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What Is an Integrated Washing Machine?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 17 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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An integrated washing machine is a washing machine with a design that allows it to be tucked under counters or inside a pantry for the purpose of concealment. It has a low profile and fittings to attach fascia board and other trim to create a streamlined appearance with other cabinets and cupboards in a room. Integrated washing machines are usually front loading, and can be installed in kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, laundry rooms, and a variety of other environments. The compact size makes them especially suitable for small homes, where space may be limited.

For additional compactness, some integrated washing machines are actually a washer and dryer combo. Clothes in the machine go through two complete cycles, a wash followed by a dry cycle. Typically the capacity of an integrated washing machine is low, but in a small household with limited laundry needs, this may not be a problem. For large items like comforters and blankets, it will be necessary to go to a laundromat for cleaning.

Many integrated washing machines are designed for energy efficiency as well as space efficiency. The cycles tend to be longer, as this will save energy on heating. Some may hook up to a gray-water recycling unit to allow for the use of laundry water after it has had time to settle. The water can be used for gardening, flushing toilets, and similar activities, although it will not be safe for drinking or washing dishes.

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Appliance stores may have floor models on display, and they can also order units for customers. Multiple finishes are commonly available to mesh with different kinds of home design. Consumers selecting an integrated washing machine should get the measurements to make sure it will fit in the intended space. It is also advisable to check the connections to see if it is necessary to do any plumbing before delivery. Delivery persons will usually hook up the device, but will not run additional plumbing lines. Checking the ventilation needs is also important, as a combination unit may need a dryer vent to operate.

It is possible to build an integrated washing machine into a home design or remodel, or to install a unit retroactively by pulling out some cupboards to make room, or swapping it with another appliance like a dishwasher. The integrated washing machine may be harder to service, as the units are typically more difficult to pull out from the wall, and it is important to make sure the installation is done correctly to reduce the chances of having to call out a repair person to correct a problem like a kinked wash hose.

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