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Owners of A+A E-111 atrium model or similar -- Question

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Joined: May 2 2006

Hi, I'm a new Eichler owner and new to this network. Can't tell you how many hours I've spent reading the posts. I've been learning so much. But I'm now hoping you can help me with something.

I need to buy a new washer & dryer to fit into the laundry closet in the family room by the garage. The closet depth is shallow so the closet doors won't close properly with the large high-efficiency appliances. So I would like to know how those with an Anshen+Anshen E-111 atrium home (p.79 in Eichler book) or a similar style solved this problem.

1. Did you find appliances that fit into the closet well? If so, what are they?
2. Did you remove the closet doors and expose the laundry? Accept the fact that the doors don't close?
3. Did you move the equipment to the garage? Which wall? I found an "S" sewer mark on the curb straight out our front door. Is this a good thing or bad thing in terms of relocating the laundry? Will it involve more difficult work or it won't be so bad? Will it be worth it?
4. If you live in the Fairbrae tract of Sunnyvale, I'm especially interested in seeing what you did if possible. (mellowoutcafe at yahoo dot com)

Help! I don't want to keep going to the laundromat to do our laundry. Thanks.

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Joined: Mar 16 2005

I don't have an atrium model, but it look's like a general approach could work.
(1) Since the laundry closet is size constrained, it appears you have to avoid these "extra capacity" appliances being sold. Basically, it looks to me like you have to surf the Net to get dimensions of models that fit, paying attention to manufacturers specs of side & back clearance dimensions. They are building condos & apts that have inside washer/drivers, so they make mid & compact appliances for them.
Start with brands that you like, example, Kenmore, GE, Whirlpool, etc.
(2) You mentioned HE units, but I don't know if you specifically mean the front loaders, which I think are no bigger than standard size appliances. While they are efficient, they are expensive (25-50% more), breakdown almost twice as often as conventional units, and I think the washers require HE detergent which probbaly is more expensive than normal.
(3) As you are doing research, check Consumer Reports for models that are highly rated - - as CR tests only a select number of models, you may not find ratings on models you're considering. My experience is that more money buys features, but necessarily better performance. As the units are inside the house, noise is a factor. The Kenmore appliances we bought have the Quiet Package 2, and as mid-line units, they perform fairly well and are rated by CR to be good to very good in quiteness.
(4) Another option is the stacked washer/dryer - - again, read CR about them. My recollection is that they do one function well, but not the other, but solves space problems (but you have to do more loads).
(5) With respect to moving them to the garage, nice idea, but you'll probably get sticker shock on the cost to install a drain for the washer, and install hot & cold water supply, and a little cost for cutting a hole in the garage side wall to vent the dryer. Then, if the dryer is electric, you'll need 30amp 230V service.
Also, they will probably take up too much space on the side, so you will have to place them on the front-back way.

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Joined: Mar 25 2003

We have regular american front loaders and they fit. However, our closet doors are not original.

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Joined: May 2 2006

Thanks for the suggestions -- both those posted here and those who emailed. We finally buckled down and bought a Kenmore Oasis washer & dryer. Installation is tomorrow. We'll see how it goes. Doubt the closet doors will close fully, but will probably work short-term. Long term -- we will have to see. We may have to get a general contractor to help us with some changes. When the time comes for that (aka when we have the energy and $), I will be posting for contractor recommendations.

Again, thanks for your help. You guys are great. So happy to be part of the Eichler community.

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Joined: Apr 20 2006

To Prefab:

I have bought the HE models that you speak of and I think you have a few misconceptions.

They are larger than a conventional washer and dryer

They are more expensive, but the energy cost they can save will pay back that cost in no time. They use 13 gal/water as compared to a conventional uses on average 40 gal. The washer spins the clothes considerably faster the speed of a conventional, so less water in the clothes means less drying time - means less money to dry. All this while doing more clothes and less loads.

I am not sure where you get the idea they break down twice as often, I read consumer reports and consumer reviews and found no such claim.

They are considerably quieter than a conventional washer and dryer. I had to check to see if the washer was on while it was washing clothes!

HE detergent is slightly more expensive, but is concentrated which means you use less per load, which means that it really is cheaper.

These are just a few of the benefits that I have found.

Mike

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