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Pre-installation Tips

May 7, 2019 by Waverly Wilde

When it comes to appliance installation, the specifics are best left to the pros. That’s why we at Howard’s are happy to come and install your new appliances, be they refrigerators, washers and dryers, or dishwashers. We have expertise in them all.

Before our experienced installation technician gets to your house, though, there are things you can do to help the process go even more smoothly. Our experts here at Howard’s put together this list of pre-installation tips to guide you through the start of the process for refrigerators, washers, dryers, and dishwashers. With this handy guide you’ll be well on your way to getting everything set up for the delivery day of your new appliance.

What You’ll Need

Before preparing your house for pre-installation, you’ll need a few things. Here’s a handy list of the items you should get together before you get started:

 Tape measure
 Dust pan

Once you’ve gotten the supplies put together, it’s time to think about the specific needs of the appliance being installed: a refrigerator, a dishwasher, or a washer and dryer. The guide splits into three parts to go in-depth on the different needs of each type of appliance.

And as always, if you have any other questions about pre-installing – or the actual installation itself – throughout any steps of the process, give us a call and we’ll be glad to answer them!


Pre-installation tips for your fridge

Refrigerators may seem incredibly complicated, but there are actually only a few steps you need to take to get your kitchen space ready for your brand-new appliance. First, of course, is getting rid of your old fridge and deciding on a spot for a new one. Don’t worry about what to do with your old refrigerator, Howard’s will haul it away for you, for free.

Measure Your Refrigerator Space

Once you’ve gotten your old refrigerator out of the way and have picked out the perfect location for your new one, you’ll need to measure to determine the space available for your new addition. Measuring should be taken care of before delivery to be sure your new fridge isn’t too big -- or too small – to fit in the space you had prepared and picked out.

Using your measuring tape, measure the length, depth, and height of the space. Make sure to measure each dimension twice – and that both measurements match up – to ensure you got everything covered accurately. Write the measurements down, and compare them to the listed measurements for your new fridge.

Pro tip: make sure to measure any doorway or opening that the fridge will need to go through to get to its final placement.

Make Sure Your Refrigerator Doors Will Fit

Depending the type of fridge, you decide on, you also need to make sure that you will have enough room to open its doors. Different fridge doors have different clearance requirements. If you went with a French door fridge, for example, it will require space for both of its doors to open.

This time, again measure out the depth of the fridge. Then, measure out an extra amount from where the front of the fridge would be that corresponds with the measurements for your new fridge’s doors.

The Importance of a Heat Gap For Refrigerators

With the previous measurements completed, there’s one last measurement needed before moving on to the final steps of refrigeration pre-installation. Most fridges need about a two-inch gap between the back of the unit and the wall. This gives the fridge space to dissipate the heat it generates, and without this gap your fridge won’t work at its best.

Be sure to check the manual that comes with your fridge to see if your model has any other specific location or space needs, as well.

The Electrical Needs of Your Refrigerator

Your refrigerator needs to be plugged into a proper three-pronged electrical outlet. The third prong is the ground, which helps prevent electrical accidents from occurring.

If you do not have a three-prong outlet where your fridge is going to be plugged in, do not use an extension cord or adapter, or cut the ground from the fridge’s plug. Instead, you’ll need to have a new outlet installed by an electrician or place your fridge somewhere else that has better access to an outlet.

Where Should You Put Your Refrigerator?

If you are setting up your kitchen from scratch and deciding where to put your refrigerator, there are a few tips to keep in mind in order to save the most energy.

First, you should try to have your refrigerator away from direct sun. This means putting it away from kitchen windows, or other areas that are going to attract constant sunlight. You also want to keep the fridge away from your range, dishwasher, or any other heat sources that may be in your kitchen. If your fridge sits in the sun or is close to these other appliances, you will waste both money and energy as the fridge will have to work harder to stay cool.

Additional Tips To Get Your Space Ready For A New Fridge

Once you have measured and removed your old fridge, use your broom and dust pan to clean the floor space where your old fridge was before you put the new one in. It isn’t often that you get to see that space fully exposed, so take this opportunity to completely clean it out while you can.

If you are placing your refrigerator where an old one was, you’ll be all set on everything else. But, if you are installing a refrigerator for the first time -- or moving it to a new location -- you also want to make sure that your water line is present and will reach the placement of your new fridge. With that and everything else taken care of, you’re ready to schedule the delivery and installation of your new refrigerator.


Pre-installation tips for your washer and dryer

Depending on the size of your family, your washer and dryer could see near-continual use. These important appliances keep everyone clean and clothed, so it’s important to make sure to buy high-quality -- and reliable -- new replacements.

Since you are shopping at Howard’s, we already know you did that. All that’s left for you to do is prep your laundry room for installation.

Measure Your Available Washer/Dryer Space

Once you’ve gotten your old washer and dryer out of the way, you’ll want to make sure to take time to measure for both of your new appliances. Using your measuring tape, measure the area where they both will go.

Pro tip: Get each measurement twice for accuracy, and then check these against the sizes listed in your product manuals.

Make Sure Your Washer Area Is Level

Another important task is to make sure that your washing area is level.

Using your level, measure how level the floor is where you are going to place your washer. Take several different measurements to make sure that the entire area is level.

If your surface isn’t level, you risk your washer moving across the floor – or vibrating – while it operates. Make sure to place your washer and dryer on a hard surface that can support them, as well.

The Electrical Needs of Your Washer and Dryer
Your new appliances need power. Make sure that the area you are planning to set them up in has three-pronged electrical outlets that are close by. Your new washer and dryer will each need a separate power outlet as it is best for them not to share the same outlet and risk overloading the outlet or your breaker. Don’t use an extension cord to try to bypass this, either.

Pro tip: The area where you are installing your washer and dryer shouldn’t easily become wet or damp, which can lead to mold and mildew growth.

Cleaning In Preparation For Your New Washer And Dryer

With your old appliances removed, the next step is to clean the floor space where your new appliances are going to go. The area underneath washers and dryers can attract all sorts of lint and other grime, so make sure to clean before the new appliances arrive.

Once everything is cleaned, measured, and leveled, then it’s time for your new washer and dryer. Let us know everything is ready, and we’ll be there in a flash to deliver and install your new washer and dryer – and take care of your old ones, too.


Pre-installation tips for your dishwasher

Dishwashers can be a bit tricky to install. We always recommend you leave them to us, and with our delivery and installation service we’ll handle all the hard work and you’ll end up with a brand-new dishwasher worry-free.

Before that happens though, there are a few pre-installation tips we wanted to pass your way to help you get ready for your new appliance.

Measuring for Your New Dishwasher

Before your new dishwasher gets delivered, measure to make sure that it will fit in your current dishwasher space. Grab your measuring tape and measure the dimensions of your space. Your new dishwasher’s manual will have information on the proper dimensions of your new unit, as well as any additional information you need to know before installation.

The Electrical Needs of Your Dishwasher

If your dishwasher was previously set up by a professional, you shouldn’t have to worry about this step other than making sure your previous dishwasher is not using an extension cord or adapter plug, and is instead being plugged directly into the wall.

If you have concerns about the electrical hookups, mention them to the technician who delivers your washer, and they’ll be able to assess the situation and help you out.

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