Front Load Washer

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by kilkenny123, Aug 12, 2006.

  1. kilkenny123

    kilkenny123 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    I would like to mount a new front load washer at counter top height, using new cabinets and counter top. the local salesman tells me that the pedestal made by the washer manufacturer is the only approved mounting system. He claims that the extreme speed of spin in the new washers will necessitate using the pedestal. that is fine with me, however the pedestal does not provide the height we need, and a 29" countertop would.Any suggestions?

    vr,
    mike kilkenny
  2. Pewterpower

    Pewterpower New Member

    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    Tampa
    Bull!! The pedestal is 100% completely optional. The guy sounds like a sleaze. You can put it right on the floor, just like any other washer in the world.
  3. jwaldman97

    jwaldman97 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    If the countertop is sufficant to hold the weight of the loaded washer, I'd go for it.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I think if you did not build a special cabinet for it , you would experience vibration issues. Then what do you do if it walks around? Also, if you mount it that high, will the controls be accessible?
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,338
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Your description of your problem is a bit unclear to me. It almost sounds like you want to put the washer on top of the counter, but I don't think you really do. If I have interpeted your question correctly, what you want to do is install this washer so its top is level (29") with the counter top, and the machine is too low as is, and the base they want to sell you won't bring the washer up high enough either. I fail to see how that base will be any better than build your own platform of the desired height, but I do see one potential problem that the salesman already mentioned. An automatic washer (any) can develop some nasty vibrations if a load gets out of balance during the spin cycle. If you slide this machine in to an opening in the line-up of cabinets, like a DW, when the machine vibrates it may slam against the sides of the cabinets. That has nothing to do with height or platform base. You might figure a way to put the machine under the counter top, like a DW, but leave some space on the sides to allow for this vibration, but I have no idea how you could mask the space on the sides to keep dirt out and for appearance.
  6. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Watching my Kenmore He4t washer come up to high speed is intersting. It'll try, and if it shakes too much it stops, reverses, and generally moves back and forth to try to rearrange the load, then tries again to get up to speed. Eventually, it usually makes it, and cranks it on up to 1300 rpm, which is pretty exciting in itself.

    It's on an officially-sanctioned pedestal, which, if anything, makes it more unstable than sitting on the floor. During its attempts to reach spin nirvana, it will shake up to 3/4 " or so, but hasn't walked yet. I took great pains to level it and adjust its feet for best stability.

    Bottom line: the pedestal is not needed, if you can provide a very substantial base for the thing to sit on. It will need about an inch clearance all around for shaking room. If you do slide it into a cabinet opening, I'd consider a medium-density foam strip around the top to absorb the shakes.
  7. cols

    cols New Member

    Messages:
    20
    High RPM's for sure !!!!

    Well, we are Maytag people.
    My DH is a major appliance service technician. I sure wish he were here. :rolleyes:
    I KNOW that the RPM's on the Maytag Neptune HE front loader are among the highest in the industry and I would think that WOULD be a factor in terms of how it is "mounted".

    The one thing I want to say is: I EMPLORE you. PLEASE do not build anything that is going to make it IMPOSSIBLE when a tech has to come and work on your machine.......because he WILL have to come and work on it. ;)
  8. kilkenny123

    kilkenny123 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    My post was unclear. I want to mount my machine on a counter top or a base of counter top height. It needs to be this high to enable my wife and myself to load and unload without bending. (we have bad backs)Although the height seems excessive, I have measured, and mounted 29" above the floor, the opening of both washer and dryer is at the correct height for both of us. Any suggestions?
    mike k
  9. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,338
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Well then, I guess my first reading of your original post was correct. My only question to you now is, where are the controls for this washer. Usually controls are mounted on the top rear, and if that is the case, how in the world will you reach them?
  10. kilkenny123

    kilkenny123 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    front load controls

    The models we have been looking at have front mounted controls(frigidare,bosh, ge), and we can reach them at that height. It is just the security of the installation regarding stability in question.
    vr,
    mike kilkenny
  11. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I would say that you could do it, but the base construction had better be a lot more substantial than the commercial cabinetry I've seen in HD, Lowe's, and several design centers. I think you're looking at very custom cabinetry. Also, instead of simply resting the appliances on the cabinets, I'd consider bolting them to it. You might also look at very heavy-duty slide assemblies to facilitate service, so that when cols' husband shows up he can just unlock something and slide the units out for service.
  12. kilkenny123

    kilkenny123 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    heavy base

    I was thinking 4x4's screwed to the floor joists w/ deck screws, then 4x4 legs with a band of 2x10's and a top of 3/4 flooring. Then cover with cabnet panels. With the washer and dryer bolted to the base and tied into the floor joists it should withstand a heavy load and substantial spinning force. What do you all think?
    vr,
    mike kilkenny
  13. Pewterpower

    Pewterpower New Member

    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    Tampa
    You can eliminate any back and forth movement by securing the platform to the wall behind the W & D, but what about side to side?
  14. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    You'll be carrying all the dynamic loads into the house structure, which probably isn't a great idea. Having said that, I like the 4x4 structure, but I'd probably be through-bolting a lot of it as well, rather than screws. You can't make it totally rigid -- you might look at some vibration isolators to keep the loads down, and reduce noise transmitted into the house. That's a whole 'nother engineering discipline I have little experience with, though. One of the top companies in the field is the Lord corporation (www.lord.com) -- they might offer some design assistance.
  15. Pewterpower

    Pewterpower New Member

    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    Tampa
    So how do they do it at Laundramats?
    The big machines are all about chest high, and they're stacked side by side by side. Maybe you could stop in one and check it out, maybe the manager will let you be nosy.

    [​IMG]
  16. cols

    cols New Member

    Messages:
    20
    LOL ! :p
    I asked him this question, but I misunderstood, too. I thought you just wanted to mount the AW on a "pedistal". My DH laughed when I told him that the salesman said it had to be a "special" one.
    DH says that the pedistal will have to be able to slide out with the machine for service. You cannot expect a tech to pull the appliances down off of your "cabinet". Your plan sounds good for your backs...not so much for the tech. Like I say, rest assured that, no matter what brand you buy, YOU WILL NEED SERVICE some day. ;)
  17. easy to do; idea is good.

    I love my front loading washing machine. It performs way better than any top loading machine. Just don't try washing a single little heavy thing -- the machine will never even begin to spin dry! It spins close to 2000 rpm once it settles the load out, balancing weights. Everything comes out practically dry enough to wear five minutes later.

    I too am going to build a counter top height shelf, or platform. It'll have long term storage space underneath and lightweight storage beside the washing machine. It's true there is a risk of a spinning washing machine creating a dynamic load that is higher than any load that a "regular" piece of furniture is designed around, and that would cause regular furniture to come apart over months and years. To me, that is not a problem, not a complaint, and not a challenge. I figure I can build a structure that will handle far more than just the weight of the machine, so all dynamic load vibrations are absorbed without putting the bolts and joints at risk.

    I am planning to use the ceiling and the walls to bolt my structure in place. I will use the floor too; it won't be all hanging from the ceiling. ;) But still, I think it is important to mention that the strongest structure will go floor-to-ceiling and will be fastened in many places to the building (walls and ceiling) so that you are not just hoping it holds together as a cube, or box, merely by standing on the floor. I figure steel angles and high grade plywood will be the best materials.

    To get around the need for access behind the machine, the platform will be wide enough to turn the machine around on it. No taking it down, don't want to risk unnecessary lifting. Beside the machine, on this wide platform, I'll probably have some lightweight shelves. If you put your dryer there it will still work as intended, with a little more effort. A dryer is an empty cube that someone with a strong back can slide out and carry away.

    A front loading washing machine vibrates very little. Hard to believe, until you have bought one and used it. It really is a big improvement over front loading machines. A real difference from the old. Less noise, less vibration.

    Whether vibrations go into the floor or the ceiling is not a concern. My opinion -- please comment if I have overlooked something here.

    Mike, that is my plan. Hope this helps you.
  18. maddfrog

    maddfrog New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    California
    food for thought

    Most of the front loaders with front-mounted controls are 'stackable'. I would think if you can stack them, you can certainly put them on a counter top of whatever height you'd like, as long as it's strong enough to support the weight and handle some vibration.

    I recently replaced a top-loader that used to occasionally walk itself in front of the laundry room door, making it difficult to get into the room to push it back. Since installing the new Frigidaire washer, it hasn't moved so much as 1/16". I was surprised by how little it vibrates even at full spin RPMs.

    In terms of service, the washer has a service panel on the front that gives access to most of the internals. Wouldn't think you'd need to take it down very often. Dryers don't weigh much and should be easily taken down.
  19. cols

    cols New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Most brands (Maytag/ Fridgidaire/Samsung, etc) require the tech to remove the TOP in order to get the front panel off.
    "Dryers are light weight".....well, that's as may be, but most techs will not take the dryers down by themselves SO you will be at the very least paying for two guys to show up and at worst having a great deal of difficulty getting service at all.
    I'll say it again, YOU WILL REQUIRE SERVICE ! ;)
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