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adding washer and dryer to existing bathroom

Posted by olychick (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 29, 12 at 1:03

I have a bath with a separate tub and stand alone fiberglass shower. The size of laundry appliances has increased enough since my house was built in 1983 that they don't fit in my laundry room (they block the exterior door by a couple of inches). I have king size sheets, etc. so can't get a compact machine (or would have to do 5 or 6 loads of laundry each time I change my bed linens).

I'm thinking of adding a shower to the tub alcove and putting the w/d where the shower is now. Lots of space for a stackable.

But I just read on the bath forum that the pipe size from the source might not be adequate to plumb in a w/d in the bathroom. Could that be true? No one will be showering and running washer at the same time (I live alone and shower in master bath, so it is only an occasional guest using this bath). Would I really have to replumb all the way from the ??? wherever the water comes in, I guess? Or from the hot water heater, I guess they mean?

What about drain size? Could the former shower drain pipes handle a washing machine discharge?

Thanks for your expertise!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: adding washer and dryer to existing bathroom

They used to install showers with an 1-1/2" drain line but that was changed to 2". I don't recall the exact year when the change was made but if memory serves me it was in the early 80's snd hopefully you have a 2" drain line on the existing shower.

Code now requires both a shower and laundry standpipe to be 2" .

Under the IRC both the shower and laundry standpipe are rated at 2dfu's each for a total load of 4dfu's

Under the UPC the shower is rated at 2dfu's while the laundry is rated at 3dfu's for a total of 5dfu's.

Under the IRC a horizontal 2" drain line is rated for a maxumum of 6dfu's and under the UPC the 2" horizontal is rated for a maximum of 8dfu's, so if you have a 2" drain line you may combine both the laundry standpipe & shower on the same line.

The water supplies may also be combined.


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RE: adding washer and dryer to existing bathroom

Your supplies (hot/cold) should be fine. The drains, as LP explained, need to be looked at.

The other thing is the gas or electrical for the dryer and a vent. You'll need to plan for this as part of the move.


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RE: adding washer and dryer to existing bathroom

Thank you both. I won't pretend to understand, but I looked up dfu so now know something more than I did. The existing tub (not sure why the original owner/builder put in a separate tub/shower) will have a shower added, so would that be considered just 2 DFUs or do I have to double that because it is a combo shower/tub?

The drains from the room are separate of course, but I assume they meet up somewhere under the house to go to the septic. Would I still be okay DFU wise, if the drain size meets code?

I thought a lot about the venting as that is one of the reasons I want to move the w/d. Now the outside vent is under the deck and there is no way to clean it out except hiring someone to get in the crawl space and do it. I want it where I can access it outside. If I need to get a fantech dryer booster fan to accommodate the 6.5 ft of dryer hose, I can do that.

Thanks again.


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RE: adding washer and dryer to existing bathroom

If this is a drop in type soaker tub, then you cannot add a shower to it without replacing it with a new tub with an integral tile flange and waterproofing the walls. Otherwise moisture damage will occur.


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RE: adding washer and dryer to existing bathroom

Nothing fancy, it's just a 1983 cast iron alcove tub. It is tiled about 1/3rd of the way up the wall, just never had a shower in it. My contractor believes it has a flange, but if not, I'll replace it. They put in a separate fiberglass stall shower (when built). Never could figure out why. The tile will come off, waterproofing added and tiled to the ceiling.

Fiberglass stall will come out, w/d added to that space.


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