Code Question Washer/Dryer in Basement

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Old 08-04-13, 08:19 AM
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Code Question Washer/Dryer in Basement

Hi, I'm installing a washer (front load) and dryer into a basement setting with block walls. All electrical will be brought in with armored cable. I have a 20 amp outlet available with GFCI (for Iron, not that anyone in my home EVER irons). Lights are on a separate 15 amp circuit. The dryer uses the standard 4 prong plug for a 220 volt outlet. I've installed this all once before but am now moving everything down the wall and have a couple refresher questions.

#1. My main electrical box/panel is in the corner of the basement, starting about 12" from the corner and ending at 28". I'd like to place a table/cabinet as close to the corner as possible, but I know code requires clearance for the electrical box. Measuring from the corner, how close am I allowed to get? 42"? I can't recall.

#2. The washer and dryer are not stacked and will be no more than 38" tall. My intention is to build a table that spans over the top of both washer and dryer. Ideally, I'd like to put all the electrical outlets, drain, and hot/cold supply faucets below 38" so they will be hidden, but I'm guessing it's not safe to have that 220 amp outlet so low that water could be splashed on it. What's code on how high that outlet should be? Is it okay to put the faucet supplies, drain, and GFCI outlet (for washer) below 38"? Whatever else I do, the 4" drying vent will run up the wall.

Not sure if this is relevant, but there will be a single laundry tub in the mix. Starting from the furthest point from the corner, I'll install the laundry tub, then dryer, and then washer. That would leave about 72" from the washer edge to the corner of the basement where the electrical box is located. In that 72" space is where I intend to put a small cabinet for storage, probably low enough allow the folding table to expand over it.

Any help is appreciated. A quick answer to question #2 would help me get started. Thanks!
 
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Old 08-04-13, 10:37 AM
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#1 You are required to have 30" clear in front of the electrical panel. The 30" does not need to be centered on the panel. So if from the wall corner to the side of the panel is 28", then if you keep 30" clear from the corner you are just fine.

#2 There is no code for this. The only thing is the receptacles are required to be accessible. Please note the difference of "accessible" and "readily accessible".

Any 120 volt receptacle within 6' of the laundry tub is required to be GFCI protected per 2011 code.
 
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Old 08-04-13, 10:55 AM
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Just a word of caution, As a washer dryer repair person remember almost all service work you have to remove top of machines. There are a few machines that some repairs can be done from lower panel. As long as either shelf can be removed or machines can be pulled out you should be ok. Dryer vent tube needs to be long enough to pull out.
Drain hose must be above top of water level in washer.
 
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Old 08-04-13, 12:30 PM
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Thanks for the reply

#1. I think you answered this just as I needed you to, but it threw me a little when you said 30" from the FRONT of the electrical panel. To be clear, in my case the electrical panel and the washer dryer are sharing the SAME wall. So along the wall, the panel starts 12" from the corner and the outer edge ends at 28" (meaning the panel is about 16" wide). You are saying I can start the edge of the table 30" from the corner, meaning it will only be 2" beyond the side edge of the electrical panel, correct?

#2. Well, both washer and dryer will be under a simple table and with the vent and water supply they will both have to be at least 6" back from the wall. I plan to put the washer and dryer next to each other with the outlets located behind the dryer on the wall. Does that count for accessible?

Didn't know that about the 120 volt, but I was proactive with the GFCI so not a problem for me.

The 20 amp circuit for that wall will only serve the outlet to power the washer and the "iron". As I recall I can use the other outlets for other things so long as they are in the same "laundry area", correct?

Even if it isn't code, I must say, it seems at the very least good practice to keep the outlets away if not "higher" than the faucets, supply lines, and/or hose drain for the washer. From what you describe, were it not for the sink it wouldn't even require GFCI. I don't even want to think about a 220 volt outlet getting water splashed on it perhaps creating a puddle on the floor, etc.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 08-04-13, 12:42 PM
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You are saying I can start the edge of the table 30" from the corner, meaning it will only be 2" beyond the side edge of the electrical panel, correct?
Yes.

I plan to put the washer and dryer next to each other with the outlets located behind the dryer on the wall. Does that count for accessible?
Yes, but if you put them just above the top of the machine they are easier to access.

Tech note: Nominal voltages are 120 and 240 not 120 and 220. Most dryers are 120/240 not 240.
 
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Old 08-04-13, 02:03 PM
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Thanks for the clarification and of course you are right about the voltages. I think I'll put the outlets lower just because I like a clean look.

Say, I know this isn't the plumbing forum, but I just realized that by switching things around my vent is in a different place. The washer drain pipe will still have one of those one-way diaphragm vents just after the trap (3" abs). But the (single) laundry tub will now be at the end of the line meaning it will drain about 5-6' before a vent can help it along. Do I need to install vent at the end of the line or somewhere just after the laundry tub drain? Again, I know this isn't plumbing forum, but I've got to run to the store before they close and I thought I'd get this post in before I go...

Thanks for the help ray.
 
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Old 08-04-13, 02:13 PM
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The panel needs a 30 inch width, not necessarily centered Within that space.
 
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Old 08-04-13, 02:29 PM
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Old 08-04-13, 07:19 PM
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Didn't know that about the 120 volt, but I was proactive with the GFCI so not a problem for me.
To me it isn't clear whether this is a finished laundry room or unfinished basement. Just for your future reference, if this is unfinished basement space, GFCI protection is required regardless of proximity to the laundry sink.
 
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Old 08-05-13, 04:55 AM
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Casual Joe: I appreciate the FYI. Thanks.
 
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Old 08-05-13, 05:16 AM
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Thanks everyone. This thread was very helpful to me. You guys are an excellent resource.
 
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Old 08-05-13, 10:00 AM
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Thank you for the kind words.
 
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