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How to Choose and Install Laundry Appliances

Ask This Old House plumbing expert Richard Trethewey helps a couple pick out and install energy efficient appliances.


  1. Richard discusses the options for the latest laundry appliance technology.
  2. Richard shows off a top-loading washer. It’s the most commonly used, but highly inefficient. It doesn’t leave clothes very dry which means more electricity costs when it comes to the dryer. Richard also explains the top loader uses 40 gallons of water to wash one large load of laundry.
  3. Richard then shows off a high-efficiency top loading model of washer. It does not include a center agitator and has a high-efficiency motor. Per load, this model uses 17 gallons of water.
  4. Finally, Richard shows off a high-efficiency front-loading model that has a second washer below the larger one. It has double the capacity and uses only 13 gallons of water per load—less than half of the typical washer.
  5. For the installation, set down the bottom portion of the dryer and adjust the knobs at the bottom to make it level on the floor.
  6. Place the top of the dryer on the base.
  7. Connect the exhaust hose to the back of the dryer and tighten the clamp using a screwdriver to keep it in place.
  8. Plug the dryer into a 220-volt outlet.
  9. Level the pedestal washer, once again using the knobs on the base.
  10. Place the washing machine on top of the pedestal washer and secure with screws.
  11. Connect bronze splitters to main water connections.
  12. Connect stainless steel braided hoses to the splitters and to the inlets on the washing machine.
  13. Snug up the connections using an adjustable wrench or pliers.
  14. Connect the discharges from both washing machines to a laundry basin or a standpipe drain.
  15. Plug the washing machines in to a standard receptacle.