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Washer Outlet Height: How High Should Washer Outlet Box Be?

When you install a washer or dryer in your home, you should keep in mind the height of your outlet box. You may have trouble loading and unloading if your outlet is below this height. To ensure an issue-free connection, let’s determine the right measurements.

What is a washer outlet?

The washer outlet is an electrical outlet that has been modified to accept a larger appliance, such as a clothes washer or dryer, rather than a standard electrical outlet. There is a 120-volt, 20-amp circuit that powers washing machines that operate on 120 volts. 

Typically, it is wired with a 12-gauge, two-wire cable that consists of three wires: a hot wire, a neutral wire, and a ground wire. This is the most common wiring type.

The moment you plug in an appliance into this outlet, it automatically switches over to supply power to the appliance that is plugged in. By doing this, the system prevents overloads and potential fire hazards that can result from accidental short circuits.

Washer outlet height: How high should washer outlet box be?

The height of a washer outlet box should be between 32 and 34 inches. You should ensure that the outlet box is high enough when installing a new washer and dryer so that you do not have to reach up while washing. This height is also recommended by the National Electrical Code. 

The washer and dryer should not be set lower than the recommended height if you want to avoid future issues. Additionally, if your outlet is too low, you may experience difficulty plugging in your appliances.

In most cases, washer outlets are set at a height of 34 inches, but if the height of your washing machine is taller than 34 inches, then this may not be sufficient for you. 

There might be a chance that this is the case, so you might want to raise the washer outlet box to a higher level if this is the case. 

By drilling a hole in the wall near your washer and inserting a bolt of the appropriate size through it, you will be able to accomplish this. To secure the new elevation, tighten the nut on top of the bracket once it has been installed.

Does a washer outlet need to be a standard height?

There should be a standard height for the washer outlet. Nevertheless, as long as you can reach your washing machine while loading and unloading clothes, you can use the height that will enable you to reach it. 

As a result, to make sure that you can access that easily, you should use a standard height. Here are some reasons why you need to use a standard height washer outlet.

Easily Loading and unloading clothes:

In cases in which you are using a washer outlet that is low or nonstandard in height, it could be difficult for you to easily load and unload clothes since you need to stretch up to do so. In the case of a standard height washer outlet, this will not be a problem.

Easily reach your washing machine:

A standard height washer outlet does not only make it easier to load and unload your clothes, but it also makes it easier for you to reach your washing machine due to its height. Nevertheless, it is not always true that this is the case. 

The outlet box of your washer may need to be raised if the washer is taller than 34 inches, to enable you to use it properly.

Protection against fire hazards:

The risk of getting caught in an electrical fire increases if water spills onto the electrical wire in your home through the washer outlet. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says appliances with wash areas should have a 32-inch-high outlet. 

Therefore, a 34-inch height is ideal.

Ease of use for the elderly and people with disabilities:

Many people are not able to easily reach high washer outlets, or even those with disabilities, who need assistance. By providing easy access to the washing machine from both sides, a standard height washer outlet makes it easier for the users to operate the washer machine.

Code for washing machine outlet box:

According to the National Electrical Code (NEC), washing machine outlet boxes must be mounted at a height of at least 34 inches above the ground. In some circumstances, an outlet box can be as close as 30 inches to the ground in some instances. 

The NEC allows installers to provide temporary adapters that raise outlet boxes to a height of at least 34 inches. 

All residential washing machines in the United States must be equipped with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet to comply with electrical safety regulations. 

If there is a problem with the power source (such as an overloaded circuit breaker), a GFCI outlet is meant to protect people from electric shock.

A Type L or Type K receptacle must be used for all wash area connections, according to the National Electrical Code. The washer outlet box needs to meet these minimum standards to comply with these codes.

Where to install washer outlet box?

An outlet box for a washing machine is commonly located between two wall studs straight at the rear of the washing machine, which is the most common location for an outlet box to be installed. 

Depending on the direction in which the rear wall of your washing machine is, it might be possible to install a custom-made outlet box that can be installed at an angle to reach all the sides of the machine.

To install a washer outlet box, you will first need to measure the location of the outlet in your wall and then cut out a hole in it. Afterward, you will need to use poppers or screws in order to secure the box into the studs. 

Before connecting any wires at this point, it is important to make sure that the power is turned off at this point. Lastly, the power should be turned on and the clothes dryer should be turned on to see if everything is working properly.

It is not necessary to install an outlet box if your washer has a built-in dryer. Moreover, some compact washers do not come with an outlet box. Then you will need to purchase an Adapter (if necessary).

Does washing machine outlet need to be GFCI?

GFCI outlets aren’t required for washing machine outlets themselves, but they are required for washer outlets within 6 to 7 feet of sinks. GFCI outlets installed near washers protect people from electric shock if there is a problem with the power source (such as an overloaded breaker).

As an alternative, you may have to install a temporary adapter that raises the box to a height of at least 34 inches if there is no GFCI outlet nearby. A GFCI outlet can be installed near your washer if a GFCI outlet is required. 

Consult a professional if you need this installed. It might be possible to use a power strip to provide electrical service to your washing machine if it does not have an outlet.

In general, it is best to place a GFCI outlet on a separate circuit from your washing machine to ensure the safety of your machine. There may be an issue with the power source (for example, an overloaded breaker). 

People in the house will still be safe since they won’t be able to touch anything with current running through it.

Final Thoughts

A washing machine outlet should be located at least 32 to 34 inches above the ground. For the sake of safety and ease of access, this standard height must be maintained. It should be attached with a stud for secure installation. GFCIs are not required for outlets themselves.