How to Plumb a Drain for a Washing Machine: Essential Tips for Efficient Plumbing Setup

How to Plumb a Drain for a Washing Machine?

To plumb a drain for a washing machine, follow these steps:

1. Make sure there is a drainpipe stubbed out of the wall where the washing machine will be installed.

2. Gather the necessary equipment and make plans before starting the installation.

3. If the washing machine box or PVC drainpipe is not visible, you may need to cut into the wall to alter the plumbing, and it is recommended to hire a plumber for this.

4. Choose the best spot for the washer and dryer in the laundry room.

5. If relocating the washer and dryer hookups, have a plumber install the standpipe for the washing machine drain.

6. Connect the brand-new washing machine’s flexible discharge hose to the standpipe.

7. Use hose bibbs screwed into drop-ear elbows to connect water lines to the washing machine.

8. Mount the washer box between studs using supplied brackets.

9. Avoid buying “washer-box-only” kits, as they require special ordered long-shanked valves.

10. Select washer boxes with lever handles or a single easy-turn lever that opens and closes both valves simultaneously.

11. Install water lines and drains on either side of a stud for optional drain installations and a neater setup.

12. Ensure the washer drain consists of a 2-inch drainpipe with a standpipe around 36 inches long that feeds into a 2-inch horizontal P-trap.

13. Make sure there is a horizontal run after the trap of at least twice the pipe diameter to comply with codes and prevent illegal S-traps.

14. Connect the washer hoses to the valves in the washer box, ensuring hot water is connected to hot and cold water to the cold.

15. Insert the end of the washer drain hose into the drainpipe of the washer box.

16. Turn on the water supply and check for leaks.

17. Verify the hot and cold connections by turning the washer to cold wash and checking if cold water is flowing into the tub.

Remember, if you encounter any difficulties or are unsure about the process, it is recommended to hire a professional plumber for assistance.

Key Points:

  • Ensure there is a drainpipe stubbed out of the wall where the washing machine will be installed
  • If the washing machine box or PVC drainpipe is not visible, consider hiring a plumber to alter the plumbing
  • Choose the best spot for the washer and dryer in the laundry room
  • Have a plumber install the standpipe for the washing machine drain if relocating the washer and dryer hookups
  • Connect the brand-new washing machine’s flexible discharge hose to the standpipe
  • Use hose bibbs screwed into drop-ear elbows to connect water lines to the washing machine

Did You Know?

1. Before the invention of washing machines, people used to hand-wash their laundry by beating the clothes against rocks or scrubbing them with a washboard.

2. The first patent for a washing machine was filed in 1797 by American inventor Nathaniel Briggs. However, in 1874, William Blackstone invented a similar device that was the first to have a built-in design for a drain.

3. The term “plumbing” derives from the Latin word “plumbum,” which means “lead.” This is because ancient Roman pipes were made from lead, which they used to carry water from public fountains to homes and public baths.

4. As a safety measure, it is essential to install a drain trap in the plumbing system of a washing machine. This trap not only prevents foul odors from entering the house but also provides a barrier that prevents sewer gases from coming back up into the machine.

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5. The annual cost of washing machine water usage can vary depending on factors such as the size of the load and whether hot or cold water is used. On average, a typical household in the United States spends around $100-$150 per year on water consumption specifically related to washing machines.

Introduction And Required Equipment

When plumbing a drain for a washing machine, it is important to make plans and gather the necessary equipment before starting the installation process. Here are some step-by-step instructions to help you successfully plumb a drain for your washing machine:

Check if there is a drainpipe stubbed out of the wall where the washing machine will be installed. If it is not visible, you may need to cut into the wall to alter the plumbing. In this case, it is highly recommended to hire a professional plumber to handle the modifications. They will have the expertise to ensure the plumbing changes are made correctly.

Ensure there is a drainpipe stubbed out of the wall.

If not visible, hire a professional plumber for modifications.

Gather the necessary equipment for the installation process. You will need:

  1. A washing machine drain hose
  2. PVC pipe
  3. A p-trap
  4. Pipe cutter
  5. PVC adhesive
  6. Tape measure
  7. Pipe wrench
  8. Screwdriver

Steps:

  1. Measure and cut the PVC pipe to the desired length, ensuring it reaches the drainpipe stubbed out of the wall. Use a pipe cutter to make precise cuts.
  2. Attach the p-trap to the end of the PVC pipe using PVC adhesive. The p-trap will prevent sewer gases from entering your home.
  3. Connect the washing machine drain hose to the other end of the p-trap. Make sure it is securely attached to prevent leaks.
  4. Secure the PVC pipe to the wall or floor using pipe straps. This will provide additional support and prevent any movement or damage.
  5. Double-check for any leaks in the plumbing connections. Turn on the water supply and run a test cycle on the washing machine to ensure everything is working properly.

Tip: If you are unsure about any step of the process or encounter any difficulties, it is always best to consult a professional plumber. They can provide guidance and ensure the installation is done correctly.

Follow these steps to successfully plumb a drain for your washing machine. With proper planning and the right equipment, you can complete this task efficiently and effectively.

Assessing The Plumbing And Hiring A Professional If Needed

Before beginning the installation process, it is important to assess your current plumbing setup. If you are thinking about relocating your washer and dryer hookups, it is highly recommended to hire a professional plumber for installing the standpipe for the washing machine drain. This ensures the proper configuration of the plumbing system and eliminates any potential issues in the future.

Furthermore, if there is no drainpipe already present in the wall, a plumber can assist in determining the most suitable course of action. This may involve creating a new drainpipe or exploring alternative solutions. Remember, consulting an expert is always a better approach to avoid any costly mistakes or plumbing mishaps.

  • Assess your current plumbing setup before starting the installation process.
  • Hire a professional plumber to install the standpipe for the washing machine drain if you plan on relocating the washer and dryer hookups.
  • Seek expert advice if there is no drainpipe in the wall to decide on the best solution.

Choosing The Best Location For The Washer And Dryer

Selecting the ideal spot for your washer and dryer in the laundry room is an important consideration. You want to ensure sufficient space and easy access for both installation and regular maintenance. Additionally, it’s crucial to have a nearby drainpipe for the washing machine.

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If the current location doesn’t provide a convenient setup, you may need to make some adjustments. It’s crucial to consult a professional plumber if you plan on relocating the washer and dryer hookups. They can help you determine the best location while ensuring proper plumbing connections.

  • Ensure sufficient space and easy access for installation and maintenance
  • Have a nearby drainpipe for the washing machine
  • Consult a professional plumber for relocation and proper plumbing connections

Installing Water Lines And Connecting The Washer Hoses

To install the water lines and connect the washer hoses, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the water supply and unplug the washing machine as precautionary measures.
  2. Use hose bibbs screwed into drop-ear elbows to connect the water lines to the washing machine. Choose the appropriate elbow for your specific plumbing system based on the pipe material (PEX, CPVC, or copper).
  3. Mount washer boxes between studs using the supplied brackets for stability and support.
  4. Avoid using “washer-box-only” kits as they often require special-ordered long-shanked valves, which can be inconvenient. Similarly, avoid round-handled valves as they tend to corrode over time.
  5. Opt for washer boxes with lever handles for better quality. Select those with a single easy-turn lever that opens and closes both valves simultaneously.
  6. Consider choosing washer boxes with antishock valves to cushion water hammer vibration for the best quality.
  7. Use hose bibbs screwed into drop-ear elbows for connecting the water lines.
  8. Mount washer boxes between studs using supplied brackets for stability.
  9. Choose washer boxes with lever handles for better quality.
  10. Opt for washer boxes with a single easy-turn lever that opens and closes both valves simultaneously.
  11. Consider washer boxes with antishock valves to cushion water hammer vibration.

It’s important to note that “washer-box-only” kits and round-handled valves should be avoided as they have drawbacks.

Proper Installation Of The Washer Drain

Properly installing the washer drain is essential for the efficient functioning of your washing machine.

Washer drains typically consist of a 2-inch drainpipe, usually schedule 40 PVC, with a standpipe around 36 inches long that feeds into a 2-inch horizontal P-trap. This setup ensures proper drainage and prevents any potential clogs.

Compliance with plumbing codes requires a horizontal run after the trap of at least twice the pipe diameter.

For a 2-inch drain, this means a 4-inch horizontal run to prevent unintentional and illegal S-traps.

Following these guidelines will help you stay within the codes and ensure a safe and reliable drain system.

  • Proper installation of washer drain is crucial for washing machine efficiency
  • Washer drains have a 2-inch drainpipe and a 36-inch standpipe connected to a 2-inch horizontal P-trap
  • This setup prevents clogs and ensures proper drainage
  • Comply with plumbing codes by having a horizontal run after the trap that is at least twice the pipe diameter
  • For a 2-inch drain, ensure a 4-inch horizontal run to avoid illegal S-traps

Checking For Leaks And Verifying Hot And Cold Connections

Once the valves and drain are in place, it’s time to connect the washer hoses to the washer and the valves in the washer box. Ensure that you attach the hot water hose to the hot water valve and the cold water hose to the cold water valve. This prevents any confusion and ensures that the washing machine receives the correct water temperature.

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Next, insert the end of the washer drain hose into the drainpipe of the washer box. This ensures that the water from the washing machine is properly discharged and prevents any leaks or spills.

After completing the installation, turn the water on and carefully check for any leaks. Ensure that all connections are tight and properly sealed. To verify the hot and cold water connections, turn the washer to a cold wash cycle and check if cold water is going into the tub. This step helps ensure that all connections are correct and the washing machine is receiving the desired water temperatures.

In new construction projects, washer outlets are generally required to be roughed in according to building codes, even if the owner doesn’t initially want them. This ensures that the necessary infrastructure is in place for future use. Always consult local plumbing codes and regulations to ensure compliance during the installation process.

With these essential tips and step-by-step instructions, you can successfully plumb a drain for your washing machine. Remember, if you encounter any difficulties or are unsure about any aspect of the installation, it is always recommended to consult a professional plumber. This will ensure that your washing machine’s drain is properly installed, minimizing the risk of future plumbing issues.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What size drain pipe is needed for a washing machine?

To ensure proper drainage for a washing machine, it is necessary to consider the specific requirements outlined by plumbing standards. In this case, a minimum 2-inch drainage pipe is used for the standpipe, trap, trap arm to the vertical vent or waste stack, and also for the vertical vent. However, once the drainage pipe turns horizontal from the vertical vent or waste stack, the minimum drain pipe size should be increased to 3 inches. This adjustment allows for efficient flow and avoids any potential clogging or backups that may disrupt the washing machine’s functionality.

What kind of pipe do you use for a washing machine drain?

It is recommended to use a 2″ diameter pipe for a washing machine drain. This size is sufficient to accommodate the drain hose of modern washing machines. Standpipes of at least this diameter ensure proper drainage and prevent any potential clogging issues. Using a smaller diameter pipe, such as a 1 ½”, may not be adequate for newer washing machines and can lead to draining problems.

Do you need a drain pipe for a washing machine?

Yes, it is essential to have a drain pipe for a washing machine. The size of the drain pipe depends on the connection between the washing machine and the kitchen sink. If they are connected, a 3-inch hose drain is necessary. On the other hand, if the washer and kitchen sink are separate units, a 1 1/2-inch pipe and a 2-3/4-inch trap are all that is needed to remove the used water. A drain pipe ensures proper water disposal and prevents any potential flooding or damage in the laundry area.

How do you drain a washing machine without a pipe?

If your washing machine does not have a drain pump filter, you can try using a wet/dry vacuum. Place the vacuum hose directly over the drain hole of the washing machine and secure it tightly. Turn on the vacuum and it will create suction, pulling the water out of the machine and into the vacuum’s reservoir. Monitor the reservoir’s capacity and empty it into a sink or basin as needed. Repeat the process until all the water has been drained from the washing machine.

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