Washer drain & water heater placement concerns

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by KAdams4458, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. KAdams4458

    KAdams4458 Member

    Mar 5, 2006
    Lake Stevens, WA
    I have a few concerns about some of the work I'm attempting to perform on my home, and I would welcome any advice and suggestions any of you may have.

    First, a little background on my situation. A while back their was a fire in our electrical service panel, and I ended up replacing the whole panel. Of course, panel replacement is one of those things that requires an inspection, and so an inspection was made. Our washer and dryer were positioned in our small utility room directly beneath the service panel. As the inspector pointed out, this is a huge no-no. My wiring was passed on the condition that I relocate the washer and dryer to comply with code.

    With no place to fit a washer and dryer side by side anywhere else, I began wondering just where the heck the washer and dryer were supposed to have been when the house was built in 1970. I eventually discovered the answer to that while inspecting the plumbing from the crawlspace beneath the house. I found the original location for the machines, but since a new doorway was added, there wasn't a place to mount them side by side anymore.

    To cut a long story short, I figured the solution that made the most sense was to buy a new stackable washer and dryer and install them both right on the wall opposite of the water heater where the washer was originally meant to be. I though nothing at the time of dryer vents, or where I'd mount the washer outlet box that I also purchased. I also didn't stop the think that there's no way to install them in that space due to the direction that the door on the front-load washer opens. Yes, I acted hastily. That sort of thing happens when you've already been dealing with public laundry facilities for a month.

    I've thought long and hard about this, and now know what I want to do.

    -The water heater, on the opposite side of the wet wall in the photos needs to be relocated to the side shown in the photo. Yes, I'm aware that there is a cleanout that it would be blocking. I told you folks that I needed your help.

    -The washer and dryer then need to be placed where the water heater is now with the back of the unit towards the wet wall. That will allow the doors to open and close without getting in the way or becoming damaged accidentally.

    -The dryer vent, obviously needs to go straight up through the ceiling where it will make a 90 degree bend and exit straight out the side of the house.

    -Obviously, there's no real room for a washer outlet box and a dryer vent in that wall the way it is, so building the wall out to make room is not only logical, but I have plenty of room for it.

    Now, I can frame things and I can run electrical stuff without trouble. What I'm not so familiar with is plumbing. What do I do with that cleanout? I can't just put a water heater in front of it. What do I do with that 1.5" pipe? It would obviously be a lot better to have 2" pipe, but as you can see in the photo there's already a broken stud down there because of the big holes cut in the 2X4's for the existing plumbing.

    I need to create, or recreate a wall, and it needs to be done based on the neccessary plumbing and venting. Incidentally, I'm not afraid of getting in deep on this project. The subfloor directly beneath the wet wall is rotten and I'm already working on replacing it. I'll take apart that entire wall and completely reconstruct it if that's what it takes.

    Take a peek at the photos and fire away with the suggestions.


  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    I am not positive but I believe the stackable units are much smaller in capacity than regular washers and dryers. Do you have kids to do laundry for besides your selves?
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    There are many full sized stackables. The only undersized ones are the one piece ones such as Whirlpool and Kenmore. Blocking the cleanout is no problem as long as the washer or dryer can be moved to get to it, or you can turn it around so it is accessible from the other side. Why is there no room for the electrical outlet? I see a lot of space in that wall. Make the hole larger and use a 2" pipe for the "P" trap and riser, then keep the 1 1/2" for the vent.
  5. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

    Jul 16, 2005
    Repairing and remodeling homes
    Marin Co. Ca.
    look's familiar, are you in northern ca.

    Can't say why i feel that,but,I do.

    Do you have an attached garage ? would also like to see you go with full capacity machines!

    we really wan't to help, we all need to see the house layout. there are probably more options we could come up with. an experianced plumber or designer may look things over and have a different take.

    I feel your pain at the coin laundry, DON'T MAKE EYE CONTACT :eek:
  6. KAdams4458

    KAdams4458 Member

    Mar 5, 2006
    Lake Stevens, WA
    Have no fear, folks. The stackable units I purchased are full-sized units. The washer is capable of washing king-sized comforters. They are not tiny by any means.

    When I stated that there was no room for the washer outlet, I was referring to the water outlet. I don't want to see any exposed pipes when I'm done with this, so I picked up a unit manufactured by Oatey. It's very similar to this unit:


    I'm sure that now you'll see what I mean by not having enough room in the wall for it.

    I'd also like to use something called a dryer box. It will look something like this, but will be mounted higher up on the wall since the dryer will be stacked on top of the washer. When I'm finished, I want the stacked machines to be able to sit as close to the wall as possible.


    Yes, I'll be needing to turn that cleanout so that it faces the other way. Chances are, I should also consider replacing all of the galvanized pipe while I have the wall open. It's 35 years old, and I have seen the inside of the pipe connected to the valve for the water heater. It's lost over half of it's inside diameter already.

    Give me a little time, and I'll draw the layout of the utility room and surrounding areas so that you can all see what I'm dealing with.
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