Understanding the correct washing machine drain pipe height is essential before installing any washer. Get it wrong, and you must deal with wastewater sucking back into your system or contend with an overflow! But how high should the washer’s drain pipe be?
Ideally, the washing machine should be about 23-35 inches off the floor. That’s about 60-90 cm high. Though you can go higher than that, it shouldn’t be more than 96 inches (or 8ft). But overall, the drain pipe height depends on the washer type, brand, and drainage option.
As you will notice, top-loaders have a different height range from front-loaders. There’s also a vast difference between the various top washer brands and not forgetting the various drainage options.
I’ll break down the three factors for you to better understand the washer’s drain pipe height. Moreover, we’ll talk about the washer’s p-trap height and the importance of elevating the washer to a certain altitude.
Let’s jump into it!
Factors Determining the Washing Machine Drain Pipe Height
Generally, a washer’s drain pipe height depends on these three factors:
- Washer type
- Washer brand
- Drainage option
Let’s discuss the three next:
1. Type of Washing Machine Vs. Drain Pipe height
Under the washer type, we can only compare the top loader to the front loader.
a) Front Load Washing Machine Drain Pipe Height
Front-load washers don’t require a taller drain pipe height, as it’s the case with their cousins, top loaders. So, while the size may differ from brand to brand, it should be at least 24″ off the floor surface.
However, the maximum height of the washing machine drain pipe for front loaders is 96 inches (8 feet). You shouldn’t exceed this limit, as it’ll be hard for your drain pump to pump the wastewater out without integrating a sump pump.
b) Top Load Washing Machine Drain Pipe Height
As hinted earlier, top-loaders require a much taller drain pipe height. The drain pipe should be at least 30 inches off the floor for optimum pumping.
However, like their counterparts, front loaders, the height shouldn’t exceed 8 feet unless you install a sump pump. But overall, the drain pipe height differs between washer brands, as I will explain next.
2. Brand Vs. Washing Machine Drain Height
Let’s now discuss the washer brands and focus our discussion on the leading ones. I’m talking about Samsung, GE, Whirlpool, Bosch, Haier, and LG.
a) Samsung Washing Machine Drain Pipe Height
Samsung allows you to install the drain pipe 24 – 35 inches off the ground surface. However, the drain hose must not go more than 6 – 8 inches into the standpipe and shouldn’t be kinked/blocked before installation.
b) GE Washer Drain Pipe Height
Generally, GE front-loading machines should have their drain at least 24 inches off the floor surface. GE top loaders, in contrast, should have the drain pipe at least 30 inches off the floor.
So, you need to raise the top loader’s drain pipe higher than the front loader’s. But overall, you shouldn’t exceed 8 feet in both cases unless you have a sump pump.
c) Whirlpool Washer Drain Pipe Height
Whirlpool stipulates the washer drain pipe height on their manual, which may differ slightly between washer types and models. As far as the standpipe height goes, Whirlpool recommends at least 39 inches off the ground and a maximum of 96 inches (8 feet).
d) Bosch Washing Machine Drain Pipe Height
For Bosch washing machines, you must keep the drain pipe height at 80 – 100 cm (31.5 – 39.4 inches) for optimal performance. That’s the right height to avoid backflows.
e) Haier Washer Drain Pipe Height
Haier observes the exact measurements as Bosch regarding drain pipe installation. In this case, the drain pipe height is 80 – 100 cm (or 31.5 – 39.4″).
f) LG Washing Machine Drain Pipe Height
LG expects you to install the washer drain pipe at least 29 inches off the floor. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t go past 8 feet to avoid backflows and source water contamination. But overall, check the exact measurement for your washer model on the manual.
Overall, the above discussion brings us to the table summary below:
|Washer Brand||Off-the-Ground Drain Pipe Height|
|GE||From 24 inches|
|Whirlpool||From 39 inches (standpipe height)|
|LG||From 24 inches|
3. Drainage Option Vs. Washing Machine Drain Hose Position
Generally, washing machines have these three drainage options:
- Laundry tub
- Underground pipette
The three drainage options generally determine how high the drainage pipe shall be, as I discuss below:
A standpipe connects the washer drain pipe with the home water waste stack. Choosing a standpipe allows you to avoid overflow and unwanted sewer fumes. You, however, have to get the height correct.
Generally, the standard standpipe height for washer installation is 39 – 96 inches.
Overall, two factors are critical for standpipe installation, and they are
- Standpipe length – Normally, the higher the altitude (higher the standpipe), the longer the drain hose and vice versa. So, it’s paramount that you get a drain hose that matches the standpipe length.
- Distance from the washer – You must also consider the horizontal distance between the washer and the standpipe. The further the two are, the longer the drain hose.
Laundry Tub Drainage
The laundry tub drainage allows your washer to drain through a washing tub. Overall, your washer’s drain pipe shouldn’t be more than 96 inches (8 ft.) off the floor to avoid wastewater backflow.
Moreover, the washer shouldn’t be further than 45 inches from the laundry tub.
Underground Pipe Drainage
Though the costliest of the three, an underground pipe is the most efficient drainage solution for washers. The recommended underground pipe height for washing machines is at least 18 inches from the base of the washer to 96 inches.
So, again, you shouldn’t exceed 96 inches (or 8 ft.).
How About the Washing Machine’s P-Trap Height?
The washer’s p-trap distance matters for any installation. Preferably, the p-trap should sit 6 – 18 inches above the floor surface. You should calculate the distance from the p-trap arm’s center to the floor level.
Those are the UPC (uniform plumbing code) guidelines in the United States. That means it’s illegal in most states not to consider the code when doing plumbing work around your washer.
Therefore, you may need to first talk to a local municipal agent or professional plumber for clarification.
But why does the washer’s p-trap height matter?
Well, there’s a reason why the UPC insists on 6 – 18 inches. If you install the p-trap very low (lower than 6 inches), the sewer will hit a barrier, flow back up your drain line, and end in your home water.
That’s dangerous as it contaminates your home water supply and could sparkle a water-borne infection.
The other reason for observing the UPC is to encourage an easy p-trap. Putting it at a higher height (over 18 inches) makes its accessibility hard.
But do you need a p-trap for your washing machine?
Well, if your washer drains into the municipal sewer or a home septic tank, you need a p-trap. If you don’t install it, you risk the sewer gas flowing back to your home water supply and contaminating it and, of course, prosecution for flaunting the UPC.
However, you don’t need a p-trap of the washer drains into a gray water tank. Such tanks handle wastewater without sewer (toilet water) or kitchen waste.
P-Trap Vs. Standpipe Height
Overall, the p-trap location can determine your standpipe height. Typically, the standpipe should be at least 18 inches above the p-trap’s height.
If the p-trap, for example, is 6 inches off the ground, the standpipe height should be at least 24 inches.
Does Washing Machine Drain Hose Need to Be Elevated?
The quick answer to the above question is YES. Yes, the washing machine drain hose needs to be elevated.
For one, elevating prevents siphoning – when the washing machine fills up and drains simultaneously. Mainly, siphoning occurs when the drain pipe is pretty low, lower than the minimum drain pipe height of 24 inches, judging by earlier discussion.
But still, siphoning may occur when you push the washer’s drain hose too far down the drain pipe. Overall, the front loader’s drain hose shouldn’t be more than 7 inches down the drain pipe, and in top loaders, it shouldn’t sit more than 5 inches down the drain pipe.
The other thing to note is that raising your washing machine’s drain hose prevents kinks and blockages as it improves the flow rate.
However, it’s worth noting that you shouldn’t elevate the drain hose so much, especially when you don’t have backflow preventers, to avoid backflows.
People Also Ask
1. What Height Is a Washing Machine Drain and Hook Up Set at?
The washing machine drain should be 23-35 inches above the floor. You can also observe the exact measurements for the hook-up set.
2. Can A Washing Machine Drain Be Too High?
A washing machine drain with a standpipe height above 8 feet is considered too high and could lead to backflow. Therefore, the drain pipe height shouldn’t be greater than 8 feet.
3. What Is the Automatic Washing Machine Drain Pipe Height?
The drain pipe height of an automatic washing machine depends on whether it is a front loader or top loader. If it’s the former, go for at least 24 inches, but if it’s the latter, it should be at least 30 inches.
4. How High Can a Washing Machine Discharge water?
Most washing machines can discharge water at a horizontal distance of 150 feet. But vertically, the washers can remove water over an 8-feet length.
5. How High Should a Washing Machine Trap Be?
A washing machine’s p-trap should sit about 6-8 inches above the ground, according to the United States Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC). That prevents backflows and favors the best emptying of the washer’s discharge into the sewer.
Now you know what the washing machine drain pipe height is. If you have a top loader washer, go for at least 30 inches off the ground and at least 24 inches for a front load. In both cases, however, don’t go past 8 feet (96″) unless you install a sump pipe.
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