How to Install a Basement Laundry | Ask This Old House

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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.

About Ask This Old House TV:
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we’re ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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How to Install a Basement Laundry | Ask This Old House

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