I just purchased a house and near the kitchen it has a location for the washing machine and dryer. The water heater is near by in a separate cabinet. I would like to move the washer and dryer into the garage to have more room in the house. As I was shopping for a house I noticed that many washers and dryers were near the water heater. Is their a problem with moving the washer and dryer away from the water heater?

  • 1
    Where are you on Earth?
    – DDS
    Mar 4 '19 at 10:26
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. You're getting some good answers here, but as @DDS said, knowing where your house would be would help us. Mar 4 '19 at 11:58
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    To illustrate why we want to know where you are: modern European washing machines are generally cold-fill only because they use so little water the hot wouldn't come through by the time they were full. Our dryers (if we have them) are also electric needing no water feed. They may be vented to outside or use a heat-exchanger to condense the water (either connected to a drain or needing emptying every few loads). So for us the water heater is completely irrelevant. I understand that things may be different the other side of the Atlantic
    – Chris H
    Mar 4 '19 at 16:34
  • As you can probably ascertain from the answers, the washer/dryer combo are usually located near the water heater, especially in newer houses, simply out of convenience of installation and the general desire to put the mechanicals close to each other. Many houses ignore installation simplicity and have the water heater in the basement (near the other mechanical items) and the W/D on the 2nd floor for the owner's convenience of not hauling laundry up & down stairs.
    – FreeMan
    Mar 5 '19 at 19:00

There's no problem moving the washer and dryer in respect to your question. The column of cold in the line would be well cleared for just about any reasonable distance by the time the load is ready to wash. But it is a concern if the run is very long. For the most part you don't need hot water anyway, unless you wear a lot of whites or work as a mechanic or get greasy clothes some other way. The bigger issue is the plumbing drains. Supplying hot and cold is probably easyish. If a suitable drain and vent are not available then you have a problem.


Well, you know the problem that hot water pipes are not magic, and after a few minutes, the water in the hot water pipe will cool to room temperature. Then, when you turn on the hot, you have to wait, wait, wait while all the cool water in the pipe is pushed out by new hot water. The longer the pipe, the longer the wait. The fatter the pipe, the longer the wait squared, because of the area rule.

So. The washing machine does not know how to "run the faucet until it warms up". If you are too far from the water heater, all you'll get is that slug of tepid water that was in the long fat pipe, and warm will be tepid and hot will be warm.

The fix is to have a slop sink right next to the washer, and open up the hot on the slop-sink til it purges the pipe, then start the washer.

This is the biggest problem I can think of. Obviously, it's not a particularly big problem.

  • Are there washing machines designed to heat their own water (which would be more feasible with modern low-water-use units)? That would address the OP's concern, if not their actual question. Mar 4 '19 at 2:41
  • @DanielGriscom Your market intuition is absolutely correct. They are used, among other things, in large developments that do not want to plumb a separate hot water line to washers in each of 1000 apartments. Related, they also make condensing dryers which eliminate the dryer vent, and washers powered thru the dryer which eliminates the washer 120V feed. Mar 4 '19 at 3:02
  • You could DHW a recirculation to have 'always hot' water to the washing machine (but it wastes energy both as heat and as power to run the pump) or just get a washing machine that heats it's own water. Anyway, today I learned something new, I taught washing appliance were all heating their water here in Italy I NEVER seen a washing machine that wasn't able to heat it's water and I think only once a washing machine "solar saving" with separate hot water inlet to be used with DHW solar panels)
    – DDS
    Mar 4 '19 at 10:24

You put where you want it. The pipe holds what? Half a gallon? The washer uses 5 gallons for a small load. Set to hot and you get 30 seconds cold and 4 and a half minutes hot the temperature is a little cooler. No big deal. The drain is the hard pat.


Get a washer capable of heating water internally (a regular washing machine will be ok if you're elsewhere) and hook up only cold water. Get a heat-pump electric dryer so you don't need the exhaust needed for a gas dryer, also you'll have to pull a drain line.

EDIT: Some modern US-Style hot/cold washing machine can accept cold water from both inlets, so just connect them both to the cold tap by a 'Y' and your washer should be fine (heating water internally). Just check on the instructions if this setup is allowed with your specific machine.

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