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Home /  Appliance Maintenance / Importance of Washing Machine Drain Pan
last_updated_date Last updated: August 10, 2020

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Importance of Washing Machine Drain Pan


Just imagine if you come home and find that your washer is leaking. This could prove to be exceedingly expensive when gallons of water spills on the floor by the hour if not detected. It can be extremely expensive to repair the water damage from a washing machine. This is why a washing machine drain pan is important and is the first step to keep your home protected.

Importance of Washing Machine Pan

You should also know that if you do not fix your washing machine quickly then this can lead to extremely high expenses. Plus the best way to detect if its leaking is if you have a washing machine drain pan which you can check every once in a while. You should know by now that your home warranty only covers appliance damage and nothing else. So, your best bet is to ensure that your washing machine has a pan under it.

If you come to think about it, you could be ruining anything from carpeting, wooden flooring, expensive furniture, and artifacts. If you do not fix this problem immediately then this can cause damages worth thousands of dollars. Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself about the importance of a washing machine drain pan:

How do you prevent expensive water damage from your dryer or washer?

The first and foremost thing to do is to install a washer drain pan immediately. It is an inexpensive way to ensure that you prevent water damage from a leaking washing machine. A drain pan slides right under the washing machine and acts the first line of defense against spillage, leaks, and water that drips from the washing machine. This will immediately catch an overflow, drips or even a hose failure.

Usually, drips would form from the hoses connecting the washing machine to water inlet taps. The washing machine drip pan helps protect your floor from condensation which can leave a terrible stain and destroy the flooring below. In case your washing machine is kept upstairs then you should have a drain pan fixed to ensure that there is no leakage from the top floor to the floors below. In order to do so, you need to check with your local building code and insurance requirements.

What is the use and functioning of a drain pan?

Here, you can learn about how to install a washing machine drain pan. A washer pan can be bought at a local home improvement store, at a plumbing store or even online. All you need is a helper and a dolly to lift the washing machine and position it on the drain pan without cracking it.

Your drain pan must be connected to a drainpipe to remove water from the region and not a leave a leaky mess when the drain pan overflows. A drain pan is used either at the bottom or at the side of the drain to channel water out from the pan to the floor drain. The washer pan connects the drain-waste-vent system with a drain fitting and a PVC pipe. There are some drain pans that have a formed hole that you can punch out to install the 1-inch PVC fitting. If you do not have this option then you will have to drill a hole in the drain fitting. It can be a tough job if you are not sure of the tool that should be used. In this case, a plumber can help you connect the washer pan to the floor drain.

What kind of drain pan maintenance is needed?

washing machine repair

When it comes to your drain pan, it is usually made of plastic, stainless steel or other composite material that can crack or leak over time. This means that you need to replace the washer drain pan to ensure that there is adequate protection against leaks. Every time you run a load of laundry, you should check to ensure that no water leaks out. If there is an unpleasant smell that comes from the washing machine, it’s probably because of the excess stagnant water that collects in the washing machine drain pan. Well if this is the case, then you need to clean your drain pan immediately.

Cleaning a Drain Pan

Simply use a wet or dry vacuum to suck up all the standing water otherwise use towels or old clothes to soak up all the water. Once this is done, you can spray the drain pan with a cleaning agent. Ensure that you are using a non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning product when you are doing this. The best thing you can do is if you use baking soda that neutralizes odors in water and removes all odors in the air. Cleaning a drain pan will increase household protection against all future washer leaks and increase the product’s longevity.

If you are looking for an inexpensive way to protect your floors from water damage cause by leaks then washing machine drip pans are the way to go. Time and again, you should replace the old rubber hoses with steel-jacketed hoses which can be split open in a good way to prevent leaks. You can let these quick fixes help ensure that you stay well protected.

Washing Machine Maintenance Tips


There are so many benefits that are washing machine gives you and your family. So, you need to return the favor by looking after it periodically. A washing machine can help you avoid breakdowns that can lead your appliance to be dysfunctional, out of commission or leaking constantly. Here are some effective tips that you should do:

  1. Replace Water Hoses

    Time and again you should check hoses regularly for bulging, fraying, cracking and leaks. Replace the hose if the problem is detected every three to five years. This should be part of your proactive maintenance program.

  2. Shift the Machine

    You should ensure that there are at least four inches between the washing machine and the wall. This will ensure that your machine does not hit the wall and prevent the hoses from kinking.

  3. Level the Washing Machine

    There are times that a washing machine cannot be levelled can vibrate, rock or seem to walk across the floor during a spin cycle. Learn about balancing a washing machine or allow your home warranty company to assist with the repair. This can cause serious damage to the machine and the floor. This means that you need to balance the washer by turning the legs clockwise to lower it and counterclockwise to raise it.

  4. Clean the Lint Filter

    Based on a machine and how often it is used, the lint collected constantly performs its job. You can find the lint located at the agitator tube which is at the center column of most machines or at the top of the washtub. You should keep it clean to ensure that your washer runs without a glitch.

  5. Wash the Machine

    When you can, you should rinse out the soap residue and buildup by running store-bought washing machine cleaner. Also, you can try to make this solution by adding hot water, baking soda or vinegar and let it run in an empty load.

  6. Prevent mildew and musty odors

    You should leave the washer lid or door open between loads and dry out the unit and enjoy it smelling fresh. When it comes to front-loading washers, you should wipe down the rubber seal around the door after a cycle.

  7. Use a drip pan

    Add a pan underneath the machine to ensure that leakage does not damage the floor below.

  8. Never overload

    For every lead, there is an appropriate amount of water that is used based on the load size. This means that you should wash heavy and bulky clothes in small loads. This is because you could be putting too much strain on the appliance.

  9. Measure the amount of detergent

    You should use the right amount of detergent as per the instructions of the appliance manual. If you add too much of soap then it can leave a residue on your clothes and this causes excess wear and tear on the washer. This is especially so for high-efficiency washers that require a special low sudsing detergent.

  10. Frequency of use

    Try to run machines on when it is fully loaded to ensure that you do not run many cycles in a week. This helps you be environmentally conscious and help you give your machine a much-needed break. Also, ensure that you run specific washes for towels, clothes or delicate laundry. This is where you need to determine the energy rating of appliances and understand if you made the right choice in buying the washer.

How to Replace a Drain Pan Under a Washing Machine?

How to Replace a Drain Pan Under a Washing Machine

Most home appliances can handle water use drain pipes to take care of accidental water spillage. Usually, these drains are placed beneath the washer to channel the water out of the pan. These drain pans are made of plastic or composite materials which crack over time. So, if you plan on upgrading your home then you should replace drain pans to ensure that leaks do not spoil your flooring and items in your home. Here’s how you can replace a drain pan:

  1. Turn off the power to the washer.

    Unplug it just to be safe and close the cold and hot water faucet inlet valves. Unscrew the hoses from the fixture and let the pipes hang loosely from the washing machine.

  2. Move the washer drain line away from the fixture on the wall.

    Since it is not connected to anything, you should lift it out of the receptacle and hang it besides the washer. With the help of a friend, you can lift the washer straight up and away from the drain pan.

  3. Gently unscrew the drain fitting from inside the drain pan.

    This could be at the side or at the bottom.  With an adjustable pipe wrench, you can loosen the nut, washers and rubber grommet and remove them. Allow it to drain out completely after you lift the pan out.

  4. Measure the size of the hole required in the drain pan.

    With a cordless drill, you can drill a hole in the same location as the old one.

  5. Fix the new pan where the old one was

    Make sure that the fitting penetrates right through the hole that you cut. Add washers, rubber grommet, and the nut back on the drain fitting and tighten with a wrench.

  6. Add water to the pan till it reaches the halfway mark.

    Check for leaks and then tighten again until the leaks stop.

  7. Lift the washer up and place it into the pan

    Fix the faucets back and the drain line into the receptacle. Finally, switch on the washer and you are good to go!

Pros and Cons


If you are still wondering about having a washing machine tray then a few pros and cons will help you decide.


Stops minor spills from the washer. Prevents damage if there is a major leak. Substantially reduces the cost of damage. Stops stains caused by leaks on the floors. Prevents floors and other items from being damaged.


Kills that aesthetic look that you are going for. You would probably have to hide it in the corner and away from the hall where guests would see it. Particles underneath the pan would scratch the tile over time. Takes up space in the laundry room. Has to be replaced periodically. Can cause a little bit of damage if the floor or tile is not properly sealed. Leaves marks on the floor in case of rust

You can simply take care of the cons by adding small carpet discs on furniture legs in order to ensure that it does not scratch the floor. Also, you can add it under the washer’s feet. You can use rubber or pieces of old carpet. Usually, plastic is the best option and the metal can be custom made to fit the washer and not rust.

So, why a washing machine overflow pan?

A washing machine overflow pan goes a long way in helping you ensure that your home is not damaged from leakages. It’s a cost-effective and sure short method of saving you thousands of dollars when you washing machine leaks.

Plus, it costs next to nothing to replace and you can follow the steps above to change a drain pan in a matter of minutes. While you’re at it, if you do not have a home warranty then you should get a free home warranty quote to ensure that all your systems and appliances are safe. Do leave your comments and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

How to Install a Washing Machine? – Bonus Video

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