laundry room

August 2019: Inspector’s Corner

Friday, August 2nd, 2019


It’s been a while since I shared with you some of my findings at my inspections.  Hope this newsletter assists in learning some of the pitfalls so we don’t repeat them.

Washer and Dryer

The ADA standards and the 2012 Texas Accessibility Standards section 611 requires that a washer and dryer have a 30″x 48″ clear floor space that will be centered on each unit.
611.2 Clear Floor Space. A clear floor or ground space complying with 305 positioned for parallel approach shall be provided. The clear floor or ground space shall be centered on the appliance.
When I get drawings and see laundry areas, I make sure to note that the clear floor space must be centered.  Which means that from the center of the appliance there should be 24″ on each side.  Below are some examples of drawings where it was not clear that the clear floor space was provided.  And after construction, the inspection also did not provide the space.
This drawing showed a guest laundry room with a dryer next to a wall which does not provide 24″ from the center line of the dryer to the wall.
This drawing shows a closet for the washer and dryer.  The doors reduce the ability to have a clear floor space that is parallel and centered on the appliances.

Here are some examples of the laundry rooms after construction:

The doors in this laundry closet were in the way of the clear floor space

Some solutions for this would be to make the doors open 180 degrees if possible, or there is a new type of washer/dryer that is all in one.  Here is a photo of a washer and dryer combo

This is a washer and dryer combination unit.  It still does not have the clear floor space of 48″ centered and parallel, but this would fit in the closet
Fair Housing Requirement #4: Accessible Route into and Through the Covered Unit
The Fair Housing Act which deals with multi-family housing requires that there be one accessible 36′ wide route throughout the apartment.  This would include a path to the closet.  This layout had a toilet in front of the closet.  But the distance between the toilet and the tub reduced the path to 32″
This unit has the toilet next to the closet door.  The distance between the front of the toilet too the tub should be no less than 36″ in order to allow access to the closet
The distance between the front of the toilet and the tub is less than 36″
The distance between the tub and the front of the toilet is less than 36″ which reduces the accessible route to the closet


31 1/2 inches clearance

Bottle fillers

It has been very popular to add bottle fillers near or above drinking fountains.  At one of my inspections they installed a bottle filler above the wheelchair accessible drinking fountain.  This would be acceptable but in this case they mounted it too high and the operable part (or the sensor) was mounted higher than the 48″ a.f.f. allowed
This bottle filler was mounted higher than 48″ a.f.f. to the sensor
The sensor was mounted at 54″ a.f.f.
Sometimes the bottle filler is mounted next to the drinking fountains which is also acceptable but might create issues with protruding objects.  Since the bottle filler is located inside the recessed niche where the drinking fountain is located it does not provide a cane detection.  The drinking fountain is located on the circulation path to the door into the restroom beyond.
this bottle filler was next to the high drinking fountain and did not provide a cane detection at the high drinking fountain