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Optimal Height for Your Washing Machine Drain Pipe [Explained]

Optimal Height for Your Washing Machine Drain Pipe

Washing machines can be quite diverse, with various types and brands, and they each have their way of handling drainage. These factors are important in determining the right height for the drain pipe. If you get it wrong, you could end up with wastewater flowing back into the system or dealing with an overflow.

The recommended elevation for a washing machine is between 23 and 35 inches (60-90 cm) above the floor. While it’s possible to install it at a higher level, it’s advised not to surpass 96 inches (8 feet) to ensure efficient operation.

There are different kinds of washing machines, like front-loaders, top-loaders with agitators or impellers, stacked laundry centres, and all-in-one washer-dryer combos.

Each type has its own unique drain pipe height requirement. In addition, we’ll also discuss the height of the washer’s P-trap and why it’s important to position the washer at a specific height.

Factors That Influence the Height of the Washing Machine Drain Hose

When deciding on the ideal height for your washing machine’s drain hose, three key factors come into play:

  1. Washer Type: The type of washing machine (top-loading or front-loading) affects the recommended hose height due to differences in water drainage.
  2. Washer Brand: Different washer brands may have specific height guidelines to ensure effective drainage.
  3. Drainage Option: Your chosen drainage method (e.g., standpipe, utility sink, or floor drain) also influences the appropriate hose height, as each option has unique considerations.

1. Washing Machine type and Drain Pipe height

Here is a summary of the washing machine type and their ideal drain height.

It’s important to remember that these are general guidelines, and individual washer brands or models may have their specific recommendations. For precise information regarding the drain pipe height suitable for your specific washing machine, always consult the manufacturer’s instructions

Washer TypeRecommended Drain Pipe HeightMaximum Allowable HeightAdditional Information
Front LoadAt least 24 inches off the floor96 inches (8 feet)Front-load washers typically require a lower drain pipe height. Exceeding 8 feet may necessitate a sump pump.
Top LoadAt least 30 inches off the floor96 inches (8 feet)Top-load washers generally require a taller drain pipe height. Exceeding 8 feet may require a sump pump. Drain pipe height can vary by washer brand.

2. Washing Machine Brand and Drain Pipe height

Here is a summary of the top washing machine brand and their ideal drain height.

Washer BrandRecommended Drain Pipe HeightMaximum Allowable HeightAdditional Information
Samsung24 – 35 inches off the ground6 – 8 inches into standpipeAvoid kinks or blocks.
GE Front LoadAt least 24 inches off the floor surface96 inches (8 feet)
GE Top LoadAt least 30 inches off the floor surface96 inches (8 feet)Raise top loader’s drain higher.
WhirlpoolAt least 39 inches off the ground96 inches (8 feet)May vary by washer type and model.
Bosch80 – 100 cm (31.5 – 39.4 inches)N/AOptimal height to prevent backflows.
Haier80 – 100 cm (31.5 – 39.4 inches)N/ASimilar to Bosch’s height recommendation.
LGAt least 29 inches off the floor96 inches (8 feet)Avoid backflows and contamination. Consult the manual.

3. Washing Machine Drainage Option and Drain Hose Position

In general, washing machines offer three drainage alternatives, each of which plays a crucial role in determining the elevation of the drainage pipe, as outlined below:

1. Standpipe Drainage:

This method connects the washing machine’s drain pipe to the household’s water waste stack via a standpipe. It serves to prevent overflow and the release of undesirable sewer odours.

  • Typically, the standpipe’s height should fall within the range of 39 to 96 inches.
  • It’s important to ensure that the length of the drain hose matches the height of the standpipe and consider the horizontal distance between the washing machine and the standpipe.

2. Laundry Tub Drainage:

When opting for this approach, your washing machine drains into a laundry tub. The washing machine’s drain pipe should not be positioned more than 96 inches (8 feet) above the floor to prevent the backflow of wastewater.

  • The recommended height range is up to 96 inches (8 feet).
  • Place the washing machine reasonably close to the laundry tub to ensure efficient drainage.

3. Underground Pipe Drainage:

This represents the most efficient yet costly drainage solution, involving an underground pipe system for the washing machine’s drainage. The pipe height above the washing machine’s base should be at least 18 inches but no more than 96 inches (8 feet).

  • The recommended height range is 18 to 96 inches (8 feet).
  • While offering effective drainage, this option comes with higher installation expenses than the others. Ensure the underground pipe is installed correctly and within the recommended height range.

Washing Machine P-Trap Height

The P-trap height for your washing machine matters. It should be 6 to 18 inches above the floor, as per plumbing guidelines in the US. Not following this rule can lead to legal trouble when doing plumbing work. Talk to a local agent or plumber for help.

The P-trap’s height prevents sewer issues. Too low (under 6 inches) can block sewage and contaminate water. Too high (over 18 inches) and hard to reach.

Do You Need a P-Trap for Your Washing Machine?

Whether you need a P-trap for your washing machine depends on where it drains. Use a P-trap to prevent issues if it goes to the sewer or septic tank. If it goes to a grey water tank, no P-trap is needed as it handles water differently.

P-Trap vs. Standpipe Height

In summary, the P-trap’s placement can influence the height of your standpipe. The standpipe should be positioned at least 18 inches above the P-trap’s height. For instance, if the P-trap is 6 inches above the ground, the standpipe height should be at least 32 inches.

Is Elevating Your Washing Machine Drain Hose a Necessity?

Yes, elevating your washing machine drain hose is crucial. It prevents siphoning, which can happen when the drain pipe is too low.

Front-loaders should have their drain hose no more than 7 inches down the pipe, while top loaders should be within 5 inches.

This also helps prevent kinks and blockages, improving the flow rate. However, be cautious not to elevate it excessively, especially without backflow preventers, to avoid backflow.

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