Thread Number: 77656  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Best option for getting new washer & dryer down 26" basement stairway
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Post# 1016666   12/3/2018 at 11:28 (203 days old) by npkelley (Nashville)        

I know this has come up before, but I'm curious to hear any thoughts on our situation:

Beat up GE dryer that came with the house broke, and the companion GE TL washer has been acting up so we decided it was time to replace. Almost jumped at FL samsung washer & steam dryer that were on sale, but helpful salesperson suggested we go home and measure carefully.

I assumed we were in the clear because I knew (or I thought I knew) the GE machines were standard sized (27" wide) but was surprised when I found there was a 26" chokepoint (see picture) in our basement stairway. Turns out the GEs are 25.5" deep, so that must be how they got them down, although I'm also wondering if there was some disassembly involved.

So now our options seem to be:

1) Buy one of the compact efficiency sets: Bosch seem to have good reviews and are widely available although we are a family of four including two small, messy kids so we are already doing lots of laundry...

Also we have to decide if we go with a vented dryer option since we already have the vent in place, or opt for ventless which seem to have better reviews despite taking longer to dry clothes?

2) Search for the (rare?) full sized sets that have a dimension less than 26" (or close to it).

3) Disassemble & reassemble in basement (seems daunting) or pay someone to do it for us.

4) Try to modify the stairwell somehow to add an inch of space (not sure it's possible).

Note that we don't really have space to install upstairs in a closet or something. And there is no alternative access to the basement. Also that 26" narrow stairwell point is a wall to frame thing, I've already factored in removing the handrail and the piece of OSB.

I know that's a lot of information, and I've only just discovered this board so hope I am not asking the wrong kind of questions! Thanks in advance.

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Post# 1016669 , Reply# 1   12/3/2018 at 11:41 (203 days old) by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        

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How expensive would it be to get what you have repaired?

What about D I Y plenty of knowledge on these pages to help you fix any issue :)


Post# 1016673 , Reply# 2   12/3/2018 at 12:09 (203 days old) by lowefficiency (Iowa)        

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Even though there is nothing directly above it in the stairway portion, I would bet that that doubled (tripled?) beam is structural, otherwise it wouldn't be there... So between that and the foundation wall, I think you are probably stuck with that 26" maximum width. I'm sure a structural engineer could figure out a way around it, such as sistering a new beam on the opposite side, but you would be adding a LOT of $$$ to your costs.

For disassembling/reassembling, I think that's something I personally would try with older appliances, but not new ones. I would want to know how it came apart, and be able to verify via measurements that the separate pieces would fit, before purchasing and disassembling, as there are no guarantees that the footprint will be reduced without a considerable amount of work. Some machines also lose a significant amount of structural strength when partially disassembled, which makes transport more difficult without taking it apart even further. It could be a big project, but it also could be 100% worth it in the long run.

Since you're stuck between a rock and a hard place, I'll offer two bits of wildcard advice for you to ponder:

1) If you're worried about the ability of the smaller machines to keep up with your family, consider purchasing more than just two machines. For example, one washer and two dryers is a good combo, likewise 2+2 would give you a ton of flexibility if you had the space/funds for it.

2) Although new would be nice, consider the costs of repairing both of your current machines as well, possibly as supplemental or backup machines for a new pair. For example, you could repair your current dryer to use alongside a smaller new washer & dryer, or have both machines repaired for more capacity when you need it.

Post# 1016674 , Reply# 3   12/3/2018 at 12:16 (203 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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there's most likely a reason that set was selected, as it FIT!....

if you find a FL set that will fit, note, it will hold just the same if not more than a TL, despite its smaller size....but granted theres not a big selection in smaller

if you can find a used set, either exact to what you have, or an older style, that might fit your current situation....

although some machines are around 26 to 27" wide, many are only 25" deep...

keep an eye on the matching dryer when selecting, some have an extended rear, or you may have to remove the door handle...

here are a few examples that may fit your situation....check and local CL and used appliance places for some of these....

that's cute that you think 4 people generate a lot of laundry....I had 10 kids

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Post# 1016707 , Reply# 4   12/3/2018 at 18:25 (203 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
We run into this problem often in older DC area houses

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Consider fixing-rebuilding your current dryer, When the current GE washer totally gives up and cannot be fixed for a reasonable amount [ and it will, these are not highly durable long lived washers ]


Then if you must get a new washer you can get any current Speed Queen top loader [ they are just 25 1/2" wide ] or any 24" Front Load machine you want, there no great ones available in the US [  at a reasonable cost ] Any 24" FL machine you find will wash as large a load as the current GE and do a better job at it while using much less water.


John L.

Post# 1016934 , Reply# 5   12/5/2018 at 13:54 (201 days old) by npkelley (Nashville)        

Thanks to all for the helpful suggestions!

Post# 1017024 , Reply# 6   12/6/2018 at 02:05 (201 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

askolover's profile picture

What's wrong with your dryer?  My GE gas dryer is now 20 years old (looks like yours but with a few extra buttons).  I've put a new rear bearing and front bulkhead along with a new belt and that's it.  Pretty simple.  Is it gas or electric?  BTW, I know there are several used appliance stores in Nashville and surrounding areas, some that deliver and offer warranty.  Heck, I got my "new" Frigidaire dryer with the controls on the front from Nashville Craigslist for $20 because it wouldn't light.  Fixed it myself for another $20.  There are videos on youtube on how to work on GE dryers, as well as

Post# 1018394 , Reply# 7   12/18/2018 at 03:53 (189 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        

So, washer wise, the current SpeedQueen models would be 25 5/8 inches wide and thus would barely fit down there.

The SQ dryers are almost 27" wide though.

Washer wise, that sadly was the closest I could find that wasn't truly compact.

Dryer wise, the closest was a GE 6.2 BOL dryer that was 26 3/4 inches deep but with an easy to remove back panel, so that could theoreticly fit down there with a lot of luck.

Unless you would want to take apart the entire machine, I sadly haven't found anything new full sized.

Even stacked units with 27" width are more then 26" deep, and the 24" stacks that still exist are so bad that the next option would be way better.

So, onto compacts.

Firts, FLs as they tend to have more usable capacity for the same footprint in compacts.

The biggeest single matching units that are 24" wide that I found were the Asko units.

They have normal depth (about 31") but narrow width (24") givining them about 2.6cuft wash capacity and 5.1cuft drying capacity.
Depending on what you have right now that might not even be such a downgrade.

However they are rather expensive (there are no online prices avaible, but on the Asko website the set would clock in at 3800$ MSRP).

One great advantage is though that the dryer and washer share one 240V circuit. The dryer plugs into the wall and the washer plugs into the dryer or directly into the wall.
Together they draw as much as one full size dryer.

Cycle times are long though (the shortest cycle on the washer that allows for a full load is the Quick cycle at 50min on cold, longer if a higher temperature is selected) and a full load from the washer takes about 2h in the dryer.
The washer offers lots of modes though and even boilwas temperatures.

These would be the models:

Electrolux is the cheapest compact set I could find.
A 2.4cuft washer and 4.0cuft dryer of last generation for 1500$ round about.
The dryer runs on 240V but only pulls 2.8kW.
Thus, if you find that one set has to little capacity and takes to long, you could buy a second set and run it on one dryer outlet and 2 normal outlets.

Price wise, that would probably still be cheaper then the Asko units, but trading off some of the washers functionality.

However, the dryer is a condenser dryer. That means higher drying temperature, lots of heat in the room and slower drying.
In an enclosed basement with little air circulation that could be problematic.


On the vented side, GE would offer a well priced set for about 1800$:

Bosch is significantly more expensive and only offers condenser dryers as well:

Given the price difference, the ELux set would be the better choice here as they are generally the better performers washers wise and the dryer reverses which a good feature for compact dryers.

A verry... progressive option would be Whirlpools.
The washer isn't verry special but the ventless dryer uses a heatpump.

A heatpump is compressor that recycles the heat inside the dryer while removing moisture out of the air drying the clothing.
Imagine an air conditioner placed in a verry tiny cupboard with no venting outside. It would extract moisture from the air and gently heat up the space.
That is how the dryer works.

Means it uses verry littel energy (it runs on 240V but only pulls maximum 1.5kW), it exhausts barely any heat to the room an drying temperatures are verry verry low and gentle all the time.

Drawbacks are that drying times are a few minutes longer than a condenser dryer and that you have to wash an additional filter every 5-10 loads.


For a simmilar price you could get a simmilar set by Blomberg. While their washers are not awesome, their dryers are on point:;

Also, the washer is slightly larger and again plugs into the dryer, allowing to perform a sanitize wash of a full load at beyond 160F in under 90 minutes.

Still, 2 washer and dryers would not exceed 30A on a dryer circuit (about 28A load with 6.7kW total if everything would draw max power at once).

The cheapest option of all though would probably one or two of these cheap 3.0cuft topload compacts:
With one or two of these cheap compact vented dryers:
But as that Danby is a 110V dryer, maybe something with more oomph would make more sense:

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