Our general advice on where and where you cannot install domestic appliances
It is very common for people not in the industry to fail to understand that, contrary to popular belief, that a large home appliances such as especially washing machines, fridge freezers, tumble dryers but others as well simply cannot be installed anywhere that you may choose.
Of course there are articles on the site that explain this in more detail, particularly in respect to fridges, freezers, fridge freezers and tumble dryers but not one that explains one of the big killers of all modern appliances, condensation.
Nowadays almost all appliances, in order to make them more efficient (which is what people want) and to use less electricity must be controlled by electronics. Electronics are fragile and as a general rule of thumb, if you wouldn't put a computer or a flat screen TV in the same location and use it there, don't install an appliance there either. Most all modern appliances are designed to run at normal room temperatures, that is between 10˚C and around 30˚C in an environment that is clean and free of dampness. If you choose to ignore this, expect problems and don't expect faults caused by an unsuitable installation location to be covered by your warranty if they are considered to be unreasonable.
Much of this is of course simply common sense but, on a fairly regular basis, we see appliances installed in conditions which are completely unsuitable and, if it fails due to that then you really only have yourself to blame.
Please note the following do's and don'ts;
- Ensure that you appliances is installed in a suitable environment
- Make sure that the services (power, water, drainage) meet the requirements of the appliance
- Ensure that the location where the appliance is to be installed is a suitable temperature and will not exceed these for any length of time
- For integrated appliances, ensure that the ventilation and fixing requirements are met
- Ensure that the appliance is installed in an area free of dampness and/or condensation
- Makes sure ventilation is provided in accordance with the installations notes
- Expose appliances to direct sunlight
- With the exception of integrated appliances, appliances cannot be installed in an enclosed spaces
- Appliances are not suitable for installation in garages, outbuilding and unheated rooms etc
What The Customer Wants
Most people want the most energy efficient appliance that they can possibly get and globally appliance manufacturers have been pushed either through legislation or market forces, to make their appliances more and more efficient as time has passed.
This has led to far more exact and rigorous control of temperature settings in particular as heating water or air (and cooling it in the case of refrigeration) are the biggest uses of energy. Naturally this also means that these are the areas where the largest energy saving can also be made.
The only way to achieve this level of control over the temperatures and reduce energy consumption is to use electronic controls as opposed to the older electro-mechanical type of control.
Some years down the track, virtually all modern appliances will have some form or other of electronics controlling them to offer what customers all over the world wanted, energy efficiency.
Problem(s) With Electronics
The first issue with electronic controls in appliances is that they are much more "sensitive" than the old clunky thermostats and times of the past.
They do not respond well to being kept or used in improper conditions.
The big killers, we find in the field, are condensation and improper operating temperatures.
You see delicate electronic components that are designed to send readings back to a central controller are ordinarily designed to operate within a pre-determined temperature range and under "normal" conditions. Just like mobile phones, televisions and so on, as soon as you leave the "normal" conditions you could face issues with the operation, if not a complete failure of the appliance.
Therefore areas that have a high chance of condensation forming, such as very hot areas, very cold areas and areas of high humidity can allow condensation to form on the actual components and cause problems.
If you think that there is any chance of condensation or, you are installing to an unheated area etc. then we strongly recommend that you ensure that the circuit that the appliance is installed on is protected by an RCD, it it isn't then fit an in-line one like this RCD adaptor for safety. These devices save lives and property by cutting the power in the even of a problem often preventing the risk of fire or electrocution.
Normal Operating Conditions
Normal conditions are generally considered to be normal room temperatures, between 10˚C and about 30˚C. Anything outside of this would be considered abnormal and probably unsuitable for a modern appliance.
The reason is quite simply that, outside of these temperatures condensation can form on components and cause problems with your appliance. These problems can range in severity from a simple misreading of a connected sensor causing the machine to lock up to components shorting out causing significant damage.
When you think about though, for most people common sense would dictate that you wouldn't install a television to such conditions and, the same goes for modern appliances with electronics in them.
The same goes for areas of high humidity or poor airflow.
High humidity can lead to exactly the same effect as condensation so shower rooms, bathrooms, very small steamy kitchens are all not really suitable for many modern appliances.
Same with small cupboards or other enclosed spaces where there is little or no airflow to keep the components cool.
Installation under such conditions can not only cause you issues with the operation, they can lead to your warranty not being honored as the manufacturer will see this as being outside of what any guarantee will cover.
The short of this is, choose very wisely where you install your new appliance, even if your old one worked fine in the bathroom, garage or whatever, check that any new one that you buy is suitable before you buy.
Technology changes, washing machines, fridges, dryers and so that you buy today are not the same as they used to be and, in a good many cases, are of inferior quality due to price pressures.