Chicago new condo laundry room electrical
You can start your Chicago new condo laundry room inspection by looking at the electrical panel circuit breakers labels.
Laundry room requires a dedicated (no other rooms, outlets, lights on this breaker) 20 amps rated circuit breaker to protect receptacles within that area. Outlet receptacles installed on that circuit must be also 20 amps rated.
- If your condo laundry room is equipped with a 220 Volt electrical dryer outlet, the breaker / circuit protecting it must be at least 30 amps rated (check requirements in the appliance installation manual to determine if provided circuit is sufficient)
- If your new condo laundry room has no appliances installed yet, examine location of the electrical outlet(s). They must be located within 6’ from the appliance location to avoid extension cords.
- If your laundry room has a sink, all receptacles installed within 6’ from its exterior edge must be GFCI protected.
Condo laundry room plumbing
- Check if sink, cabinet, faucet components have been properly secured. Open laundry sink faucet for several minutes, check around the valves, spout and connections underneath the sink for any signs of leakage.
Some installation (stackable washer & dryer in a narrow closet) might prevent evaluation of the plumbing, electrical and gas connections behind the appliances. Often, pulling it out of the closet will require removing of the doors.
- If accessible, make sure that washer hot and cold water supply lines are connected and not reversed, locate dryer gas line shutoff valve (should be immediately after the flexible connector), examine drain pipe connection and dryer vent pipe. You can use a telescopic mirror to check behind the appliances in a tight location.
Chicago condo dryer vent pipe
Plastic, flexible pipes are NOT permitted for use as a clothes dryer vent! Thin metal foil with a spring inside are claimed to resist fire but are extremely easy to bend, kink, and crush which would compromise dryer venting. I highly recommend to replace it.
Ideally, the entire dryer vent pipe should be smooth wall / not a flexible metal type one which gets contaminated much faster. Although, not recommended, flexible metal dryer vent pipes are permitted, but they can not be concealed inside the walls and ceilings / entire flexible connector must be exposed. Watch for kinked / damaged sections behind the dryer.
- To minimize lint accumulation on dryer vent pipe connections / joints must be in direction of air flow, and NO screws can be used on joints.
In situations where it is not possible to discharge clothes dryer to exterior, there might be a ventless condensing type dryer installed.
- Venting your regular type (not condensing) gas or electric dryer within the condo interior is against the UMC (Uniform Mechanical Code) requirements.
If your condo includes such installation, ask the developer to proof that it complies with a local building code.
If you decide to keep such installation anyway, be aware that all the moisture from your wet clothes will be dumped into to your condo. In case of a fire inside the dryer or its vent pipe, it might spread out of the lint trap container.
One more thing about the condo dryer vent pipe – wherever it runs into the wall or ceiling, there must no gap around the pipe. This is to prevent possibility of fire / smoke penetration in case of a fire in your or your neighbors condo. Any small gaps must be filled with a fire rated caulking, larger openings require drywall installation and taping.
Condo dryer closet ventilation / makeup air
- Your condo electric or gas dryer requires so called makeup air for proper operation. Therefore closet installations must have some form of a fresh air supply, which can be provided by a 100 sq inch air vent (minimum size) or louver type door.
- For the dryer installed in the same room /closet as your condo furnace and / or water heater, dryer makeup air has to be calculated along with the combustion air required for other appliances (this is covered in condo combustion air requirements).
Drip pan under the washing machine
This feature is not required by the building code but some building associations and insurance companies might refuse to pay for the damage if missing (drip pan cost is somewhere between $10-$40, you’d just need some help with lifting the appliance). If by any chance there’s one already installed, check for cracks.
Before you take a brake after inspecting your Chicago new condo laundry room, run a cycle on your washer and dryer.
Whenever you’re ready for more checking, you can continue by going back to: