How to Install a Basement Laundry

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on April 26, 2016

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Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner install a washer and dryer in his basement. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)

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Shopping List for How to Install a Basement Laundry:
– Dryer vent
– Caulk
– Flexible metal dryer vent tubing
– Hose clamp
– 2-inch-by-1-inch PVC Y-fitting
– 2-inch PVC piping
– Rubber repair coupling
– Flux
– Solder
– Copper pipe T-fittings
– Stainless-steel hoses
– 1-inch PVC piping and fittings
– 1-inch PVC check valve
– 1-inch PVC ball valve
– Washing machine valve
– Laundry sink
– Laundry sink pump

Tools for How to Install a Basement Laundry:
– Drill/driver
– 2 1/2-inch hole saw
– Caulking gun
– Reciprocating saw
– Copper-pipe cutter
– Torch
– Pliers

Steps for How to Install a Basement Laundry:
1. To install the dryer vent, use a small drill bit to drill through the side of the wall of the house. Pick a spot that’s near the base of the home and free from obstructions.
2. With the small hole as a guide, use a 2 1/2-inch hole saw to saw through the house siding and into the basement.
3. Place a bead of caulk around the dryer vent where it connects to the building. Then screw in the vent using a driver.
4. Connect the flexible metal dryer vent tubing to the dryer vent using zip screws and a driver.
5. Use an elbow fitting to connect the dryer vent tubing to the back of the dryer.
6. Connect the dryer vent tubing to the back of the dryer using a hose clamp.
7. Plug the dryer into a 240-volt receptacle.
8. Next, to connect the washtub and water pump, use a reciprocating saw to cut out a piece of old galvanized pipe.
9. Replace the pipe section with a PVC Y-fitting and connect it to the old galvanized pipe using a rubber coupling.
10. Ensure the water supply is off, then, using a copper-pipe cutter, cut the existing hot and cold water lines.
11. Replace copper pipe connections with copper pipe T-fittings.
12. Then connect new copper pipes to T-fittings that will lead to the washer.
13. Apply flux to each joint and solder the connections with a torch.
14. At the washing machine supply location, install a washing machine shutoff valve.
15. Attach stainless-steel hoses to the washtub and faucet supply line. Hand-tighten and then snug them up with a pair of pliers.
16. Connect 1-inch PVC pipes from the washtub to the PVC Y-connection and drain line. Ensure you install a check valve to prevent discharged water from returning to the pump and a ball valve to control the flow.
17. Move the washer into place and connect the stainless-steel supply hoses.
18. Be sure to throttle down the water pump until it continuously stays on while water is being fed. Otherwise it will short-cycle, shortening the life of the pump.

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