problems installing stacking w/d in closet

janniemacApril 4, 2012

Hi- I searched this forum to see if anyone else had issues, but didn't really find anything. I am renovating my bathroom, which currently has side x side W/D. I got the stack kit but my contractor can't figure out how to leave access to the gas/water line, and also how to screw in the stacking hardware in such a tight space. We are following the clearance guidelines in my manual, but it doesnt leave room to get to the back of machines.

There is nowhere to make an access panel--one wall will butt againgst tile in shower, and other side wall is the exterior wall of house.

How do others deal with this??


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Well, none of us is there to eyeball it so we're unable to really consider. And you've got a contractor on-site (assuming with experience) that can't figure out how to accomplish the task. Troublesome.

Seems to me you'll need to get second contractor or other experienced person on-site to apply different thinking to the problem.

How bad do you want it? My personal opinion about such things generally is that ANYTHING can done......if you're willing to undertake what may be needed. That may require more expense and inconvenience than originally intended.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 10:18AM
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assuming youre reno'ing the bathroom demolish the shower wall (tile showers leak anyway), put in the WD, put in a new wall and put in a one piece plastic shower. no leaks and you have your WD stacked. assuming a few hundred for the demo and a bit of drywall, plastic one piece shower, supporting frames for the new wall and paint should run you around a few K max.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 11:11AM
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    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 12:34PM
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another cheaper way would be to mount the stackable WD on a motion platform.
Get or build something like this out of wood or metal :
and put the stack in there. Then use quick disconnect hoses with auto shut off for coupling into the wall...something like these :
lock the wheel locks after installing and youre done. slide out to service.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 2:17PM
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I have a stacked set in a very small laundry closet. The installers stacked them in the kitchen and screwed them together. Then they moved them close to the closet and connected the water and power and vent hoses. Carefully, using a mirror at the top so they could see behind them, they moved the set backwards into place using movers straps underneath them.

Yes, there is no immediate access to power or water. You need to move them out to access them. Next time I will put them on rollers, but this works fine. Many folks do this - with no access panel.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 5:42PM
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Thanks zurk and oregpsnow...this is the kind of info I was looking for! Contractor was concerned about hooking up both brackets of stacking kits and then pushing it back. I will look into the motion platform and will relay the mirror trick to him!
BTW-he is a great contractor and is usually the one coming up with the creative ideas! The bath is on the first floor, with a partially open cieling in the basement below. He will put a water shut-off there just in case. The bathroom is totally gutted, but I am doing a full tiled shower ..don't want a plastic shower surround! Thanks, everyone for the suggestions.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 9:18PM
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Work with your contractor to find a creative solution.

You'll want access to the water shut-off valve(s). It's a good idea to shut them off while you're on vacation. A hose failure while you're gone could do massive damage to your house. It sounds like you have this covered.

You'll also want a way to access the dryer vent hookup. If you have to use flexible vent line, at least make it the rigid accordion type and not the foil covered plastic. It should be cleaned once a year or so. If you can't get to it, you'll be tempted to ignore cleaning it.

If you have a gas dryer, you absolutely need to be able to get to the gas shutoff valve.

These are all solvable problems with a creative contractor. Don't allow them to be so "built-in" they're not serviceable or maintainable.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 10:05PM
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You also want to consider a separate pan with a drain, for the washer to catch any overflow from the washer should it occur. I had one fabricated out of zinc at a local machine shop, thinking it was a good idea, never thinking it would actually be used. I had an overflow one day, and was Very Happy for planning ahead my "worst case scenario".

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 11:32PM
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knot - not everyone has the ideal situation. I would love to have a big house with a big laundry room. Instead I have a cozy house with a laundry closet. No reasonable way to access the back of it. I turn the water and gas off to the whole house when I leave for a few days to prevent accidents. (Not in the winter). So far - almost 6 years - I have had no problems. I am willing to take a small risk to reap the benefits of a nice W/D in a convenient location. Sure beats a laundromat.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 12:36PM
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I will be replacing a stackable unit soon, just waiting for old one (broken bearings) to ware out.

The thing about rollers is, I'd be concerned about vibration-either enough to work the locks loose or move the roller to the sides of the closet.

Otherwise a swell idea. Any thoughts on this?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 2:06PM
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I have a stacked washer and dryer in a small closet. In my case with the Bosch Axxis units, the harder the surface of the floor the better. The washer must sit with all 4 feet solid on the ground. I tried a stall mat which caused more vibration.
Also, you need access to all hookups. Luckily my laundry closet backs up a bedroom closet. Eventually(before it's too late) I'm going to nicely cut/trim a small door through the two closets that would allow my arm to reach though to turn off water/electric connections.
I hope this gives some insight.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 8:13PM
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Thanks all. A quick contractor has placed the gas and water shut-offs along the right side wall, so I can slide my hand in between the w/d and the wall to shut-off. There is also a water shut-off in the basement directly below the stacked unit.
Now it just needs to be moved into place using a monster-sized dolly!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 10:06PM
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