How High Can a Washing Machine Pump Water? [Explained!]

You want a washing machine that pumps the highest, preferably the farthest. So, you’ve to keep an eye on the washer’s pumping height. But in terms of expectations, how high can a washing machine pump?

Depending on the washing machine type, motor power, and machine condition, a washing machine can pump at a minimum height of 3 feet and a maximum of 6-8 feet. However, a more powerful washer with a longer hose extension can pump as far as 150 feet.

So, there are two aspects here: first, we have the pumping height, which depends on how far the pump sits from the ground, and second, we have the pumping distance (the horizontal distance that the pump can cover).

I’ll take you through the two and also discuss the drain box height and the washing machine’s hose length. I’ll also discuss the factors that determine how high a washing machine can pump.

Let’s get started:

how high can a washing machine pump

Table Summary of How High or Far a Washing Machine Pumps

When it comes to the washing machines pumping height and distance, the table below summarizes what you need to know:

Specification Height/Distance 
1.Minimum pump height (vertical)3 feet
2.Maximum pump height (vertical)6 – 8 feet 
3.Maximum pumping distance (horizontal)150 feet
4.Minimum drain height18 inches
5.Maximum drain box height4 – 6 feet
6.Washing machine off the ground height34 – 42 inches

Washers Pump Height – How High Can a Washing Machine Pump?

As shared in the above table, a washing machine’s minimum pump height is 3 feet while its maximum pump height is 6 – 8 feet.

Several factors, however, come into consideration which includes:

a) Washer Type

Generally, top loaders and front loaders have different pumping heights. Top-loading washers pump the highest between the two, averaging 6 – 8 feet, while front loaders average a maximum of 3 feet.


Front-load washers generally run on less water, thus more economical than the top load. Unfortunately, their water-saving advantage translates to a shorter pumping height.

So, while top-loaders use more water to clean, they enjoy a more extended pump height.

b) Motor Power 

Expect a more powerful washer motor to pump the highest while the less powerful option pumps the shortest height and distance.

c) Machine Condition

How old is your washer? If it was only recently installed, you could expect it to pump higher as it’s likely to be stronger. On the contrary, an older washer is unlikely to pump over a long distance.

how far can a washing machine pump up

Washers Pump Distance – How Far Can a Washing Machine Pump Up?

A washing machine’s pumping height is often proportional to its pumping distance (horizontal distance).

The higher the washer pumps, the farther it can reach. Overall, some washing machines can pump as far as 150 feet. It, however, depends on the following factors:

  • Pump strength – More powerful pumps promise to pump water over a longer distance than less powerful options.
  • Length of the drain hose – Drain hoses come in different sizes, and the longer the drain hose, the farther the water is likely to reach. While a standard drain hose is about 18 feet, it’s extendable to about 25 – 100 feet, depending on what you go for.

Note that it’s essential to keep your washer’s drain hose in a sloppy downward manner to allow water to flow smoothly.

If there are kinks, it could result in an overflow/flooding, and you wouldn’t want that. Also, note that not all drain hoses are best for extending the main drain hoses. 

So, you have to pick out the correct drain hose extension. And while at it, ensure the extension diameter matches your existing drain hose.

That is more important when you decide to extend your drain hose length with a regular drainage hose or PVC pipe.

Washing Machine Drain Height Maximum – How High Should the Washing Machine Be?

Ideally, your washing machine drain should have the correct elevation, starting from 18 inches.

Elevate the drain hose above the washer to discourage siphoning and overflow. For example, clogging could occur if the drain hose is lower than 18 inches, and the water could flow back to your washer.

That, however, doesn’t mean that you should raise the washing machine too high. No, you shouldn’t! If you do, the drain hose won’t be able to release its water.

Another important note, which I mentioned earlier, is the hose sloping. You need the hose to slant smoothly, free from twists, kinks and turns to facilitate smooth water drainage.

You can get your hose adapter from the local store to raise your drain hose. Alternatively, you can use any complementary PVC pipe. Just ensure the PVC pipe extension is 3 feet long at the very least.

How to Raise Your Washing Machines Drain Hose?

Generally, it’s possible to raise your washing machine’s drain hose height if you have an extension pipe and an adapter to join the two drains.

Consider the MyLifeUnit Washing Machine Drain Hose Extension Kit. This extension kit comes with a 6 feet extension pipe, two clamps, and one adapter to allow you to improve your drain hose length.

washing machine drain height maximum

The clamp is stainless steel, thus rust-resistant, while the hose material is premium EVA which can resist high pressure and deformation, therefore durable.

Generally, here are the two steps to follow when connecting an extension to your drain hose:

  • Insert the extension hose onto your washer’s drain
  • Connect the two using the adapter
  • Ensure they fit perfectly to avoid any leakage
  • Depending on the washing machine, you can install the hose clamp to stabilize the drain hose and seal it properly

But Must You Elevate Your Drain Hose?

While elevating your washer’s drain hose helps improve flow and prevent clogging and backflow, it’s not a must you do it.

For example, you don’t have to elevate your washer drain hose if it’s well-positioned and doesn’t suffer clogging and kinks. You also don’t have to do it if your washing machine sits on a sturdy platform. In such a case, the washing machine will most likely prevent flooding.

And if your washing machine lacks an automatic shut-off, consider installing a GFC outlet where you’ll plug in the washer. The GCI will protect your washing machine from the current issues which may occur when water gets to the electric outlet.

Drain Box Height – How High Should Your Washing Machines Drain Box Be?

The drain box, whose job is quick access to the shut-off valves and eliminating the need for installing a laundry sink, is an important consideration when positioning your washing machine. You need the box to be at the correct height to execute its function correctly.

Overall, different washer manufacturers recommend different heights for the drain box. Some say it shouldn’t be higher than 4 inches above the ground, while others recommend up to 6 inches.

For that reason, you should check the recommendation in the washer’s manual. The manufacturer will most likely mention it somewhere.

Washers Drain Height Vs. Flow Rate

You are probably wondering, ‘what is the relationship between the drain hose height and the flow rate?’ Well, the flow rate highly depends on the drain height. 

Usually, the higher the drainpipe is, the greater the flow rate and vice versa. But again, it depends on the washer type.

The top loader, for example, whose drain hose height should be at least 30 inches but not more than 8 feet, promises a flow rate of about 15 gallons/minute.

On the other hand, the front load washer, whose drain hose height should be at least 24 inches but not more than 8 feet, promises a flow rate of about 10 gallons/ minute.

Can You Raise Your Washing Machine?

Depending on the type of washer, you can raise it slightly to discourage clogging and overflow. Besides, it helps you create extra storage underneath to maximize your laundry space.

Just ensure your washing machine is not more than 34 – 42 inches off the ground. But remember, you can effortlessly raise your washing machine by placing it on a laundry raiser or laundry pedestal.

It allows you to give your laundry machine the correct elevation without lifting it high and interfering with the drainage. It promises a comfortable height that doesn’t strain your back when loading and unloading clothes into the machine.

How far can a washing machine pump water vertically

People Also Ask

1. How Far Can a Washing Machine Pump Water?

Depending on the drain hose length and the washing machine’s power, a washer can pump water over a 150-feet distance. Most of them, however, only average under 25 feet. 

2. How Far Can a Washing Machine Pump Water Horizontally?

Most washing machines can only pump water over 25 feet horizontal distance because they are limited by the motor’s power and drain hose length. However, some washing machines can cover a horizontal distance of up to 150 feet.

3. How Far Can a Washing Machine Pump Water Vertically?

Depending on the type, motor strength, and machine condition, a washing machine can pump water vertically at 3 – 8 feet.

Usually, the newer the machine is and the more powerful its motor is, the farther it is likely to pump. And when it comes to washer type, the top-load washer has an advantage as it pumps the highest than the front loader.

4. What Is the Maximum Height for A Washing Machine?

The maximum height of most washing machines is 6 – 8 feet. It all depends on the washer and manufacturer as some manufacturers recommend 6 feet and others a maximum of 8 feet. So, it’s essential to check that from the washing machines manual.

5. Can A Washing Machine Drain Be Too High?

Provided the washing machine’s drain height matches the recommended standpipe height, the drain height is not too high.

While most washers need a standpipe height of 36 inches and above, it’s crucial to confirm the specifics from the unit’s manual.

6. How High Should the Water Supply to A Washing Machine Be?

You should install your washing machine about 32 – 34 inches above the ground to encourage a comfortable height for the water supply. It’ll be easy for the main water supply to fill the washer at such a height.

In Conclusion – How High Can a Washing Machine Pump?

Generally, a washing machine can pump water vertically up to 8 feet and farther (horizontally) up to 150 feet. However, that depends on several factors, including the washer type and power, the drain hose length, and the position of the washer.    

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