Mistake-proof plumbing connections

Case of the Shrinking Shirts

We got a new washer/dryer in May, 2013. I noticed that some of my shirts seemed to be shrinking. My wife thought it might be the dryer, so she used delicate for the shirts.

Theykept shrinking.

Our daughter figured it out while she was visiting. She noticed s steam rising out of the washer when it was set to cold.

The installers had connected hot to cold and cold to hot. I mentioned this one of my wife’s sisters and she said: “Oh yes. We had that happen to us. Took us eight months to figure it out.” It only took us 13 months of shrinking clothes.

This seems like something that would be easy to mistake-proof.

The washer has a red (hot – left) and blue (cold – right) connector. Plumbing for hot water is always on the left. But the hoses aren’t color coded.┬áIt would be easy to color code the hoses to run hot to hot and cold to cold, but instead, the installers┬áran left to back left, and right to back right.

But all of this color coding and cross connecting is still complex. Since washers back into the plumbing, the hot could be back left and cold back right so that it’s a straight shot from the plumbing to the washer.

Washer Plumbing

Hot and Cold Plumbing for washer

Washer connections

Hot and Cold connections on Washer

This entry was posted by Jay Arthur in Manufacturing, Service, Six Sigma and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post.