Can a Regular-Sized Washing Machine Be Made Portable & Hooked to the Sink?
Life is sometimes full of decisions where there is no optimal answer, but you have to make do anyway. Using a full-sized clothes washer in the kitchen as a portable washer is not something that a person would prefer to do as a rule, but if it has to be done, then there is a way to make it work for you.
A critical part of converting a stationary washing machine to a portable is giving it wheels. Cut a 3/4-inch piece of plywood just a little larger than the bottom of the washer and put a polyurethane wheel caster about 2 inches in from each corner on the plywood. Rubber wheels will also work, but avoid metal, as they will tear up the kitchen floor. Set the washer on the plywood and move it around to where you need it. Be prepared to jam a small wood wedge under the wheels if the machine moves too much while washing the clothes.
Purchase an adapter that hooks between your kitchen faucet and the washer hoses. A "Y-connector" allows both hot and cold water for your washer from a single kitchen faucet and is available for less than $20 as of December 2011. It is a simple screw-on device that fits all standard faucets and washer hoses. The brass fitting is sturdy enough to last a lifetime.
The National Electric Code now requires that any electrical outlet near a sink be at least six feet away. This helps prevent people from getting shocked by contacting electricity and water at the same time. If you have an older home that was built before the code change, avoid using an outlet right next to the sink. However, never use an extension cord with a washer. Do not allow any other appliances, or lights, to run at the same time on the same circuit when the washer is in use.
The washer water drain pipe moves around considerably when the water is draining. If you do not have it securely fastened it may come lose and you'll find soapy water all over the kitchen floor. Make sure your kitchen pipes are clean and freely flowing before attempting to drain a washer into them. Start with the smallest load possible and carefully monitor the sink drainage to ensure it can handle the outgoing water.
Jack Burton started writing professionally in 1980 with articles in "Word from Jerusalem," "ICEJ Daily News" and Tagalong Garden News. He has managed radio stations, TV studios and newspapers, and was the chief fundraiser for Taltree Arboretum. Burton holds a B.S. in broadcasting from John Brown University. He is a 26-year veteran of the U.S. Navy/Navy Reserves and the Navy Seabees.
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