While a conventional washing machine uses up to 41 gallons of water per load, a typical young family of four with active kids may require washing two loads daily. Accordingly, 82 gallons of water go through the laundry room plumbing daily in such a home. This can end up overloading or even damaging the laundry room plumbing system.
Even though the laundry room is one of the most-used facilities in a home, most homeowners overlook its plumbing until there is an issue. Typically, you want to avoid laundry room malfunctions while ensuring your laundry appliances have an extended life span. In most cases, your laundry room plumbing determines how often your appliances break down or even how long they last.
Most people think their responsibility ends with buying a quality washing machine and related appliances. However, these appliances must be connected to a water supply and a draining system. The plumbing work, especially laundry room piping, is often the difference between a good and a bad laundry room experience. Essentially, improper plumbing can affect the performance of a quality washing machine, including reducing its life span.
How to Set Up a Laundry Room Plumbing
A conventional laundry room usually has supply pipes for the washing machine and the utility sink. The machine’s drain hose connects to the utility sink, while the sink connects to the house drain line. You need to install washing machine valves to connect the machine to the hot and cold water supply pipes and the house drain.
As part of the setup, you should connect the washing machine drain hose to a sink or standpipe that connects to the house drain. You should design your laundry room drain lines sloping downward for more effortless flow. With many machines designed to self-level, you only need to ensure the machine is level in all directions. Here are some specific setup instructions;
Step 1: Shut off the water supply pipes to install a tee fitting.
Step 2: Set the tee setting and attach stub outs to the supply pipes. Anchor the stub outs to the wall.
Step 3: Attach hose bibs to the respective stub outs
Step 4: Set up a utility sink, if you don’t have one, and connect the hose bibs to the utility sink and the washing machine, respectively.
Step 5: Install a tee fitting into the drain line and run a drain pipe to the utility sink.
Step 6: Put the washing machine in place, including leveling it, and connect the machine supply lines to the valve. Connect the drain hose to the side of the utility sink and tighten everything up.
Typically, your washing machine is all set for use. While setting up a laundry room plumbing seems like an easy do-it-yourself project, it can be complicated. A wrong connection can lead to problems, including the machine malfunctioning. It is advisable to seek the help of a qualified plumbing expert to help you set up your laundry room plumbing and avoid unnecessary issues afterward.
Common Laundry Room Issues
Without proper maintenance, your washing machine is likely to experience frequent malfunctions. Some common laundry room plumbing issues are likely to affect the performance of your washer or even reduce its life span, including:
- Broken washing machine hoses
Rubber washing machine hoses often burst open due to rapid water pressure changes when running the washer. The broken hoses can create a leaky mess that may require emergency repair. You should consider replacing the rubber hoses with braided stainless steel hoses that are more flexible and durable. It is also advisable to regularly inspect your washing machine hoses for any wear and tear to avoid emergency repairs.
- Leaky supply lines.
Similar to broken washing machine hoses, leaky supply lines can be a major problem, especially for an active household that uses the washing machine multiple times daily. Some causes of leaky supply pipes include corroded hoses, loose nuts, and worn-out washers and gaskets. You should consider regularly inspecting your supply lines for any signs of leaks.
- Slowly filling or overflowing washing machine.
A malfunctioning inlet valve or pressure switch can make your washer start filling slowly or even overflow. Besides wear and tear, other factors will likely damage your inlet valves or the pressure switch, including hot water and other practices that strain the machine.
- Overflowing drains
Particles or debris, including lint and soap scum, which drain out with the washing water, often clog your drains over time and lead to an overflow. However, a drain overflow can also be due to poor or improper plumbing. It is advisable to install a drain filter to catch these particles, and if your filter is inbuilt, you should inspect and empty it regularly. Where a drain overflow is due to improper plumbing, you should consider repairing or replacing the improperly plumbed pipes.
- Unpleasant smell and odors.
Improperly installed washing machines or poorly plumbed laundry rooms are susceptible to sewage-like odors. The noxious odors often signal a potential issue, including clogged lines and poor ventilation.
Besides the above laundry room plumbing tips in response to typical issues, there are additional tips to ensure your washing machine is efficient and has an extended life. First, conserve water by washing a full load of laundry. You should also consider not using your washing machine daily. You should avoid straining your washing machine and related plumbing system.
Contact a Tucson Laundry Room Plumbing Expert
Your laundry room plumbing needs regular maintenance, just like your car. It is advisable to schedule periodical laundry room plumbing inspections by a qualified plumber or plumbing technician. Typically, an expert can help identify potential laundry room plumbing issues before they become repair emergencies or damage your washing machine. Catching a plumbing issue early will also help you save money that would otherwise go to repairs or buying a new machine. If you are in Tucson, Arizona, contact our skilled and experienced plumbing professionals at Curtis Plumbing. We offer various laundry room plumbing services, including scheduled inspections, repair, maintenance, and installation. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn more about our plumbing services.