, so feel free to reach out at any time.
If you’ve recently upgraded your laundry set and faced some challenges along the way, tell us what happened and how you solved it in comments section below.
An essential tip when replacing Bosch washer and dryers. The electric set up is that the washer plugs into the dryer. Dryer, in turn, plugs into the 220 Volt wall outlet. This set up is also prevalent among some other compact washer and dryer manufacturers such as Blomberg.
Miele washer and dryers now come in 110 Volt standard connections. If you had an old Miele that used 220 Volt no need to call an electrician. Miele sells a NEMA adapter to convert your existing outlet to standard 110 Volt.
Important Word on Shut-off Valves:
In older apartments, especially in New York City, we often come across non-standard shut off valves. This may require the building super to get involved.
Professional installers usually carry shut-off valves with them in order to prevent leaks. Typically, they charge an extra fee for valve replacement.
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SIDENOTE. This post was last modified on December 17, 2020. However, we regularly update our content as we test more products and new models are released. We also listen to the feedback of our customers and make changes to our product recommendations based on their experiences. So don’t be surprised if you see some old comments below! Since reader comments contribute to the topic, we have decided not to delete them.