Washer Dryer: 27 Questions Answered

Imagine you live in an apartment with a washer and dryer in the basement. And, your lease says you’re responsible for using them and keeping them clean.

But you’ve never used a washer-dryer before and you’re not even sure how they work.

What do you do?

Washer Dryer - 27 Questions Answered

If you’re like most people, you probably go online and search for answers related to the washer and dryer.

Or

You might ask a friend or family member who is familiar with washer-dryers for help.

But, what if you don’t have anyone to ask?

In this article, we’ll answer 27 of the most commonly asked questions about washer-dryers.

Let’s get started.

Can you stack a dryer on top of the washer?

Yes, a dryer can be easily stacked on top of the washer in order to save space. To stack the dryer on top of the washer in an effective manner you may need to ensure the compatibility of the washer and dryer.

It is important to follow the stacking kit instructions which come with the washer and dryer.

The washer and dryer should be compatible for stacking or should be a combination of the same brand and eligible for stacking one over the above.

If the compatibility criteria are not met then you may consider the vertical cabinet stacking option.

Are stackable washer dryer combinations reliable?

Keeping reliability in mind the manufacturers have designed stackable washer-dryer combinations and thus they are highly reliable.

It’s the same machine and works similar to the side-by-side arrangement, so reliability is more or less the same.

The only drawback is that a service or repair of any of these specific units may require you to dismantle the stacking, lifting, shifting, etc. which will result in excess manual efforts and may also become a time-consuming factor.

How do you stack a Washer-Dryer? Step by step

Stacking your washer above the dryer is a great way to save space in your laundry room.

It isn’t too complex as you may think, the only requirement is a proper placement using the right kit.

Things to remember

  • Make sure your washer and dryer are compatible or a good fit for stacking one over the other. In short, it should be the right combination of a stackable washer and dryer.
  • Ensure that the floor level is even.
  • Dedicate a specific location before stacking.
  • Make sure there is ample room available around the stacked washer-dryer, in order to push or pull the washer-dryers for service purposes.
  • Leave at least 6 inches gap from behind for plumbing and electrical fittings.
  • It’s best to buy stacking kits from your appliance manufacturer.

Items needed

In order to stack the washer over the dryer, you will need the below items.

  • Stacking Kit: A suitable stacking kit.

What is a washer dryer stacking kit?

A washer dryer stacking kit is like an adjustable frame or brackets that are attached at the top of the washer by adjusting its sizes to the capacity of the washer top area.

These kits are specially designed to be attached to the top of your front load washer and give a supporting or a holding base to your washer-dryer.

This way your washer-dryer is prevented from toppling over when the dryer is in use.

When you select the stacking kits always have the model numbers of your washer and dryer handy.

In most cases, a universal stacking kit is a good fit for washer and dryer combinations.

  • A helping hand

You need to have someone available as a helping hand while lifting the dryer above the washer. 

  • Adjustable Wrench or Drivers

Depending on the kit and fittings available for the washer dryer combo you might need a driver or an adjustable wrench for bolt fittings.

Steps to Stack the Washer and Dryer

Most manufacturers will have clear instructions for stacking if the appliance is stackable.

Simply, refer to the user manual guide of your appliance model first before following the below instructions.

Note: Improper placement or non-adherence to crucial instructions set by the manufacturer may lead to warranty issues. I can easily void the warranty in the event of any damage.

Stack your dryer above the washer in 5 simple steps

Step 1:  Adjust the Frame

Position the washer in its final location, and then slide the dryer against the washer until they are touching.

Adjust the frame or the brackets and place them above the washer and lock them in place.

Step 2: Use Fastening Straps

Some manufacturers suggest using fastening straps or adhesives to make the fixture firm.

These are like adjustable belts that go around the washer and get buckled to provide extra support.

Step 3: Place the Dryer

With the help of a friend OR assistant, safely lift the dryer and place it above the washer in the adjoining frame.

Step 4: Tighten the Screws

Now tighten all the screws or bolts onto both units (Washer and Dryer) using the driver or the adjustable wrench.

Note: Remove the 4 tiny legs from the dryer before you place them above the washer

Step 5: Connections & Supplies

Once the washer and dryer are stacked in place and the screws are tightened, make sure there is no gap between them.

Now to connect both washer and dryer with the help of washer hoses, electric cords, and gas pipes (if any).

  • For your Washer

Simply connect the water inlet hoses and fix the drain hose onto the washer.

Make sure, that the power cords are easily reachable to the power socket.

  • For your Dryer

1.) Connect the gas supply if it is a gas dryer.

2.) Connect to the existing vent if it is a vented dryer.

3.) Now plug your washer and dryer into their suitable power supplies.

4.) Gently push slide the stacked combo to its wall leaving some room for further movements.

Note: Non-compatible washers and dryers can be stacked in some cases, but it needs professional assistance.

Why are dryers always stacked above the washers?

There are various factors involved and is said to be a best practice to always place a dryer over the washer.

Let us look into the factors involved:

Ease Of Access

By Placing the dryer over the washer, it becomes more accessible and easier to reach.

Optimal Ventilation

For a gas dryer, it is advisable to place it over the washer so as to get better ventilation.

Weight factor

Usually, washing machines are heavier than the dryers and become even heavier when filled with clothes.

Putting a heavy appliance on top of a light appliance is not recommended as it can topple over.

Connections

The washer requires multiple connections or supplies such as water inlet hoses, power supplies, and drain hoses.

Keeping the washer down gives easy access to the water supply and the drain connections.

On the other hand, ventless and electric dryers only need a power unit to be plugged in.

Note: It is always recommended to stack the dryers above the washer by most manufacturers.

Heavy Duty

Washers do an aggravated job during the entire wash cycle such as agitation or tumbling, rinsing, and spinning with wet & heavy loads.

This process may lead to excessive shaking or vibrating which may be unbearable to the frame fittings.

Should you unplug your washer and dryer when not in use?

It is advisable to unplug your washer and dryer when not in use as it can help you save some electricity.

This also avoids any potential hazards such as fires or shocks.

Electronic appliances may consume energy in a turned-off state which is termed phantom energy or vampire power.

Unplugging the appliances from the power source ensures zero power consumption for the appliances.

Simply turning off the washer and then unplugging them will ensure that no power is drawn from the washer.

Also Read: Can Washing Machines run on inverted power?

How often should you replace your washer and dryer?

Consumer reports recommend replacing the electronic appliances usually after 8 years of utilization.

You may consider stretching the usage by a couple of years more with regular maintenance and care.

The washer may last for about 10-13 years whereas the dryers may last for about 13 years if used with proper maintenance and care.

The below factors can be considered for both washers and dryers or as a combination:

Age Factor

If the units have been utilized to your satisfaction and are too old to bear the laundry loads, it is time to replace them.

Frequent Breakdowns

If your units break down very often due to poor maintenance and worn-out internal components, it is advisable to replace them.

Repairing Cost

If there is severe damage where repairing expenditure is more than half the price of a new unit, it is better to replace rather than repair.

Secondly, if the cost of repairing the damage needs a replacement of a specific component then check if the replacement parts are covered under warranty and try to do the cost-benefit analysis.

Outdated Technology

If your washer and dryer models are too old and use outdated technology, it is time to replace them.

For instance, washers with a central agitator are gradually getting replaced by washer models with impellers as they are more gentle on clothes.

Capacity

If your washer and dryers fail to meet your laundry needs as per the family size and force you to struggle with the laundry, it is time to replace them.

Mobility

When you move your house and the new apartment does not offer a gas supply then you may have to replace the unit with an electrical dryer or search for an alternate apartment that offers a gas supply.

What is an extended warranty for washers and dryers?

An extended warranty is like an insurance policy that covers the repair and replacement costs of your washer-dryer for a certain period after the expiration of the manufacturer’s warranty.

It is always advisable to buy an extended warranty as it acts as a safeguard against expensive repairs.

The extended warranties are either offered by the manufacturer of your appliance or the third-party companies, where you get into an agreement that assures you of the warranty continuation after the manufacturer’s warranty ends.

The cost of the extended warranty varies and depends on the tenure of the extension and the value of your unit.

Are extended warranties for washers and dryers worth it?

Extended warranties may or may not be worth it as they cover the washer and dryer against costly repairs.

The best way to find out if you really need an extended warranty is to evaluate the cost of the extended warranty and the probability of repairs during that period.

If you feel that there are high chances of your washer-dryer breaking down, then it is better to go for an extended warranty.

Extending the warranties of your washer and dryer ensures peace of mind in the long run especially if you intend to use the washer extensively.

Having said that, always read the terms and conditions before entering into the agreement.

This is because your extended warranty may not cover not all types of damages.

Also doing minor things such as cleaning the washer-dryer on your own using non-recommended cleaning solutions may void the warranty.

An extended warranty is hit or miss, therefore the best way to decide if you want to go for it or not is to assess your usage.

If you will be using your washer-dryer a lot then it is better to have an extended warranty, but if not then you could save that money by avoiding it.

What is the lifespan of washers and dryers?

The lifespan of washers and dryers differs as per the type, make, and model.

The average lifespan of a washer is 10 to 13 years and dryers can last for 13 years and beyond.

However, the lifespan of a washer-dryer can be prolonged with proper maintenance and care.

Which uses more electricity, the washing machine or the dryer?

Comparatively a washing machine uses less electricity than the electric dryers.

Having said that, the cost of gas dryers is on the lowest side amongst all when it comes to electricity consumption.

Here are a few tips to reduce the power consumption for your washer and dryers.

Washing machines: The washers consume minimum power if you use the cold water wash cycles, so use the cold wash cycle for regular wash and use the hot water cycle only if required.

Electric dryers: The electric dryer’s power consumption can be controlled by using shorter dry cycles or by avoiding the dry cycles for fabrics that dry swiftly.

Gas Dryers: The power consumption of gas dryers are always on the lower side because they use electricity to power the motor and blowers and the heating mechanism uses natural gas or propane gas.

Is it okay to put a washer and dryer in a kitchen?

Washing machines and dryers are generally placed in the laundry room, but if there is no space or if you want to save space then the washer and dryer can be kept in the kitchen.

Just make sure that there is proper ventilation as washers and dryers give out heat and steam.

Also, washers need a water source, so placing them near the sink is a good idea.

Kitchens are the junctions where a majority of domestic chores take place including washing and drying, especially in small apartments.

Due to the lack of laundry rooms or spaces in the small apartments and homes, people are bound to put washers and dryers in the kitchen.

You may install the washer and dryer in the kitchen in various ways.

  • Either you can fix them side by side under the kitchen counters or simply stack them one above the other (The dryer above the washer).
  • Securing them to the cabinets is another option and you just need to ensure the cabinet doors open all the way to their fullest and leave some space around the units for easy movements.

What are washer and dryer capacity measurements?

The washer and dryer capacity is the maximum amount of laundry that the washer and dryer can handle in one cycle.

The washer and dryer capacities are usually measured in cubic feet.

For example, if the capacity of a washer is mentioned as 2.0 cubic feet, It simply means that the washer can hold 2.0 cubic feet of laundry (approx. 10 to 12 pounds of clothes) in one cycle.

What are washer and dryer dimensions?

The washer and dryer dimensions are the width, height, and depth of the washer and dryer.

For example: If the Washer dimensions are mentioned as 27″ x 30.25″ x 38.75″ it simply means that the washer is 27 inches wide, 30.25 inches in height, and 38.75 inches deep.

Did people have a home washer and dryer in the 70s?

In the 1970s, washer-dryers were not common in most homes as they are today.

The washers and dryers were generally found in the laundromats back in those days.

Having said that, People did have a washer and dryer in their homes, but they were not as common as they are today especially due to the cost factor.

The washer and dryers were quite expensive back in those days and not many people could afford to have one in their homes.

Are all washer dryer hookups the same?

The hookups differ depending on the type of washer and dryer you have.

Let us discuss them in detail.

Washing Machines

Almost all the washers have a power supply and drain as a similar hookup, but differ from the water supply options such as water inlet valves.

Some washers have only a cold water wash option and hence they have a single water supply line whereas most washers have a dual supply with hot and cold water.

So hookups may differ from brand to brand and the model.

Dryers

Dryers are hooked up with the power supply and other hookups may differ depending on their types such as gas & electric dryers, Vented & ventless dryers, etc.

Electric Dryers

There 2 types of electric dryers ventless and vented electric dryers.

  • Ventless electric dryers: Need only a power supply for complete operation.
  • Vented Electric dryers: Need a vent installation along with a power supply.

Gas Dryers

Gas dryers are vented dryers and require additional gas hookups along with a capped-off gas line that connects the gas inlet and the vent installation.

How do you slide a stackable washer and dryer?

In order to move or slide the stacked washer and dryer, the first step is to follow the safety precautions, below are a few safety precautions that need to be considered during the move.

Floor

Make sure the floor isn’t wet and clear of any obstacles lying around the area before the move.

Vacate

Remove any clothing left in the washer or dryer tubs.

Hookups

Unplug the duo units from power supplies, water supplies, vent, gas supplies if applicable, and the drain connections.

Door

Make sure the doors of the washer and dryers are locked closed.

For vertically stacked washer and dryer units, their overall height becomes the limiting factor to slide them the normal way.

Hence using a dolly carrier is the best option to slide them.

If you’re moving the washer and dryer units within the same house, you can use a heavy-duty appliance dolly.

And, If you’re relocating the washer and dryer to another home, you can use a furniture dolly that can carry more weight.

Let us look into the steps to slide the stacked unit.

  • Place the dolly beside the washer and with the help of an assistant lift one edge of the stacked unit to create some space underneath.
  • Now simply push the dolly beneath the unit.
  • Slide the unit over to the dolly and carefully move it to the desired location and ensure the dolly is tilted to safety.

If you are confident enough to use a dolly carrier, use it OR call professional movers in the sliding process.

If you don’t have access to a dolly and the unit is placed in a closet at a certain height, then you may consider unstacking the duo and reinstalling it accordingly.

This may sound time-consuming but can be used as a last resort.

Also Read: How to Unlock a washing machine door mid-cycle?

What damages clothes more, the washer or the dryer?

The extent of damage depends on how wisely you are using your washer and dryers in the first place. 

Technically, dryers are prone to cause more wear and tear to clothes as they subject the clothes to high temperatures for a prolonged period.

This, in turn, causes the fibers to break down and eventually damage the clothes.

Repeated washes with high temperatures also damage the clothes, but washers are less damaging than dryers.

What are the benefits of a Washer Dryer Combo?

Washer dryer combos are loaded with numerous benefits and have solved the laundry challenges for many. 

Let us discuss a few benefits below.

Space

The all-in-one single unit gives you the benefit of saving space in either direction and has a sleek design that makes it look attractive too.

Easy to operate

When you have separate washers and dryers, you need to transfer clothes from one machine to another.

With washer dryer combo machines, you can load the clothes once and wash as well as dry them in the same machine.

This not only saves time but is also more convenient as you don’t have to monitor two machines.

Time-saving

The washer dryer combo machines are designed to save you time as they can wash and dry clothes in shorter duration as compared to separate washers and dryers.

The washer and dryer combo machines have a faster spin speed that extracts more water from clothes, thereby reducing drying time.

Hookup

Have reduced the challenges of multiple hookups as compared to individual washer and dryer units.

Reliability

Washer-Dry combos are reliable as they are from reputed brands and have a track record of being durable.

Easy Installation and Mobility

These are easy to install as a single unit and moving them becomes easy, unlike the dual units.

Are washers and dryers built into a single unit?

Yes, the washer and dryers are also available in a single unit in a form of a Washer-Dryer Combo or the all-in-one washer dryer.

The leading brands such as LG, Samsung, Whirlpool, and many more already make washer-dryer combo units.

Where can I buy a single-unit washer/dryer?

You can buy these units either through an online platform or simply, visit the nearest electronics shop and hunt for your desired combo unit. You may simply navigate and explore your options online from home through Amazon and other sellers.

Why does the washer-dryer combo have longer cycles?

The washer dryer combo machines have longer cycles as they need to wash clothes thoroughly and also dry them completely.

Having said that, they still take less time than the separate unit OR Stackable Units.

The only drawback is that if you want to wash larger accumulated loads using multiple cycles then you may have to wait until the initial wash cycle completes.

How to reduce the cycle duration in a washer-dryer combo?

The washer-dryer combos usually take a longer duration to complete their cycles because they perform the washing and drying process in the same unit.

However, if you are sitting with excess loads to run multiple cycles then you may simply follow the below tips.

Separate the fabrics that can air dry in quick succession from the heavy fabrics that take longer to dry.

Load 1: Air Drying Fabrics

  • Load the fabrics first, which tend to air dry in a shorter time.
  • Do not merge the dry cycle along with the wash cycle for such fabric types.
  • Simply run the required wash program.
  • After the wash cycle is completed remove the first set of fabrics from the unit.

Load 2: Fabrics that take longer to dry

  • Add the second set of loads with the fabrics that take longer to dry.
  • Run the desired wash program including the dry cycle.

Note: While the second load with heavy fabrics is set in with the selected wash cycle, simply hang and air-dry the first set of loads.

Doing this, while the second set of loads completes the wash & dry cycle you will have the first set of loads already air-dried.

Are washer dryer combos energy efficient?

The washer-dryer combo is designed to be energy-efficient as they need lesser water and electricity for their functioning.

They also have a faster spin speed that helps in extracting more water from clothes, thereby reducing drying time.

The energy efficiency of a washer-dryer combo can be checked by checking the EnergyGuide label.

Washer-Dryer units with a high Energy Star rating are considered to be the most energy-efficient and can help you save a lot on your utility bills in the long run.

How can I save more power using washer/dryer combos?

The washer-dryer combos are designed to be energy-efficient, however, you may follow the below tips to further conserve power while using them.

  • Use Cold Water: Most of the washer dryer combo units have a ‘Cold Wash’ option. Use this feature to save more power. Use Hot Water wash only if required, this will help you to save the energy bills.
  • You may also avoid using the dry cycles for swiftly air drying fabrics and instead air dry them after the wash cycle.

Following the above steps will reduce your energy bills to a certain extent.

Why are washer dryer combo clothes wrinkled?

The washer-dryer combo usually does not leave the clothes wrinkled. However, if you notice that your clothes are coming out wrinkled then check the following:

  • If you notice that the washer drum is overloading with clothes then simply reduce the load as this might cause wrinkles.
  • Check if your washer dryer model has a ‘Wrinkle Free’ option. If yes, then select this setting to avoid wrinkles.
  • Adding a fabric softener during the rinse cycle also helps in reducing wrinkles.
  • Do not leave the clothes inside for a longer duration after the wash cycle is completed.

Can washer dryer combo units be used in an RV?

Yes, washer-dryer combos can be used in RVs however you will need a model that is specially designed for RVs. Make sure that the units are easy to install and should be compact enough to fit into an RV.

What’s the difference between Vented & Ventless Dryer Combos?

The main difference between a vented dryer and ventless dryer combos is that the Vented ones use a vent to exhaust the hot air while the Ventless Combos use condensation to dry clothes.

Vented models are more commonly used as they are more effective and energy-efficient.

However, ventless models are slowly gaining popularity as they are easier to install and require less maintenance.

Vented washer dryer combos need an external venting system for the removal of hot air and moisture.

They are usually more powerful and have a higher capacity as compared to ventless washer dryers.

Let’s take a quick look into a few differences side-by-side in the table below.

FeaturesVented Washer Dryer CombosVentless Washer Dryer Combos
Cycle DurationShorter dry cycleLonger dry cycle
Drying abilityHighAverage
MobilityThe vent setup needs to be moved along with the ComboCan be easily moved
InstallationNeeds additional ventEasy installation – It is similar to the traditional washer.
Energy EfficiencyUses less energy due to short dry cyclesUses slightly more energy due to longer dry cycles

Final Thoughts

Modern technologies and the competitive market has made it possible for washer and dryer to accommodate almost every household.

Stacking the washer and dryer helps to save space and look the unit more elegant.

A washer-dryer combo is a great appliance to have in your home as it offers the convenience of washing and drying clothes in a single unit.

They are relatively easy to use and maintain and are quite energy-efficient as well.

If you’re planning to buy a washer-dryer combo, then make sure to do thorough research and then select a model that suits your needs and budget.