EDIT: added info and added alternate locations.

Our washer and dryer hookups are located out of reach, 40" behind the appliances. They are mounted on what, in the 1940's, was the exterior side of an exterior wall of a one story house. What is now the den and laundry room became a carport eventually, then a garage, then a den and laundry room with an attached garage continuing the expansion. At some point, a dormer was built, and the stairs added. I've been here 4 years.

I will be moving them, probably to the left side wall, but possibly under the stairs (adding an 8 or 10" sofit of sorts) or to the wall behind the dryer. One 110V, one 220V, hot/cold water lines, and drain. Looking for tips and possible trip-ups.

The washer and dryer and water heater will remain as in the photos.


Here are a couple more pics of what I'm dealing with. The first shows the existing hook ups underneath the stairs. The second pic shows the (interior) left wall. On the other side of it is our den.

View of existing

left wall

  • Where is your breaker panel is it to the left or right, moving the outlet closer to the panel is usually much easier.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 12, 2017 at 19:03
  • It would be a lot of trouble to move the water supply and electrics. I think you should figure out how to live with it. Can you push the washer back or would the top door hit the wall above when you open it? I guess the main problem is that it is a trial when you have to pull the washer out, but how often do you have to do that? Also is it trouble to reach the water cut-off valves if you want to shut them off while being out of town (to prevent a flood from a rupture). The new type of hoses last a lot longer, I think. Apr 12, 2017 at 20:57
  • I'd agree with Jim; perhaps just replacing the supply lines and drain hose with longer lines would make it easier to pull the machines out when you need access. Apr 12, 2017 at 21:01
  • @EdBeal - breakerpanel is 18 feet away to the left, in the adjoining den. I was planning on leaving the outlets where they are, and run new wire to new outlets.
    – Mike
    Apr 12, 2017 at 21:49
  • 1
    @JimStewart - I don't consider it to be a lot of trouble. Just need some 1/2" CU fittings and 1/4 turn valves and new outlets. Have the water pipe, drain pipe and fittings, electrical wire and boxes. Will be replacing the hoses regardless.
    – Mike
    Apr 12, 2017 at 21:53

3 Answers 3


I would exploit it by getting a dryer, or front load washer, which has controls on its front rather than back. Then push the entire unit into the convenient recess. Turn the other unit 90 degrees with its back to the water heater, and easier transfers too.

Alternatively, they make washer+dryer combo units in the same form factor as a front load washer alone. Really. Toss in clothes and soap, push buttons, come back 2 hours later and the clothes are clean and dry. Would free up a lot of space in that room.


For 39 years we have been in a house with the washer and dryer in an alcove which prevents side access to the washer and dryer, so I understand how inconvenient your set-up is. I can reach over the washer to operate the water cut-off valves (but my wife can't). And I could pull it out and run it out in the room if necessary to diagnose problems. But how I envy arrangements with full access to a side of both washer and dryer!

In your setup to shut off the water supply I guess you get a stool and drape yourself over the washer and reach to the limit, right? What an aggravation! But at least your washer plug is high. (Mine is low.) To pull the washer out for service I guess you have to first push the washer in 2 ft or so you can reach the power, the drain, and the water supply lines to disconnect, and then pull the washer out. Then to push it in you have to tie cords to each line to keep them accessible when you push it in.

EDIT There does not appear to be much room between the wall and the side of the washer to place water supply and drains there. If I were planning to move the connections, I would think about moving them out and not onto a side wall. I would think, "Connections are always behind the washer and dryer; putting them on a side wall may have unforeseen complications."

  • The measurement from the top of the washer control panel to the ceiling in the cubby is 6.5".
    – Mike
    Apr 12, 2017 at 21:54
  • The picture shows that you have shifted the dryer and the washer far to the right to get the maximum room on the left, but there is still not really enough room on the left to accommodate a drain with enough room to allow manipulation of the washer. Having a small gap between washer and dryer will make it hard to clean the floor there. You apparently have to remove the dryer to service the hot water heater. You want to have plenty of clearance to do this conveniently. Apr 13, 2017 at 11:57
  • No shifting. The plumbing would be in the wall. However, one issue is the cubby is wasted space. It could be used for a short-fat water heater, but then the exhaust vent is an issue and the current space occupied by the heater would not be easy to access if freed up. Or the cubby could be used for a new closet off the den (otherside of the wall. For that, any plumbing on the left side wall would be in the way.
    – Mike
    Apr 13, 2017 at 18:36
  • I don't know of any gas fired tank water heaters that are short and squat. If you want to do away with the tall tank, you could change to a gas fired tankless heater. But it would seem that the likely inside location would be where the tank is now for passage of the flue and because you have gas supply there now. Of course, you could put a tankless water heater on an outside wall and not have a flue at all. Is there a route for the piping though? Apr 13, 2017 at 20:03

Instead of over, out

Instead of trying to route the connections over to some other part of the wall, how about elbowing them out to where they're accessible? The hot and cold water lines are simple -- the existing shutoffs are replaced with elbows, and the elbows pipe out to straight tap valves (vs the right angle ones currently there). The drain stack can be elbowed out at its base using two elbows and a straight pipe section before it hits the trap -- washer effluent is greywater not blackwater (no chunky bits) so you can use regular elbows instead of long sweep ones.

As to the electrical -- the existing junction boxes will need to have their faceplates replaced with 1/2" conduit KO faceplates and lengths of flexible conduit (probably LFMC) run from the existing boxes to new boxes mounted on a uni-strut or other sort of post (2x lumber will do) securely mounted to the floor. Then, you can extend the wiring through the conduit using some THHN of the appropriate gauge (12 for the washer, 10 for the dryer), nut the new wiring to the old wiring in the existing boxes, wire up the new receptacles, and mount them in the new boxes, putting appropriate faceplates on of course.

Last but not least, some rigid vent duct can be used to extend the existing dryer vent hookup out. You can take this opportunity to get rid of the flex vent, too.

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