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Disconnecting Old Washing Machine And Connecting New One


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#1 uumode

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 10:29 PM

Is anyone a bit of a plumber?

Currently got hot and cold plumbed in, do I simply rotate the taps from the vertical handle position... I assume clockwise, and that will stop the water so I can disconnect the old Philips washing machine? - Or do I have to use the master stop cock thingy?

The big fat 'concertina' pipe I take it is the waste pipe, do I simply remove this, or do I need to stop up/cover the aperture in the sink afterwards incase water flows out when I use the sink?

I have to disconnect the old unit (Dixons terms and conditions) Dixons will then plumb my new Miele in, but presumably the Miele is cold only fill, so the hot water pipe will be unused - does it need a cap?

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#2 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 03:31 PM

To turn off these type of taps you need to turn the red and blue levers 90 degrees; you'll need to see which way they turn by carefully trying them. If you imagine they are both currently pointing to half past, they need turning to either quarter past, or quarter to.

This type of washing machine tap is ubiquitous, they dominate the market presumably because they are cheap and not because they are the best (Isn't it almost always the case?) They are prone to several different faults -

  • The red and blue plastic levers commonly break because they are too weak. There's no indication which way they should be turned, and turning them the wrong way can break them.
  • The ball inside the tap commonly seizes up which breaks the levers when excess pressure is needed to turn them on or off. Sometimes they break clean off, but often they stay attached and appear to be OK but they just ride over the valve shoulder when turned. This tricks a user into thinking they've turned the tap either on, or off, when they haven't (watch out for that)
  • They often don’t shut off 100% and water still dribbles out when the hose is taken off
  • They commonly leak from the top of the tap underneath the plastic levers

I would definitely try to cap off the unused hot tap. You can buy screw on caps from a plumber’s merchant or maybe a large DIY store.

With the waste pipe, I would try not to disturb the plastic spigot on the u-bend and instead attempt to pull the hose off the plastic spigot but very carefully. After removing the securing clip around the end of the hose I’d see if the hose can be persuaded to come off by gently pulling and twisting. However, if it didn’t start coming off with minimal pressure and twisting I’d unscrew the whole connector away from the u-bend first instead, because straining and twisting the u-bend assembly could cause it to start leaking from one of several places.

Once off, the new hose should push fit back on and needs a cable tie or jubilee-type clip to help stop leaks and prevent the hose working off. Don’t over tighten though or you will squash the plastic and cause leaks.

Finally, as you surmised, if you disconnect the washing machine’s drain hose from the u-bend then water will leak into the cupboard if poured down the sink. Therefore you would be better not disconnecting the drain hose until ready to fit the new washing machine. However, as you need to disconnect it prior to them delivering the new washing machine here are the options –

  • Try to plug the aperture of the end of the plastic tube with a cloth, and as a precaution place a small bowl underneath. Then test by pouring a full bowlful of water down the sink. Keep a close eye on it until the new washing machine is fitted
  • Leave the hose connected, and instead cut the drain hose from the old washing machine at the back near the floor. The hose can then be lifted up and secured behind the taps or tied up somewhere leaving the plumbing under the sink undisturbed. I used this method last week when I disconnected my old dishwasher. Warning: before cutting the drain hose off, make sure the washer hasn't got water inside, and then put towels down to catch what can’t be pumped fully away and will leak onto the floor from the hose when cut.

The following related links should all be relevant in some way to disconnecting and installing a washing machine:



#3 uumode

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 05:18 PM

Thanks for the very detailed and comprehensive run down.

Arghh :o those taps sound so fragile! :blink:

#4 uumode

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 10:51 PM

After 13 years, both taps have seized up,

I wasn't sure which way to turn it, but by unscrewing the handles you can see (on this design) the correct way is to turn it anti-clockwise as the moulding under the handle forms a stop when it is open or closed. I used a pair of pillars gently on the valve itself, but it wasn't budging.
sprayed on WD40 waited 15 mins, still staying put.
- so rushed out to DIY store, got two new valves.

After being out for an hour or so, on my return, the hot water tap moved :) (WD40 must have penetrated deeper) so that sealed off the hot water supply. Then I capped it for extra measure.

Cold water tap moved a bit but not all the way, but didn't want to force it... so have liberally applied more WD40 in the hope it will free up.
If it doesn't I'll have to replace the tap. Thankfully it's the cold tap which is easy to close down the water supply. If it had been the hot water tap I'm not sure how I would have stopped the hot water from the tank. (though must be a stop cock there somewhere).


/EDIT

doh.... seems like I have to replace that cold water valve.


/EDIT

I was just about to replace the cold water valve, and thought as I was going to replace it anyway, give the 'metal' knob a good old twist with the pliers anyway - doesn't matter if I strip the thread or destroy the insides of the valve by my sheer force (I've taken the plastic handles off).
and hey, it moved - WD40 must have worked it's way into the thread a bit more, but very tight (not normal friction for a tap). I then applied more WD40 twisting the valve back and forth, while adding more WD40, until it rotated fairly freely - though it turns more tightly than the hot water valve, but not as tight as before.

I cautiously removed the cold water pipe to the washing machine, very slowly (incase the valve was destroyed). Some water leaked out at which point I paused to ensure that this was only the water residue in the pipe itself and not from the mains. The water stopped and I continued to slowly release the pipe and hey presto... the water was contained :) ... so no need to change the valve. - it's just a bit tight, no lubrication for 13 years.

Edited by uumode, 13 January 2007 - 12:52 AM.


#5 uumode

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 11:26 AM

New Miele W3240 just connected via the helpful Dixon's delivery team. :) :)
(I must say I'm pretty impressed with the online division of the Dixon's group - my 3rd large order... I never liked the stores group as they tended to be a bit pushy and high priced)

A report on a new thread to follow...

#6 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 05:54 PM

... so no need to change the valve. - it's just a bit tight, no lubrication for 13 years.

Glad you managed to sort it. The only worry is if the tap is stiff, it could seize up solid eventually and you wouldn't be able to turn it off in an emegency or if you needed to disconnect the washing machine. However, if you did have problems, you would be able to turn the cold water off at the mains, which is OK as long as its only for a short while.

#7 uumode

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 02:21 AM

Glad you managed to sort it. The only worry is if the tap is stiff, it could seize up solid eventually and you wouldn't be able to turn it off in an emegency or if you needed to disconnect the washing machine. However, if you did have problems, you would be able to turn the cold water off at the mains, which is OK as long as its only for a short while.


I was thinking that too, change it now, or change it later. I opted for later, one contributing reason was that you mentioned that this type of device although in general use isn't the best design. Was wondering if there was any other device that offered the same washing machine thread, but with something substantially better in the middle - doesn't seize, doesn't snap etc.

#8 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 12:27 PM

Unfortunately this ubiquitous washing machine tap has got the market sown up. It's extremely hard to find anything different anywhere. There are better taps, and I have some on washing machine and dishwasher. They are the same type of design but instead of the weak plastic levers there's a round wheel with a knurled edge. They were made by Opella. Unfortunately they appear to have been discontinued.

The common taps can’t be totally useless as plumbers would stop using them but they are cheap and most plumbers like that. Plus, many of the faults on them occur years later and the plumbers don’t often get blamed for it, they may even get another job replacing them. To be fair, as they are so widely used, it’s natural that I would see many faulty ones. This could colour my judgement a little although they should never have used such flimsy brittle plastic for operating the valve. I would assume (and hope) that these days they have strengthened them.

#9 uumode

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 12:42 PM

Unfortunately this ubiquitous washing machine tap has got the market sown up. It's extremely hard to find anything different anywhere. There are better taps, and I have some on washing machine and dishwasher. They are the same type of design but instead of the weak plastic levers there's a round wheel with a knurled edge. They were made by Opella. Unfortunately I canít find them anywhere on Google.

The common taps canít be totally useless, but they are cheap and most plumbers like that. Plus, many of the faults on them occur years later and the plumbers donít often get blamed for it, they may even get another job replacing them. To be fair, as they are so widely used, itís natural that I would see many faulty ones. This could colour my judgment a little although they should never have used such flimsy brittle plastic for operating the valve. I would assume (and hope) that these days they have strengthened them.



Thanks anyway. I suspect that unlike normal taps which are used frequently, these taps remain dormant for years remaining in the same position, no wonder they seize up.

#10 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 12:53 PM

Indeed. I meant to mention that. Any tap not turned off for many years can be subject to becoming tight or even seizing up, and most people don't turn off their washing machine taps ( related: Should you turn off the water taps when the washing machine is not in use? ) However, if a tap becomes tight, the small red and blue plastic levers just aren't strong enough to operate the valve and commonly break whereas some other taps (particularly ones with a normal screw action) can often still operate.






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