Aside from the difficulty of finding the right fitting, is there a specific reason I need to connect my clothes washer to the taps via a hose instead of directly via PEX?

I ask because hoses are regarded as a poinit of with a high likely hood of failure. Given PEX and PEX fittings tolerance to bending, freezing, and their ease of rotation around a joint, it seems like PEXing directly into my washer would be preferred vs spending $100+ on fittings, valves and hoses to do it the traditional way.

My thought was to T off a supply line and use two elbows to ensure flexibility in all directions. After the 'T', I'd have 2.5 feet of PEX that I won't strap down to allow flex in the 'y' and 'z' directions, and then an elbow and another 2.5 feet before the shutoff valve to allow flex in the 'x' and 'z':

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If it is okay to connect directly, is it okay to use a plastic elbow? (the male connection on my clothes washer is plastic) such as the sea tech one pictured below, or should I use brass only?

enter image description here

  • 1
    TIP: Hoses are marked up like 1000% at the store. Usually they're free, or at most 5 dollars from a local used appliance store. They usually have hundreds of them laying around.
    – freshop
    Dec 12, 2018 at 22:03
  • @freshop that will be very valuable info when I go to flush my on demand hot-water tank. Sadly the brass connections are the major expense (~$70 for the minimal ones in the big box stores by me).
    – virtualxtc
    Dec 12, 2018 at 22:11
  • 1
    I know this isn't supposed to be for shopping, but if you're in the US like me try looking up Quarter Turn Ball Valve PEX Washing Machine Outlet Box should be around $30
    – freshop
    Dec 12, 2018 at 22:21
  • @freshop Ya - I saw those but they are PEX A type (heat expanded fitting). The normal (crimp) PEX ones are $70.
    – virtualxtc
    Dec 12, 2018 at 22:56
  • 1
    Washing machines move around a lot yiu need the flexibility that the hose provides.
    – Kris
    Dec 13, 2018 at 14:13

3 Answers 3


All though I am not sure if this is a code enforcement issue, the one issue I see is the flexibility of the hoses to allow the machine to "wobble" or "jump" when out of balance. Therefore not breaking the pipe or elbow, or slipping off the pipe at the connection point.

  • 1
    Lots of banging noise when it bounces. The tubes would smack. Your best bet and cheapest is hoses.
    – Jeff Cates
    Mar 23, 2019 at 10:31

Aside from the fact that I don’t think it would be allowed by code it would be inconvenient and if there was ever a problem with the mechanics inside your machine and water started spewing out all over your floor you wouldn’t have a way to shut it off or disconnected easily.

Trying to save money now may cost you more money in the long run.

Buy stainless steel braided hoses and if you’re still worried get an auto shut off water detection system.

Do it right once or do it wrong once and then do it right the second time.

  • I have the valves already for the washer / laundry sink, but my experience has been that it's very difficult to convince a partner who isn't mechanically inclined to remember to shut these off, especially since the dryer also needs water for it's steam functions. Auto shut off valve is already purchased as I don't trust the internal parts of the machine to last.
    – virtualxtc
    Dec 12, 2018 at 22:04
  • 1
    Not much we can do about an incompetent or more than likely and indifferent partner. It does not take much mechanical aptitude to turn a valve. People generally don’t turn their washing machine valves off after every use.
    – Alaska Man
    Dec 12, 2018 at 22:24
  • My last partner was so bad I installed one of those timber based shutoffs. Of course the timer mechanism failed after 1.5 yrs, so I'm trying to get away from such solutions.
    – virtualxtc
    Dec 12, 2018 at 22:54
  • 2
    First person I have ever heard of turning the water off after each cycle. Sure if gone in the winter it would make sense, but using the wrong fittings maybe it should be turned off to hide the hack job when it fails.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 12, 2018 at 23:44
  • Where is such a setup not allowed by code?
    – virtualxtc
    Dec 14, 2018 at 2:51

I think it's a good idea, though I've never seen a washer hose fail ("high likelihood" is probably still point-zero-zero-something percent per year). Some caveats:

  • Pex, while fairly flexible, probably isn't going to take repeated long-term movement like rubber or vinyl. Leave enough of a loop between the wall and the machine so that no part of the tube is regularly stressed by the natural vibration of the machine (and you moving it to clean out dust bunnies).
  • You might find that you wish you had shutoff valves close at hand. In fact, it may be required by code.
  • Pex, being stiff, may want to jump around a bit when the machine opens and closes its internal valves. This could cause some slapping behind the machine. You might need to secure the lines to prevent them doing so.
  • I've been in a house when a rubber washer hose failed, but you might be right about the braided metal ones (it's just super expensive). Anyway, I updated my question to better explain how I was planning to get the flex needed.
    – virtualxtc
    Dec 12, 2018 at 22:52
  • Update: I had a braided metal one fail on a dish washer (at the hose-fitting junction) about 6 months after posting. PEX to the clothes washer is still working fine.
    – virtualxtc
    Jun 15, 2021 at 17:46

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