Introduction: Connecting a Washing Machine to a Kitchen Sink

Picture of Connecting a Washing Machine to a Kitchen Sink

I'm an apartment-dweller, and I managed to inherit a washing machine and dryer (no more collecting quarters and trips to the laundromat--yay!). But there are no hookups in my apartment (boo!). This is my solution to this problem.

Note that I never signed anything in my lease forbidding me to have a washing machine--you might want to check your own lease for details. Also, my downstairs neighbors are cool with their dishes rattling when I do laundry.

Step 1: Extension Hoses

Picture of Extension Hoses

None of the hoses that came with the washer are long enough to reach the sink. The supply hose is female hose fitting (both ends)--I just cobbled one together out of plastic hose repair fittings and clear braided tubing (all available from Home Depot).

I extended the drain hose with 1-1/4" ID braided tubing--it is a friction fit around the outside of the drain hose (see the second photo). I secured it with a hose clamp. This works fine with a corrugated drain hose; I'm not sure how well it would work with a smooth surfaced hose.

Step 2: Sink Connection

Picture of Sink Connection

Another piece you need from Home Depot: a sink aerator thread to hose connection adapter (piece at left on photo; aerator at right). It's sold in the rack of small plumbing fittings (along with washers, sink replacement parts, etc).

I've found that hand-tightening the adaptor is about right--overtightening with a set of ChannelLocks makes the rubber washer squeeze out of its correct shape, causing a leak.

Adaptor gets connected to the faucet. Hose gets connected to the adaptor. Knee bone connected to the shin bone.

Step 3: Connection to the Washing Machine

Picture of Connection to the Washing Machine

The supply hose needs to be connected to the cold hose connection. You are going to be controlling water temperature with the faucet controls (hot/cold/warm). Since the rinse cycle is usually cold, you need to hook up to this side to make it work.

Note the hose cap on the unused hot side. This is actually important. The solenoid valves have enough slop in them that there is some leakage out of this connection, even when you're just running the machine on cold. Yeah, I found this out the hard way.

Step 4: Finishing Setup

Picture of Finishing Setup

You might notice the velcro ties holding the hose together (like this). I considered it good insurance, to keep the drain hose from flopping out of the sink mid-cycle.

Make sure all the connections are tight; turn on the water to the temperature you want it. Fire it up, and do your laundry!

Note that if you wanted to do a cold rinse, you will have to change the faucet settings mid-cycle.

Step 5: Wrap-up

Picture of Wrap-up

When you disassemble the hoses, be sure you have a bucket around to drain them out.

Step 6: Wrap-up, Part Ii

Picture of Wrap-up, Part Ii

The second use for the velcro ties is to keep the hoses in place, when the machine is not in use.

Yay! Clean underwear!


firestorm521 (author)2010-12-09

I live in an apartment and I inherited a pair of front load w/d for an early wedding gift. I am trying to set up the washer. I have a garden hose running from my shower head(only place i could get my adapter to screw onto) and that goes to my cold water inlet on the washer. I'm using corrugated pipe for my drain and going to my bath tub. Both hoses are 25 feet. Not sure if that matters?
I can't get the washer to fill. I'm not sure what is up. Do I need a hose hooked up to my hot water inlet? The washer has an extension cord for power hooked up. where is doesn't have a plug in. No way around that. Please help me!! Thanks

NatashaD16 (author)firestorm5212016-05-24

This is 5 years too late but I'd thought I'd share my experience anyways. I had the same problem getting water in & I just adjusting the water temp & I originally had it set to cold/cold but when I turned it too warm/cold or hot/cold it filled with my problem is it won't fill up for the rinse cycle any suggestions anyone plz!

Some washers won't fill if the drain hose isn't higher than the washer (mine is one). I had to secure the drain hose about waist-high to get it to work.

KevinH195 (author)2016-04-19

Have you had any drain backup issues? I am afraid to try this as this may cause my condo and the condo below to flood because in case doesn't drain fast enough. Any thoughts?

ggmasten (author)2016-04-12

Can i get an adaptor so i can use hot and cold water in my washer?

TalS1 (author)2015-11-16

What about a hose to faucet adaptor? I was using a quick-detach adaptor from Home Depot which was neither quick nor detach, it nearly broke my fingers every time I used it and once broke a dish I had in the sink from the force of the jerk and it pulled really hard on the faucet. But without it, how do you twist the hose into the aerator? Can you recommend one? My machine was idle for a while, but I'm moving and want to start using it again. I tested to make sure it survived the move, and the adaptor was the same torture as before . . .

Thanks very much.

AngelaC1 (author)2014-09-11

how can i change washing machine's belt meself??


Gwenl (author)2014-06-12

Just found this great article. I have a question: I've lived in my
apartment for over 10 years, where the faucet was original to the 1920s
building, and it handled my portable machine just fine. Finally though,
it did begin to leak. The replaced faucet began leaking within a day.
Tightening some of it worked for about 2 months, until I walked in
during a wash cycle and found water spraying straight up in 5-foot arcs
in several directions. I would like to insist the landlord purchase a
faucet that can handle the washing machine. What specs of faucets would I
look for for that? For example, American Standard told me they never
test for attachments like this and do not recommend allowing such usage.
That was a surprise to hear. The faucet is a wall-type, 2 holes, eight
inches across, and I know the cost needs to be reasonable. Thanks.

jbaf (author)2014-01-31

what is important to remember is that IF you do not turn the faucets off after your cycle they cause mixing in the risers. This means that the apartments above and below that share your water can have scalding hot or really cold showers. This is most common in hi-rise construction and is a big tipoff that someone has an unacceptable hookup. To avoid this for everyones safety please install check valves on the hot and cold FEEDS to the faucet. These are also available in hose form at home depot. One on hot, one on cold.

SunnyGuy (author)2011-08-22

If anyone knows how people in New York hook up a washing machine to their bathtub. Please leave the information here. Thank You.
Be sure to use a snare catcher for the water going out or you will start clogging up your plumbing. An amazing amount of lint collects and that gets really expensive.
They clamp on the water outlet hose with a hose clamp AND you should also use a hair snare for the sink as a back up. Hardware stores & home improvement stores have both. You can also buy a battery operated water alarm. Ones that just set off an audible alarm - and ones that dial a phone number in case of a leak.

matchbookhymnal (author)SunnyGuy2011-10-05

I hooked a Haier portable washing machine to my shower. I did not use braided tubing and clamps-- just bought an extra washing machine hose and a coupler to extend what the machine came with. You can also use garden hose, since it's the same size as washing machine hose.

Basically, I attached a diverter (meant to add a handheld shower sprayer to a regular shower) to the shower nozzle. This way, I didn't have to remove & add the showerhead-- just turn a lever. Then I added an adapter from the diverter's 1/2 inch pipe thread to the washing machine hose's 3/4 inch thread. The washing machine fill hose attaches to the adapter-diverter combination.

On my machine, the drain hose has to be in an upright position or the washing machine won't fill, so I attached it with a suction cup to the back of the shower. Definitely use a drain screen-- the lint builds up quicky.

wrichter (author)2011-09-20

Have you had any issues with the washing machine draining too fast for the kitchen sink to keep up?

Bats22 (author)wrichter2011-09-20

The only problem I have had is when enough lint had come out of the machine that it blocked the drain. Overall, the sink seems to give you enough "buffer" capacity to keep up with a washing machine draining. Of course, that will depend on the size of your sink and capacity of your drain.

I'd definitely recommend being nearby when you're running this setup--I usually wandered back into the room when it was draining to check on it, and I never left it to run a load unattended.

intrinsic2005 (author)2007-11-03

You can find a "quick release" adapter too. It allows you to clip onto the kitchen sink faucet and unclip with a single motion. The one I have still has an aerator on it when I unclip, but I got it overseas. The ones I have seen here ( at ACE Hardware in the plumbing section ) don't have an aerator on the adapter parts, so if you want to have the aerator when you aren't using the washing machine, you'd have to unscrew the adapter and put the aerator back on. If you're not attached to your aerator, you can put the ACE adapter on and leave it. Then you simply clip the quick release on and off as you need to use the washing machine.

liltonyia (author)intrinsic20052010-02-09

 do i hold button red button in while putting it faucet

PCfreak (author)intrinsic20052009-10-20

kinda like those quick release adapters you find On Portable Dishwashers

bikerchick4God (author)2010-01-18

attach one woman's pantyhose knee hi to the outlet to prevent junk from the drain water clogging the drain over time.  Anyone else have a big problem with sand accumulating in the screen of your washer;s water inlet?  It's often I had to clean that inlet in coastal FL.

bikerchick4God (author)2010-01-16

Me too!!  This is exciting.  I didn't want to sell my W/D as I downsized from a house with garage to a smaller dwelling without hookups.  My friend bought this and that to extend the hoses but I haven't used his 'system'.  I will implement your method and feel confident I can have clean clothes by tomorrow.    Just last night I saw 4 police cars at a laundramat.  I don't wanna go to a laundramat.  Thanks to you I don't have to!

random4_6 (author)2009-11-19

Just to be clear, this kind f set up voids your homeowners or rneters insurance and doing this would expose one to liability for any damages from the electrical connection, and fro water damage.

It is not legal to drain a washer into a sink less than 12" deep.

The main part of this article is for the water supply. you can do anything you ant to supply a washer with water including a bucket. The main problems with any laundry hook-up are 220 for  a dryer and the proper venting and capacity for drainage of the washer (17 gpm requiring either a a 2" pipe (certainly not the case int hat sink) or 20 gallon capacity sink above 1.5" diameter pipe)

obfuscode (author)2009-10-22

Plastic soda bottle caps work perfectly - when we moved we had to cap the hose connections and didn't have special caps - the soda bottle caps fit and screwed on tight without leaking - your mileage may vary but give it a shot before buying special ones.

tyeo098 (author)2006-09-05

Ok, 1. if you8 live in an apartment... why did you get a washer and dryer? 2. how did you hook up the dryer w/o a 220v connection? 3. nice job!

Bats22 (author)tyeo0982006-09-05

Replies: 1. I had a friend who wanted an excuse to get an energy-efficient horizontal-axis (front loading) washing machine; I was glad to be that excuse and provide a home for his old machines. 2. A horrible hack to the electric stove (220 V). I'm not going to post it, because (a) I'm not terribly proud of it, even though it is quite safe (b) I don't want to inspire others to do so, especially if they're not comfortable working with electricity--if they are, they would likely figure it out themselves. 3. Thanks! Much appreciated.

PCfreak (author)Bats222009-10-20

let me guess you used the same type of cord thats on the elec stove?

opir (author)2009-08-19

any chance you can tell me the hose size and hose mender sizes? this little project might be saving me 1300$ of plumbing work :) great idea

Bats22 (author)opir2009-08-25

I'm going from memory here, so I wouldn't trust what I have to say. I think I used 5/8" ID hose, but I'm not positive. What I actually did was find whatever size hose fittings I could get at Home Depot, and got the tube that matched the "barb" size on those hose fittings. I think you'd be best served by just wandering up and down the aisles, looking the fittings, and figuring out which hose connection is the right one.

jcwang0706 (author)2009-05-14

Awesome tutorial. When you want to do a wash, do you just keep the faucet on the whole time? Or do you have to manually turn it on and off throughout the wash cycle? Thanks!

Bats22 (author)jcwang07062009-05-14

Yeah, I just leave it on during the wash cycle (both wash and rinse). Of course, as I mentioned, you might want to change the faucet handle position (e.g., hot wash, cold rinse) mid-cycle. Also, depending on how good the seals are, there might be little spraying droplets leaking out during the whole cycle--don't know how much that might bother you.

antmodeli (author)Bats222009-07-19

while the machine is full and the clothes are washing, where is the water suppose to go if you leave the faucet on?

Bats22 (author)antmodeli2009-07-19

While the machine is washing (i.e., the tub is full), you can leave the faucets on because there is a solenoid valve turning the water on and off. So the water is just blocked off, in the supply hose.

Madinat (author)2008-12-14

this is aweseome! do you over have to worry about overflow?

Bats22 (author)Madinat2008-12-14

Overflow would depend on how large your washing machine is, how large your sink is, and how well your sink drains. I did have a bit of a flood once--but that was because something partially blocked the drain during the rinse cycle. You definitely want to keep an eye on it during the drain cycle, the first few times you run it, at lest.

leevonk (author)2006-09-05

Just to clarify for people (though it might be obvious). You turn the water on before you even start the machine, the washing machine has solenoid valves that will allow the water in at the appropriate times.

Bats22 (author)leevonk2006-09-05

Thanks for clarifying it for everyone--as another clarification point, most normal washing machine hookups leave the water (hot and cold) on continuously. However, this is not the best of ideas--washing machine floods sometimes result from a burst hose. One way to prevent this is to use that little flip valve, and turn off the water between loads (or use braided stainless steel jacketed hose, fancy automatic shutoff mechanisms, etc). Also, given the cobbled-together nature of this setup, I don't leave my laundry running unattended here, just in case.

0.775volts (author)Bats222006-09-05

If you wanted to get a little more fancy, you could just tee off of the sink connections in the cabinet beneath the sink. This would give you control over hot and cold water. You could tee and add a ball valve if you wanted to, and could thus disconnect the hoses whenever you felt the need. Nice job!

Bats22 (author)0.775volts2006-09-05

Yeah, that was actually my original plan--I have a full set of plumbing tools, and am all set to cut and sweat copper. However, there are *no* shutoffs in the sink cabinet--I'd have to wait until my downstairs neighbors were in, and see if it would be ok to shut off the building's water. Also, I'm a short-timer at this apartment, so I figured the less evidence I left of my nefarious hacks, the better.

Madinat (author)Bats222008-12-14

this is what i'm thinking of doing. i have some connectors from the bathtub that i have access to. some other apts. in the community i live in have put in w/d at this location, all i have to figure out is how they managed to drain the tub.....

Click4Carbon (author)2008-11-17

To learn more about Energy Efficient Washing Machines as well as how to offset your Carbon Footprint visit Click4Carbon.


anthro (author)2008-11-16

You are truly a Godsend!!! I just moved into an apartment less than 2 months ago and trying to always scrounge up quarters has been the biggest hassle ever. I have been looking on craigslist for apartment washers and now feel lousy because I have been passing up all of the regular washers. I am so happy to have found this information! Thank You so much - you have no idea!

delta_faucets (author)2008-08-25

Great info here, keep up the good information!!

robhybrid (author)2008-05-15

A lot of faucets don't have usable threads. In those cases, you can just slide the hose over the faucet and just hose clamp it on.

tubularist (author)2007-11-27

this is perfect, exactly what i want to do. but, how did you hook up the dryer?? thanks,

freaky421 (author)tubularist2008-02-23

I've been looking into that, & for a gas dryer you're pretty much using the good old sun's warmth. Just like in the old days. If you happen to find another way, PLEASE let the rest of us know! :)

Bats22 (author)tubularist2007-11-27

I talked about this a little below--I used a hacked connection to the range plug (which is just out of sight in the picture, around the corner from the dryer). However, as I wrote below, I'm not actually going to post it, because (a) I'm not terribly proud of it, despite the fact that it is basically safe, and (b) I don't want to inspire others to potentially work with electricity if they're not comfortable doing so. People who would be comfortable wiring up a 220 V plug and box probably wouldn't need my instructions on this. However, you should probably look up how <A HREF="">NEMA plugs are configured</A>. In that diagram, G=ground, W=white (or neutral), and X and Y are the hot phases (powered, provided 220 V).

stasterisk (author)2008-01-27

Holy Information, Batman! I'm fixing the drain in the bathhouse, and I thought I'd check instructables for tips. And here it is, exactly what I was looking for.

intrinsic2005 (author)2007-11-03

Good work around. :-) I've been doing something similar, but I had a plumber friend do the connection to the rear of the machine a bit more formally and I used a regular short garden hose, the type that you can roll back into its case by cranking a handle on the side. I got the idea to do this from my experience living in Asia and the Middle East. Most houses there do not have laundry hookups, so SHARP, HAIER, LG and others make the machines they sell there with regular electric plug and with hoses that operate pretty much like you have done. Here in the states, HAIER sells a couple washing machines that work on kitchen sink hookups. I've got a friend who's using one and he seems fine with it, . . other than it not holding too much ( 6 pound max, I think ). He can do basic clothing, sheets, pillow covers, table cloths, but has to take blankets and large things like that to the local laundromat still.

haunted_lady (author)2006-12-13

I really love this idea and your use of velcro! I found a really small washer for apartments but it is 200 bucks and room for like nothing. YOUR idea is wayyyy better and I had never known a person could do this. I found you ona google search!!! Pat yourself on the back for an excellent job! I must investigate how you hacked the stove connection! BUt for now a washer is all I need anyway :)

canida (author)2006-10-11

But there are no hookups in my apartment (boo!).

TMI, Batman!

Suppafly (author)2006-09-18

Some washers will use electricity to heat up the water if you don't supply a hot water feed and then choose the hot setting on the washer. I usually wash everything cold/cold anyway but if want hot that might be an option.

mtxe (author)2006-09-05


About This Instructable




Bio: Building energy efficiency/construction industry consultant; woodworker; casual (not hard core) cyclist.
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