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Washing machine under boiler? Safe or not?

(16 Posts)
Smallgoon Fri 22-May-20 10:32:32

Hi, I had plans to place my washing machine in a tall larder unit, which was also going to house the combi boiler at the top. I've since been told that this is a health and safety hazard as the washing machine will be close to the boiler pipes, which run down the wall, and any movement (and bashing) when it goes into spin mode is potentially dangerous. Annoying thing is I've already sorted the plumbing for my sink, dishwasher and washing machine, on the basis that their locations wouldn't change.
The combi boiler is a compact one and there will definitely be distance between this and the washing machine. It's the pipes that I'm more concerned about as they run down the sides of the wall. Picture attached, any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. Perhaps one for @PigletJohn

SomeHalfHumanCreatureThing Fri 22-May-20 10:34:04

I hope not, mine's under the boiler with the pipes next to it (but boxed in so it can't bash into them)

PigletJohn Fri 22-May-20 10:42:57

Is it the gasman that told you?

I see you haven't yet fitted any cabinets.

Perhaps you could fit some timber battens (say, 50mm x 50mm) to the wall to act as spacers, preventing the washer being pushed hard back against the wall, or hitting pipes when it is dancing about.

It's quite normal to have pipes and hoses behind a washer. I don't know if they allow for that when designing the machine depth. Ours fits under the drainer with some pipes behind it.
Your tall unit will probably be about 600mm deep.

Smallgoon Fri 22-May-20 11:09:01

@PigletJohn No it was actually an independent kitchen designer who queried this, they were surprised Howdens had thought it was ok for me to have a washing machine under a boiler... Though I've just referred back to the Howdens plan and they were in fact suggesting no housing for the washing machine, just a door. Guessing this means it wouldn't have been boxed in, but would have appeared as though it was, whilst in the tall unit. The depth according to the Howdens plan is 575.

I'm actually looking to order my units from DIY kitchens instead. I can move the washing machine elsewhere. If it were to be moved, I'd have used the section under the boiler as a cleaning cupboard, and an area to place the water softener (you suggested in another thread that it was better not to have this under the sink) - thanks btw!

Muchlywrong Fri 22-May-20 11:19:14

It is fine. If you are worried about it, do as PigletJohn suggested and put spacers between the pipes and the washing machine. The only possible worry would be with your condensate pipe (the white, plastic pipe on left hand side of the boiler) which should have a lot more support on it, than it does.

Smallgoon Fri 22-May-20 11:47:32

@Muchlywrong - thanks! Do you mean in terms of wall brackets? I've attached another pic

Muchlywrong Fri 22-May-20 12:00:08

Pipe clips, pipe support or brackets. Whatever you want to call them, there isn't any on the pipe from the boiler to where it increases in size. If you look at it, there is a curve on it, which over time will likely lead to a blockage and very possibly breaking within 5 years. There should be at least one support on the upright, from the boiler to the elbow and at least two on the horizontal pipe.
To be honest, the lack of pipe supports on all your pipes surrounding your boiler is disgusting and if they were being inspected by gas safe, would result in a failure. Maybe they are looking to add them all, once the building work is further along, but I doubt it.
As a heating engineer, it just annoys me how lazy people are. It shouldn't be too much of an issue on the copper pipes, but do make sure that your condensate pipe is corrected, so that there is a fall on the pipe, from the elbow to the 40mm pipe and that it is correctly supported, so that you don't have to pull out kitchen cupboards, further down the line.

PigletJohn Fri 22-May-20 15:09:22

you mention "just a door" for the washing machine.

It's quite usual to have a washing machine standing on the floor (not on the bottom of a cabinet) and this will be a stronger and more rigid support, so I recommend it.

Appliances are usually 600mm wide, you you would need a gap, and a door, a bit wider than that. Or a competent woodworker can add a bit of matching trim to a 600 door to make it cover, say, a 650mm gap. It can have a bit of dummy or removable plinth.

if the space for the washer was exactly 600mm wide, the washer would slide in, but with no room for hinges, and a 600mm door would not have anything to butt against at the side (a 600mm unit, which the door fits, has 18mm walls each side, so the internal width is about 564mm, with the hinges projecting a bit inside). If you measure the door, and the internal width, of a cabinet you will see what I mean.

Or you could have a wider space, such as an 800 or 1000, with double doors, and room inside for your washing powder, fabsoft, etc.
Some manufacturers have a wide range of odd-sized doors to fit such eventualities. Or they might charge extra to make one to fit. Find this out and discuss with your installer before you order. Mass-market vendors may not be accommodating.

Blum now make hinges that are click-on and can be removed in seconds for easy maintenance access with no tool except your thumb.

An integrated washer can have a dummy panel fixed to the front, but I'm not keen on them, they are poor value and it will be hell when you want to take it out and fit a new, different, one.

RoseMartha Fri 22-May-20 15:12:00

Mine is under the boiler and although the boiler is in a cupboard the washing machine is not.

Smallgoon Fri 22-May-20 19:21:20

@Muchlywrong Thanks for the heads up! He hasn't completed the job yet, he'd started just before lockdown and is due to return to assist with radiators etc. I'll be sure to mention the lack of stability around condensation pipe.

@PigletJohn Thank you for the extensive reply. Howdens had suggested the installer create bespoke housing using tower panels. For ease, I've included what was in their plan below:

I have the option to move the washing machine to the opposite end of kitchen. Currently flirting with the idea of creating a walk in larder/utility space, which would mean I can have a standing W/M and not have to bother with cabinet doors etc. That option does seem more and more appealing.

wehaveafloater Sat 23-May-20 03:53:16

A walk in space would be much nicer. Sounds like howdens we're putting an integrated appliance with a door on under a dresser cupboard to cover your boiler maybe? So dresser top sits on worktop. WM is under worktop No sensible designer would suggest putting a cupboard ontop of a WM as they move when they spin.

Smallgoon Sat 23-May-20 11:17:21

@wehaveafloater Hi! It wasn't a dresser top, it was to appear to be a tall larder, albeit with no housing for the W/M and just a door. The boiler was to have bespoke panels made etc, as I've already included details of above. Have included a pic of the howdens mock up.

Thanks for your thoughts on the walk in space. Just trying to get my measurements in order to see if I can construct a stud wall with sliding door without it all feeling cramped. Am working with a very tight space!

PigletJohn Sat 23-May-20 20:00:51

OOI, what size are those glass-fronted wall cabs?

I've got some I didn't fit because I thought they'd make the worktop space feel cramped.

Smallgoon Sat 23-May-20 21:38:00

@PigletJohn Decided against the glass fronted cabinets, don't think I'll be going with Howdens either. They measured 360mm x 600mm x 290mm.

TiddleTaddleTat Sun 24-May-20 11:22:13

Is it just a washer or a washer dryer OP?
When we had a new boiler put in last year we moved it to a cupboard in the bathroom and got the plumber to put in pipes for the washer dryer.
He thought it would be fine for the washer dryer to go under the new boiler.
I asked around, including the manufacturer, and consensus was that it was not safe because of the fire risk. Remember those dryers that were setting on fire... under a boiler... doesn't bear thinking about.
However if it was just a washer I'd probably have stuck with it under the boiler.
We ended up keeping it in the kitchen. It eats space but feels safer to me.

Smallgoon Sun 24-May-20 11:50:20

@TiddleTaddleTat Hi. Just a washer. The concerns raised related to when the washer goes into spin mode and could potentially start bashing into the pipes

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