How to disconnect & reconnect a washing machine

If you are lucky, when you order a washing machine the delivery people will take away your old machine and plumb in your new one. Often, if your old machine has not been disconnected, the delivery people will refuse to touch it and will therefore not plumb in the new one either.

How to Disconnect a Washing Machine

First, disconnect the water supply.

Ease the machine forwards so that you can reach the pipework behind it. There should be either one or two rubber hoses connecting the hot or hot and cold water supplies to the back of the machine. You need to find where these pipes join the main pipework – often under the kitchen sink.

Each rubber hose will have a washing machine valve at the end of it which has a red or blue lever. Turning the lever 90 degrees so that it points across the pipe (rather than along it) will cut off the water supply.

Then you can unscrew the red or blue nut and pull the hose free. Please note it is easy to accidentally knock the valve lever on, so if you are leaving the machine permanently disconnected, it is better to buy a washing machine valve cap from a plumbers’ merchant to stop unwanted leaks.

Secondly, disconnect the wastewater pipework. Locate the other end of the ridged plastic hose running away from the back of the machine. If the other end plugs into the U-bend under the kitchen sink, you will need to pull this off and plug the U-Bend with a cap from a plumbers’ merchant. If it hooks into a vertical pipe leading to the drains, then you can simply pull out the hose.

How to Connect a new Washing Machine

First connect the waste hose, which leads from the back of the machine to the drains. This either simply hooks into a vertical pipe, or needs to be pushed over a spigot on the U-bend under the kitchen sink. Be sure to use a jubilee clip to secure it.

Try to keep the drain hose as high up above the U bend, as possible. If possible use the half-round hose support and screw it to the back or side of the cupboard/wall. This is to prevent any kitchen sink water leaking back into the washing machine.

Secondly, connect up the water supply. Most machines now come with cold water fill only. Older machines need both hot and cold supplies, and some can work with cold only, but both the hot and cold hoses connect to a Y junction, which is connected to the cold valve. You will need to check the manufacturer’s instructions.

Once these are firmly attached, turn the red and blue levers on the valve 90 degrees so that it points along the pipe rather than across it. This is to turn the water supply on. Check for leaks before pushing the machine into position.


If you cut off the plug on a new washing machine to put through a work-top, you will often lose your warranty on the appliance. Before connecting the washing machine, make sure that the transit bolts have been removed from the back of the machine.

If you prefer not to risk it, or the new machine is different from the old one, you can call a plumber. This may take two visits – one to disconnect the old one, then one to reconnect the new once it has been delivered. Looking for a local plumber near you who can sort this safely and securely? Don’t hesitate to contact us.