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How to Install an Automatic Washing Machine Shutoff Valve

Adding overflow protection to the laundry room with This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey

In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey adds overflow protection to a laundry room.

Steps:

1. Close the hot- and cold-water shutoff valves that provide water to the washing machine.

2. Use pliers to disconnect the hot- and cold-water supply hoses from the shutoff valves.

3. Temporarily install the brass adapters onto the shutoff valves. Insert a length of ½-inch PVC pipe into the ball swivels inside the adapters.

4. Attach ½-inch PVC elbows onto the brass connections on the underside of the automatic shutoff valve.

5. Hold the valve in place and mark where to cut the PVC pipes. Trim the pipes to length with a tubing cutter.

6. Use PVC primer and cement to join together the PVC pipe assemblies. Connect the assemblies to the brass adapters on the existing shutoff valves, and to the underside of the automatic shutoff valve.

7. Hold the automatic shutoff valve in place and mark the wall for two mounting screws.

8. Remove the valve and drill holes through the wall on the two marks. Insert hollow-wall anchors into the holes, then screw the automatic shutoff valve to the wall.

9. Next, use pliers to tighten the two brass adapters that connect the automatic shutoff valve to the existing valves.

10. Attach the hot- and cold-water supply hoses to the threaded connections on the automatic shutoff valve.

11. Open the hot- and cold-water shutoff valves.

12. Plug the leak sensor into the automatic shutoff valve, then set the sensor onto the floor behind the washing machine.

13. Plug the washing machine's power cord into the electrical receptacle on the automatic shutoff valve, and then plug the automatic shutoff valve into the wall receptacle.

14. Turn on and off the washing machine to ensure the valve's indicator lights are operating properly.


Shopping List

  • Automatic shut-off valve
  • ½-inch PVC pipe
  • 90-degree elbows, used to connect automatic shutoff valve to brass adapter
  • PVC primer and cement
  • Hollow-wall anchors and screws

Tools