Pulling a washing machine out from under a kitchen worktop may not be easy. Many are very heavy, and they have no wheels. Before even thinking about pulling one out, you need to consider the following. The washing machine is connected to a wall socket, to a water supply, and to a water drain outlet. All of which could stop the washing machine from coming out properly.
You also need to consider that pulling one out could damage your back, and that the washing machine feet could easily damage flooring. So you need to assess several things before just yanking one out. In most cases, the washing machine will need disconnecting first.
Pulling out technique
The best way to pull a washing machine out, is to open the door, and get hold of the door opening at the top of the door seal. Then lift the washing machine up off its front feet, and pull it forward on its back feet. If you aren’t able to lift the machine up at least a centimetre or more, your job may be a lot more difficult. There are more pulling out tips later, including how to pull one out if you can’t open the door, and how to prevent damage to the flooring. But first you should look at the following important pre-pulling out advice.
Mains cable and plug
Unplug the mains cable. If it’s plugged in at the back of the washing machine, you can’t do much with it until the washer is out. But if it plugs in anywhere else, unplug it, and feed the cable back towards the washing machine. Ensure the cable is close enough to the washing machine to allow it to be pulled all the way out. If the cable has been fed through a small hole in a cupboard, and needs to be pulled back through, then it may be necessary to take off the plug.
If you can, turn off any water taps to the washing machine. Sometimes the hoses are very short, or connected away from the washing machine at full stretch. Unless the fill hoses are right behind, or just to the side of the washing machine, you probably need to disconnect the hoses to allow the washing machine to pull forward.
If you overstretch a fill hose, it can easily snap where it connects to the washing machine. If the water tap is still switched on, this would cause water to flood out of the broken hose. You would not get any warning. You’d just be pulling the washing machine forward, then all of a sudden you’d hear something snap followed by a hissing of water.
If you need to unscrew any fill hoses from the tap, you should be very careful. Hopefully you can unscrew the hose by hand. If you need to use pipe pliers or maul grips then be very careful, and make sure you support the body of the tap. If not, you could twist the tap and loosen it from the copper pipe.
Drain hoses are commonly connected to the U-bend under the sink. If so, it’s likely that you won’t be able to pull the washing machine forward with the drain hose still connected. They are usually very easy to disconnect from the U-bend. You just unscrew the plastic connector that the drain hose is pushed onto.
However, the next step is to feed the drain hose back through to as close to the washing machine as possible. This could even require you to push the drain hose through a hole in the cupboard and the plastic connector may not fit. In such cases, you will have to do remove the drain hose from the connector. It’s just a twist and pull. But make sure when you refit everything that the end of the drain hose is pushed on tightly, and does not leak.
Don’t run water into sink
Once the drain hose has been disconnected from the U-bend in the sink, any water poured into the sink may pour out into the cupboard. So either make sure no water gets into the sink until you are finished. Or try stuffing a floor cloth or something into the hole.
Watch the flooring
Before pulling the washing machine forward, you need to ensure the feet aren’t stuck to the floor. They often are. It’s not so necessary on a hard floor, but if on something like lino or cushion floor, pulling the washing machine forward with the feet stuck can easily rip the flooring.
First lift it up at the front to free the front feet if they are stuck to the flooring. Lift the washing machine with the door open and with your hands at the top of the door opening. Then tip it forward to lift the back feet to make sure they aren’t stuck, or free them too. It may be useful to place a towel under the feet to help it slide forward and to help protect the flooring.
Does the flooring go all the way under the washer?
Often the floor covering stops just underneath the washing machine. This happens when the fitter can’t be bothered to fit it all the way under, or if they just don’t realise it’s necessary. As most washing machines are underneath a worktop, you may not know if the flooring goes all the way back or not. If it doesn’t, this means when you pull it forward, the rear feet will probably get caught on the flooring.
When the flooring is tiles, or laminate flooring, this can stop it coming out altogether. In this case, you would need to tilt the washer forward so that the feet lift at the back. When the flooring is a vinyl covering, it can dig right into it and rip it badly.
Washing machine stuck?
If the washing machine is stuck behind the flooring, there are more tips in this article – appliance is stuck behind a tiled floor
How to pull washer out if door won’t open
If the door doesn’t open due to a fault, then you may be able to get some purchase by taking the soap drawer out and lifting via the drawer opening (not easy). Or by lifting from underneath the front of the machine and pulling it forward (even harder). Or with two people, using a combination of both.
Without access to the door opening it can be tricky – especially if the washer is also full of laundry and water. In this scenario, you need to try and get rid of the water to make it lighter. There are plenty of tips on doing that here – how to drain a washing machine full of water
Tips for pushing a washing machine back in place
Pushing a washing machine back in place can be easy, or very tricky, depending on the floor surface. Walking the washing machine back by pushing one side a little then the other is the best way. Also, push as low down the front of the washing machine as you can.
Be careful, many washing machines have flimsy front panels that easily dent. Using knees to push a stubborn washing machine back can be effective, but it can also put dents in the washing machine front.
It might be tempting to put some lubricant under the feet if it’s hard to push back, but this can cause the washer to slide about a lot on spin afterwards. Use only as a last option and in as small a quantity as possible.
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