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Is a laundry area for a washing machine required by code for a single family residence?

Friday, August 16, 2019

The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires at 210.52(F) a minimum of one receptacle outlet at an area designated for laundry equipment. It states that “Laundry Areas - In dwelling units, at least one receptacle outlet shall be installed in areas designated for installation of laundry equipment.” There are two exceptions allowed: 1) for multifamily buildings with a central laundry room, and 2) for anything other than a single-family dwelling where a laundry is not permitted or allowed.


    This requirement first entered the NEC in the 1971 edition, and there is a further stipulation at NEC 210.50(C) that the receptacle outlet be within 6 feet of the intended location of the appliance.

     But what we find unusual is that there is no requirement in the International Residential Code (IRC) or the Residential Edition of the Florida Building Code (FBC) specifically requiring a single-family residence to have a washing machine faucet box or the equivalent. Section R306 says that each dwelling unit must have a water closet, lavatory, bathtub or shower, and a kitchen sink, yet no mention of laundry plumbing. There is a requirement at R306.4, however, that requires both cold and hot water supply to a list of fixtures that includes a washing machine or laundry tub. 

    So a laundry area is required in a single-family residence, but the requirement is in the NEC, not in the IRC code where you would expect to find it. Also see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Laundry Areas

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Here’s links to some of our other blog posts about LAUNDRY EQUIPMENT:

Is a washing machine drain hose required to be secured at the standpipe?

Why does venting a clothes dryer into a garage, attic, or crawl space cause problems? 

Is a hot water faucet required at a washing machine?

Why is it bad to have a clothes dryer vent near an air conditioning condenser (outdoor unit)? 

What are the code requirements for an outdoor dryer vent cover?

What is the maximum length for a clothes dryer vent? 

What is the maximum length for a washing machine drain hose?

How do you inspect a dryer vent? 

• Why is there a water hose connected to the back of the clothes dryer?

Why are rubber washing machine hoses a safety risk? 

• What are the most common problems with washing machine installation and maintenance?

What is the correct height for the washing machine drain standpipe or outlet box? 

   Visit our APPLIANCES page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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