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I live in a 100 year old coop, and I'm gut renovating the apartment. I'd like to install an illegal washer/dryer. The apartment is a top floor penthouse, and so I have a private roofdeck and venting the dryer is easy. The board claims that the piping is old, and that is the reason why a washer/dryer can't be installed.
Yet, I have spoken to numerous licensed plumbers which all claim that the board doesn't know what they are talking about. If all waterproofing is done correctly, and the washer/dryer is installed by a professional plumber -- will this put a strain on the building pipes?
It shouldnt, if everyone in the building were to get it then it could be a problem and i am sure thats why they dont want you to have it. Jealousy. Just dont let your neighbors know. Also make sure the plumber puts a pan and an alarm in just in case
I have lived in washer-dryer approved buildings for 21 years. Any problems experienced, aside from leaks which do happen on rare occasion, is from the soapy effluent which can cause back-ups in low floor units. As a penthouse owner, the potential damages would be to your downstairs neighbor, if there is overflow or flooding, or to the ground floor unit in your line.
You don't own the apartment. The co-op does.
Be sure to budget money for your own legal fees and for those of the co-op when you lose. Ask this guy at 40 Fifth how much it cost him:
Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.
Samuel LEVIN, Plaintiff-Appellant,
40 FIFTH AVENUE CORPORATION, Defendant-Respondent.
Dec. 15, 2005.
Background: In suit initiated by tenant/shareholder of apartment cooperative, the Supreme Court, New York County, Marylin G. Diamond, J., after nonjury trial, directed tenant/shareholder to remove washer/dryer and garbage disposal unit he installed in his apartment without board approval in violation of lease. Tenant appealed.
Holdings: The Supreme Court, Appellate Division, held that:
(1) tenant could be required to remove washer/dryer and garbage disposal, and
(2) co-op was not estopped from asserting that approval was required.
do yourself a favor and move to a building that allows washer dryers if you want one that bad. you are just asking for trouble and increased risk. Or, just send your laundry out like a good new yorker.
The W/D isn't "Illegal" Illegal means you can go to prison. The W/D only violates a contractual agreement between you and the coop. Which, of course, could lead to a civil suit, as described above, but that tenant didn't go to prison.
I suggest moving to the midwest, where even the cheapest apartments and houses come with W/D hookups.
Bob, you make living in a cheap apartment in the midwest sound very appealing: I also understand they grow corn and soybeans in the area.
ah the midwest. taxes are low there, too.
Go for it, and use low-suds ("he") detergent to minimize ground-floor sudsing.
Tens of thousands apartments (often including those of Board members) have washers in buildings that don't allow them, and life goes on just fine. Get the aforementioned drain pan, see if there's a vibration-absorbing mat it can sit on, and install the gizmo that shuts off water if a hose bursts, and while you're at it get a condensing/ventless dryer so you don't need to violate the building's exterior.
The plumbing story is nonsense. Even if it were true at one time, modern front loader washing machines use less than half the water of the old top loaders, and require the "HE" detergent as Alan suggests. They are also far less likely to spill water, since water can't just pour out the top as it often did on top loaders when the discharge clogged. Spills most often happen because the drain line clogs and backs up.
The reason you can't have one is that the board members don't have the money, space, and/or ventilation options to have one of their own. I suspect that there are plenty of people in your building with portable washers.
I would talk to your homeowners insurance company about what happens if your washer drops a ton of water on all the apartments below you, because, those hoses can burst, etc, etc.
Our co-op, built in 1890, doesn't allow w/d and an owner snuck one in. Less than a year after they moved in, they had a baby and may have been running the washer too often, but the suds backed up and caused flooding in the laundry room (basement level) and first floor apartments. The tenants in the building (there's two buildings in our co op) are also claiming to have continuing issues with drainage in their pipes.
The board had documented evidence that the new owners were aware of the no washer policy and they're suing the owners for damage caused to the basement and first floor apartments. It's been two years, the suit is still ongoing, and the washer owners now need to sell and the suit is slowing them down. Plus the owners on the first floor have hundreds of dollars in damage to their floors, walls, and rugs. Full disclosure- I joined the board this year. Previously I also thought about sneaking in a w/d, but after this, my personal opinion is that the risk of getting caught/damaging someone's apartment isn't worth the reward. If a tenant assisted in getting a full plumbing evaluation for the buildings to prove that plumbing could support w/ds for the rest of the tenants we would reconsider, but this is not something the board can pay without levying an assessment.
If you can't have W/D in the building, how are you going to "sneak" them in? They are pretty heavy and bulky.
Welcome to the "I'm Special! Club"! Here's the oath:
"Oh, it's just a lump and will go away."
"Oh, he'll change after we're married."
"Oh, but the condo governing docs make no sense! They'd never *enforce* them...."
This washer/dryer thing is a great example of half the world not getting the other half's obsessions. Until a thread about them here, I'd never given it much thought. An elevator ride every week or two, no big deal. Other people, on the other hand, have only a few day's worth of clothes, wear everything just once, and need thousands of dollars worth of laundry equipment just for their own use.
FTHB, that story doesn't wash. If suds made it down to the lower levels in order to back up to the laundry room, guess where the overwhelming majority of said suds originated? The laundry room!
The problem was clearly that the building didn't snake out its drains with sufficient frequency. The new-construction condo I lived in 9 years ago had the same problem, and by the third occurrence the super implemented a weekly snaking schedule -- no more problems.
As a board member, you're in the fortunate role of imposing order on your buildings' plumbing. Buy your super a good electric auger ($200-300 or so), and pick a day of the week to be "Snake Day".
NWT, I have three weeks' worth of clothes and linens just because I hate the laundry room so much -- the noise, the heat, and worst of all ... PEOPLE. I greatly regret not leaving room for a disallowed washer when I renovated my kitchen, but it's too late now; no room.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that my new-construction condo was built with w/d closets with hookups in each apartment.
A front-loading Miele washer uses about 12 gallons of water per load. That is way less than most dishwashers, about half the water usage of a low flow, 10 minute shower, and 1/4 the water used in a basic bathtub. So, was the plumbing back up caused by suds from one washing machine? Good luck with that litigation.
hey alanhart- agree that the laundry room caused most of the backup, but now the w/d owners have to prove this... whereas if they didnt have a w/d, it would be a non-issue for them.
I also want to know how you 'sneak in' a washing machine and dryer. and just b/c the front loaders require HE detergent, doesn't mean that someone won't accidentally put it in - our cleaning lady did that, and the amount of suds was something out of the brady bunch. it took several rinses to get things back to normal.
The point is, all of these buildings with basement laundry rooms had high-suds detergent in their drain pipes before HE was invented, and used washers that consumed (and drained) way way way more water, and had people using their ginormous kitchen double-sinks for hand laundry, and their big deep soaking tubs for baths, and there was problem. Presumably, they snaked their drains. I see no reason why post-WWII buildings should be any different ... did waste lines get much smaller?
"A front-loading Miele washer uses about 12 gallons of water per load. That is way less than most dishwashers, about half the water usage of a low flow, 10 minute shower, and 1/4 the water used in a basic bathtub. So, was the plumbing back up caused by suds from one washing machine? Good luck with that litigation."
volume of water is not the issue. pressure maybe?
Expulsion pump rate. But consider that those expensive European washers were designed for crappy European plumbing ... and laundromats are less common in European cities.
The people in my building with illegal washer/dryers are one of my pet peeves.
When they run their washer, the water backs up into my bathtub. I'm sure it is backing up into other pipes as well, but the point is, your used sudsy water has to go SOMEPLACE, and yes it goes down those pipes but you are not taking into account the final destination, i.e., SOMEONE ELSE'S SINK OR BATHTUB.
You may think, well that's okay, what's the problem with that? I'll tell you:
When that water backs up in the pipes, it picks up crud from the pipes and delivers it into my bathtub. My bathtum is black after this used washer water backs up.
The reason is that this water is flowing in a different direction from the usual flow, therefore the water is flowing backwards (to so speak) and picking up accumulated crud from the pipes that it doesn't pick up when it flows the other direction.
And it deposits all that crud in my bathtub. I have to scrub my bathtub several times a week (basically before every shower) because the A-hole in my building who thinks she's better than the rest of us, and is entitled to break the rules, is SENDING HER USED WASHER WATER INTO MY BATHTUB, ALONG WITH ALL THE CRUD FROM THE PIPES.
So don't do it. If you did it in my building and I found out about it I would report you to the board and I would sue you personally.
AND I would give you dirty looks in the lobby. And I might crack a rotten egg on your door, just so you would have some extra cleaning up to do, instead of it just being me.
GraffitiGrammarian, that is indeed an unacceptable result.
But result of what? Water doesn't flow backwards if it has someplace to go, which is usually down. The problem is that the main waste line in your building's basement or out to the sewer is clogged, or corroded so that it is not at its intended diameter. That's unacceptable with or without washing machines being used.
but Alanhart, I know it is the washer water that is bringing the crud into my bathtub because I HAVE SEEN IT HAPPEN WITH MY OWN EYES.
First the sudsy water starts to bubble up through the bathtub pipe, it lingers for a while in my tub (preventing me from taking a shower for several minutes, which can be inconvenient), and then it drains back out the pipe.
And it has left behind in its wake nasty dirty crud that it brought up with it frmo the pipes.
This isn not regular water that is backing up into my bathtub - it is extremely sudsy washing machine water! I can smell the laundry detergent in it!!!!
GG - it's the pipes conditions overall!! Your building should be doing pipe cleaning at least once/year.
graffiti, if this is happening, why don't you complain to your managing agent/board to have the issue resolved? i.e. force 'illegal' washers out.
Well they building operators know about it, and they say they try to catch the illegal washer/dryers but they are doing all that they can do.
And I'm sure it's hard to catch them.
Which makes it ironic that this jerk, pd3421, the original poster, just comes on the board lah-di-dah, I'm going to put in an illegal washer/dryer, like it's all okay and it doesn't hurt anybody.
Screw her! (or him, as the case may be)
GraffitiGrammarian, I find it very odd that you're so quick to put 100% of the blame on the person(s) who have a washing machine, without at all considering that the problem is the maintenance of your building's main waste line. How about asking your super what the maintenance schedule (snaking with an auger) is for that pipe to the sewer? I bet the answer is something along the lines of "never".
alanhart, I generally like your coolheaded responses. But this is an old issue in my building. I am not the only one who gets crud washed into their bathrubs from illegal washers.
And we have all complained to the super, and had many discussions with him, and the conclusion that everyone has come to (including the super) is that it is 100% the fault of the illegal washers.
So then you've ***specifically*** discussed with the super the snaking of the main waste line from the bottom of the plumbing stacks to the city sewer? Yes?
I used my building's plumbing contractor in the renovation of my kitchen. When I asked him whether my building's prohibition of garbage disposals is based on need, or is just vestigial (they used to be banned by the City) and perhaps I should have someone install one after he leaves, his reply was "let me put it this way: there's nothing, in fact, that's bad about them regarding the plumbing, but if ANYTHING goes wrong anywhere down the line, and they know that you have a disposal, they'll point the finger at you, even without cause."
GraffitiGrammarian, just because everyone in the building, including the Super, have come to the conclusion that this is the fault of the illegal washers is altogether meaningless. You are nothing but laymen, and your conclusions are nothing but speculation. They may, in fact, be correct, but who knows?
Based on what a few licensed plumbers have told me, there is no reason why this should be happening. NYC_SPORT mentions that a modern miele washer only uses 12 gallons of water, less them a bathtub and some dishwashers. How do you know it isn't someone's dishwasher causing your backup?
As an alternate idea, and I know this might sound a little wacky, but how about I run the drain pipe into my bathttub (a little hole in the wall that empties into my tub), and have the drainage go down slowly from there? Is it perhaps the pressure with which the washing machine is draining/expelling water into the drain that might cause the sort of problems mentioned above?
Can anyone recommend a good heavy duty reliable machine, that uses the least amount of water and empties with the least amount of pressure?
hmmm, lets see.. washers are not allowed. people have washers... where's the confusion here? who cares if a pipe needs a snaking? get them to get rid of the washers.
I think it'd be more PC to hire an illegal and keep her in a broom closet. I'm sure your coop would prefer that than an out and out illegal w/d. Coops are the oldest craziest most vindictive POS ppl you'll ever meet in the world.
To the OP who asks an anonymous group of posters to determine whether or not your building's 100 year-old pipes will be stressed by an outlawed washer and dryer: Obviously no one here, including you, knows the answer to that question. It's also unlikely that your hand-picked outside plumbers who may be hoping to get the job to install that illegal washer/dryer and who will be nowhere to be found when there is a future problem, know the answer. However, it is extremely reasonable to think that those who know your building's infrastructure, history, and the facts on the ground (the board, the managing agent, the super), do know. You just don't like their answer.
You say you're doing a gut renovation so you've probably had to submit an alteration agreement to your coop and also obtain city permits. If you try to sneak in the plumbing and electrical work necessary for a washer-dryer (it doesn't matter if it's vented or not), you'll have a problem with final inspections. If you pull more electric than your plans call for, questions will be asked (are you going to lie about what that spare circuit breaker switch is for?). Even if you falsify your drawings and ask your electrician to put his license on the line to falsify your electric load letter or lie on your permit application, it's likely that your coop will do spot inspections along the way. You'll get caught because installing a washer-dryer isn't like plugging in a toaster oven.
But writing as a former board member and the veteran of several gut renovations (including installing washer/dryers -- all of which were legal), this I know for sure: should you manage to sneak the electrical work, plumbing and the delivery of the appliances past your building staff, super, managing agent, coop board, and the Department of Buildings, and should you ever have any kind of problem (leak, noise, electrical fire, pipe back-up, appliance repair, electric overload), you will not only be sued by your coop and your neighbors. You may end up being un-insurable. Because no insurance company wants to do business with a customer who knowingly commits a fraud.
It doesn't matter if your installation is feasible given your building's infrastructure. What matters is that you're a shareholder who said you'd follow the rules. The fact is that you do not have the data to decide on your own if the coop's standards and criteria are valid; only the board has that data and that authority. If you don't like living in such a circumstance, you should move into a house so if you have a leak you only wreck your own carpets and furniture, not someone else's. There is an alternative: if you are a good shareholder and really believe that the board's conclusion about the plumbing is in error, you can pay the cost for the coop to re-investigate its washer-dryer prohibition and then live with the results and the board's conclusion.
And since you said you were on the penthouse level, you should have a shred of empathy and think about what it would be like if someone like you lived upstairs from your recently completed gut renovation. Maybe they'd put their illegal washer-dryer about your baby's room or above your meticulously re-painted library. And think about how well you would sleep at night if their standards were based on their laundry convenience and not the integrity of your building's plumbing and electrical systems.
Obviously you're going to do what you want to do and what you can get away with. But you should just know the risks.
By the way, I'm very glad you are not my neighbor nor my fellow shareholder.
"The plumbing story is nonsense. Even if it were true at one time, modern front loader washing machines use less than half the water of the old top loaders, and require the "HE" detergent as Alan suggests. They are also far less likely to spill water, since water can't just pour out the top as it often did on top loaders when the discharge clogged. Spills most often happen because the drain line clogs and backs up."
The plumbing story is NOT "nonsense."
As I've explained ad nauseum on this board, here it goes one more time for the slow folks:
It's not the VOLUME of the water, it's the PRESSURE. Prewar building drain pipes can usually handle no more than 7 gallons per minute -- the amount of water that naturally drains from gravity in a sink or a bathtub. Even in the "energy efficient" models that don't use as much water, they're still using at least 14 gallons of water per load. During the spin cycle, the water isn't just drained, it's FORCED out of the drum at as much as 25 gallons per minute (yes, even though there's only 14 gallons of water in the drum, it can be forced out at a rate of 25 gallons per minute -- kind of the same way your car car go 60 miles PER HOUR for a 5-mile trip). The pipes can't handle that much pressure, so what results is the water overflows into other people's sinks and bathtubs, as was explained above.
And before the slow people
OOPS sorry. Cut myself off.
I was just going to mention to the slow people on the board that even if the plumbing story WAS nonsense -- again, as was pointed out earlier -- the washer is ILLEGAL by virtue only of the building's rules. Violate the rules, and you risk not only hefty fines, but also the rescinding of your proprietary lease.
Penthouse or not, if you don't want to play by the building's rules, don't join the game.
I'm kind of simplistic but hasn't anyone figured out that to deal with the water pressure problem a separate holding tank for the washer effluent can be installed next to the washer so that it can drain by gravity and not overload the pipes? There are many very reasonable UES post war buildings that I would like to live in that use the water pressure issue as the excuse(be it real or not). I'm surprised that some appliance company has not yet made a product for the NYC market for this issue. I really believe that the real reason that w/d can't be installed in many cases is that there is a sweetheart deal with the original coop converter for the wash room lease, and they do not want to lose out on the income from the w/d use, and the coop board does not want to deal with restructuring the lease payments down if private w/d could be installed. They may have a provision that there will be no private w/d. I do understand that the coop does benefit from the money from the lease, but I still can't believe that people living in $1.5 million dollar apts have to go to the basement to do laundry, send it out, or have the hired help do it on cleaning day.
"yes, even though there's only 14 gallons of water in the drum, it can be forced out at a rate of 25 gallons per minute -- kind of the same way your car car go 60 miles PER HOUR for a 5-mile trip"
Please re-explain. When I'm driving my car from Costco, I usually have only a case of water in the back, a maximum of 12 gallons. Also, until recently, the Costco was more than 5 miles away.
skippy2222 makes a very good point, and to generalize from that, we can arrive firmly at the conclusion that coop boards have done NOTHING to identify and solve the problem that prevents its shareholders from living in the modern era. I believe the washer ban is based entirely on superstition, but if it's truly the waste expulsion rate, they can dictate a gravity-fed workaround like a slop-sink (as skippy2222), or perhaps some models have expulsion rates that can be adjusted downwards, or are already slower (European plumbing?).
If it's flooding, there are solutions.
If it's vibration, there are solutions.
If it's cost of water and the heating thereof, there are solutions.
If it's dryer venting, there are solutions.
If it's Matt, no solutions.
"I'm kind of simplistic but hasn't anyone figured out that to deal with the water pressure problem a separate holding tank for the washer effluent can be installed next to the washer so that it can drain by gravity and not overload the pipes? "
Unfortunately, most apartments would require a separate laundry ROOM to include washer, dryer (or washer/dryer single unit) AND a laundry tub capable of holding at least 15 gallons of water.
Matt, why would they require a room? Also a laundry slop sink is probably not the best idea, as it can get blocked and used for other purposes and then someone could forget as they leave the apt that the laundry is on and the tub could overflow. If I were to design it, or if I were on the board, I would require a separate closed tub that could only be used for the sole purpose of the washer effluent. I know that this could be a problem because I did cause a problem once years ago when I had that same system. I was using the sink and it was stopped up, and then the washer was put on, and low and behold, the slop sink overflowed! What an idiot!
I would hope that board members would enter into this discussion and comment on how stupid and simplistic my idea is and why it would not work. I welcome and board members to please shoot holes into the idea and try to support your policy.
Skippy, I AM a board member. And I tried to float your very idea past the rest of my own board; my plan was to replace my dishwasher with an undercounter washer/dryer unit, and replace my kitchen sink with a deep farm-style sink, retrofitted with the laundry drain pipe.
The rest of the board followed the recommendation of the engineer, who said that "If the rest of the apartments in any particular line did the same thing, there would be too much of a draw on the water pressure in the rest of the kitchens and baths."
In other words, since we ALL can't do it, NOBODY can.
Matt, by "draw" do you mean the engineer was referring to supply lines, not waste lines? So he thinks that ALL washers would draw more water than ALL sinks turned on full at the same time, and that there's any particular likelihood of that happening? I hope you don't use the same guy for structural engineering.
The thing that is particularly ridiculous about all of this is the clear addition in value from having a washer dryer in each apartment. In the aggregate the higher value would more than compensate for a little clever thought process and engineering but like in most things we have learned the power of just saying no.
"Matt, by "draw" do you mean the engineer was referring to supply lines, not waste lines? "
Water supply lines.
Engineers are concerned with TOTAL loads. The fact of the matter is that putting just ONE washer in any given line of apartments would increase the draw (demand) for water in that line dramatically.
Another issue: does the word "illegal" mean anything?
If you're going to be someone's neighbor for a long while, why be a bad one?
On a practical note: someone was selling their place in my building, and the illegal w/d was discovered in the apartment. The board let him sell but he had to pay a tremendous fine, and later when he came back for references for his next purchase, guess what happened.
Another scenario: the board has the right to apply all costs even remotedly or potentially connected to w/d to the owner.
In condos it's worse. Goes directly to the city.
And yes, w/d does decrease cold water in their line.
I think I understand the potential engineering concern, but how is it done in other apt buildings in every other city in the country with buildings of the same vintage? Are they all suffering from lack of water pressure? Also, can somebody else add to this post who is familiar with their post war building, especially if the w/d rule was recently changed. Have you suffered a change in water pressure as a result of w/d? And can the decrease in pressure be compensated by a pressure pump or a larger water tower on the roof? Or can it be solved by a very slow water fill rate? Or by a holding tank that fills prior to the load? The front load washers have a very slow cycle. Is this one of the reasons?
What if I just drain the washer into my bathtub rather than directly into the drain? It's unconventional and strange, but if it ultimately solves the issue of the washer draining out into the main pipe at high pressure, then won't this work.
By the way, does a dishwasher not drain into the main drain pipe with the same high pressure as a washing machine?
"By the way, does a dishwasher not drain into the main drain pipe with the same high pressure as a washing machine?"
A dishwasher doesn't FORCE the water out with a spin cycle. It just drains the water using gravity.
Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ... wrong!
I had a second floor apartment at the printing house that used to get lintwater backup through my tub/shower drain once a month. Never knew when I would get the surprise, usually a morning I was rushing to work to find my entire tub in blue crud.
The SUper had no fix for it, and the claim was, an upstairs apartment had a washer/dryer hookup and their specific contract did not have the prohibited washer/dryer clause and there was nothing they could do about it.
Oh Alan, please stick to what you know: cocktails and party favors.
Nycmatt, yeah you stick with w/d in coops. You old coop prez hag.
Cocktails free; party favors $1,500 each
Washer/dryer rules are covered by the business judgment rule. If the Co-op board does not permit the installation of washer/dryers, that's it, the courts won't second guess them. Whilst plumbing is often cited as a reason for not allowing washer/dryers in apartments and that may be valid in many old buildings, another common reason is that the board rents out the laundry room to a service company and the contract often prohibits the board allowing residents to install washer/dryers in their apartments. The rules may be antiquated and may drive you crazy, but there is a solution. Run for the board and try to change the rules.
I am very fortunate that I live in a new condo that has washer/dryer hookups in each unit, and my dryer is running as I type. When we went shopping for an apartment, a washer/dryer in the apartment was high on the wish list.
A shareholder in my building was actually kicked out (forced to sell, and at a loss) because of the illegal w/d that kept causing trouble for the neighbors. After a couple of years of noise, water and leaking problems, the neighbors sued, and the w/d owners' shares were revoked. And they were not new to the building, just suddenly decided to violate the house rules.
"Cocktails free; party favors $1,500 each"
So that's your going rate?
Anyone needs a brand new W/D for half the price?
After I did a gut renovation (including all new plumbing down to the lower floor- Coop requirement), and I heard that the laundry in the basement of my building was already closed for renovations for over a year, I had a washer/dryer installed in my apt.
I had a disagreement with the building contractor I used for the majority of the work (I had been told that using him was my only chance to get approval fast), so he reported my W/D to the board.
Right after I moved in the management informed me that I had to remove the W/D ASAP.
I offered to pay a fine for violating Coop rules, or even a monthly "maintenance fee", but, no mercy.
I'm from Europe, where EVERYBODY has a private washing machine (and you know, our buildings are really old..), so that's some new experience for me..
My building claimed up and down that it wasn't allowed and it wasn't possible with their old pipes. Then, just this year, they approved it. What changed? Certainly not the pipes. They claim that new technology now allows it. Bulls***. They just didn't want to take the risk. Don't forget, condo board people are do nothing non-risk takers. It's easier for them to say no than to say yes to anything.
a washer/dryer can never be "illegal"
even if your board finds out your installation one day, if you can prove you have already installed it for more than 30 days (or 6 months, don't remember the city code exactly), then your board can do nothing about it any more.
A washer and dryer may not be "illegal" (and I'd love to see the source), but it sure can cause you legal problems as others have pointed out.
If your Proprietary Lease says no washing machines without board approval, and you have a washing machine that causes damage to the building, good luck getting your insurance company to pay for anything. Not worth the risk of hundreds of thousands of dollars in liability, IMO.
Also, I have to say, as the owner of both.... washing machines and roof decks will be blamed for EVERYTHING that goes wrong in a building. They're not for the faint of heart. :-)
I know it sucks not having a washer/dryer in your unit, but it's not worth the risk of installing an illegal one. I would highly recommend either appealing to the board with detailed reports from engineers/plumbers or buying an apartment that allows them. A washer/dryer is the one thing you don't want to mess around with since the potential damage is so great.
NYCmodern...I just skimmed over this whole post and have a couple questions.
I am considering adding a washer dyer to two units in a building I own. How can you determine if the drain stack can handle this pressure? I would imagine that its about the size of the pipe, no?
"How can you determine if the drain stack can handle this pressure?"
You call in an engineer.
is this true?
I am doing a gut renovation I am allowed to put a w/d but it has to drain into the toilet drain which is a 4" waste line the others are only 2".
People are still calling washers/dryers "illegal" on this thread. For the last time, there no such thing as an "illegal" washer/dryer unless the actual washer/dryer violates some regulatory regime or law. The installation is a violation of the co-ops by laws and that's it. They can order you to remedy that actions. But there is nothing inherently illegal (meaning - violates an established law) in installing or using a washer/dryer. Say installing a washer/dryer that violates your buildings code or something.
I think a better way to find out is to install and observe
Tell management/board that they're medically-necessary emotional-companion appliances, and threaten to throw the full force of the ADA at them.
Agree with Alan, someone in Morgenthau's office will scare the crap out of them. If you can't arrange that, Michael Moriarity needs work.
"People are still calling washers/dryers "illegal" on this thread. For the last time, there no such thing as an "illegal" washer/dryer unless the actual washer/dryer violates some regulatory regime or law."
And for the last time, if it violates a building byLAW, it is perfectly accurate to call it "illegal".
>And for the last time, if it violates a building byLAW, it is perfectly accurate to call it "illegal".
Matt's got a point.
jaky: Maybe not. I have seen engineer reports on buildings that substantiate that the buildings' electrical lines and panels do not have amperage capacity to support washer/dryers in units. I agree with Matt, it is appropriate to call it "illegal" if it is not allowed under the building's propriety lease or house rules. But moreover, the installation could very well be truly illegal from a governmental point of view if it does not comply with the electrical code - and excessive electrical loading exists beyond the building's capacity. If a fire results, the tenant will absolutely be on the hook, at least financially.
"unlawful" if violation of bylaws.
"illegal" if against code.
This will give the wife something to think about on our apartment wish list. Seems that a W/D is a must for families with kids. For its at this stage, possibly not so much if there is laundry in the building, if we have help or with the nearby cleaners. We are retired now with kids long out of our gomer in the burbs.
As a person living in a pre-war building who just had his apartment horribly flooded, I have to say, that there is something fundamentally selfish and lazy about a person installing an illegal w/d above the ground level. This person got the convenience of not having to walk down a flight of stairs to do laundry like the rest of us. I got my walls destroyed, clothes soaked, and if I hadn't been home the water would have gotten backup hard-drives that have years of photographs I have taken on them. His need for convenience has caused me an indescribable amount of stress, anxiety, and fear. I've woken up quite a few times in a start, thinking that I hear water pouring into my apartment again. I work from home and had to delay several key assignments while contractors tore down drywall and basically turned my apartment upside down. So, how about this, before you install a w/d and gain a minor convenience, you spend half a second considering the human beings who live beneath you whose lives will be utterly turned upside down if ANYTHING goes wrong.