Washer/Dryer Problem in Bathroom Remodel

karenajMay 30, 2008

Hello: Hopefully someone can help me with this situation. I live in a 1 bed/1 bath condo in Los Angeles without a laundry hook up. I am in the process of remodeling my bathroom. When talking to various contractors, I spoke about wanting to hook up a washer/dryer combo in the bathroom area. They had this suggestion that I put the unit in a front hall closet that backed up to the shower area & then piped it from there. I was not really sold on the idea, but decided to go for it & do it right with getting a new Bosch Axxis washer & dryer set. My contractor does everything by the book & pulled a permit on the job (big mistake in LA for something like this remodel as I have been without a shower to use for almost a month!!). When the plumbing inspector came out, he said he would never approved of a washer & dryer in the unit cause I do not have 2 inch piping to support the washer. Here is my question to you all out there:

1. Is there anyone out there that has put this unit into a apartment/condo that had a 1 1/2 inch pipe to drain the water.

2. If so, have you had any problems.

I know that the law requires a 2 inch pipe for a washer, but these are supposed to be for situations like mine since they don't use as much water.

Bosch is NO help with all of this after calling a few times. They said they will never give out a minimum requirement due to being liable if something happens.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to get around this, I would really appreciate it. I don't want to cancel the order. Everyone told me to just get the shower passed in the inspection, they repipe in the washer & dryer after the inspector leaves.

Thanks in advance,


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Appliances change, but the drain needs to be 2". Even though the Bosch only uses very little water, a future washer that replaces it may be a full-size toploader that uses 40 gallons. Washers on spin move out a lot of water VERY quickly.
I guess the real mistake was involving the authorities.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 8:06PM
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Thanks Casey. In the future, really nothing bigger than a 24" small washer & dryer could go in there cause that is all that could fit in a very small front hall closet. The Bosch is a stackable unit. Not side by side. That is why not a regular size unit could fit in there ever. That is what I am putting in there now. Also in the future, I know that I would close it off if I ever sold cause I would not want the hassle in a resale. Yes I know that now that doing it the right way with pulling permits was in the end the wrong thing.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 8:12PM
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karen - i live in Ohio, so code & circumstances may be different, but i have a 12 year old house & it had a 1 1/2 inch pvc drain line to the stack for a side-by-side full-size laundry setup (we have since moved it during remodeling & put in a 2 inch in its new location). i did not buy the house new, but i think that drain was original, from the builder. i never had any problems with it.

was the problem perhaps that the shower & washer were sharing a drain?


    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 9:49PM
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Hi Lisa: Thanks for the info. Yes the shower & washer were going to share the same drain. I went by the advice of my contractor that he had done it many times in my situation, so that is my frustration with all of this. I also had another contractor in before him that gave me the same suggestion. As someone that does not know much about rules with piping, I went on the advice of these two people. Hopefully in the end I can have the washer & dryer in my home. I just wish Bosch would be a bit more specific when they are selling these that you need a minimum of a 2 inch pipe to run these if you are going to pull a permit. That is where the manufacture has gone wrong with this situation.



    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 10:20AM
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It's not up to the manufacturer to keep up on the code requirements of all municipalities. It's up to your contractor who is presumably licensed in that municipality to know what he's doing and know the code requirements. There may be places where you don't need a 2" drain and just because you do, it isn't the manufacturer's fault. They are not going to take on the liability of advising you on code requirements. Even if they said "sure, you can put this into a 1 1/2" drain" that doesn't mean that you can override code per the manufacturer instructions anyway.

Are you saying that all of your drains empty into a single 1 1/2" line that goes out of your apartment? That doesn't make much sense - at the very least your toilet should be emptying into a larger size waste stack. What your contractor needs to do is to tie a 2" line into a larger drain somewhere to make this work per code.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 4:26PM
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Yes my contractor is licensed. Being that the I had 2 contractors look at the job & they both said that it would be great to put a unit in the front hall closet that backs up to my shower, I went for it cause I have no clue about construction & trusted their opinion. Originally I was going to put a 24" combo washer/dryer in the closet (I already have in the home that I hook up to my kitchen faucet with no problems), but decided that the small Bosch Axxis unit would be better in the long run. I have seen a few pictures on line of people that bought the bosch axxis unit & put them in a closet. These unit are only 24" wide (about the same size as a dish washer). This is not a traditional washer/dryer set just to let you know. The closet could never hold a normal size, so that was never a option now or in the future.

If anything, Bosch should have something in writing or on their site that the consumer should check their plumbing code before instillation to make sure you have the right size pipes. Trust me, us who live in small spaces that don't have laundry hook up find this small units as our solution.

As of this time, I am probably not going to do this unit since it seems like it might be more problems in the future.

If you would like to see what the unit looks like in a small closet, click on this link:


    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 5:21PM
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Municipalities set plumbing code requirements, not manufacturers. It's up to any person doing a remodel in their municipality to familiarize themselves with the requirements, and it's up to the properly licensed plumber to make sure those requirements are met. Your licensed plumber should have known of the requirement and should have informed you and you should have worked together to make sure your remodel could meet those requirements before investing in the appliances. These are the same requirements that any homeonwer in a single familly dwelling would have to meet, but you have an additional burden to be code compliant because of your living in close proximity to other inhabitants of the multi family dwelling. Your not adhering to code can have far worse condsequences to others than it would in a single family dwelling, and plotting to get around the code could result in a lot worse damage to your neighbors than would otherwise result in just a single homeowner situation.

Either do the remodel correctly, or don't do it. It's that simple. Replace the drain to your tub and to your washer. Or do nothing and keep it as it is. Just don't do a non compliant installation behind the inspector's back. You're only asking for problems that you'd be financially liable for if you did that.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 5:30PM
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I want to thank everyone for the information. I in no way posted on this site to be spoken down to (as some have done in the postings) about this situation. All I was looking for was someone that has put this unit into the home. This is my first major remodel. If I learned anything from all of this is before starting a project, call out the city to inspect plans. I did not think of this cause of the high recommendation I had from referrals for the contractor. Trust me, I have spoken to the contractor about all of this. I am not the expert on code, the contractor is.

I spent this morning going over the documentation from Bosch on this unit. They show in the pictures for the instillation, that the drain hose can be hooked over a sink or tub for drainage. This is just like I do at this time with my washer/dryer combo. This might be the solution to my problem cause if they are showing it can be done this way with the drain hose exposed just like my current combo & hooked to my shower area exposed, not plumbed to the drain.

It is just too bad that as someone that is trying to be more "green" in my lifestyle (small car, bringing my own bags to the market, biodegradable cleaning products, etc.), the American way of having everything HUGE from large meals @ restaurants to cars to laundry systems, puts a wrench in using a water efficient system. I even heard on the news today that LA is going to have to conserve water & they are asking people to do smaller laundry loads cause of this. All I had to do is laugh cause if the industry never had these HUGE systems come out, we would have not had to increase the pipes to take care of the water load. Maybe us in Los Angeles are a little more forward thinking than the rest of the country cause we are trying to keep this world from becoming a complete disaster.

I have written to a VP at Bosch asking if they can help get more information. Hopefully I will hear back from them.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 3:29PM
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What does your condo's board of directors and property manager have to say about this problem?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 2:25AM
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