Does Washing Machine Drain Hose Need to Be Elevated?

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When installing a washing machine, it’s important to understand the proper height and placement of the drain hose.

This will ensure that there’s less of a risk of potential overflow while helping to prevent flooding in your laundry room.

Yes, the drain hose needs to be elevated and it’s always best to do so at a level that’s higher than the washing machine itself. This will prevent possible siphoning. There are also other steps you can take to ensure that you get the best drainage.

What Are Washing Machine Drainage Options?

Laundry Tub

What is it: A laundry tub provides your washing machine with one of the best drainage options.

More often than not, a clog is to blame for laundry tub failure.

When this occurs, the clog is typically located in the U-trap or further down the piping.

How to fix: You have a couple of options for clearing the clog. A simple plunger may resolve the issue, as might a drain auger.

If you choose to use a plunger, it’s best to add a little bit of water in the laundry tub if there isn’t already some standing.

This will provide the necessary suction to break loose any clogging within the drain pipe.

If a plunger isn’t successful, a handheld drain auger is likely going to be needed.

This will provide you with something solid with which to break up the clog.

If, however, you are still unable to reach the clog to break it free, you will need to remove the U-trap so as to gain access to the clog.

Looking for an easier solution? If you don’t have either a plunger or auger or you simply don’t wish to exert yourself, try pouring very hot water down the drain.

In addition, you can try pouring dish soap down the drain before using the hot water, as this may help to loosen the clog.

Standpipe

What is it: A standpipe is a pipe that connects your washing machine’s drain pipe to your home’s waste stack.

By choosing to use a standpipe instead of connecting your washing machine to a drain line, you can avoid water overflow, as well as unwanted fumes from the sewer.

If it is clear that your washing machine pump is functioning properly but water isn’t draining from it, there is likely a clog in the rubber drain hose.

This hose runs from the back of your washing machine to the standpipe.

When it becomes clogged, it is usually due to fibers from your clothing. Too much clogging can cause flooding on your floor and may result in damage to your home.

How to fix: Fixing this issue is easy enough and involves removing the rubber drain hose and blowing air through it. If the airflow is minimal, there is a blockage that needs to be removed.

You may also simply replace the hose to remedy your draining problem.

If your washing machine still isn’t draining properly, your pump is likely to blame and will need to be either serviced or replaced.

Underground Pipe Connection

What is it: If you want the absolute best draining option for your washing machine, an underground pipe is the way to go.

It’s expensive and will require extensive labor to install, but your washing machine water will drain directly to your waste stack.

A clog or breakage in an underground pipe connection can result in considerable work to remedy.

If you believe there is a blockage somewhere, it’s best to start with the standpipe, as this is part of an underground pipe connection.

How to fix: Oftentimes, underground pipe connections are installed behind concrete walls, requiring a great deal of teardown and repair.

As such, you need to consider the time and expense involved if there’s an issue before investing in this drainage option.

How High Will a Washing Machine Pump Water?

The pump’s flow rate depends on the drain pipe’s height.

Your washing machine’s flow rate will lose about a gallon of water for every additional foot of drain pipe height.

Your washing machine’s water pumping rate should be around 15 gallons a minute.

Smaller, compact washing machines are only able to pump water up around 5 feet.

Your drain pipe needs to have an inside diameter of 1 ½ inch to ensure proper draining, with an outside diameter of 1 ¼ inch.

You should also make sure that your drain pipe is at least 30 inches high to prevent potential water siphoning.

You can ensure that your drain hose is functioning optimally by installing the drain with a height of no more than 8 feet from the floor.

How to Keep Washer Drain Hose in Place?

Your washing machine’s drain hose is responsible for removing wastewater from your washing machine.

From here, the wastewater is delivered to a standpipe or sink depending on your setup.

In some homes, the laundry room features a small alcove that’s built into a wall. This serves to keep the drain pipe securely in place.

If, however, your laundry room doesn’t have this setup, you will need to make sure that your drain pipe stays fastened so that it doesn’t come loose.

A loose drain hose can result in your floor being flooded with wastewater.

There are a couple of different ways you can secure your drain hose and it depends on whether your washing machine drains into a laundry tub or drain pipe.

Laundry Tub

For a laundry tub, you will first need to measure the height of your tub.

Remember, it should be no more than 8 feet from the floor so that wastewater doesn’t return to your washing machine.

One end of the drain hose will have a curved end. This needs to rest over the lip of your laundry tub.

Furthermore, the tub and hose should be no more than 45 inches from your washing machine.

Using a plastic zip-tie, secure the drain hose to a leg of the laundry tub. It’s also a good idea to ensure that the drain hose isn’t near the bottom of the tub, as this can restrict water flow.

Drain Pipe

For a drain pipe, you will first need to make sure that are able to install the drain hose so that it’s above your washing machine’s water level.

The distance from the base of the washing machine shouldn’t be higher than 8 feet and no less than 18 inches.

A standard drain pipe measures 2 inches in diameter and should be able to accommodate most drain hoses.

Your drain hose needs to be at least 34 inches in length to prevent it from falling. If near to a wall, place the curved end of the drain hose into the drain pipe.

Then, fasten a hose clamp around the drain hose so that it’s about 6 inches down the drain pipe. You can then screw the clamp into the nearest wall stud.

If you’re dealing with a concrete wall, you’ll need a masonry bit and anchor to penetrate the wall.

Don’t have a wall close enough? You may simply fasten the drain hose to the drainpipe using a cable strap or sturdy zip-tie.

Is It OK to Extend Washing Machine Drain Hose?

Absolutely. In fact, special extension hoses are sold that are designed to attach to your existing drain hose so as to give you more slack.

To attach an extension, simply use the included clamps to secure both hoses together.

These extensions come in various lengths so that you can find the best one to fit your needs.

Always make sure that your washing machine is turned off before attempting to attach an extension.

You should also have a bucket handy to catch any water that might drip from your existing drain hose.

Why Is My Washing Machine Drain Overflowing?

Any time your washing machine drain overflows, it’s usually a clog in your drain pipe that’s to blame.

However, more serious issues could be related to a blockage in your main sewer line.

The sooner you resolve the root problem, the less likely your home will be at risk of further damage.

Remember to start with the easiest solution first and work your way up.

Use a simply plunger or auger to check for local clogs first. If you can keep from having to call a licensed plumber, you can look forward to saving some money on costly repairs.

You can actively work to prevent clogs by keeping all lint and waste in a nearby bag or container. You should also be sure to clean your washing machine’s filter or lint trap regularly.

Cleaning your drain hose and pipe regularly will also help to prevent potential overflow.

Conclusion

It pays to be proactive. By practicing regular maintenance and cleaning and making sure your drain hose is properly installed, you are less likely to experience draining issues.

Reader Comments (4)

  1. Aren’t these dimensions reversed?

    “Your drain pipe needs to have an inside diameter of 1 ½ inch to ensure proper draining, with an outside diameter of 1 ¼ inch. “

    Reply
    • I think we’ve entered the Twilight Zone! 🙂 Here we have a pipe that’s bigger on the inside than the outside and I get a September 26 response to my post I made on September 28. Sorry I hadn’t spotted Blakes post before I posted.
      🙂

      Reply

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