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Plumbing  /  October 8, 2021

How Does Washing Machine Plumbing Work?

How Does Washing Machine Plumbing Work

Having a washing machine is a wonderful modern convenience. For a lot of people, it is increasingly becoming a must-have item in any home. However, despite the popularity of washing machines, many people have very little idea of how they work. Understanding a little about this will help you know when something is wrong, what you can fix yourself and when you need to call plumbing services in Victoria

The Basics

The basic operation of a washing machine is fairly simple. The machine fills the tub with water (modern machines often only partially fill the tub) and stirs the clothes with an agitator. It also mixes detergent in, typically from a reservoir that you fill before running a load. Most washing machines also have reservoirs for softeners and bleach, which can be added when needed.

After a while, the machine drains the soapy water then adds new water to rinse the clothes. It continues to use the agitator, fresh water and draining to ensure that the clothes are clean and soap-free.

Thus, washing machines essentially just replicate the process of washing clothes by hand. There is soap water, movement and rinsing with clean water. While there have been various improvements to washing machine technology over the years, particularly in reducing water/energy usage and increasing wash cycle options, the basics have remained the same.

How the Plumbing Supports This

All the above would be impossible without proper plumbing. There are three functions performed by the plumbing:

  • Filling the tub with water at the appropriate temperature.
  • Recirculating water from the bottom of the tub to the top during the wash cycle.
  • Draining the water at the end of washing and at the end of the cycle.

The Water Lines

There are two water hookups connected to most washing machines: hot and cold. The cold water is typically connected to your main water supply (though it may go through a filtration system in some houses), and the hot water is connected to your water heater (heater tank, instant heater or other design).

The water lines are connected to a mixer with two solenoid valves. The valves control whether water is coming from the hot line, cold line or both. Through this operation, the washing machine can ensure that each load has the correct temperature water.

Filling the Tub

Water is passed through an anti-siphon valve before it reaches the tub. This device prevents a siphon from forming in the lines that could cause dirty water to be sucked back up into the water supply. The anti-siphon valve works by allowing air into the system, preventing the type of vacuum necessary to create a siphon.

Finally, the water is sent into the machine via an inlet. This is typically next to an overflow port. The overflow port will cause water to dump out of the machine (often onto the floor) rather than overflowing from the top of the tub. While having a wet floor is unfortunate, it is better than a wet floor and a broken washing machine.

Draining the Tub

Eventually, the water is pumped from the washing machine via an outlet into the drain hose. This sends the dirty water from the washing machine to your home’s drainage system, which typically leads to your sewage, although the exact setup depends on your home.

Get Plumbing Services in Victoria, BC

Now that you know a little more about how the plumbing of your washing machine works, you will be able to identify when something isn’t quite right. If you suspect that there may be a problem, call Handyman Connection for plumbing services in Victoria. We offer high-quality service with a smile, backed by our satisfaction guarantee!

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