4 minutes read
April 4, 2022
The home design world is finally giving laundry rooms the respect they deserve. One of the true workhorse spaces in the home is no longer relegated to the dark, dusty corners of an unfinished basement. It’s moving up in the construction world.
Now, laundry rooms are key part of a home’s layout, with many located either on the main or second floor, and sometimes integrated with a bathroom, mud room, or storage area. A centrally located laundry makes for a better workflow; why lug all your dirty laundry to the basement, only to lug it all back up again when it’s clean? Not to mention, a well-planned laundry room is a major selling/reselling point in today’s market.
Nice and Neat
Planning a great laundry room starts with the plumbing, which consists of the hot and cold water supplies for the valve and the drain location for the discharge hose from the machine. A laundry valve box installed inside the wall can hold the water supply valve and the drain connection in one place, with a professional finished look.
As a homeowner, you want the final installation to look clean, with easy access to the shutoff valves. Unfortunately, most laundry boxes are small plastic boxes that are not very user-friendly. They tend to cram the shutoff valve and the discharge hose into a tiny box inside the wall.
While we’re on the subject of shutoff valves, the theory is that the water should be shut off after laundry cycles are done, to eliminate the constant water pressure on the washing machine hoses. That’s the theory, anyway. In reality, most homeowners rarely—if ever—turn off these valves.
That being said, the best advice here is to toss the cheap rubber washing machine hoses that come with the machine and buy a good set of high-quality braided washing machine hoses instead. It’s money well spent (and easy to justify if you’ve ever seen the amount of water damage from a burst hose). In short, go with braided hoses and maybe get in the habit of actually shutting the water off after each cycle, or at the very least, when you go away on vacation.
Respect the Code and Keep the Peace
As a builder/owner, you want a laundry box that’s affordable, durable, and easy to install, but above all else, you want it to pass inspection. Most state plumbing codes require water hammer arrestors, and some states are now requiring individual shutoffs on the hot and cold water valves as well.
Water hammer arrestors are a great feature, and they’re highly recommended whether they’re required by your local plumbing code or not. Why, you ask? Washing machines have what are known as “quick-acting valves” inside, meaning once the machine is filled with water, a solenoid inside the machine shuts off the flow. But it doesn’t shut it off gradually like someone turning off a faucet; it shuts it down 100% in an instant.
This sudden shock to the water pressure can cause unsecured piping inside the walls to bang, which sends vibrations throughout the entire water system. The arrestors on the shutoff valves are spring loaded, and they act as shock absorbers to keep laundry day peaceful.
Laundry boxes can also help meet local plumbing codes for the waste line as well. Code requires plumbers to pressure- or water-test the waste lines to ensure there are no leaks. A good quality laundry box should have either a plug or a knockout that can be removed after testing.
The NEW Symmons LaundryMate
Now that you know what goes into a great laundry room, you’ll need a great laundry valve box to get started. The new LaundryMate LM600 and LM600A boxes from Symmons are the largest, most durable dual boxes available.
When you order a LaundryMate LM600, you’ll get two modular boxes—one for water supply and one for drain—that interlock together within a standard 16” stud bay. Screw them directly to studs or use the rigid metal straps for perfect alignment, stability, and easier mounting.
Use one box for water supplies and the other for the discharge hose, or just use one box for smaller spaces. There’s even an optional funnel so you can use that same drain line for discharge from an air conditioning system or condensate pump.
The LaundryMate LM600 features individual color-coded hot and cold water ball valves, and the LM600A includes water hammer arrestors to meet new code requirements. Both boxes can handle water piping from any direction and can even be surface mounted for unfinished areas.
The drain box features a 2” PVC glue-fit outlet with a factory knockout plug for pressure testing. Both boxes are finished with paintable snap-in trim panels for a built-in look.
Like all Symmons products, the new LaundryMate carries a limited lifetime warranty for consumers, and the best commercial warranty anywhere—a full 10 years.
When putting together a punch list for a new or remodeled laundry room, the new, wider LaundryMate laundry box checks all the boxes.