Many small electrical appliances, such as a kettle or iron, need no installation or wiring. Larger, free-standing appliances, such as a dishwasher, need special plumbing, although their wiring is often straightforward.
Fixed appliances, such as cookers and extractor fans, are fitted to part of the house and will almost certainly need professional installation.
Installing a Washing Machine or Dishwasher
Where Will You Plug It In?
Washing machines and dishwashers come fitted with a plug, but if the machine is fitted beneath a worktop and the only available power points are above the worktop, you have a problem.
Some people solve this by drilling a hole in the worktop to pass the flex through, but this is ugly, lets water and dirt through, and involves cutting off the moulded plug and replacing it with a wired-up plug.
A better answer is to have an electrician install a low-level power point below the worktop, which is connected by cable buried in the wall to a switched fused connection unit, mounted in or on the wall above the worktop.
The low-level power point can be a single one and does not need a switch since you can turn the appliance off at the switched fused connection unit above the worktop.
You will only need to unplug the machine when you pull it out for cleaning behind it or if the fuse in the plug blows. If there is a fault, however, the accessible fuse in the switched fused connection unit should blow first.
What Plumbing Will You Need?
Permanent plumbing makes using a washing machine much easier – and is a must for a dishwasher. This means connecting it to the water supply and the drains.
The first essential for a washing machine or dishwasher is to connect to the hot and cold water supply pipes under the sink (normally only cold for dishwashers, but check your appliance instructions). The normal way of doing this is to cut through both water supply pipes and fit compression tee fittings, with new lengths of pipe leading to the position of the washing machine. A pair of special appliance valves (often known as washing machine valves) need to be fitted to take the washing machine supply hoses.
If the washing machine is close to the sink, a simpler alternative is to fit a self-cutting tap (see Connecting a Washing Machine for a description) to each supply pipe. The washing machine hoses can then be fitted directly to these taps.
A washing machine or dishwasher needs to have its waste pipe leading to the drains. The normal method is to hook the washing machine drain hose into a new standpipe connected to a trap and then to a new waste pipe taken outside to the drains – usually it can simply be led into the gully outside the kitchen.
If the washing machine or dishwasher is close to the sink, there is a simpler alternative, which is to re-arrange the waste pipes under the sink to accommodate the washing machine waste hose.
Installing a washing machine or dishwasher shouldn’t be too much of a challenge to a reasonably competent DIYer. But if all of this sounds too complicated, get a plumber in to do the job.
Watch also this video
Connecting a Washing Machine or Dishwasher
The following describes only washing machines or dishwashers installed close to the kitchen sink. You will first need to make holes on the side of the kitchen unit under the sink to take the supply and drain hoses.
The washing machine will have to be connected to the water supply pipes using self-cutting taps. These come in three sections: the two sections of the body part are clamped together on each pipe and secured to the wall with screws if required, and then the tap is screwed into the body.
As you do this, a sharp cutter on the far end of the tap makes a hole in the side of the pipe to allow water to flow through when the tap is opened. The hoses (red for hot, blue for cold) are then screwed on to the taps and attached to the washing machine.
The machine is ready for use once the taps are opened. If the hoses supplied with the washing machine are too short, you will have to replace them with longer ones.
You will then have to connect the washing-machine drain hose. You will normally need to fit a replacement waste trap that can take two connections under the kitchen sink unless the existing trap has a blanked off section ready to take an extra connection.
Watch also video below
There are two main ways in which a replacement waste trap will connect to your machine – check the machine’s instructions to see which is allowed. The more common method involves adding a short vertical standpipe to the trap into which the washing-machine drain hose can be hooked. The second method is to use a plastic connecting device called a tapered spigot, on to which the machine’s drain hose is pushed.