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Can you have a washing machine in a bathroom?

(28 Posts)
tatcity Wed 28-Apr-04 16:50:14

Weird query I know, but moving house soon, want to make room for a dishwasher which means moving the washing machine out of kitchen and finding a home for it elsewhere! There is a bathroom next to kitchen - is there some weird electrical rule that says you can't have w/m in bathroom. Does anyone know?

LIZS Wed 28-Apr-04 16:56:03

Don't think you can have sockets in a bathroom but you could possibly have it wired in. Any qualified electrician can advise you and they are not legally allowed to install against regulations.

binkie Wed 28-Apr-04 16:56:04

Yes I'm very sure there is. If you were having the sort of alterations done that need to get signed off by building regs I'm sure you would not get the sign-off, and that reason is because of the electricity vs. water risks. But I am also very sure that people frequently do combine - and minimise risk by eg having w/m built into its own sealed off cupboard.

Not sure that with kids I'd take the risk though.

GRMUM Wed 28-Apr-04 16:57:14

I don't know about rules, but here in Greece everyone has the washing machine in the bathroom!

Frieda Wed 28-Apr-04 16:59:10

I've had washing machines in my last two bathrooms without problems. You do have to have the socket outlet outside, though, but it just meant not keeping in plugged in when it wasn't being used, and having the cable stretching out of the bathroom door into the corridor. It was fine – and actually a lot more sensible than having piles of laundry knocking about in the kitchen.

binkie Wed 28-Apr-04 17:01:07

Random anecdote: someone I knew once went to view a grotty studio flat & the bathroom door had a sign on it with a lightning bolt icon saying: Warning: do not walk on floor with wet feet.

Blu Wed 28-Apr-04 17:01:09

I put my w/m in the b/room in my old flat, on a long extension lead (safe? I think not...) and when it broke down the guy refused to fix it in the bathroom as it was against regs.

MeanBean Wed 28-Apr-04 17:01:18

What's the difference between having it in the bathroom or the kitchen? After all there is water in the kitchen. Perhaps someone knows the technical reason?

tatcity Wed 28-Apr-04 17:03:06

Meanbean - that's what I was thinking - hopefully someone will be able to tell us. I suppose it gets steamier (?) in the bathroom. Have got an electrician going in to rewire the house next week, so will ask him!

juniper68 Wed 28-Apr-04 17:04:20

My mate has a washing machine in with her downstairs loo. I don't understand the difference either between having it in kitchen/bathroom?
If there is a problem could you wire it through wall and have socket outside?

Lisa78 Wed 28-Apr-04 17:04:38

surely if the bathroom is earthed, it should be okay? I can understand not having random sockets, incase you plug your hairdryer in whilst in the bath, but can't see how a washer could be a danger (unless you are VERY strong and have an extremely large bath )
My neighbour didn't have room for dishwasher and washing machine in the kitchen, so she's had the washer plumbed in in the garage - I thought she was mad at first, but its a damn good arrangement, wish I'd done it now

juniper68 Wed 28-Apr-04 17:04:40

I meant inside but outside bathroom lol

tatcity Wed 28-Apr-04 17:05:40

Yes I could do.... just would want to check it was safe - as am paranoid type about electrics anyway. DH says I've got a bedtime "checking" disorder!

Janh Wed 28-Apr-04 17:10:46

You can have a washing machine in a bathroom legally, as long as it's wired in and cannot possibly be touched by someone in the bath, which rules out a lot of bathrooms. (Mine is in a cupboard about 5' x 4', the bathroom is 12' x 10'.)

Agree with Frieda, it is great having it near the bedrooms, it means you have a nice clean bed to sort stuff out on.

Janh Wed 28-Apr-04 17:11:38

Lisa, when we moved in the washing machine went in the garage, the pipes froze

Sari Wed 28-Apr-04 17:39:46

Dh is an electrician - have just asked him and yes, you can but as Janh says, it has to be a certain distance from the bath, shower, sink etc. He's out at the moment but I can ask for more detail later if you like and whether you need to take anything else into consideration.

sammac Wed 28-Apr-04 17:45:05

We have the washing machine and dryer in a bathroom downstairs, and it's great. We've never had a problem. It was like that when we moved in. Just asked dh and it has 2 sockets. It has been into a little cabinet.

Not got a bath in it, it's got a shower cabinet, sink and toilet.

roisin Wed 28-Apr-04 18:08:33

We wanted the washing machine in the bathroom in our old house, but our plumber advised us that it was against electrical regulations (it was sort of next to the bath so Janh's rule probably applied). In Germany everyone seems to have them in the bathrooms: seems to make more sense to me.

In new house there's room for d/w AND wm in kitchen, so we no longer have the problem

Blu Wed 28-Apr-04 18:13:09

Isn't the electricity in Continental Europe on a lower voltage, so less likely to be fatal in the event of a shock? (re Greece and Germany)

tatcity Wed 28-Apr-04 18:21:03

Sari - thanks if you could ask him that would be great.

Tinker Wed 28-Apr-04 19:01:18

Why can't you touch it if you're in the bath? My washing machine is near my sink in the kitchen so I'll still have wet hands.

Janh Wed 28-Apr-04 19:06:41

It's the wet-feet-not-being-earthed, Tinker. If you were standing in a puddle in the kitchen with bare feet it would be the same - if the machine became live (highly unlikely I know) you would become live too. They can't legislate for bare wet feet in kitchens but they can with baths!

roisin Wed 28-Apr-04 19:15:20

Where do you get all your knowledge from Janh? No-one I knew (including the plumber) could explain the problem to me.

Can I get my son to email you next time he comes up with a question I can't answer?

Janh Wed 28-Apr-04 19:33:05

roisin, I am only parroting the information - I don't understand electricity at all!

(Well, except that it can kill you. I still go cold remembering ds2 happily chewing the plastic outer of a plugged-in flex aged about 4 as most if not all of my children lay all over each other on the floor watching TV )

Sari Wed 28-Apr-04 21:27:10

Dh now back, kids in bed, so here are the answers to the electrical questions for those who are still interested):

Bathrooms are considered special locations because you're more at risk of electric shock than in a dry location (yes, a kitchen is dry even though there is water there). If you want to put your washing machine in the bathroom you have to make sure the electrician/plumber does the following (there are other technical bits to do with connecting earth etc but frankly I reckon it's the electrician's job to understand all that):

1. include an RCD (cuts off electricity within 0.4 secs if anyone touches live wire);
2. no socket-outlet or switch,ie machine must be wired hard wired (wired straight into the wall);
3. put machine out of reach of bath (1.5m horizontally, 2.5m from bottom of bath);
4. choose equipment suitable for steam, humidity, splashing.

Yes, the electricity is lower voltage in some other countries. That makes it lower risk but also more expensive to distribute because it requires thicker conductors and different equipment. Maybe someone remembers from school - not me - that the equation for power, ie watts required by an appliance, equals voltage x intensity [amps] so if you wanted to supply enough power to a hairdryer consuming 1300 watts, a voltage of 110-130 as opposed to 220-240 (UK) requires more amps (intensity) to keep the equation working. As a result we continue with our system because it would cost a mega-fortune to change over to the other.

Right, I'm off to have some food, now knowing more about electrics than I have ever known. Oh and by the way, our washing machine is in a cupboard under the stairs ...

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