Important Service Call Pricing Update
Effective October 1, 2023
$139 for MD, VA, WVA, DE, PA, NC, SC
$175 + tax for Washington, DC
Washing Machine Drainage Options Explained
If you are deciding which washer drainage option to choose or wondering how to install the washer’s drain hose, have no fear, our guide is here to help. In most cases, you have two options for draining water from your washer. Option one is to connect the drain hose to a standpipe, and option two is to place the drain hose in a nearby sink. When connecting the drain hose, height and safety specifications must be followed to avoid flooding,having dirty water return to the washer, and having water drain from the washer when it is not supposed to.
Which drainage option is best for you?
If you are deciding which option to choose for your washer’s draining, the cost of installation, space in your laundry room, and flooding prevention are your key considerations. Arguably, a standpipe is the best connection to use, as a sink connection may cause flooding if the drain hose is not secured or if water is unable to drain from the sink because of some blockage such as an item of clothing left in the sink. As long as you follow the instructions below, either the standpipe or sink will do the job without any negative consequences. While washer drainage specifications are similar for all washers, to be safe, the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the drain hose, either in your owner’s manual or on their website, should be checked. When instructions differ, it is usually by an inch or two and will relate to the following specifications:
- A standpipe or sink must be higher than the washer’s overflow line, which is usually 30–36 inches (76–91cm) or 18–30 inches (45–76cm) above the P-trap.
This guide refers to a standard washer, so if your washer is unique, definitely check the manufacturer’s instructions.
A standpipe can be used to connect the washer’s drain hose to the home’s waste stack. The waste stack (also called a drain-waste-vent [DWV] system) is the pipe that runs throughout the home collecting wastewater from toilets, sinks, and appliances like the washing machine. A standpipe is tall, vertical, and has a “U” shape base (P-trap) so that expelled washer water does not return to the washer, and wastewater and sewer gas does not come in through the washer’s drain hose. A standpipe may be located next to the washer or installed in the wall. If a hole in the wall has been drilled, that is likely where the standpipe should be located. The standpipe should be installed according to the following specifications.
- The top of the standpipe must be at least 39 inches (99cm) from the floor. The maximum height the standpipe can be is 96 inches (244cm).
- A hose guide (or elbow bracket) must be fitted to the end of the drain hose where it connects to the standpipe.
- When applying the hose guide to the drain hose, no more than 0.8 inches (20mm) of drain hose should be between the hose guide and standpipe connection.
- The drain hose’s connection to the standpipe must not be airtight (e.g., not secured with tape). An airtight connection will cause siphoning to occur.
- A tie strap should be used to secure the drain hose to the standpipe to avoid creating an airtight connection.
If the standpipe and drain hose are not installed to these specifications, the washer will have drainage problems that will cause error codes, flooding, and damage to the washer and your home. Wastewater and sewer gas also has the potential to come in through the washer’s drain hose.
If you do not have a standpipe, the washer’s drain hose can be placed over an adjacent sink. As long as you follow the specifications below and do not forget to empty and unplug the sink before running the washer, draining the washer into the sink will work just as well as a standpipe.
- Like a standpipe, when the washer drains into a sink, the sink or the end of the drain hose must be at least 39 inches (99cm) from the floor, with a maximum height of 96 inches (244cm).
- A hose guide (or elbow bracket) should be fitted to the end of the drain hose to ensure it drains down into the sink without any kinking. N more than 4 inches (10cm) of drain hose should be between the hose guide and the end of the drain hose.
- Tie straps can be used to secure the drain hose to the sink and to stop it from kinking.
Falling to secure the drain hose and install it to the correct height will cause wastewater to return to the washer. Flooding will also occur, which will cause potential damage to the washer and your home.
Connecting your washer’s drain hose to a standpipe is the best option; however, the drain hose can also be placed over an adjacent sink. When installing the drain hose, use hose guides and tie straps to ensure the drain hose is secure, water flows in the correct direction, and kinks do not occur. Also, ensure the drain hose connection is not airtight. The drain hose must also be installed according to the height specifications outlined above or according to your washer’s owner’s manual.