In most cases, installing a new appliance involves more than just plugging the unit into an electrical outlet. Consider a few key factors, whether you're completing appliance installation on your own or hiring a professional.
You've just bought a new, state-of-the-art appliance to replace the one that broke down, and you couldn't be more excited to start using your new unit. The only thing standing between you and your appliance happily-ever-after is the installation process. Whether you hire an appliance installation professional or plan to tackle the job yourself, you need to keep some key details in mind. Above all, be aware that if you install your own appliance and damage it in the process, you might actually void the warranty. Avoid wasting time and money by either bringing in an appliance installation expert or carefully reading all instruction materials before beginning the job.
Connections and Hookups
Does your new appliance come with all the cords and hoses you'll need to hook it up properly? Check before you start installing it-or before you have an appliance installer standing in your kitchen or laundry room, getting paid by the hour. Note that in general, you won't be able to reuse the cords and hoses from your old appliance on your new machine. Look in the installation manual for any additional items you'll have to purchase separate from the machine, and make sure to have those on hand when you're ready to install it.
If you're installing an appliance that connects to your gas line, you'll need to turn off the gas temporarily in order to disconnect the old appliance and connect the new appliance. The same goes for water pipe connections. You also need to check the user's manual for any specific electrical needs for your new appliance, such as a grounded outlet or particular voltage. Plugging your appliance into the wrong outlet can result in decreased performance due to inadequate power, damage, and even fire risks. Undertaking appliance installation without turning off your water or gas or without taking into account your electrical needs is a serious safety hazard.
Leveling and Bracketing
Does your floor slant? It's important to ensure that appliances are level, so you'll need to use some sort of leveling device under one side of the unit. Similarly, if your floor slants down from the wall against which the appliance will rest, your best bet is to bracket the unit directly to the wall. Brackets will keep the unit from tipping forward, which is a crushing hazard. If you're hiring a specialist to install the appliances , he should show up with the necessary tools and items to level and bracket your units. However, for DIY jobs, you will have to tackle this part on your own.
You may be offered installation services when you purchase your new appliance. Think carefully before turning this offer down. An appliance installation professional can likely get the job done much more quickly than you can, even if you've installed an appliance before. Plus, he'll know what steps to take to protect not only the new appliance, but also your floors, walls, and surrounding countertops and other fixtures. If you opt not to pay for professional installation but tear up your floor scooting the appliance into place, you haven't actually saved money at all. An appliance installer will also check that the appliance works properly before leaving your home, whereas you might spend hours troubleshooting to discover whether the unit itself is faulty or you've missed a vital connection. Proper installation means that you can start using your new unit right away-and isn't that the goal?