Warning. Plumbing-in appliances is not a job for a complete amateur, since the combination of water and electricity can be lethal. However, if you are a fairly competent DIY enthusiast, you can undertake some simple plumbing-in, so long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions in the handbook to the letter. If in any doubt a all, Call in the expert.
If you have an automatic clothes or dishwashing machine, it is convenient to have it permanently and properly plumbed in. This is a job that can be undertaken by the do-it-yourself plumber. But before tackling it study the manufacturer’s manual and consult your supplier to ensure that you meet the requirements of the particular model. For instance, the machine may have to be positioned at a certain height from the floor and have a valve that needs to be adjusted to suit the pressure of water in your house.
If the machine is to be sited close to the kitchen sink, you will be able to make use of the sink’s water pipes and drains. Most machines require only a cold feed; there is an integral heater that warms up the water to its best operating temperature. In this case, supplying the machine is simple. At a convenient point in the cold supply pipe, you insert a T joint. To do this:
1. Turn off the water supply.
2. Cut out from the existing pipe a short length, enough for the joint to be inserted.
3. Fit it as described in Joining up Pipe-work
4. To the T branch fit a length of copper pipe, into which a stop tap has been fitted as though it were an over-size compression joint.
5. Now connect the hose connection of the appliance to the other end of the pipe. The exact method of making this connection varies with different models; refer to the manufacturers’ manual.
6. Fix in place a waste system. The manual should tell you how to connect it to the waste outlet from the machine. Washbasin. Adding a washbasin to a bedroom is a more ambitious task — and daunting if plumbing is not close at hand — but in general the principle is the same as for plumbing in a washing machine.
You find convenient points to tee-off a branch line from the hot and cold supply. You run the pipework from the tee-off to the site of the washbasin. Techniques already outlined — joining, cutting and bending pipework — will be called into play. The piping may have to pass through a wall, in which case you must bore holes for it, or be carried under floorboards. In the latter case, clip the pipe to a parallel joist or, if it runs across the joists, saw out notches in the top of the joists to receive it.
The exact method of fixing the basin to the wall will vary according to the make. The taps are fitted to the pipes by means of compression joints. You can use plastic piping to make the waste outlet. A trap will have to be installed and piping fitted to carry waste water to the drains.
If you tackle a project of this kind, leave the actual tee-ing in to the water supply until the last moment. Then you can take your time over the preliminary work before turning off the stopcock and perhaps depriving the rest of the house of water.