My son and his wife moved into a house with a second floor laundry room.
To prevent washing machine overflow from pouring onto the first floor
ceiling below, the washing machine sits in a large plastic tray which has a
raised lip around the perimeter and a floor drain connected to the bottom
which empties into a drain / waste PVC connection. The washing machine
laundry tray looks like this:
The front edge / lip of the tray has been broken, leaving no protection
against water overflow.
The obvious solution is to buy a new tray, temporarily remove the washer,
install and plumb the new tray, and then (with two muscular people) lift and
set the new washer down onto the new tray. This is a few hundred bucks using
local contractor parts and labor.
One cheaper alternative is to find a way to reconstruct the broken front lip
of the tray. Since the rest of the tray and all the drain plumbing is
intact, this seems to be a much more attractive option.
Any ideas as to how to accomplish this?
I sincerely wish this was a "two minute' solution as you describe. The
laundry room is barely large enough to install the washer and dryer, let
alone using bricks, boards, and fulcrums to temporarily re-arrange things to
re-install a new drain and a new tray. I rejected the total tray replacement
do-it-it-yourself approach for that reason. I also rejected the total re-do
of the tray, drain, etc. since the only damage is at the front lip and it
would seem that some method ***SHOULD*** be available to form a new front
lip which would avoid the other issues entirely.
I am going to research the ideas of using a strong flashing or other seal /
gasketing material as well as the fiberglass cloth and resin approach
suggested, both of which seem could solve my problem. I am also thinking
that there may be some type of trim used as a threshold in stall showers
which possibly might be cut to the right length and then caulked in with a
good RTV/ sealant.
Thanks for the replies so far. Any other suggestions are certainly very much
appreciated and welcomed.
The drain plumbing (a PVC strainer cap cemented /"welded" in a 1.5" inch PVC
pipe) lies underneath and is covered completely by the washer, and would
need to be removed until the new tray and its new drain are cemented in
place. Tilting the washer up on two legs doesn't really help, The washer has
to be taken off of the old tray, and then the old drain would be removed,
the old tray would then be removed, the new tray installed, and then the new
drain cemented. There just isn't any practical way in this closet-sized
space to prop up the washer on two legs while all of this is going on, nor
are there two additional people available to hold the washer up and keep it
up during the plumbing work and tray replacement.
If the room were larger the washer could indeed be moved aside, and the
lifting and moving could be accomplished by two people fairly easily. Since
the clearances around the washer, the dryer, and the tray are just a few
inches in this closet, the contractor suggests (and I concur) that they do
the removal in the obvious way, namely, to take the washer out of the room
entirely, and move it into a neighboring bedroom until the plumbing repair
My question, as before, is thus.....how to fix a broken tray without removal
of the tray, removal of the washer, replacement of the drain, etc. The front
lip is cracked and broken. We are talking about putting in a water-tight lip
on a 29 inch long plastic tray...........
Why is question so hard to address as originally stated and then
I think I'm gonna' go with the fiberglass approach. It's still a bit unclear
as to how this stuff bonds to the existing plastic, which may be polystyrene
or nylon or some other polymer. This is where the next bit of research will
Thanks to all for the suggestions and alternatives.
I found some 6 inch wide fiberglass tape advertised at West Marine along
with a resin, and am planning on building up the damaged / cracked lip with
a supporting length of (probably) aluminum channel / extrusion which will
run across the full width of the tray, approx. 30 inches. Looks like a
reasonable approach so far but have yet to buy any materials. I'm hoping to
find cheaper sources. Will be visiting my son's house later this week to
finish this up.
To Wayne and this newsgroup,
I was asked to let you know how things turned out, so here goes:
I got to my son's house only to discover that my daughter in law had cut the
entire front lip of the tray off with a large pair of shears. She said it
looked ugly and wanted not to have to look at it every time she did
laundry!! I was therefore left with only one choice, to replace the entire
tray, just as the original contractor had suggested. I removed the washer
with my son from the room, a difficult but not horrible job, mostly awkward
because the room is so small. The new tray was purchased at a local APWagner
appliance parts distributor yesterday for $32.95. The drain work was done
fairly easily, and the new tray was put in place. Lifting the washer onto
the new tray was fairly easy, and then I used a carpenters level to get the
washer nicely leveled. It seems to run fine and all looks good. I never got
a chance to try the fiberglass repair materials which I am returning today.
Not the repair approach I was expecting or planning, but in the end a very
neat and low cost solution! Thanks once again to all.
Thanks for the report, Smarty. In a way, it's too bad you didn't get a
chance to work with the fiberglass and resin. It's kinda neat. But
replacement with a new tray was really the best solution after all.
I know when I anticipate something like having to move a heavy appliance, I
never look forward to it, but it often is easier than I thought it would
be. I'm sure your daughter-in-law will be happier with the new tray, and
no leaks for sure.
The last challenge I had was fitting an upright freezer into a confined
area of our combination pantry/utility room. The space for it was meant to
be a pantry with a door. I had the builder leave off the door, fittings
and trim altogether, and I thought when I measured the model home that I
would have at least a couple of inches of clearance on both sides. As it
turned out, I had only a half-inch on each side. Since it's a very narrow
room, the space between this recessed area and the opposite wall didn't
allow for a person to be between the freezer and wall. It took two of us,
one on each side of the freezer, to slide it into the space (while also
connecting the power cord behind it), until there was enough room to push
from the front. All in all, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was
going to be. :-) What probably will be difficult is pulling it back out if
Thanks for the reply Wayne. I'm actually happier with this solution now that
it is finished than I would ever be with a patched tray. The issue of
strength and manipulation in cramped spaces was really the big issue, and
(as a guy well into his 60's with occasional lower back and knee problems) I
wasn't looking for another 6 month round of physical therapy sessions.
Thankfully my son is pretty husky and strong, and the process went pretty
Your upright freezer battle sounds like a challenge. Pulling it back out
may, as you say, be the real pain. Could rollers and an extension cord to
lengthen the working distance allow you to move this in and out easier in
the future? My side by side kitchen refrigerator freezer is on rollers,
added aftermarket, which make it easier to clean behind it.
Yes, replacement was the *perfect* solution, and you don't ever have to
think about it again.
I understand perfectly. I'm 63, had two stents implanted last year, and
had a fairly serious back injury last Fall. I have to be fairly careful of
lifting heavy things.
The rollers would be great, but if I were to use them, I would probably
have to mount them on a piece of plywood and set the freezer on the
plywood. Instructions with the freezer warn against raising the freezer
above the floor. Apparently, the design is such that the amount of space
between the bottom of the freezer and the floor is critical.
My refrigerator/freezer in the kitchen has its own rollers built in.
As to the freezer, I don't anticipate having to remove it on a regular
basis, so I'm not too concerned. If I have to move it, though, it will be
My refrigerator freezer rollers are on steel tracks which support the
appliance and raise it up a total of maybe 3 or 4 inches. In my situation,
the spacing is not critical as it is for you. The track and roller unit cost
about 35 bucks when I bought it in the 2002 time frame.
It is interesting how a person in his 60s approaches a job versus somebody
in their 20s or 30s............ I spend a lot more time thinking about
things before I do them, especially if there is a lot of weight or other
When you are 20 and lift something wrong, or take a 6-foot fall, you are
sore for a day. When you are on the wrong side of 50 and do something
dumb, you miss a day or two of work, and are sore for a week. Us old
farts just don't heal up as quick as we used to. So yeah, I sit and
stare at stuff a lot more before I start these days. Plan every move,
double-check all rigging, etc. And some stuff, like most high work over
15 feet, I <pay> to have done now. Did a lot of it as a kid, even did
free-climbing on rocks, never had a bad fall, didn't think anything of
it. But now, a railing over a 2-story lobby makes my inner ears send off
queasy alarm signals.
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