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How long should washing machine hoses be?

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I have been remodelling my kitchen and have just had my old washing machine reconnected in it's new position by a plumber. I decided to try using the dryer for the first time in years and found it wasn't heating so thought I'd pull the machine out to see if there was a thermal cut out switch which could be reset. I didn't get very far because the machine hoses were only long enough to move the machine halfway out. I had told the plumber it would need longer hoses and it looks like he has extended the drainage hose slightly, but not the inlet - neither would allow the machine to come right out without disconnecting them. I have never had this situation with a washing machine before...is it normal, do I really need to disconnect the hoses when I want to move it out for service or repair, or should I get the plumber back to fit longer hoses? 

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  • Root Admin

Yes it's totally normal, which is a great shame. Washing machine hoses should be long enough to allow the washing machine to be pulled out, but they haven't been for decades. The length of the hoses has slowly decreased to save money. They are now just long enough to install with plumbing behind the washer and no worktop, which virtually no one does.

The only way around it is to fit 2.5 metre drain and fill hoses. However, this can then introduce the possibility of the fill hoses in particular kinking because they will be so long and have to fold over at the back.

I used to offer to fit 2.5 metre fill hoses and drain hose to every customer I visited. Apart from making it easier for the customer, it makes it considerably easier for anyone working on the appliance. If you need to pull the washing machine out yourself, you will have to disconnect the fill hoses and drain hose first.

It may then need to be pushed through the hole in the cupboard to allow the washing machine out. That could make it difficult to refit, and you may need to tie string around it to help feed it back through. If you think you might only need the machine out when someone has to repair it, you could just leave it for them.

Remember that once the drain hose is disconnected from a u-bend connection, any water running into the sink can run out into the cupboard through the drain hoses connector.

Another alternative would be to fit a plastic hose extension connector and then connect another normal sized hose. This isn't ideal as it introduces 2 extra places for a leak to develop, but it would solve the problem without having to pull the machine out.

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Thanks for that, in hindsight I should have been clearer with the plumber about what I meant when I told him it would need the hoses extended...I just assumed he would have understood I might occasionally need to get it out. I haven't paid him yet ( because he hasn't sent me his payment details) so I will ask him to change or extend the hoses, hopefully within the original estimate (which wasn't particularly cheap).

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  • Root Admin

To be fair there's no fault in just fitting the hoses supplied with the washing machine. That's what all plumbers or even engineers would do. But if he offers to fit extra long hoses to customers in future he might be able to make a bit extra. Fitting an extra long drain hose though would be too involved for most plumbers I'd have thought but extending one is an option.

However, extra long fill hoses with the original short drain hose would still require the drain hose to be disconnected to pull the machine out. It's a partial solution. I would estimate that at least 95% of all washing machines (and dishwashers) need the drain hose and fill hoses disconnecting so they can be pulled out without having to disconnect them.

Need a repair or spare parts? 

Book a Repair | Buy appliance spares (Cheapest prices guaranteed)

Warning:  Read this before attempting any diy repairsNo representations or warranties are made (express or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of advice. I can't be held liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information on this website, which is given free of charge and in good faith.

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