Install a washer in the Basement of Dr.Caligari!
June 28, 2010 7:55 AM   Subscribe

I am trying to set up a washing machine in our basement. The washing machine we have uses a 120v plug. However, there is only one 120v outlet in the basement and it is pretty far away from the water hookups. Help me find a solution!

I've read that you shouldn't run a washing machine off of an extension cord, but that's the only way it will plug into anything right now. There is a 120v outlet net to the water hookups, but its in the ceiling and isn't connected to anything.

Is there some way to get around the issue with extension cords or will this require some electrical work in the basement? If it requires electrical work, is there something simple that a electrical wiring novice could do or is an electrician needed?

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!
posted by charred husk to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
 
YOu need an outlet right near the washer. Period.

If you don't know what wiring up an outlet entails, then you shouldn't attempt it. Not that it's incredibly difficult, but that a simple mistake could kill you.
posted by notsnot at 8:04 AM on June 28, 2010


Have an electrician install a new outlet, and make it a GFI outlet since it's near water and in a potentially damp basement.
posted by rocket88 at 8:23 AM on June 28, 2010


In my case, installing a new washer & dryer = installing new outlets for both. Call an electrician.
posted by thomas j wise at 8:49 AM on June 28, 2010


A clothes washer, like a dishwasher or a garbage disposal or a fridge, is a class of device that modern electrical codes specify must have its own private outlet, circuit and breaker. So: you need a new drop, and one right near the washer. If you don't know how, or are not allowed by your jurisdiction, to do this yourself -- you need an electrician. Not just because it's the right and safe thing to do, but because it is almost certainly illegal to not do it.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:57 AM on June 28, 2010


Sounds like I need an electrician. Thanks!
posted by charred husk at 8:57 AM on June 28, 2010


There is nothing wrong with running your washer on an extension cord as long as it is properly rated. Generally a 12/2 A/C cord is heavy enough for moderate distances.

Also in Canada code does not require a dedicated circuit for washers.
posted by Mitheral at 9:44 AM on June 28, 2010


There is nothing wrong with running your washer on an extension cord as long as it is properly rated

An extension cord around wet things is a bad idea. Please do hire an electrician if you don't feel comfortable wiring up a new GFCI outlet.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:19 PM on June 28, 2010


Blazecock Pileon writes "An extension cord around wet things is a bad idea."

Why? An A/C quality extension cord is made of materials as good or better than the cord on the washer itself and has heavier conductors to boot. You could lay a modern extension cord (IE: anyone with a plastic sheath rather than cloth) in good condition in a pool of water and it wouldn't short out. Route it such that it is protected from mechanical damage and isn't insulated and you'll be fine.
posted by Mitheral at 4:26 PM on June 28, 2010


Yes you could. But can you keep the plug where the extension cord and the washer meet out of the water? That's something easy to overlook / drop / somebody moves, and could kill you.
posted by defcom1 at 6:15 PM on June 28, 2010


Code is created by considering risk v. cost. What is the cost/risk of someone getting dead by accident with an ext.cord in a bsmt running a water appliance? What is the cost/risk of a dedicated drop with GFCI? That is why we say: get an electrician. Please don't be encouraging half-assed solutions when mains electricity is involved.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:55 PM on June 28, 2010


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