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Fox 05-19-2010 02:16 PM

Angled Laundry Chute
How much of an angle would you say is alright in a laundry chute?

I've a town house with three floors. The master bedroom has a closet above a bathroom, that is above the laundry room. I plan to move the vanity out a bit and make the wall a bit thicker so it can contain the chute which will just drop into the laundry room.

The problem is that the chute would come right up in an inconvenient place in the closet. Fortunately the bathroom has a ceiling that must be at least 12" high. This makes it rather cold in the winter, so I plan to lower the ceiling. Inside that new empty space, I also plan to angle the chute to its intended opening in the closet.

I doubt this will cause a problem, as I don't need to angle it more than 35 degrees or so, but I wanted to get some opinions here. I also wanted to know the minimum size a laundry chute should be to prevent clogging, and what you finish the interior with? I've seen air ducts used before, and doesn't seem like a bad idea. I'm still looking this up in local building codes.

Any experiences, advice, or your own stories building a laundry chute is welcome!

Thank you,

Related research:

Yoyizit 05-19-2010 03:40 PM

Floors act as a firebreak. How is this handled in a chute?

All you need to know is the coefficient of sliding friction between typical clothes and the surface of the chute. Easier said than found.

"A 66.0 kg base runner begins his slide into second base when he is moving at a speed of 4 m/s. The coefficient of friction between his clothes and Earth is 0.70. He slides so that his speed is zero just as he reaches the base. (a) How much mechanical energy is lost due to fric... "

Will you be giving the clothes a push?

Fox 05-19-2010 06:20 PM


Originally Posted by Yoyizit (Post 444256)
Floors act as a firebreak. How is this handled in a chute?

Good point. In a fire this could turn into a chimney. I'll have to read up on how that's typically handled.


Originally Posted by Yoyizit (Post 444256)
Will you be giving the clothes a push?

I was hoping gravity would do that part for me?

I laughed when I saw the math. "Oh no! Word problems! They're following me from school!"

canadaclub 05-19-2010 06:48 PM

I remember reading about this in a prior thread, the answer was never told, but the concensus was that it goes against fire code. Worth a call to the town hall though.

lmao @ promised no more drinking when you post!:laughing:

Yoyizit 05-19-2010 07:24 PM

When I wrote that post my BAC was 0.0%. :thumbsup:

Test the chute with some representative items of clothing at a representative slope.

Hopefully 100% of the items accelerate down the pipe. If not you may have to make a slippery, weighted, full-width plate that flushes out the chute every laundry day.

Scuba_Dave 05-19-2010 08:00 PM

Check local codes


Although a chute's design depends on the house, Tom recommends an elevated door to prevent kids from accidentally falling down the chute. State building codes might regulate size, placement and design, and sometimes require a trapdoor to prevent fires from traveling up a chute. Dan Priest of the National Association of Home Builders suggests contacting local building officials to get the code information "straight from the horse's mouth with the most recent amendments."

Gary in WA 05-19-2010 09:32 PM

Good advice. I believe they require self-closing doors.

I had one I would jump/fall down (one floor) while escaping from my older sister in pursuit. We also used it for clothes.... quite handy.

Be safe, Gary

Yoyizit 05-20-2010 12:00 PM

This book
has a whole chapter on methods for moving materials from one place to another, like in factories.
This sloping chute might prove to be pretty challenging.

tpolk 05-20-2010 01:57 PM

melamine...very slick

Yoyizit 05-20-2010 02:24 PM


Originally Posted by GBR in WA (Post 444396)
while escaping from my older sister in pursuit.

That's sorta' what Bridget Fonda did in

Fox 06-01-2010 11:09 AM

I'm starting to think angling it at all might be a bit daft, depending on the angle.

I doubt it's of great concern if there is a 1 sq. ft. box in the back of the closet, even if it isn't centered.

Trying to get a friend of mine to speak to a local contractor who will know the codes. Self-closing doors are definitely going to be required.

I'll have to measure just how much of an angle it would be.

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