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Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:44 pm
by TSR
My washer/dryer combo---top loading, one next to the other---are fairly old and could use replacing. I have never assumed they were anything but standard-sized appliances, but upon measuring them it appears that they are "shallow" in depth from front to back. A quick trip to the manufacturer's website for the washer confirms that it is indeed 25.5 inches in depth (https://www.geappliances.com/appliance/ ... WSE3160AWW), whereas "standard size" is around 27.5 inches. The problem is my laundry closet has no extra room in the front (with sliding bi-fold doors), and only about 2 7/8 inches behind it for the connections. That doesn't seem like a lot of room to give.

When I shop for a replacement on major websites, the only options that are this "shallow" are efficiency models for tiny apartments (I live in a non-tiny house) and a few commercial machines.

Anyone been through this? Is there something I'm missing here? I assume I shouldn't just roll the dice and order a deeper product and hope it fits.

Thank you.

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:45 pm
by cheese_breath
TSR wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:44 pm...whereas "standard size" is around 27.5 inches...
Take a tape measure to an appliance store and measure a few to be sure. Then if 27.5 is correct,
(a) can the bi-fold doors be removed to make room, or
(b) can you special order an apartment size unit?

edit: Probably a good idea to measure the width too.

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:50 pm
by TSR
cheese_breath wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:45 pm
TSR wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:44 pm...whereas "standard size" is around 27.5 inches...
Take a tape measure to an appliance store and measure a few to be sure. Then if 27.5 is correct,
(a) can the bi-fold doors be removed to make room, or
(b) can you special order an apartment size unit?

edit: Probably a good idea to measure the width too.
Good thoughts. Looking at the link I posted above, it looks like the washer is a 3.2 cubic foot washer, which is unusually small. I haven't been able to find many of those, so I'm thinking that the measurement is accurate, unfortunately. But I will check. Also, the laundry area is sadly pretty close to the kitchen, so it would be pretty unsightly to leave it open. There may be a better way to work the enclosure though.

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:58 pm
by inbox788
Stupid idea, but what room is behind the washer? There's a couple of inches inside most walls, so you need a little extra room behind the washer for connections, you can put a hole in one side of the drywall. It might make more noise on the other side though. Maybe tight turn hoses might do the trick. Dryer vent and gas line might be more troublesome, but found periscope dryer vent products I wasn't aware of that might be used in these type of situations.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Homewerks-W ... /305341002
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Eastman-1-2 ... /313607027
http://livefromjulieshouse.com/pantry-between-studs/

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Deflect-o-4 ... /203286070

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:18 pm
by Mudpuppy
As others have said, measure everything. But also pay close attention to the minimum required clearances in the installation manuals. If your utility closet is 30" deep, but the unit you're considering is 27.5" deep and requires 6" of clearance behind it, you're still going to need to keep looking at other model.

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:23 pm
by Zombies
We had this problem too, almost with the same dimensions. We ended up getting a standard washer / dryer and you just can’t close the two doors any more — at first it really bothered me but I’m not in the laundry room very much so it faded from bother :) Seems like such an odd decision from the previous owners but honestly it’s not a big deal.

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:26 pm
by 3feetpete
I ran into the same problem. I was able to solve it by getting the periscoping dryer vent from Amazon and the new washer came with water hoses that had an elbow built into them so they didn't take up much space. The dryer vent was the most critical. If it still didn't fit I was going to remove the sheetrock just at the vent periscope. That would get me another half inch and more if there wasn't a stud there.

Some dryers are also set up so you can dischard the dryer vent out the side as an option. Check the owners manual for that.

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:28 pm
by cheese_breath
Zombies wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:23 pm :) Seems like such an odd decision from the previous owners....
Maybe not so odd if it's really old. Some appliances seem to have grown since the old days, especially refrigerators. But back in the 1960's I had a washer that was probably smaller that OP's.

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:35 pm
by Watty
If your neighbors have a similar setup it would be good to ask them what they did.

One other complication is that at least in my part of the country washing machines seem to be in somewhat of a short supply situation right now, likely because the supply chain is being impacted my the pandemic. The problem is you could find a model that would work only to find that it is out of stock.

Just this afternoon I posted this on another thread about washing machines.
Just FYI, I replaced my washing machine a few weeks ago and I found that many of the more basic ones with my preferred brand, Whirlpool, were out of stock at a lot of places. I normally get appliances like that from Costco because of the four year extended warranty. At least for top loading machines they were all in short supply at Costco, Home Depot, and Loews. It was not just Whirlpool, lots of other brands were also out of stock.

I was able to find one I liked at Best Buy but I checked back a week later and they are now out of stock on that model too.

I would assume that this is due to disruptions in the supply chain with the pandemic.

Anyway if you are looking for a specific model you might find that it is harder to find than you might expect.

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:52 pm
by JonnyB
Go to AJMadison.com
On the left click on Depth 26 to 26.9. (Don't click on Depth 25 to 25.9, that will only get you the tiny 24" wide washers). You will find 7 combination washer dryers that might fit your closet at 26 inches deep and 27 inches wide.

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:55 pm
by Mudpuppy
Watty wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:35 pm One other complication is that at least in my part of the country washing machines seem to be in somewhat of a short supply situation right now, likely because the supply chain is being impacted my the pandemic. The problem is you could find a model that would work only to find that it is out of stock.
That's a good point to raise. My microwave died a couple of weeks into the shelter-at-home order. It also needs to be a very specific size to fit in the space for it. I had to search multiple vendors to find on that had the properly sized model in stock, and that was back in March. I'm sure it's worse now.

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:58 pm
by TSR
A lot of helpful information here. Thank you. Sounds like I'm not alone. Behind the washer/dryer is an outside wall, so that may limit what I'm able to do (or give me a lot of options if I'm feeling ambitious). I think I may start with getting a repairman to look at the dryer (which is having the most problems), which could buy me a couple of years. Repairman might also have some ideas for what to do about replacement.

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:58 pm
by AerialWombat
Compact washing machine: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JJZBHK4/

I've bought 3 of these so far. They are amazing little workhorses that have (so far) even stood up to tenant abuse. Gotta do small loads, but they fit in tight spaces.

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:25 pm
by Kennedy
TSR wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:58 pm A lot of helpful information here. Thank you. Sounds like I'm not alone. Behind the washer/dryer is an outside wall, so that may limit what I'm able to do (or give me a lot of options if I'm feeling ambitious). I think I may start with getting a repairman to look at the dryer (which is having the most problems), which could buy me a couple of years. Repairman might also have some ideas for what to do about replacement.
You are definitely not alone in that problem. I had the same issue pop up in a rental house I own. I searched home depot, lowes and (I think) either sears or penney's website. I found only two models that would fit, and one was a commercial Maytag unit.

I ended up going with the non-commercial one, which was back-ordered several weeks. I couldn't believe there weren't more options. Hope the replacement unit doesn't die before I sell the home because it was a real pain in the butt.

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:14 am
by LilyFleur
Kennedy wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:25 pm
TSR wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:58 pm A lot of helpful information here. Thank you. Sounds like I'm not alone. Behind the washer/dryer is an outside wall, so that may limit what I'm able to do (or give me a lot of options if I'm feeling ambitious). I think I may start with getting a repairman to look at the dryer (which is having the most problems), which could buy me a couple of years. Repairman might also have some ideas for what to do about replacement.
You are definitely not alone in that problem. I had the same issue pop up in a rental house I own. I searched home depot, lowes and (I think) either sears or penney's website. I found only two models that would fit, and one was a commercial Maytag unit.

I ended up going with the non-commercial one, which was back-ordered several weeks. I couldn't believe there weren't more options. Hope the replacement unit doesn't die before I sell the home because it was a real pain in the butt.
It seems washers and dryers are just getting bigger and bigger and those of us with laundry closets don't have as many options as we used to. I found a smaller set at Home Depot a few years ago, and we barely squeezed them in.

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:23 pm
by MJS
On the interior design blogs, a common solution is to replace bifold doors with curtains/[extra long] shower curtains. The brackets give you an extra 2-3" of depth. If space permits, a longer curtain rod gets the drapes out of the way.

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:01 pm
by egrets
I hit an out of stock issue when I had to replace my dishwasher. I finally did get the dishwasher, but I don't like it, so if you like your current appliance, consider getting it repaired.

The new dishwasher has a plastic interior that smells like its outgassing; instead of the light colored interior my old one had, the new one is dark gray so it's a dark hole when putting stuff in there, which as a single person I do multiple times a day; the latch is hard to use and the racks do not slide smoothly. Also the foot panel is deeply recessed, I'm told this is usual currently, so the old flooring shows up for 1-2 inches at the front of the dishwasher.

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:03 pm
by egrets
MJS wrote: Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:23 pm On the interior design blogs, a common solution is to replace bifold doors with curtains/[extra long] shower curtains. The brackets give you an extra 2-3" of depth. If space permits, a longer curtain rod gets the drapes out of the way.
I would look for a linen-type fabric close to the color of the nearby walls. Not a plastic shower curtain unless this were in the bathroom.

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:15 pm
by Mr. Rumples
Some "European" models might work:

https://blog.designerappliances.com/bes ... partments/

If the depth won't affect a passageway such as a hall, would it be possible to add 6" or so?

Lots of folks are starting to have issues like this. Hot water heaters are bigger now due to the insulation. I didn't buy a house knowing that a new hot water heater would not fit in the space where the existing one was.

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:57 pm
by TSR
egrets wrote: Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:01 pm I hit an out of stock issue when I had to replace my dishwasher. I finally did get the dishwasher, but I don't like it, so if you like your current appliance, consider getting it repaired.

The new dishwasher has a plastic interior that smells like its outgassing; instead of the light colored interior my old one had, the new one is dark gray so it's a dark hole when putting stuff in there, which as a single person I do multiple times a day; the latch is hard to use and the racks do not slide smoothly. Also the foot panel is deeply recessed, I'm told this is usual currently, so the old flooring shows up for 1-2 inches at the front of the dishwasher.
I wouldn't say I "like" the current one, but I am leaning toward repair.

Re: Replacing odd-depth washer/dryer

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:11 pm
by BogleTails
I have a similar situation to yours with a GE washer that is approx 13 years old. It doesn't like to spin heavier loads prompting me to search for a replacement. Our shallow laundry closet is in the condo's kitchen so leaving the doors open isn't ideal and there weren't many choices for 25.5" depth machines.

This is the best, although expensive, solution I found... but I haven't bought one yet and have just done smaller more frequent loads for now.

https://www.ajmadison.com/cgi-bin/ajmad ... 575GW.html

It's highly rated, but expensive. But it advertises a 5 year warranty.

there is a similiar model at Lowes but has a shorter warranty for about the same price. MVWP576KW
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Maytag-Commerc ... 1002579758

keep me posted if you pick one up.