Why is kitchen sink on an outside wall?

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Jonathon

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It has occurred to me many times over the years that putting the kitchen sink against an outside wall seems to have been the standard design for many decades and I still wonder why? Dad built his new house in 1954 and put the sink on an outside wall and so for all the years of his life he had to leave the lower doors open during cold winter nights and even had to leave a trickle of water running to keep the plumbing from freezing up. And it'd still freeze up anyway.

It looks like it'd be so much better to put the stove over there and have the sink on the interior wall where it'd be away from the icy drafts. Is there some logical reason for placing the sink under an outside window that I'm not seeing? (Just one of those things that's always bugged me.)

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Jonathon

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Well, dang. I was hoping to learn something that was somewhat logical. :) It probably has a lot to do with the 'lady-of-the-house' making design decisions and just wants to watch the kids outside while she's peeling the potatoes. I know from personal experience that I've done a lot of illogical things around here just to keep peace. Oh, well. Probably in San Francisco, it wouldn't be as much of a problem as it had been for Dad - who lived in rural Indiana. Sub-zero weather diminishes the life expectancy of a lot of devices (and people too!).
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Tuttles Revenge

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We just did a Massive house remodel for a family and both of their kitchen sinks are interior. The main sink is an island and the Butlers pantry sink is on an interior wall.. Come to think of it, another project we just did had a similar center island sink. They both do have views out the windows, but through the dining area. But most designs put the sink on an exterior wall.

Now as I'm typing this, many projects I've worked on with my main general contractor who has in house designers/architects have the sinks on interior walls or islands.

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John Gayewski

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It was to have a view while doing dishes.

The oven needs a vent and hood (to be any good) and backsplash of tile or granite or something that can be wiped down during cooking splashes. A window sill and trim around an oven would likley be hard to clean. Vent would dangle over the window. Especially back in the day when there was not so many options for venting an oven.

Side note I hate ovens with inadequate vents and hoods. It's awful and a horrible design choice. When I start my hood I want it to suck the air from my lungs.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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It was to have a view while doing dishes.

The oven needs a vent and hood (to be any good) and backsplash of tile or granite or something that can be wiped down during cooking splashes. A window sill and trim around an oven would likley be hard to clean. Vent would dangle over the window. Especially back in the day when there was not so many options for venting an oven.

Side note I hate ovens with inadequate vents and hoods. It's awful and a horrible design choice. When I start my hood I want it to suck the air from my lungs.
We did a vent hood with a 12" duct. The homeowners didn't want it as close as the manufacture suggested so we upsized the fan and placed it in the attic.. The initial test was a full pound of bacon on the stove turned up on high and burned to a crisp as all the smoke went straight up and out with almost zero sound.
 

John Gayewski

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We did a vent hood with a 12" duct. The homeowners didn't want it as close as the manufacture suggested so we upsized the fan and placed it in the attic.. The initial test was a full pound of bacon on the stove turned up on high and burned to a crisp as all the smoke went straight up and out with almost zero sound.
That sounds like a wet dream I had once. Lol
 

Jeff H Young

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We just did a Massive house remodel for a family and both of their kitchen sinks are interior. The main sink is an island and the Butlers pantry sink is on an interior wall.. Come to think of it, another project we just did had a similar center island sink. They both do have views out the windows, but through the dining area. But most designs put the sink on an exterior wall.

Now as I'm typing this, many projects I've worked on with my main general contractor who has in house designers/architects have the sinks on interior walls or islands.

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cool well a couple of those look a bit tight but we dont design them and compromises are a must.
Ive got an Island but Not opposed to outside walls and windows.
 

Jonathon

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We did a vent hood with a 12" duct. The homeowners didn't want it as close as the manufacture suggested so we upsized the fan and placed it in the attic.. The initial test was a full pound of bacon on the stove turned up on high and burned to a crisp as all the smoke went straight up and out with almost zero sound.
When my brother built his new house he opted for one of those stoves with the center downdraft vent that ran the exhaust back and up through the wall / through the attic and out through the roof. One day his wife was cooking smokey-link sausages when one of 'em swelled up and popped grease into the fire.

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That started a raging fire that was sucked down into the vent and up through the wall. Neighbors said that they saw a column of fire going straight up out of the flu like a jet engine. It set the wall and attic on fire when the vent tube melted and almost burnt his house down.

I'd take a lesson from the Army (like we had at Ft. Dix, NJ) and have the exhaust blow out horizontally from an outside wall from the vent hood. Grease laden exhaust would almost blow troops off their feet as they quick-timed down the sidewalk!
 

JohnCT

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In my town, code says water or drain pipes in exterior walls (Zone 5) is verboten. Exception is outdoor spigots which of course must be the frost free types. I'd be very surprised if that wasn't the code in any areas subject to freezing these days.

I owned a triplex built by one of the most notoriously bad builders in the area (I didn't know this until after I bought the property). In addition to not tying in the roof rafters causing the roof to sink and the second floor walls to bow out after a heavy snow (that was fun), he ran pipes in an exterior wall to feed the kitchen sink (not even a window over the sink). I had to rip out the cabinets and reroute the plumbing because I got calls for a freeze/split every single winter on the third unit even when I asked the tenants to keep the cabinet doors open during sub 20F days and nights.. I'm sure that POS builder greased the inspector in the city the triplex was in because it was chock full of all sorts of non compliant work.

John
 
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