Monday, May 2, 2011

Reader Question: Laundry Hookups

I thought we would share a question that we received from a reader, Amy, who asked:

We have been thinking of moving our stackable upstairs to a closet as well…Did you have to do anything special to make the switch besides hook ups? What about venting?

Thanks so much, Amy 

Amy probably pondered this question after seeing the post about our Secret Laundry closet, which holds our stackable washer and dryer:

This is technical stuff, so I had to refer the question to Handy Man.  His answer:

Besides the obvious plumbing, electrical and gas  hookups (as applicable), you need to consider venting.

Since the dryer is venting hot, moist air, venting directly into an attic or any other enclosed space is highly discouraged.  You’d create a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.

The best venting situation is one that is as straight and short as possible.  If the closet is located on an outside wall, then ideally you should run the vent straight out the side wall of the house.  If not, you can run the ducting through the attic space and vent either through the roof or under a vented soffit.

There are other considerations as well.  You can install a washing machine pan to help catch any leaks if they occur.  You can also install a sensor which will sound an alarm if it gets wet.

Here are some things I highly recommend when it comes to the plumbing hook-ups:

1.  Have your plumber install a special washing machine shut-off valve.  This valve controls both hot and cold water with a simple lever.  This is very useful if you ever do get a leak (or deluge).

2. ALWAYS use braided stainless steel hoses for hooking up the machine to the shut-off valve.
braided metal is always going to be stronger and less susceptible to kinks and pressure surges than plain rubber.  (Note: it's a bit dark in this area of the photo, but to the left of the machines, you can see our braided stainless steel hoses).

3. ALWAYS shut off the water supply when the washer is not in use.  If a hose bursts in the middle of the night (or worse, while you’re out), it can spew up to 15 gallons of water per minute! 

Heh heh.  Handy Man said spew.

Our shut off valve is also to the left in the photo.  It's not visible, but here is what it looks like:
Photo from Watts Plumbing

Do you have a question for Handy Man or Crafty Woman?  Or, do you have a topic you'd like to see us cover?  Send us an email or a comment, we'd love to hear from you.  

Linking to: Tidy Mom


Pink Overalls @DIY Home Staging said...

This is why I follow you guys. You know what you're talking about, because you've been there.

I'm laughing at "spew."

Lee Ann said...

Thanks!! We are about to setup a new laundry room and I didn't know about the special cutoff valves!! Yay!! can they be put on a sink also? Just wondering.

Amy said...

Thanks so much for the email and putting it with pictures on your fan-tastic blog! We are still in the planning stages but you helped so much.....
Thanks again,

Danielle said...

So, the man and I recently bought a front loading washer/dryer and it has just such a valve...however, the washer seemingly only washes with hot water. Any clues as to what may be wrong? THe lines are correct and the valve is turned on. ? Thanks!

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