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I'd like to replace the water hoses on my stacked washer/dryer set - the purchase records for the set show that they are 6 years old, and as far as I know the hoses have never been replaced.

They are in a narrow closet that's only about 8 - 10" wider than the washer/dryer itself. If I took the folding door off, I think I could squeeze beside the set to reach the back and replace the hoses, but I still need to slide it out from the wall to gain access to the recessed hose box. It's in a small narrow bathroom, so there's not a whole lot of working space in the room itself.

Since I didn't see the installation of the units, I have no idea how to slide them away from the wall, I don't know if they joined the set outside the closet and slid them in as a unit, or if they stacked them inside the closet.

I see how I could pry up the front of the set to place it on a furniture slider or a very low dolly, but I don't see how to get the back to slide. The back of the set is only about 2" from the wall, so I couldn't tip it back very far to slide anything beneath it.

The washer is a front loader, and the washer/dryer set weighs about 350 lbs.

Is there some sort of specialized dolly that can jack up the whole set to move it away from the wall? Is there some other trick to moving the set?

Even if I wanted to split the set and remove the dryer to lighten the load on the washer or to make it easier to reach the hose box, I'd still have to get behind the unit to disconnect the dryer gas line and power cord.

Any tips/techniques for this, or should I hire an appliance repair person (or team) to do it?

washer-dryer set in closet

  • What's behind the wall at rear of machines? You might be able to access the water hoses that way, then build an access cover over the opening for future use. – getterdun Oct 21 '13 at 3:11
  • Interesting idea, but someone else's condo is behind that wall. Though I think that if it came down to cutting holes in the wall, i'd just bring in a professional repairman to replace the hoses. – Johnny Oct 21 '13 at 3:39
  • homedepot.com/p/100168406 – mike Oct 22 '13 at 6:56
  • Yeah, I've seen those low appliance rollers, but I see no easy way to get rollers or furniture sliders under the unit since I can't tip it to the back or sides to get anything underneath. The airsled below looks closest to what I need since it can slide underneath and then raise the unit off the floor. – Johnny Oct 22 '13 at 14:50
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    Many references suggest a 3 - 5 year change interval for the hoses. If one bursts, it's going to flood my first floor bathroom, livingroom, and kitchen hardwood floors, so swapping out the hoses seems like cheap insurance. I have no idea what the quality of the existing hoses is, and have no way to inspect them without sliding out the washer. – Johnny Oct 23 '13 at 0:15
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Furniture movers are glides that slip under the feet of furniture or appliances to allow then to slide.

furniture movers

The hard plastic slides on rugs and the fuzzy covers slide on hard floors.

You can slip a pair of these under the front of your unit and, if you can, under the back legs as well. If not, tilt the unit slightly forward and pull. This is best done with two people.

These stackables are usually placed one at a time, but the upper unit clips into the lower fairly firmly. There is often a screw connection. If there is not room to get behind to disconnect the upper, better to pull them out as a unit. Almost always the lines (water, power, gas, vent) are long enough to get the unit free of the closet and to then reach behind it, but check as you go, using a mirror if need be.

  • Ultimately, this is what I ended up doing. The washer broke down and I needed to slide it out to get to the back. I stacked a couple pieces of wood in front of the washer and used another board as a lever to lift up the washer to get the pads under it. Then just yanked on the units to slide them forward a foot and used my phone camera to make sure the gas/water lines were long enough to keep sliding, and they were. When I got it out far enough, slipped a pad under the right-rear corner to make it glide better, but couldn't get one under the other corner. – Johnny Jun 21 '16 at 15:54
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I went to Home Depot, they told me to spray something like windex or some soapy water near the feet of the bottom and kind of wiggle until the set slides. I can tell you it works with a little bit of effort to get it started.

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Someone like a repairman who frequently has to move stuff like this would probably have an "Air Dolly" or "Air Sled". These use air pressure to lift and move heavy objects like stoves, washer/dryers, fridges, etc. The linked product can hold 800lbs. Unfortunately they are expensive so it's probably not something you would acquire for a one-time move, though you might see if you can rent or borrow one.

AirSled

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First, remove the door on the washer. Two screws. Usually a Phillips screw driver (+ end) or socket and ratchet. Once the door is off, you will have better leverage at lifting the stacked units. Be sure not to grab the drum portion of the washer when lifting and pulling forward. There is also the rubber seal, so be gentle of that. If you have the furniture glides, lift the front end of the stacked units and slide in the glides under each leg. If not, my method will work because I just pulled out my set yesterday. The installers did not insert the drain tube correctly and I had a flood. I have the largest Samsung units that were available and have about 1/2 inch on either side. So, I know this will work for you. Once you are finished, secure the dryer vent, secure the drain tube so that it will not come out. Make sure that there are no leaks from the water connecting points/valves. Slide it all back into place.

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Rent an appliance dolly from UHaul and have someone else there for an extra set of hands. These dollies are specifically built to make moving appliances very easy and since you'd only have to access the units from the front, it would work well in your tight situation. The strap holds the appliances on to the dolly and I'm sure you could loop the strap by going over the top of the machines. It would work without the strap as well just to get them out far enough to access the hoses. The two units can tip forward together (and you don't have to tip them far - just enough to lift the back edge) and both lean on the dolly because it's tall enough to get halfway up the top unit. I've rented one and moved all my big appliances with just my dad and myself a couple of times.

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I just thought of a way that I'd try. Get some sliders, or make some cardboard pads by folding over 4"x4" pieces for each of the front corners. Buy a furniture jack (see example below) to lift up one front corner at a time and slide the slider under it. Repeat for other front corner. Work a large rope behind the washing machine below the water valves. You and someone else pull on the each end of the rope to pull both units forward while slightly tilting them forward. Once you gain access to a back corner, put glider under it too. If you don't want to buy the furniture jack, try lifting corners using a crowbar. Just put 3/8" plywood scrap below bottom of crowbar to prevent marring floor. enter image description here

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Requirements: moderate strength and an 8" diameter waist line.

You don't need anything except elbow grease. Pull at a slight angle to start 'walking' it forward, mere inch(es) at a time. Each consecutive pull is on the opposite side; keep cocking it back and forth, walking it out (think: Itz Bitz Spider). The trouble is if the feet start to dig into the floor, then you'll need someone's help. If it feels or sounds like it's scratching the floor, get something under the front feet that it can ride on.

I say 'walking' however the feet never leave the floor, unless it hits a snag in the flooring. Then you'll have to lift, bump, or otherwise convince it to cooperate, after having ascertained which foot is giving you grief.

The feet could be age-glued-in-place. It may be easier to break that seal by giving it a push or pull from behind.

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