How do I Choose the Best Washing Machine Plumbing?

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  • Written By: Morgan H.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2019
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Choosing the best washing machine plumbing is usually a simple task. There are a few industry-standard hookups that are commonly used to keep things quick and easy for the consumer. Most homeowners are concerned with three main parts when they connect a washing machine: the water shutoff valves behind the machine, the supply lines that carry water to the washing machine, and the drain line carrying waste water away from the washer. The plumbing parts often come in a variety of models, and the best choices generally are models that have individual controls for such tasks as shutting off water supply. Higher quality parts also may be a better choice, especially for homes with very high water pressure.


In washing machine plumbing, the best place to start is usually with the water shutoff valves. Typically, the best setup for home plumbing is a valve box that is recessed into the wall behind the washing machine. Valve boxes have two male-threaded brass water outlets on them, one each for hot and cold water supply. There are two styles of valves available on the boxes. The first is a single-lever shutoff that turns both water supplies off at the box, the other has an individual quarter-turn valve on each outlet. Though the single handle style may seem more convenient, the dual-shutoff box is generally the best choice for two main reasons — first, if there is a leak or failure in the water supply lines, being able to individually control the two valves will help a plumber pinpoint the problem faster. Second, if the shutoffs fall into disrepair, it is generally easier and less expensive to replace each valve individually, versus replacing single-handle model entirely.

Water supply lines are the second area of consideration for washing machine plumbing. They come in two main types — flexible rubber hoses, and braided stainless steel hoses. Most washing machine manufacturers provide the flexible rubber hoses with the purchase of a new machine. The flexible rubber hoses are often color coded, red for hot water and blue for cold water. They are typically less expensive than the stainless hoses, but also tend to wear out faster. In a home with sporadic water pressure changes, worn rubber hoses can actually burst under high water pressure. Braided stainless steel hoses, however, are much more durable and burst-proof, making them the better choice. No matter the type of hose, appliance manufacturers recommend that consumers replace their washing machine supply lines every three to five years.

Washing machine discharge hoses are the third area of consideration for washing machine plumbing. The discharge hoses are also available in two types — corrugated plastic and flexible rubber. The corrugated plastic hoses are less flexible and take up a little more space than the rubber discharge hoses, but they are typically the best option for the consumer. Because they are made of a harder material than flexible rubber, they will not kink or compress if the washing machine is pushed too far back against the plumbing. A compressed discharge hose can cause a washing machine to have drainage issues, and even back up waste water into the tub.


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Post 2

@raynbow- I think you are right on your observation, that is why I recommend using stainless steel washing machine hoses when it comes time to replace the original ones.

Thought they are a bit more costly than rubber or plastic washing machine hoses, you will save money in the long run with the stainless steel variety because they last longer. They are also easy to install, and look good.

Post 1

Does anyone have any thoughts about the best materials for replacement washing machine hoses? It seems like once the original rubber ones wear out, the new ones don't last as long.

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