Connecting a dishwasher/washer with a unicouple

Surgilator_68October 16, 2005

Hello to all you experts and homeowners...........

Who have had experience with unicouples.

We are in the middle of a dispute over faucet unicouples for connecting appliances to the kitchen or bathroom faucet.

Mainly washing machines. The 'higher ups" are trying to force us to connect our washers with unicouples. I maintain a properly installed permanently connected washer is a lot safer than a temporary connection.

They claim......A unicouple reduces the discharge of water to a rate that the drain system can handle.

However this can also be accomplished by using the same diameter hose as that attached to the unicouple.

They claim......The unicouple reduces the amount of water entering the machine, reducing pressure drop across the board.

However this can be accomplished by using 3/8 sink supply and the proper sweat adapters so you can use a standard 1/4 turn washing machine shut off valve. You can also install a low flow inlet valve on the washing machine.

They claim.....The Unicouple is a lot safer than a permanently installed machine.

However..I have seen many unicouples leak from all the attaching and disconnecting, they fall off the nipple that screws on the faucet, I have been told that they will void a faucets warranty, If you forget to run the disposer or remove the sink stopper you can flood the place. If the machine goes off balance and starts to walk it can rip the hose right from the faucet, etc etc.

So can anyone please share their stories and provide cold hard facts on why the use of a UniCouple should NOT be used.

Thank you,


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I think your best bet is to post this in the plumbing group.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 4:53PM
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I am a plumber and i can tell you firsthand they are trying to feed you a bunch of baloney.

Both washing machines and dishwashers have a timed fill cycle. When you turn the washer on the timer allows four or five minutes to fill the tub before it advances to the run stage. That is more than ample fill time, even with low water pressure. The machines also have a water level sensor that measures the water level and turns the fill valve off if the tub is full before the time runs out on the timer. In this manner the machines can be used under nearly all residential water pressure conditions without requiring any adjustments.

The discharge line from the machine is the same size and the rate of discharge remains the same because both portables and builtins use the same pump to discharge, therefore it wouldn't matter if it is connected to a uniCouple or connected to the drain system in the normal manner.

Both dishwashers and washing machines are required to be connected to the drains by means of an approved "Indirect Waste" method.

In the case of a washing machine an approved indirect waste can be achieved by either discharging into a sink or into a washing machine standpipe. Due to changes in the design of washing machine pumps they now require a 2" diameter drain line for a standpipe, but in instances where you do not have an 1-1/2" line you may discharge the washer into a utility sink which can be connected via an 1-1/2" drain line.

In order to create the required indirect waste receptor for a builtin dishwasher you may discharge it into the dishwasher inlet port on a garbage disposal or you may install an air gap on the counter top. The dishwasher line is connected to the air gap inlet port, and a second line is connected from the air gap outlet port to a dishwasher inlet port type tailpiece under the sink. (In some jurisdictions ALL dishwashers are required to have the air gap).

When using a portable dishwasher the drain line runs to the unicouple which is attached to the faucett. This keeps the ourlet of the drain line 2" above the flood level rim of the sink, which provides the required indirect waste air gap.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 9:22AM
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