Comments: Situation matters

It would make sense to have them in the bedroom as that's where you take them off

Posted by Debster on 15 May, 2023 at 10:22 PM

My guess would be because that's where the plumbing is. I was wondering, how have you had yours plumbed in now 5 different places?

Posted by Scoakat on 15 May, 2023 at 10:59 PM

Debster - yes, but... even quiet ones are noisy so couldn't be run overnight or early in the monrning.

Scoakat - the original plumbing was in the garage, so it went in the original position, then we moved it 10 feet with extension pipes (to be more conveniently sited from the adjoining main house). In the cloakroom it was in a corner and Mr BW linked it into the sink plumbing and the waste water went through a flexible pipe down the toilet (put in place when needed). In the craft room the plumbing for a w/m was put into the pipework for the sink as it was converted (as that was the originally drawn-up position for the w/m), and the 5th place is its final home (this was drawn up as a 'storage cupboard', but we saw the porential and adapted it early on in the final phase of the build. It is back-to-back with the new cloakroom (which was huge, so we stole some of its space), so pipework was easily adapted). Basically, we moved it around as building work progressed.

Posted by Blue Witch on 16 May, 2023 at 7:56 AM

Because a washing machine requires water, drainage and an electrical connection, and Britain has forbidden the electrical sockets in bathrooms since before the widespread adoption of domestic washing machines.

Posted by Ian on 16 May, 2023 at 8:08 AM

Ian - yes, but it could be hard-wired in, with a switch outside the door (as, for example, extractor fans).

Posted by Blue Witch on 16 May, 2023 at 10:04 AM

Yup - also assumed it's because of the plumbing already being there. I have long-held dreams of shifting our - incredibly loud - washing machine out into the cob barn, but I worry it would shake the already-wibbly walls to pieces! :)

Posted by Tamsin on 16 May, 2023 at 3:05 PM

Could the washer/dryer in kitchen be because water leaks would cause less damage to rest of the house? Are there floor drains in English kitchens?

Posted by Martina on 16 May, 2023 at 9:19 PM

Sorry about duplicate comments. Screen didn’t indicate first one went through.

Posted by Martina on 16 May, 2023 at 9:20 PM

I suspect the copper would originally have been in the scullery if there was one, or by the range in the kitchen if there wasn't - assuming it wasn't taken to a local laundry. In the standard two up, two down, there might be a parlour/sitting room at the front, and a kitchen/dining room at the back, and possibly an outside scullery and lavatory, perhaps in a side return. Even if there was a separate scullery originally, the temptation over time was to knock through to create one larger room.

Wash tub, washboard, dolly, mangle, and wash day on a Monday, because it was hard physical labour that would take a whole day. All done where enough water could be heated. And then hours of ironing. Later a twin tub for washing and spinning. Yes, naturally, in the kitchen, next to the new-fangled refrigerator.

These days, any fine day is a wash day. Fill up the machine, and wait for an hour or so. And for many, with a tumble drier, even a non-fine day can be wash day.

Posted by Andrew on 16 May, 2023 at 11:12 PM

Martina - no, no floor drains. With the carcasses of kitchen units being made of chipboard, any leaks that are not immeidately spotted can cause serious problems - chipboard swells and then disintegrates when wet.

Posted by Blue Witch on 17 May, 2023 at 8:29 AM

Andrew - that might explain how it originated, but why did it stay this way?

In warmer countries, people washed clothes in rivers, so when washing machines became more widespread, putting them in outbuildings made sense.

But... I think that much of Europe site their appliances other than in kitchens (I've certainly seen this in Germany, Greece, Spain, Belgium, as well as in France), so that doesn't explain that. Where are washing machines situated in Scandinavian countries? I don't know.

Posted by Blue Witch on 17 May, 2023 at 9:22 AM

Well, if you have the space, you can have a separate utility room / laundry / basement / outbuilding. If you don't, the easiest is to pick an existing room with plumbing and electricity and drainage already (rather than installing the services in a living room or bedroom, or corridor or cupboard). That might naturally be the kitchen or the bathroom, but the UK has had rules against electricity sockets in bathrooms for a long time. Yes, you can wire them in, but that is a bit of a faff. Once a choice has been made, I guess that becomes the norm, and anything else seems unusual.

I wonder if there have been academic studies on this important question...

Posted by Andrew on 18 May, 2023 at 11:50 PM