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Washing Machine in a small condo: plumbing/piping - Can I do it myself?


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#1 koeko

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Posted 2013-12-10 01:14:08

I'm renting a small condo and it doesn't have any free water outlet available in order to connect a washing machine.

 

For this reason, I believe that I'll need to split one of the available outlets in two, using something like this:

 

tap-splitter-threaded-2-way.jpg

 

Now I have some questions about this:

 

  • Where can I buy such splitter? (is it expensive?)
  • Can I install it myself or do I need special tools/skills etc.?
  • Should I hire a plumber to set it up? (how much would it cost?)
  • Should I ask the owner of the condo before attempting anything?

 

 

Now, next question, I don't have much space available so I'm looking for a small washing machine. I'd love to get a simple top-loader one, the cheapest I've found is this Samsung for 6000 bahts:

 

8806071339382_8.jpg

 

 

 

However, I have also found another type of washer which has 2 tanks! here it is:

 

 

8858842701584.jpg

 

This one costs only half, 3000 bahts, and actually offers a higher capacity of 7 KG!

 

Apparently it is cheaper because it has one tank for the cleaning, and one tank for the spin cycle, and you must manually take the cloths off the first tank and put then in the second.

 

Can anyone tell me if, apart from this little annoyance, this type of washing machine does clean as good as the regular top-loader single-tank ones?

 

I mean, I could afford the Samsung for 6000 bahts, but if the one at 3000 baths cleans as good for half the price, I don't see why pay more!

Let me know what you think ;)



#2 Neeranam

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Posted 2013-12-10 01:54:15

You don't say what city you are in.

I got a handyman to do my washing machine as only a 200 baht for a quick job like that. Also, the elecricity scares me. Many people die because of shocks from washing machines. Make sure it is earthed and has a circuit breaker thingy.

Edited by Neeranam, 2013-12-10 01:55:45.


#3 koeko

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Posted 2013-12-10 02:08:32

You don't say what city you are in.
 

 

pattaya jomtien



#4 wayned

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Posted 2013-12-10 05:02:40

Where are you going to place the washing machine?  Where is it going to drain?  If you plan to keep in in the bathroom make sure that you but one that is totally made of plastic, not metal, but they usually are the top of the line and more expensive.  If it is always wet the metal one will rust to bits in a short time.  The fittings that is in your picture is available, Home Pro has them, and they are easy to install with no plumber required.  The washing machine will most likely come with a standard 2 pin electric plug and possibly a green wire for ground, some don't come with the wire.  The main thing, since you are working with water and electricity, is that the washer be "earthed" , the green wire connect to a good ground.

 

If your condo has grounded three prong receptacles it's pretty easy.  If not, finding a good ground could be difficult.  I prefer the one tub machine since you can put in the clothes and forget it.  My wife prefers the 2 tub, so we have two 2 tub machines.

 

Does your condo have two or three prong receptacles?  If it has three prong the next question would be whether or not the ground pin is actually connect to eartfh which would require someone with a meter to check.



#5 koeko

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Posted 2013-12-10 05:17:51

Where are you going to place the washing machine?  Where is it going to drain?  If you plan to keep in in the bathroom make sure that you but one that is totally made of plastic, not metal, but they usually are the top of the line and more expensive.  If it is always wet the metal one will rust to bits in a short time.  The fittings that is in your picture is available, Home Pro has them, and they are easy to install with no plumber required.  The washing machine will most likely come with a standard 2 pin electric plug and possibly a green wire for ground, some don't come with the wire.  The main thing, since you are working with water and electricity, is that the washer be "earthed" , the green wire connect to a good ground.

 

If your condo has grounded three prong receptacles it's pretty easy.  If not, finding a good ground could be difficult.  I prefer the one tub machine since you can put in the clothes and forget it.  My wife prefers the 2 tub, so we have two 2 tub machines.

 

Does your condo have two or three prong receptacles?  If it has three prong the next question would be whether or not the ground pin is actually connect to eartfh which would require someone with a meter to check.

 

Thanks a lot for your reply!

 

"My wife prefers the 2 tub, so we have two 2 tub machines."

May I ask why? Does it clean better? is it faster? is it more energy-efficient? 

 

I've never used this kind of 2 tubs machine but considering it's half the price I'm really wondering whether it is as good, and would be willing to accept the little inconvenience added. By the way what are we talking about, is it only 2 cycles instead of 1? For example in a regular machine I would start the cleaning cycle and forget about it, but with a 2 tubs machine once the first cycle is finished I'll only have to put the closes in the second tub and run the spin cycle and then it's over, right? It's just that?

 

My condo has 3-pin plugs, but I can't say if they're really connected, I could easily check though.

 

I don't know yet where I could put it, it's really not easy to find an appropriate space... The easiest would be either in the bathroom either near the sink of the kitchen. I don't know yet where I could connect the drain...

 

Thanks again for the advice thumbsup.gif



#6 wayned

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Posted 2013-12-10 07:12:27

IMHO the two tub is a labor intensive machine. You not only have to wash the clothes, but you have to rinse them.  My wife uses it the Thai way.  She washes in the washing tub but also has three large plastic tubs fill with water on the patio.   The machine washes them, but they have to be rinsed.  She then takes the clothes and puts them in the first tub and agitates them by hand to remove some of the soap.  Then into the second tub and does the same.  Then into the third tub where the fabric softener is and repeats the process.  Then into the spin tub in the washer to"dry" them and then hangs them up!  When I use it I wash and rinse in the machine, alternating tubs back and forth, but it uses a lot of water.

 

I once bought a top loading one tub machine that did everything automatically but my wife didn't like it  She said that it didn't clean well.  I thought that it was fine but she only used it when she was lazy!

 

If your shower drains good you could just let it drain on the floor.  We did that when we lived in Samui.  If you keep it in the bathroom where it will be wet every time you take a shower get one that is plastic or you will soon have a rusty mess.  If the ground plug is actually earthed and the machine is supplied with a 2 prong plug and a ground wire, you could cut off the plug and replace it with a three prong plug and hook the ground wire to the earth pin, that's what I did.  However, the top of the line "plastic" unit that we bought did not have a ground wire.  "NO need ground, plastic".  That's BS as the shaft of both the washing motor and the spin motor are immersed in water.  So I took the back off and connected the housings of both motors together and the ran a wire to the earth pin on the plug.



#7 koeko

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Posted 2013-12-10 07:40:41

WOW what's the point if you need to do everything yourself... I though that the cleaning+rinsing was done on the left (automatically), and the fast-spinning on the right, but you actually need to rinse by hand? That's crazy!
 
So I guess I'll only want a real washing machine like the Samsung I quoted or eventually this Toshiba for the same price (6000 bahts):

8858730303883_3.jpg

 

 

 

 

One concern that I have is the water bill, I'm really scared to pay literally thousands each month. My condo charges me near 40 bahts/unit (how much litters is one unit??), I know that in a house I would pay something like 4 or 5 bahts/unit so it's a huuuuuuuge difference. We're two to shower twice daily and our monthly bill is usually between 800 to 900 baths. We don't waste water, showers are shorts and I close the tap while I brush my teeth!

 

Would a washing machine increase my water bill to 2000 or even 3000 bahts/months?? Scary isn't it! For this price I could have it ironed by hand at the laundry service downstairs! Jeez I hate the condo charges...



#8 rak sa_ngop

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Posted 2013-12-10 08:15:37

Probably best to get condo insurance if you plan on ever leaving the machine unsupervised while working. This will cover water damage in your condo and also lower condos in case of leakage. Certainly if you have a front loading machine having insurance in a condo is a no brainer, but maybe top-loading machines are less prone to leakage and flooding?



#9 MJCM

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Posted 2013-12-10 08:22:43

<snip>
One concern that I have is the water bill, I'm really scared to pay literally thousands each month. My condo charges me near 40 bahts/unit (how much litters is one unit??), I know that in a house I would pay something like 4 or 5 bahts/unit so it's a huuuuuuuge difference. We're two to shower twice daily and our monthly bill is usually between 800 to 900 baths. We don't waste water, showers are shorts and I close the tap while I brush my teeth!
 
Would a washing machine increase my water bill to 2000 or even 3000 bahts/months?? Scary isn't it! For this price I could have it ironed by hand at the laundry service downstairs! Jeez I hate the condo charges...

You are mistaken on this, in a house the water is priced around 15-20 THB per unit. Electricity is around 4 THB per unit.

 

I pay in my Condo 35 THB per unit for water and 4.5 THB for electricity, we use the washing machine (a Siemens Front loader) almost every other day and our water bill is max around 7 units (so 245 THB per Month) and that also includes showering (2 people) doing the dishes etc etc

 

A Unit of Water is usually 1000 Liters or 1 m3(One Cubic Metre)

 


Edited by MJCM, 2013-12-10 08:35:34.


#10 wayned

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Posted 2013-12-10 08:55:35

WOW what's the point if you need to do everything yourself... I though that the cleaning+rinsing was done on the left (automatically), and the fast-spinning on the right, but you actually need to rinse by hand? That's crazy!
 
So I guess I'll only want a real washing machine like the Samsung I quoted or eventually this Toshiba for the same price (6000 bahts):

8858730303883_3.jpg

 

 

 

 

One concern that I have is the water bill, I'm really scared to pay literally thousands each month. My condo charges me near 40 bahts/unit (how much litters is one unit??), I know that in a house I would pay something like 4 or 5 bahts/unit so it's a huuuuuuuge difference. We're two to shower twice daily and our monthly bill is usually between 800 to 900 baths. We don't waste water, showers are shorts and I close the tap while I brush my teeth!

 

Would a washing machine increase my water bill to 2000 or even 3000 bahts/months?? Scary isn't it! For this price I could have it ironed by hand at the laundry service downstairs! Jeez I hate the condo charges...

 

As I said use the machine, not the tubs.  IMHO the correct way is;  Wash the clothes with soap and bleach.  Drain the tub,  Put the clothes in the spinner and rinse them and the spinn them dry.  Rinse the clothes in the washing tub again, at least once, maybe twice if you want fabric softener..  Put them in the spinner and rinse them and then spin dry.    The automatic washer does the same thing only automatically. You use quite a bit of water.  My wife does it the Thai way to save water and to keep our water tank from running dry during the washing as the water for the washer comes from the pressure pump.  She fills the tubs from the local low pressure supply when it is available not the tank
 



#11 GrahamMaddison

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Posted 2013-12-10 09:46:51

from a safety aspect, I would avoid siting your washing machine in the bathroom ... considered dangerous and there are laws in the UK to prevent you from doing this and for very good reason.

 

Siting the machine near your kitchen sink would be favored as you have both a water inlet and water outlet (drain) although you could simply hook the drain pipe over the sink and let it drain that way - making sure of course, that you don't leave the sink plug in and cause flooding as a result. You may be better to get a plumber to install the water inlet .. really can't advise you on this, due to 1. not knowing your skill set and 2. not knowing the plumbing layout of your condo.

 

As others have said, living in a condo, it would be prudent to get insurance in case of leaks etc affecting those below you and it is best practice to always be around whilst the machine is in use ..don't switch it on and go out.. Many machines can become unbalanced and jump around during the spin cycle which can cause quite a bit of damage, although modern machines tend to have an automatic imbalanced load detection, it is better not to rely on this system and be there whilst using the machine.

 

As for the type of machine, I would definitely go for a fully automatic machine - front or top loader and definitely not a twin tub.

 

35 years experience as a domestic appliance engineer .... shame you are so far away from me, i would have been happy to plumb it in for you.

 

good luck

 

 



#12 Estrada

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Posted 2013-12-10 09:49:22

 

<snip>
One concern that I have is the water bill, I'm really scared to pay literally thousands each month. My condo charges me near 40 bahts/unit (how much litters is one unit??), I know that in a house I would pay something like 4 or 5 bahts/unit so it's a huuuuuuuge difference. We're two to shower twice daily and our monthly bill is usually between 800 to 900 baths. We don't waste water, showers are shorts and I close the tap while I brush my teeth!
 
Would a washing machine increase my water bill to 2000 or even 3000 bahts/months?? Scary isn't it! For this price I could have it ironed by hand at the laundry service downstairs! Jeez I hate the condo charges...

You are mistaken on this, in a house the water is priced around 15-20 THB per unit. Electricity is around 4 THB per unit.

 

I pay in my Condo 35 THB per unit for water and 4.5 THB for electricity, we use the washing machine (a Siemens Front loader) almost every other day and our water bill is max around 7 units (so 245 THB per Month) and that also includes showering (2 people) doing the dishes etc etc

 

A Unit of Water is usually 1000 Liters or 1 m3(One Cubic Metre)

 

 

I have my current water bill (MWA Bangkok) in front of me. The total cost per unit inc. fixed cost and 7% VAT, is B10.28. I used 26 units so the bill was B267.39.

 

When you buy a washing machine from a major outlet, it often comes with free installation. For D.I.Y. connection fittings go to Home Pro.

 

Don't install it in the shower room or bathroom.


Edited by Estrada, 2013-12-10 09:51:19.


#13 MJCM

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Posted 2013-12-10 10:02:19

^ Then BKK is cheaper then Pattaya

 

Actual Water bill from a friend's house
 
Cost per M3 ฿ 15.44
Total Water Costs ฿ 143.18
Standard Service Charge ฿ 30.00
VAT 7% ฿ 12.12

Total Amount to be Paid ฿ 185.30

Actual Units Used 12


Edited by MJCM, 2013-12-10 10:06:15.


#14 lopburi3

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Posted 2013-12-10 10:27:37

Confirm the Bangkok water price as above at just over 10 baht per cubic meter.

 

Have never seen that type of water splitter but have not looked for it.  The normal it a "T" shape with all male connections that fits into wall pipe female.  

 

Agree an automatic washer is a much better choice and there should be a ground connection - which in a recent build condo is likely available at the outlet and if 3 pin plug from washer that will take care of it - but make sure outlet actually grounds.

 

Have never heard of condo insurance but then again most people here self insure if not required by law.

 

Believe there is water/drain available on balcony for such use in some condos.

 

Is commercial laundry service not an option?  Most small unit condo buildings have such service available I believe.



#15 wayned

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Posted 2013-12-10 10:32:45

f

 

Siting the machine near your kitchen sink would be favored as you have both a water inlet and water outlet (drain) although you could simply hook the drain pipe over the sink and let it drain that way - making sure of course, that you don't leave the sink plug in and cause flooding as a result.


35 years experience as a domestic appliance engineer .... s

 


 

 

35 years as an domestic appliance engineer and you provided the above suggestion!  You must want him to hang the machine from the ceiling as the drains are not connected to a pump like western units,they are gravity fed.  If he followed your advice he would fill it once and it would never drain!
 



#16 sirchai

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Posted 2013-12-10 10:40:17


When buying a washing machine, I'd reckon to take the Samsung, instead of a no name, brakes down soon thing.


Whatever you think about all being plastic, it's impossible, haven't seen a plastic motor yet. Just trying to say, you'll have to make sure that it's grounded, or earthed.


A single front loader is much more efficient, as it does the spinning too. If you're not skilled in connecting it, better ask a professional and make sure that you won't have problems.

Another advice to you is: Don't think that much about how much a tiny part cost, as it won't make you happy to just think about using too much water, electricity, etc...wish you the best from lower northeast.-

#17 Wallich

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Posted 2013-12-10 10:40:22

Why bother? I have a washing Lady here in Chiang Mai that does a huge load for between 80 - 100 Baht every 3 weeks. After some initial 'training' she washes, irons, folds all my gear and ready in 2 days. Guess what! No machine cost, no electricity, no water, no detergent, no softener, no iron, no ironing board, no insurance if water leaks, no problems. Hunt around your area there must be heaps of Ladies wanting to earn some extra money..... Regards



#18 Jimi007

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Posted 2013-12-10 14:19:25

Why bother? I have a washing Lady here in Chiang Mai that does a huge load for between 80 - 100 Baht every 3 weeks. After some initial 'training' she washes, irons, folds all my gear and ready in 2 days. Guess what! No machine cost, no electricity, no water, no detergent, no softener, no iron, no ironing board, no insurance if water leaks, no problems. Hunt around your area there must be heaps of Ladies wanting to earn some extra money..... Regards

 

I've had a lot of clothes ruined by the local laundry women. Bought my LG top loader about 7 years ago. Had the motor replaced under warranty at almost 5 years and it still works fine. Luckily my wife doesn't mind ironing…



#19 ronrat

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Posted 2013-12-10 16:20:22

I bought one of those twin tubs from big C in Pattaya klang. For under 3000. My GFs dad installed in 30 minutes with some gaffer tape and pipe but we have a hole in the floor for it. You could put it outside the bathroom and get some hose, maybe cost 60 baht, and run it into the shower . Previous tenants did it. The GF picked it out and she just washes, rinses, spins. You can buy a shirt for 100 baht. Why stuff around with triple rinsing fabric metro sexual stuff. Hang them up on hangers and wear. If I need something special done i go to the laundry across the road. But  I would suggest a plumber as it won't cost much and you watch what he does and you can repair it yourself. My water bill was 107 baht last month. And we have a lot of plants.



#20 SailingHome

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Posted 2013-12-10 16:24:37

WOW what's the point if you need to do everything yourself... I though that the cleaning+rinsing was done on the left (automatically), and the fast-spinning on the right, but you actually need to rinse by hand? That's crazy!
 
So I guess I'll only want a real washing machine like the Samsung I quoted or eventually this Toshiba for the same price (6000 bahts):

8858730303883_3.jpg
 
 
 
 
One concern that I have is the water bill, I'm really scared to pay literally thousands each month. My condo charges me near 40 bahts/unit (how much litters is one unit??), I know that in a house I would pay something like 4 or 5 bahts/unit so it's a huuuuuuuge difference. We're two to shower twice daily and our monthly bill is usually between 800 to 900 baths. We don't waste water, showers are shorts and I close the tap while I brush my teeth!
 
Would a washing machine increase my water bill to 2000 or even 3000 bahts/months?? Scary isn't it! For this price I could have it ironed by hand at the laundry service downstairs! Jeez I hate the condo charges...


The plastic machines I have seen wash AND rinse automatically. They have jets and various things to move the clothes for a good wash. The second tub is to spin dry since the first tub does not spin. Simple. little rust. easy enough. washes as well as another top loader meaning hand-treat any stains first.

Sent from my MyPhone A919 Duo using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app



#21 Sudgirl

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Posted 2013-12-10 16:44:15

Hello Koeko.
Try to buy your washing machine from Homepro, which is what I did when I lived in a condo.
They offered free installation and I think it was the day before delivery someone from the firm came out to measure for pipe work etc, and the installation next to my sink took about 40 minutes with the machine drainage going out in the sink drain (pipe was split) to allow for this.
Good luck and I would advise a front loader automatic with a "quick wash" facility this would save you money on your water bill.

#22 Sudgirl

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Posted 2013-12-10 16:52:42

Sorry correction to my reply with the "quickwash your water use age would be the same I meant you would save on your electricity. Apologies.

#23 koeko

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Posted 2013-12-10 21:16:43

Thanks all for the helpful replies! 

 

One question that remain however is the water pressure. If for example I split the water outlet of the kitchen's sink, will the pressure (which isn't too high already) be divided by two whenever the washer is active?

 

Thanks again ;)



#24 koeko

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Posted 2013-12-10 21:26:15

 

f

 

Siting the machine near your kitchen sink would be favored as you have both a water inlet and water outlet (drain) although you could simply hook the drain pipe over the sink and let it drain that way - making sure of course, that you don't leave the sink plug in and cause flooding as a result.


35 years experience as a domestic appliance engineer .... s

 


 

 

35 years as an domestic appliance engineer and you provided the above suggestion!  You must want him to hang the machine from the ceiling as the drains are not connected to a pump like western units,they are gravity fed.  If he followed your advice he would fill it once and it would never drain!
 

 

 

I'm not sure but according to some video tutorials I've seen on Youtube, he is correct and the drain needs to be placed ABOVE the washing machine, from my understanding this prevents water from going back into the machine in case there's a problem in the drain:

 

(go to 1:09 for the drain part)

http://www.youtube.c...UTcqAeqo&t=1m9s

 


Edited by koeko, 2013-12-10 21:35:05.


#25 wayned

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Posted 2013-12-11 03:54:26

Some washing machines actually have pumps on the drain line and should be installed as the video indicates.  When the machine goes into a drain cycle it pumps the water out of the machine, more efficient, faster but added expense and possible trouble.

 

Most washing machines sold here, at least the top loading ones, I don't know about the front loaders, do not have pumps.  They drain by gravity either manually or automatically.  In this case the drain must be below the washer tub or it will not drain, simple law of physics.

 

In addition, if your intent is to tap into the supply for the sink, the adapter that is pictured in post #1 will not work, it is designed to fit onto a faucet that has a normal 3/4 inch hose fitting.  You most likely will have to remove the current valve that the sink is hooked to and replace that with a "T" and adapt one side to whatever is supplied with the washer.  It's easy to do, but if you know nothing about plumbing you should get somebody to install it.  The suggestion about "Home Pro" above is a good one, I didn't know that they offered the service for free, I know that they don't where I live in the sticks.


Edited by wayned, 2013-12-11 04:06:04.






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