Recently I noticed a washing machine manual which says "Wall outlet must not be located behind dryer." A quick Google search reveals this is pretty common, but what's the reason for it?

I understand that the washer needs "regular" 120V AC and not 220V like you sometimes find behind a dryer, but why would a regular outlet box that happens to be behind an adjacent dryer (i.e. not too far away for cord length to be an issue), be unacceptable?

  • Man, I have serious issues then - I swapped my washer and dryer completely. – JPhi1618 Feb 18 '16 at 15:03
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    I think it's related to access. You want to be able to pull the plug quickly without having to hire a few strong men to move the dryer. – ratchet freak Feb 18 '16 at 15:05
  • Not sure what the clearance requirements are for a dryer, but it could have to do with the cord potentially encroaching on this zone. It could also have to do with the potential for the cord to be in contact with the dryer vent. – Tester101 Feb 18 '16 at 15:23
  • @ratchetfreak If it takes a few men to move the dryer, then by definition they aren't very strong... – Craig Feb 18 '16 at 17:30
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    Receptacles in laundry areas are quite often at the 4' mark to keep them above the washer and dryer. Realistically the washer is always the heavier appliance, if they were worried about easy disconnect access they would have said "don't put anything in front of the receptacle" not just the dryer. – Jeff Meden Feb 18 '16 at 20:01

Some of those are up/down washer/dryer combos, and the dryer is actually mounted to the wall in a semi-permanent fashion. As such, you can't have the washer plugged in behind the dryer because it is no longer in a freely accessible receptacle, electrically the washer is sort of permanently installed itself (which is a bad idea in general.) The ones that aren't, I suspect, are guilty of a lazy GE washer manual writer. It is not a code requirement of any sort.

*edited with more detail

  • The one I was looking at was a standalone washer that stands next to a dryer. – WBT Feb 18 '16 at 15:06
  • I'm gonna have to go with the "Lazy GE washer manual writer" portion of this answer explains your specific scenario while the rest of the answer is why it might ever be there in the first place. – kinar Feb 18 '16 at 19:06

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