How to Disconnect a Washing Machine

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How to Disconnect a Washing Machine

Two Parts:

A washing machine is not an appliance that is often moved around the house. The machine is usually found in the basement, in a dedicated laundry room, or in the garage, and that is where it stays for most of its life. There are times when the washing machine will need to be moved, however. When the machine is being replaced, or moved to a new home, it will need to be disconnected from the hoses and wires that supply it with power and water. These instructions will guide you through the both the process of disconnecting your machine and getting it ready to move out of its usual location.


Disconnecting Your Machine

  1. Turn off the water valves.Valves for the supply of hot and cold water are usually located behind the washing machine and in a washer box attached to the wall. Turn off the valves by turning them clockwise until they cannot be turned any further.
    • You'll want to turn these off first thing.This will protect you from major spills if you should accidentally tear a hose in step 2.
  2. Pull or drag the washing machine away from the wall.If working alone, grab one side and move it forward, then do the same with the other side. If you have help, try pulling on opposite sides simultaneously.
    • Pull the machine as far out as you can without putting stress on the hoses. Ideally, this will be far enough away from the wall that you can step behind the machine.
    • If your house is on the newer side, some new water boxes are above the washer so it’s easier to reach the lines without moving the machine.
  3. Unplug the washing machine.Make sure the washing machine is not running, and pull the plug out of the outlet. This will disconnect the washing machine from its power supply.
  4. Get a bucket.Place a water pan or bucket behind the washing machine, under the water lines where it will catch water. Surround the bucket with several towels to catch any additional leaks or water that may spill out when the pipes are detached.
  5. Detach the hoses from the machine.If they are attached with clamps, turn the screws atop the clamps counterclockwise until the clamps are loose. Then, point the ends of the hoses toward your bucket to drain any water. Alternatively, you can place them in the drain, located in the washer box.
    • It's a good idea to double-check that your valves are still off before doing this. Some styles of faucet handles are easy to accidentally turn back on, and this could have occurred as you moved the machine or when you stepped behind it.
    • You may find it helpful to wait a few seconds after turning off the valves to try to remove the hoses, as this will allow the pressure in the hoses to abate, making them easier to remove.
    • Turning on a few other faucets in the house may help them drain more quickly.
  6. Remove the hoses from the wall.Turn the ends counterclockwise until the hoses detach.
    • You may need to use adjustable pliers or a pipe wrench to loosen the hoses, especially if the machine hasn't been disconnected in a while.
    • Once you've removed them, drain any remaining water into the bucket.
  7. Remove the drain hose from the drain.Depending on your plumbing setup, this might be a laundry sink, a floor drain, a wall-mounted drain, or a tall stand-pipe. Each of these requires a slightly different process of hose removal. Consult the instructions that came with your machine if it is not immediately obvious.
    • Point the free end of this hose toward your bucket as well, to allow any water to flow out.

Preparing the Machine to Be Moved

  1. Empty the water bucket.Before moving the machine, get the water bucket out of the way. Wipe up any spills or drips. You wouldn't want to slip while moving the machine.
  2. Double check your connections.Ensure there are no additional plugs or hoses connecting the washing machine to the wall. Continue moving the machine out of its place. There may be water inside the washing machine.
  3. Clean the intakes.If you are keeping this washer, this is a good opportunity to clean the water intakes with a bristle brush to remove any debris that may have accumulated over the years.
  4. Remove the power cord.Unless you are setting the machine back up in the same spot, it's a good idea to remove the power cord or, if it is not removable, tape it in place.
    • This will protect the plug and prevent the cord from being pulled out accidentally during moving.
    • It's also a good idea to remove any knobs that can come off the machine, to prevent loss.
  5. Secure the drum.If you will be moving the washing machine any significant distance, it is important to secure the "drum," the inner chamber of the washer that moves.
    • Depending on the model of your machine, this can be achieved with special bolts, a large y-shaped piece of foam, or even simply tightening some screws in the back.
    • Consult your manual on how best to secure the drum in your machine. You may need to buy a special kit for this.
  6. Wrap up your parts.If you are planning to move the machine any distance, leave your cords attached to the machine. You can tape any dangling cords to the sides of the washer to keep them out of your way.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    When disconnecting a washing machine, do I need to turn the water off at the mains?

    General Contractor
    Mark Spelman is a General Contractor in Texas. He has been a construction professional since 1987.
    General Contractor
    Expert Answer
    There should be water supply valves located behind the machine. No need to turn of at the mains, just turn it off there.
  • Question
    I disconnected my washing machine, and l still have water coming from one of the hoses. What do I do?

    General Contractor
    Mark Spelman is a General Contractor in Texas. He has been a construction professional since 1987.
    General Contractor
    Expert Answer
    There might be residual water in the line or the valve may be broken.
  • Question
    My water-valve knob is broken, so I have to turn the water off to the house when moving my washer. We recently sold our home. When we move our washer out, can we just cap the waterline? Or will the pressure not hold the cap?

    General Contractor
    Mark Spelman is a General Contractor in Texas. He has been a construction professional since 1987.
    General Contractor
    Expert Answer
    You will need to repair the valve before moving.
  • Question
    Does the tap that supplies the water need to be turned off?

    General Contractor
    Mark Spelman is a General Contractor in Texas. He has been a construction professional since 1987.
    General Contractor
    Expert Answer
    Yes, it needs to be turned off before disconnecting the washer.
  • Question
    I cannot remove drain pipe from my washer. What should I do?

    General Contractor
    Mark Spelman is a General Contractor in Texas. He has been a construction professional since 1987.
    General Contractor
    Expert Answer
    Always leave the drain hose attached to the machine. You can tape any pipes or cords to the side as necessary for transport.
  • Question
    Can I turn on the water supply once I have disconnected the washing machine?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No. if you turn on the water supply valve in the wall where you connect the hose, you should expect to get soaked with water. This valve needs to stay off unless you install a new machine with its hoses or cap the outlet off with a cap.
  • Question
    What can cause water to come out of a old disconnected hose?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    There was still water left in the hose. To drain it, carry the hose with both ends elevated (to prevent dripping) to the sink and drop one end in.
  • Question
    My water supply valves are stuck and can't be turned. Is there anything I can do about it?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Use WD-40 to loosen up the valves. Also, make sure you are turning the valves clockwise to close or counter-clockwise to open.
Unanswered Questions
  • Any other options for stuck water supply valves if WD-40 doesnt work?
  • I sold my washing machine and the guy disconnected the hose from the water supply now my toilet won't refill. If I turn on the faucet water goes everywhere! What do I need to do?
  • How do I remove panels to get to the hose?
Ask a Question
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  • Clear as much clutter and debris as possible from around the washing machine before disconnecting it. Even with the water bucket, it will be nearly impossible to avoid getting water on the ground.
  • If you have time, after removing the water hoses, let the machine sit for a day or two with the door open. This will allow any remaining water in the machine to dry.
  • If your intake hoses are cracked or over five years old, it's a good idea to discard them and replace them with new ones.


  • Washing machines are very heavy. If you aren't certain that you are strong enough to move one on your own, get help! It may prevent a back injury. An appliance dolly is best, if there’s room.

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Quick Summary

To disconnect a washing machine, turn off the water valves located behindthe washing machine by turning them clockwise. Next, pull the machine away from the wall and unplug it. Place a bucket behind the machine to catch water drainage, then turn the ends of the hoses counterclockwise to detach them from the wall. You may need pliers to loosen them! Then, remove the drain hose to complete the disconnection.

Success Stories

Dani Francis

Jun 19, 2019

"Perfect, concise, yet detailed instructions and tips to disconnect a washer. I'm about to disconnect my old washerand install a new one, and wanted to ensure my thinking was correct in how to do it. This guide was the perfect solution! Thanks for the detailed information and clever tips!"
Rated this article:

Alphonso Rolling

Sep 8

"I liked it because it was quick and easy to understand. Great job!"

Rox Park

Jun 30

"I asked my big bro to help, he lives in another state; I didn't understand over the phone. Got frustrated andupset. Came here and I did it! Thanks so much for the step-by-step instructions."

Helen T.

Apr 30, 2019

"Dead washing machine! Needed to get it taken out and wanted to do it myself. Found your article, which was easy tofollow, with pictures, and gave me the confidence to give it a go! Dead machine is now in the garage awaiting collection and everything is ready for the new one to go in. Thanks."
Rated this article:

Gill Swain

Nov 23, 2019

"It was great to have images alongside written instructions, and this gave me the confidence to do something I'dnever done before. I seem to have managed to safely disconnect my old machine, thanks to the advice here! No leaks either... yet!"

Drew Long

Jun 13, 2019

"Easy to follow steps and photo illustrations. Thanks for this free, most useful resource!"
Rated this article:

Natalie Richmond

Mar 29, 2019

"Great helpful guide to safely disconnect my washer in the right order!"
Rated this article:

Polly Emerson

Jul 17, 2019

"Very clear and easy to follow. The pictures help as well, thanks!"

Sam Aly

Apr 8, 2019

"It helped a lot and we avoided a major water disaster!"
Rated this article:

Artemis Pebblesward

Sep 12, 2019

"Very clear and helpful instructions.

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