Can You Put Washing Machine Outside (Explained)
Can you put a washing machine outside? Yes, but you may have some problems unless you do it correctly. Here are some things to consider before you try doing this. In addition to water supply and power supply, you will need to watch out for sunlight, rain, animals, and extreme temperatures.
2 Must-Haves For Placing Washing Machine Outside
There are two prerequisites for putting a washing machine outside. Everything else is technically optional, though we still recommend them. You will need water supply and power supply.
1. Water Supply
Washing machines need a good water supply, including a drain to get rid of the water. This drain should go into the sewer system for your area, not out into the street.
You can connect the washing machine to an external hose system with the right connections. Without this, you have to fill the washing machine manually every time you want to use it.
That’s a pain, so try to get a proper connection instead.
Most washing machines need hot and cold running water to use all their features. You can get by with just cold water on some units, though this can make it hard to clean certain items.
Don’t forget about these pipes when you’re considering weather threats. Hot and cold temperatures can make pipes flex or, in some cases, destroy them outright. You may need to add insulation to keep your water pipes in good condition throughout the year.
2. Power Supply
Washing machines (and dryers, too) also need a power supply. The good news is that most washing machines work with a standard 120-volt outlet, which is the most common sort of plug in and around houses.
Ideally, each machine will be the only device on its circuit. Washing machines can take a lot of power, so if you try to run anything else simultaneously, you may end up tripping the circuit.
Some washing machines and dryers may require a 240-volt outlet due to their higher power consumption needs. It’s unusual to buy machines in this range if you don’t have the space to put a washing machine inside, but homes can vary, so it’s not impossible.
Power supplies need to be up to code, which for outdoor units means waterproof, whether or not there’s anything currently plugged in. Otherwise, you could risk electrical damage from the water.
4 Things to Watch Out For When Putting Washer Outside
Even if you have water supply and power supply, there are some things to consider before placing your washing machine outside. Learn more about these 4 things that can potentially damage your appliance:
Sunlight is bad for washing machines. The main problem is UV radiation, which can break down multiple components within the washer. Direct sunlight can also heat your washing machine more, especially when you’re using it, ultimately shortening its lifespan. The more sunlight you have, the worse this gets.
Solution: The best solution for this is to keep your washing machine in a shady area. This will minimize temperature changes and help prevent damage. Also, consider using a proper cover when you’re not using your washing machine, which adds a second layer of protection.
Rain is also a threat to washing machines, though how much of a threat it is can vary based on several factors. Plastic-coated washing machines do relatively well in rain.
However, those with metal bodies need special coatings. When this breaks down, water can get in and rust your machine. Worse, moisture getting into the electronics can cause faults or even fires.
Solution: Cover your washing machine with a specialized cover when you’re not using it. Importantly, it needs to be breathable enough to let water droplets escape instead of being entirely waterproof. Plastic covers are a bad choice for outdoor washing machines.
Also, try to put your washing machine somewhere with good drainage. A slight incline below the washing machine (while the unit itself is level) can help ensure that water drains away instead of pooling up beneath the machine. You can also try putting it near an air vent, which will keep the surrounding area drier.
Animals can be a little harder to control than the sun and rain. Spiders, wasps, and other insects like building nests near outdoor equipment, especially if there’s a cover on top that makes it feel safe and protected. Larger pests like rats may also decide to nest in the area.
Solution: Keep your washing machine and the surrounding area clean. Ideally, it will be on concrete or another artificial surface, well away from all sources of food. This includes all plants. Keep the area clean and sanitize it regularly to discourage mold and other growth.
This strategy works because most creatures are looking for food. Small insects may nibble on plants, and larger insects will eat smaller insects. No food means no pests.
If you see things moving in any way, you may need to set up traps to stop them. Also, try to avoid having your washing machine too close to a wall or other equipment. Critters like hiding in small spaces, so by minimizing the presence of those, you decrease the chance they’ll show up.
Can you put a washing machine outside if it’s too hot or cold? Significant temperature changes can affect washing machines, even if you manage to control sunlight.
Particularly hot or cold weather can damage them, especially if the weather goes on for a long time. How well you can deal with this depends on where you live. Too many temperature changes will crack and destroy many components in washing machines, drastically shortening their lifespans.
Solution: Try to keep your washing machine in a temperature-controlled environment. If things get cold, you may need to put them in a shed and have a small heater running. If things trend hot in your area, keeping them further out of the sunlight will help stop damage.
If the weather gets particularly bad, you may need to move the washing machines into your garage or a storage unit until the weather changes. This isn’t ideal, but it may be the best way to prolong your equipment’s lifespan. Otherwise, your washing machines could break down sooner than later.
So, can you put your washing machine outside? It’s always better to keep washing machines and dryers indoors if possible. Even if you follow every recommendation on this list, you’re probably going to see your washing machine wear out much faster if you keep it outside.
However, if you have no choice and you must place your washing machine outdoors, following these guidelines will maximize your washing machine’s lifespan and help make the best of the situation.