Washing Machine outlet question...please help..


Old 02-04-06, 10:28 AM
Elizabeth M.
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Washing Machine outlet question...please help..

I just bought a front load washing machine. I used to have an all in one machine and only needed to plug the drier in.....the washer got its' power from that plug as well. Where I need to have the washer I have no outlet to plug the washer in....just the drier. I do have a grounded 3 prong plug near it on the ceiling where a flourescent light is plugged into it. There are 3 other lights that are connected onto the main switch that turns them all on. I can easily move that flourescent light and outlet to over the washer so I can plug in the washer. But would I be asking too much of the electrical to have a washer and the flourescent in the same outlet box that has 3 other lights on the same circuit??? The other lights are not plugged into that outlet box.....just the flourescent. A lightswitch up the stairs and one downstairs turns that box and the other 3 lights on though. Obviously when the washer is running I have to have the lights on. I would also unplug the washer when not in use. The only other thing I could do is run an extension wire to a different outlet but I was told that is big no no. Of course I could have an electrician come over and put in its' own outlet but I am low on funds. Any help would be greatly apreciated.
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Old 02-04-06, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Do not use an extension cord. Extension cords are for temporary use.

In new construction, laundry areas are required to have a dedicated 20 amp 120 volt circuit. The proper solution for your situation, as you have already figured out, is to have a new circuit run for the washer. I recommend that you do this.

As for your question, if the only items on the circuit are three lights and a fluorescent light, then you probably would not overload the circuit by plugging the washer in to this same circuit.

However, it is unlikely that these are the only loads on the circuit. The way to check this is to turn off the circuit breaker that powers these lights and see what else has no power. You should have already done this when you moved in, but you may not have.

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