Most people assume their appliance is installed properly because the installer said it was. I know this sounds a little harsh, but the reality is all too often, I find installations of washers, dryers, dishwashers, and built-in ovens lacking in areas that are cause for concern.

Washers

Picture of Front Load Washer w Wrench IconsIf I had a nickel for every time (as the saying goes) I found a washer drain hose stuck to the bottom of the drain standpipe, I could retire and move to Hawaii. Time after time, installers, many who are unskilled and rarely taught correctly, assume placing the drain hose to the bottom of the standpipe completes the job.

Far from it. Without knowing it, they created a siphon which causes a problem during the first wash cycle of the machine. Water level errors or a no-drain situation occurs, and my customer is fit to be tied.

The end of the drain hose must be only 4.5 inches down the standpipe or drain and secured into place with a wire tie or tie wrap. While you’re checking the drain hose, be sure the installer didn’t mix up hot and cold water hoses to the washer.

To be fair, bad installations aren’t rampant, but enough I wish they would end. It’s a simple thing to read instructions and why they’re not confounds me.

Dryers

Picture of an empty clothes dryerYou might think installing a dryer is simple enough. Most times it is. However, a dryer has its own set of rules for installation. Installers do all the work, but you must confirm final operation.

A cursory check at the back of the dryer could save you misery later. In its final place, please confirm they do not crush the vent at the back of the dryer. If it is, long dry times will start with the first cycle. If they crush the vent, don’t accept the installation until it’s corrected and the vent and airflow is back to normal.

While you’re checking the vent, also check for heat inside the dryer. Aside from a bad heater, the power to the dryer might cause no heat. This could mean no power, or one “leg” of the 220V AC is missing.

 

Dishwashers

Picture of modern dishwasher with door open slightlyOh boy, this is one is a biggie. Out of say, 10 dishwasher calls, about half of them have a “not draining” problem. They’re brand new machines and installed by Lowe’s, Home Depot, Best Buy, or several other stores who send their installers out to unpack and install the machines in customers’ homes.

After many calls over the years for new installations of dishwashers, the first question I ask is, “Have you installed a new garbage disposal?” Sometimes the answer is no, and sometimes yes. Regardless, I check the knockout plug on the disposal and confirm it’s not there.

If it is there, the dishwasher will not drain. The knockout plug gets removed only when a dishwasher is installed and uses the nipple on the disposal to connect its drain hose. If there is no dishwasher, removing the knockout is unnecessary.

Do yourself a big favor and confirm operation of the dishwasher which includes washing and draining before accepting the installation.

Built-In Wall Ovens

Picture of a built-in wall oven installed in a kitchenI know you love your new wall oven. They’re beautiful appliances and look great in your kitchen. Aside from proper power applied to it, sometimes while you’re doing a high-temperature self-clean the unit shuts down or displays an error code.

The reason isn’t a bad installation this time. It’s almost always because of a lack of air space around the oven inside the wall. When a high-temperature self-clean ramps up heat to around 750 degrees, the body of the oven gets super hot, but not so much to cause damage to the cabinet.

The problem is there is not enough space around the oven inside the cabinet. Manufacturers specify clearances for inside the cabinet to prevent overheating during normal use and self-clean cycles. Hot air needs to vent and enter your kitchen instead of being trapped around the oven.

When the hot air can’t escape, a high-temperature thermostat opens, and either shuts down the oven or prevents it from heating to protect itself and your home. The next time you’re in the market for a new wall oven, look over the installation instructions and write down the air gap measurements they recommend.  To learn how to get the most out out of your oven’s performance, read this article on our blog.

Wooden Blocks Spell Final ThoughtsI hope these tips come in handy the next time you’re having a new appliance installed. They can save you a lot of grief and frustration! They’re easy to do because all you need is a flashlight to verify a good installation. Also, don’t forget to watch your new appliance operate before accepting it.

Oh, here’s one more final tip: If you have a new washer/dryer set installed and they’re side-by-side, move the dryer away from the washer and check for dents or damage on the sides of the appliances. And, make sure your dryer has its legs!!

Enjoy your new appliances and always be sure to contact us with questions or do-it-yourself appliance repair help you may need! We offer a brand new service called Virtually There™. Read more about it here. You’ll love it!