Need some ideas to relocate light/fan switch

Ok…here’s the deal. My wife wants to put our washer and dryer on a platform so she doesn’t have to bend over. The problem is, the light switch is only 6 inches above the dryer. Now, I actually have a good six overall inches of unused space between the washer, dryer, and walls…so I could just push both units all the wall to the left, but we’re looking for a new washing machine (and possibly a new dryer later on) which could cut into those 6 inches.

So, just in case, I was hoping you guys could help me brainstorm some switch relocations. Here’s the dryer under the switch.

I’m thinking of replacing the switches with internal switches that could be remote controlled. There’s a hallway switch on the right just before the washroom. I’m thinking I could replace the single box with a triple box and put the smart switches there (the hallway switch is actually a dumb rocker for a smart 3-way at the other end of the hallway.)

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but the advantage would be that I could split the positive and neutral to power the smart switches, and I shouldn’t need the negative (which is shared with the other switch for the hallway light, as well as the traveler wire), right? I don’t want to do a lot of drywall work, and a large plate with 3 switches should be easy to cover a larger hole.

Another option might be a wall-mounted battery-operated switch on the wall just before the washroom?

Has anyone else done something like this? Any and all suggestions are welcome. :slight_smile:

I didn’t totally follow your logic and I’m all for home automation, but here is another suggestion.

Figure out how high the switch box would have to be with the new washer/dryer on a pedestal. You can relocate the switches to a new box. Install a new box with the two switches at the new height right above the old box. You’ll remove the switches from the old box but leave the box in place. You’ll “extend” the box by connecting Romex to the wires in the box that’s there now and running it up to the new box, where the switches would now be located.

If the relocated box would be too high, what is on the other side of the wall? Could the new box be placed there?

Then just cover the old box with a flush mount plate or a plate with inserts.


I could do that…I’d just hate to have a hole in the drywall where the switches used to be. I didn’t want to do a lot of patching. I was hoping to put smart relays where the old switches were and put a blank cover them, and put new smart switches elsewhere.

In my mind, it wouldn’t look aesthetically pleasing to have a blank plate and then the new switches above it…but that’s not a deal-breaker.

The garage is on the other side of the door.

Unfortunately, that box has to stay even if it just has splices in it. I suppose if you don’t like the covered box in the laundry room you could cut the box out and mount a new one facing the garage. But then you’d have to patch the laundry room side which you’re trying to avoid.

It sounds like the new washer/dryer will cover the original box. Pedestals are usually 14" or so and front loaders are taller. What may not be aesthetically pleasing to me would be the new switch box I spoke of being up so high.

You could put relays in the box, or you could just replace the existing switches with smart paddle switches (they are more flush than what you have now) and then mirror them to smart switches somewhere else. I think this is more along the lines of what you were thinking.

Almost…I was going to put smart relays instead, controlled by smart switches elsewhere. Then cover the relays with a blank plate.

Are you thinking of something like the Aeotec Nano

I haven’t done any of these but kind of seems like they’d work. Paging @JDRoberts, need your expertise over here.

First you need to check your local electrical codes. It’s pretty common that local jurisdictions will add special requirements for laundry areas because the big appliances can create various kinds of hazards. They may require that you have a light switch in the area, for example, and it would have to be one that would work even if your hub was not.

Also, because the other side of that wall is the garage, you may have to have a switch on that wall so that someone can turn it on when they are coming in from the garage without having to walk into the room first. That’s even more important because of the possibility of washer leaks. You don’t want someone stepping on that in the dark.

If it was me, I would just relocate the existing light switch higher up on the wall but within the ADA range. You should have room, depending on the height of the pedestal.

Then if you want to add additional battery operated switches or whatever for convenience you can do whatever you want. :sunglasses: