Can I install a washing machine in a bathroom?

Bathroom A bathroom isn’t an ideal place for a washing machine. For a start, if the bathroom is upstairs and the washing machine flooded it could cause a lot of damage to the ceiling in the room below.

Electrical-safety A bathroom also tends to be steamy and potentially damp. That is never good for electronics. However, it is OK to have a washing machine installed in a bathroom as long as strict rules are adhered to. These rules are covered under your local authority regulations and need to be followed exactly.

The main criteria is that a person in the bath or shower (and presumably even on the toilet) should NOT be able to touch the washing machine. The washing machine should also be plugged in outside the bathroom and protected by an RCD.

If you must install a washing machine in a bathroom, seek out and consult the official regulations. I can’t guarantee there have not been any changes to the regulations since writing this article. Your local council will have them. Here’s a site you can use to find your local council authority

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13 thoughts on “Can I install a washing machine in a bathroom?”

  1. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello Eddie. To be honest I’ve put all of the knowledge I have about this in my article. One of the main regulations is that you should not be able to touch the washing machine from the bath or shower. Of course it’s easy to be confident that you would never be so silly so it doesn’t matter but of course these are the regulations. It isn’t difficult to imagine a scenario where someone could be in the shower and the washing machine suddenly starts to flood, or jump around violently due to a problem and a person in the shower at the time reaching over to try and turn it off. At this point, if something had gone wrong with the earthing on the washing machine someone could be electrocuted.

    The socket for the washing machine has to be outside of the bathroom too. It’s easy to assume that if you have RCD protection nothing can happen but I’ve just done a quick search on the question, “is it impossible to get an electric shock with RCD installed?” And the first result was from a consumer safety research site and it says, ” in some circumstances even with RCD protection it is possible to receive an electric shock which may present serious risk of injury or death”.

  2. C D Winterbottom

    Hi,

    We want to install both washer and dryer in our bathroom but intend putting both machines in a cupboard with the electrical sockets also in the cupboard. The machines would be behind a door. I have no idea why the sockets should be outside the room if the possibility touching the machine is the main problem? Of course there are RCDs installed.

  3. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello C D. I imagine the main issue is people touching them whilst in the bath or shower, or just with wet hands. It’s perfectly possible to imagine someone stepping out of the batch or shower and turning off the washing machine or dryer, especially if it has malfunctioned or is beeping because it’s finished.

    If your appliances are behind a cupboard door it might be a loophole, but I would strongly advise leaving the cupboard doors wide open when they are in use for proper air circulation. It would not be a good idea for a tumble dryer in particular to be running inside a confined space. This of course would then make them open. I would also advise that if you feel it’s ok to install them there to ensure they are not used at the same time if plugged into the same wall socket supply and if anyone is using the shower or bath.

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