(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Question re using an apt. sized washer in an older building

  1. #1

    Default Question re using an apt. sized washer in an older building

    Hi, I'm new here. Found the site when I was trying to research my question and thought this would be an excellent place to learn some things.

    I have a question that I'm hoping someone can answer for me. I live in an older building, small... only 3 floors. I believe it dates back at least 40 years.

    Now I live on the 3rd floor and there's no elevator. The laundromat is in the basement and to do my laundry I have to carry my laundry bags/basket up and down 4 flights of stairs. This is hard for me because I suffered a serious neck injury years ago and carrying this stuff up and down 4 flights of stairs is hard on my neck.

    So to try to solve this problem I just recently purchased a used apartment-sized washer and have started washing small loads in my apartment (hooked up to the kitchen sink) and then I just dry the clothes by hanging them up. This is a great solution to avoid the neck strain! But here's my question....

    Since purchasing the washer a friend told me that I could end up being in trouble if it damages the drains in the building. He said that in an older building that the rush of water going down might be too much and it could cause a backup in other tenants' sinks, etc. Is this correct? I'm confused because really it is only slightly more than one kitchen sink full of water that goes down the drain each time it empties. If it's a matter of the speed with which it's going down then I could try to alleviate that by maybe putting the stopper in and just letting it drain once the sink fills up, etc. (I'm sure I can think of some solution to make this work.) I just wanted some opinions from others who have a lot more knowledge on the subect of plumbing than I do! I really don't want to have to give up the machine because it's such a good solution for me and I'm sure there is some way I can make it work. Any feedback and/or advice is appreciated!

    silk

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,390

    Default

    I doubt you are doing anything to the plumbing. I don't think it would be any different than emptying a full tub.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    9,001

    Default

    I agree that this would not likely cause a drain problem. However, if you have a leak which damages your unit or the one below, the landlord willnot be a happy camper. Do you carry renter's liability insurance?

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo
    I agree that this would not likely cause a drain problem. However, if you have a leak which damages your unit or the one below, the landlord willnot be a happy camper. Do you carry renter's liability insurance?
    I don't have any leaks. I actually replaced the rubber hoses with brand new steel braided hoses just to be extra safe that leaking won't be a problem. I also am very vigilant about checking it frequently while it's running to make sure I catch any problems.

    I don't have tenant's insurance yet but I am looking into it (not because of the washer but obviously it's even more reason to now.)

    silk

  5. #5
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    9,001

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Silk
    I don't have any leaks.
    silk
    You don't have any NOW. But you have installed a potential source of water leakage, without the landlords knowledge or permission, I presume. That is why I commented about the insurance.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo
    You don't have any NOW. But you have installed a potential source of water leakage, without the landlords knowledge or permission, I presume. That is why I commented about the insurance.
    Yes, I know, like I said I am looking into insurance.

    And in the meantime, I babysit the washer very closely to make sure there is no leakage. In fact I usually am sitting out in the kitchen through most of the cycle just to make sure.

    silk

  7. #7
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Licensed Grump
    Posts
    1,404

    Default

    Silk...the "friend" that told you that...wasn't the landlord/owner of the coin ops in the basement by any chance, was it?
    Water rushing down a drain and destroying it...imagine what the toilets doing!
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyPlumber
    Silk...the "friend" that told you that...wasn't the landlord/owner of the coin ops in the basement by any chance, was it?
    Water rushing down a drain and destroying it...imagine what the toilets doing!
    Hey Grumpyplumer No, it's a friend who lives in another apartment building & said he was going to get an apt. sized washer and then had to decide against it because of concerns over it damaging the drains in the building. He said the pipes/drains wouldn't be able to handle it.

    silk

  9. #9
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Licensed Grump
    Posts
    1,404

    Default

    Silk, thats what drains are made for...on top of that, the washer is and "indirect waste"..it only dumps into the sink basin...there's no force or flushing...just soapy water.
    If soapy water is an issue...no more washing dishes! (um...that sounds real good to me)
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  10. #10
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Licensed Grump
    Posts
    1,404

    Default

    By the way...I had trouble with c-4 & c-5 (calcium deposits from a fracture earlier in life)...I know your trouble.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyPlumber
    By the way...I had trouble with c-4 & c-5 (calcium deposits from a fracture earlier in life)...I know your trouble.
    Ya mine was a chiropractic adjustment gone bad. Almost killed me. I just now have to be careful not to strain my neck.

    silk

  12. #12
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY and Fire Island, NY
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    I used to work a lot in Hells Kitchen (old tenements, rent-stabilized), and none of those buildings will allow washers, but a lot of tenants have them.

    The reason given is always that the drains won't take it. And I think if everyone in those buildings had one, there'd be a problem; some of those systems are seriously undersized...

    But I've never actually seen, or heard of, a problem with the drains.

    This is one of those machines where the supply is hooked up to the faucet? If so, no worries. If it's plumbed directly (with dedicated supply lines), just make sure you turn off the valves any time you aren't using the machine. Even the metal-reinforced lines can burst, there's no reason to leave them under pressure, since you'd be liable.

  13. #13
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Yakima WA
    Posts
    7,246

    Default

    There's no way you will damage the drain by running water into it. Now, it is entirely possible that the drain is too small for the entire apartment house, but that is a matter of pipe size and the volume of water that it can handle. It would not damage the drain itself, but could backup if everyone in the house tried to drain a lot of water at the same time. As far as insurance is concerned, you are foolish not to insure your property. Renter insurance is quite reasonable and could save your bacon in case of a fire or other disaster.

  14. #14
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold
    Posts
    2,152

    Default

    by sitting with the machine, and by hooking it up yourself each time you use it,
    Quote Originally Posted by Silk
    .... babysit the washer very closely to make sure there is no leakage....
    Quote Originally Posted by frenchie
    ... reason given ... drains won't take it.... never actually seen, or heard of, a problem with the drains.
    ....
    This is one of those machines where the supply is hooked up to the faucet? If so, no worries. If it's plumbed directly (with dedicated supply lines), just make sure you turn off the valves any time you aren't using the machine. Even the metal-reinforced lines can burst, there's no reason to leave them under pressure, since you'd be liable.
    you are taking care of the only serious problem that washing machines cause. Old ones especially. They leak from the drum, and the supply hoses (usually black rubber hoses) crck or split or burst when left "on" and unattended. Old hoses especially. I know of no tenant who will think of turning off the water taps to their washer supply hose. Most homeowners I know don't. Some people have been known to leave clothes to soak in a washer tub, and not see a small leak. Some people don't see leaks around the supply hoses. This can go on for years, as the other tenants may not report "little" problems either.

    Naming drains as the problem, means you cannot respond by promising to act responsibly. If they began discussing your possible inaction, you would have the world's best response available in a microsecond.

    David

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •