Moving laundry to garage

feinmasterJanuary 23, 2014

Right now I am investigating moving the laundry to the garage from the second floor. No washer/dryer will likely be quiet enough for it to stay near the bedrooms. The room where we want to move our son shares the wall with the laundry and he is super-sensitive to sound. The reason I want to move him is right now his room shares a wall with my master bath and he has starting waking when I shower - highly annoying!

I have done a lot of reading on this forum and others about things to consider. I am getting a plumber/electrician/vent guy out to look at it. I plan on keeping the connections on the second floor in case a future buyer freaks out and wants laundry on the second floor (I meanwhile want to change it to a bathroom).

Any tips from people who have done this? A few things about our garage:
-the coldest it gets is in the 40 degree F range, even when it is in the single digits outside (which is an anomaly in NC). I may also insulate the garage door.
-the units will be against an interior wall which has drywall on it and is adjacent to hot and cold water sources. The electric panel is not far away on the adjoining wall and a dedicated connection should be made pretty easily.
-sewage should also be very close under the crawl space.
-the garage is about 2 feet below the level of the first floor and there is a crawl space beneath the house. the garage is on slab concrete.
-I am also thinking of installing a tiny utility sink next to the units.
-the space is extremely tight in the garage although we only put one car in there. I should be able to place a folding table in the empty space to fold laundry and such.

I have not found anywhere whether the washer and dryer have to be elevated in the garage. Anyone know this off hand?


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Do you have some thought as to why it would be a problem having the W/D directly on the floor? I have the feeling (only a feeling) that it would not matter, and in fact would be the most stable situation. My old W/D is in my basement on the concrete and it is great.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 3:11PM
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Oh, did not know if there was some code or good reason to have it elevated like the water heater. Obviously, flooding is the concern for the water heater. Just did not know if w/d should be handled the same way. I agree, stability is important and may trump any extremely rare chance of flooding.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 3:19PM
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We are in Middle Tennessee, essentially similar zones to NC. At our previous house, the next-door neighbor's W/D were in the garage. She hated it during winter and summer. Freezing cold to go out there in winter, boiling hot in summer, just from a personal comfort standpoint.
One winter, we had record unheard-of cold temps and her washer froze, hoses and all. She could do no laundry for her family of four, until the thaw.

Then one has to think of resale value.. Homes with W/D in garage will probably (most likely?) have a harder time selling
than W/D in main living space.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 3:42PM
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Is your garage below grade? Does your garage door seal the air out so that if it does flood, water can not drain out the door?

Now that you mention your elevated water heater I remember when we had a tank water heater in our basement it was on blocks,. But our W/D have always been on the floor.

Regarding the topic of flooding, we live on a sandy ridge of soil, and have good drainage. We are on a septic system. We only get water in our basement (of about an inch at the most) with heavy rain. We have a floor drain that handles the water. We don't need a sump pump either. The reason we get water in the basement is because we forget to clean out the gutters sometimes (maple leafs and seeds) and our old clay block foundation leaks like a sieve as the surrounding soil becomes saturated during a heavy rain.

Disclaimer, I am no expert on this subject (or most other subjects :)

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 3:54PM
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I read on another forum that, and I hope I'm getting this right, dryers have to elevated from the floor because potentially explosive gases from gasoline (or whatever) could be lingering on the floor and obviously don't mix well with (gas) dryers. It depends on your local code.

Another thing to keep in mind is, if you're getting a Speed Queen dryer, that these have Auto Dry, which measures the temp exiting the drum. This system can be thrown off in very hot or very cold weather, as the dryer can either reach the target temp too soon or never - resulting in over- or under-drying.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 10:02PM
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If I understand this right, you want to move your son to another bedroom and this bedroom will back up to where you want to move the washer/dryer? I have a bedroom that backs up to my laundry room and I can hear the water running down the drain as it drains when I am in that bedroom. But my drain is inside the wall, that may add to hearing it in the adjoining bedroom.

I also have a bedroom that backs up to the master bathroom shower so I understand that problem. Do you have his bed up against the wall that backs up to your shower? If so, I would suggest moving his bed to a different wall and also running a fan of some sort in his bedroom to drown out the sound of the water and other noises. I sleep with a fan on my nightstand to drown out noises, can't sleep without it. Perhaps this would help solve a problem for you.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 10:47AM
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Wouldn't it just be simpler to run the washer dryer when he isn't in the bedroom?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 4:26PM
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Whirlpool trainee is right, gas and dryers don't mix well. Several houses a year burn down because people occasionally bring a gas can down to their basement to store, then the water heater, dryer, or furnace get wind of the fumes and a four letter word starting with and F and ending with an E describes the resulting condition.

The only ones I have seen installed in a garage, and even in the basements of industrial businesses are typically 6 to 8 inches above the floor.

Stay safe by storing gas and other fuels on the other side of the garage, or better yet outside in a different storage location like a shed.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 4:56PM
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Thanks for the input from everyone. In regards to elevation, I would be moving an electric dryer - is this still a fire risk, Laundryvet? It would be placed about 5 feet away from a gas water heater, which of course, is elevated. I called the city inspections and they did say that there is nothing in the code to require them to be elevated. There is very little risk of flooding of the units, like you may worry about in a basement. We are on top of a hill and if the garage were to flood, the laundry would be the least of our concerns. What ways have you seen units elevated, besides expensive pedestals you can buy? It would have to be extremely sturdy. I guess you could pour concrete squares to do it.

In regards to other points people have made - my husband and I work long hours and sometimes the only time we can get some laundry done is after the kids have gone to bed around 8 to 8:30 PM. It is very annoying to worry about when we can run laundry. Also, it would be hard to move his bed around in the current room because of window configuration. He is a light sleeper, despite the white noise machine and black out shades. I grew up in a bedroom adjacent to a bathroom and got woken up at 5:30 every AM with showers by my teenage sister. I guess that I am a light sleeper, too.

Besides the noise issues, I just don't like the idea of the flood potential of having such appliances on a second floor. Anyhow, I have not made up my mind about all of this and it is a rather big undertaking. I am still exploring the possibilities, and I really appreciate the input of others on the forum!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 9:00PM
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I would think risk is probably very close to the same between gas an electric dryers to ignite gas fumes,mgiving a slight edge to gas being worse because the glow bar that ignites the flame is hotter, like 2000F, while the electric element in your electric dryer is around 500-800F.

Really only the gas dryer has to be raised. The washer should not pose the same risk, no more than any other electrical device in your garage.

But if bent on elevating the washer without one of those pricey pre-fabricated bases, concrete is the general choice, and the washer would be the biggest risk relative to vibration because of the higher foot forces involved. I have seen wooden platforms in coin laundries done cheap for small dryers, and I will state that manufacturers would probably frown on them. If you went with a wooden substructure i would definitely lay a piece of sheet steel over a wooden sub-structure to guard against an errant fiery lint ball from burning your house down.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 11:56AM
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Have you investigated sound proofing the wall between the laundry room and your son's bedroom? Roxul makes a sound proofing material that could help. You would have to remove and replace the dry wall in the room. There are some other options that is used in sound studios that go on the wall. Not the most attractive solution but this may provide a temporary solution.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 2:15PM
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Don't confuse verbiage about ignition sources being 18" off the floor as meaning the BOTTOM of the dryer needs to be that high off the floor! The ignition source is ABOVE the bottom of the dryers...

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 3:15PM
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