DIY Doctor

Moving Washer and Dryer into Small Cupboard

Postby docsparkles » Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:32 pm

I'm in the process of moving both washing machine (WM) and tumbler dryer (TD) into a cupboard in the bathroomm as per:

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The cupboard is sized so they will be stacked and there won't be much room to either side. This was my original plan, but I fear the potential load would be too high, and there would be difficulty isolating.

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So instead I came up with this - does it seem credible?
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Here is a closer view - each appliance is on a separate fused spur, taken from separate junction boxes along the ring main.

The FCU points out into the hallway for ease of access, and the appliances have a 1 gang unswitched socket inside the cupboard.

I guess my main queries are:

- does it matter where on the ring the Junction boxes are located? (I assume they should be separate simply to ensure there is enough physical metal in them to survive the potential maximum load)

- in placing the FCU and 1 gang sockets in the wall - is there a minimum separation requirement?
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Postby ericmark » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:01 pm

There are many considerations which you may have already covered but I will list them.
1) Is the work technically in a bathroom and can you actually use the items in that location or have supplies to them, not easy to answer, but has to be raised.
2) Why two radials rather than extending the ring? I tend to fit 2 grid sockets in a 4 module plate which gives you what looks like a double socket and fits a double socket back box but is really two single sockets allowing one to split ring final and extend the ring.
3) Unless a washer/drier the power used by a washing machine may be high but for quite a short time, so likely both would work on a 13A supply.

The loading on a ring final can be a problem if near one end where the two feeds will be very different impedance to the supply fuse/MCB/RCBO so over 20 amp goes down one leg.
The recommended way around the problem is any device which is not hand portable and over 2000 watts should have it's own dedicated supply, things like immersion heaters, as these draw 3 kW for an extended time, it could be said this would include a tumble drier or washer/drier because they draw the power for so long.
However if near the centre of the ring this is not really a problem.

As electricians we must always inspect and test, these results tell us if the limits are exceeded, but most DIY people have neither the knowledge or equipment.

So now the naughty bit, I would suggest you get a quote for the work from an electrician, if what you want is not compliant then he will tell you, and you may think after the quote not worth going down DIY route.

Technically in this house I should not use a vented tumble drier because I have an open flue fire and it could draw flue gases into the house, I know the house is not well enough sealed and the fire is only lit at Christmas so it doesn't really matter. However one can only assess things like that when your at the house and talked to people living there, it can't be done on a forum.

What you want to do may be OK, but as soon as I see Bathroom it rings alarm bells, so get a quote and go from there.
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