A washing machine pan is designed to protect your floors from water damage in the event your washer leaks. In the simplest terms, it is a pan under your washing machine that will catch, and if properly set up, drain the water to prevent flood damage to your floors if your washing machine overflows or is in need of repair.
Washing machine pans are typically made from either plastic or metal, and they're basically the same shape as your washer. This article will cover how to select the right washing machine pan and how to correctly install one in your home.
Our top pick is the washing machine pan manufactured by DR Quality Parts. It's made from durable stainless steel and it won't crack or break. There's a drain hole drilled on the side where the included PVC drain fitting is installed. Then simply run PVC pipe to your nearest drain.
The 32" x 30" x 2.5" size fits nearly all washing machines, including top and front-load washers as well as spin dryers. As long as the base of your machine is less than 31.75" x 29.75" it'll fit!
Although a washing machine drain pan isn't a requirement, they're highly recommended. Your washer pumps gallons of water through its system in order to clean your clothes, and there are many hoses and fittings that over time, may begin leaking.
Even small drips can become a major leak if left unattended.
A washing machine pan collects the water that leaks from your washer and prevents damage to your floor. If the pan has a drain, the water can be safely drained outside once there's a significant amount accumulated.
What is a Washing Machine Drain Pan?
Watch the video for a quick explanation.
Is a Drain Necessary?
Not all washing machine drip pans come with a drain hole pre-drilled. Although you can use the pan without a drain, it's not a good idea.
A pan without a drain will catch some water, but if your washing machine has a serious leaking problem it won't take long for the pan to fill and overflow onto your floor.
However, there are advantages to purchasing a washing machine pan without a pre-drilled drain hole. Not all laundry room drain configurations are the same, and a pan without a drain will give you plenty of flexibility to drill the drain hole where it'll best meet your individual situation.
If you choose to purchase a drain pan with a drain, you'll find that they are available with the drain hole either on the side or bottom of the pan. Which style you choose depends on how your laundry room drain is positioned.
Once properly installed, a drain pan for your washing machine requires very little maintenance. In fact for the most part a quick visual inspection is all you'll need to do.
If you have a plastic pan, you'll want to inspect it for cracks or damage, but typically metal pans maintain their integrity and do not develop cracks.
Checking the drain fittings is another important task. If your machine was bumped it may have caused damage to washing machine drip pan drain pipe, or even pushed it out of alignment with the drain.
It's also common for the drain to become clogged. Either way, if the drain isn't properly working the pan will not be able to perform its intended function.
You'll also want to check the inside of the pan for signs of leakage. If you notice water there's a good chance that your washing machine is leaking. By taking action early, you can stay ahead of the problem and possibly prevent a more expensive repair to your washing machine.
Installing a washing machine drain pan is a relatively easy task. You'll need a few basic tools, and it's a good idea to have an extra pair of hands to help you.
Here's what to do:
Disconnect your Washing Machine - Unplug your washer, shut off the water supply and remove the hoses. You may want to have a towel handy when you disconnect the hoses, there's always a chance they'll have some water inside.
Slightly tilt your washer so you can slide a hand truck underneath (we highly recommend having help to do this).
Find the Floor Drain - Many laundry rooms have floor drains directly under the washing machine. If yours doesn't, you'll want to use the washing machine pan with a side drain so you can attach a drain pipe that'll route the water to a suitable drain. (see below)
If you do have a floor drain installed under your washing machine you'll either need to drill a hole in the drain pan or align a pre-existing hole on the pan to the drain. Drill a hole with a hole saw (be sure to check and follow the instructions that came with your drip pan).
The hole you drill must align with the floor drain so you can return your washer to the correct spot.
Align the Drain Pipe - If you're simply replacing a washing machine drip pan, you can use the same drain pipe.
However, if this is a new install, you'll need to use a hacksaw to cut the drainpipe to the right length. Keep in mind that the drain pipe should be just below the laundry room subfloor.
Install the Drain Pan - Position the drain pan over the drain pipe so that the hole in the drain pan aligns with the floor drain, and install the drain pipe into the hole.
Place the Washer into the Pan - Then carefully place the washing machine into the pan and connect the hoses and electricity.
How to Connect a Washing Machine Pan with a Side Drain
After you've disconnected and moved your washing machine, place the drain pan where you'll position the washing machine.
Drill a Drain Hole - If your washing machine drip pan doesn't have a pre-cut hole, you'll need to drill one. Use a drill and a 1-inch hole saw. (Be sure to check and follow the instructions that came with your drip pan).
Insert the Drain Plug Fitting - Insert the 1-inch male to the 3/4-inch PVC bushing into the drain hole of the pan. The male threads should be facing inward. Place a rubber gasket over the male threads, then use the locking nut to tighten it in place.
Connect the Drain Hose - On the outside end of the bushing, connect a 3/4-inch PVC thread-to-hose nipple. Then connect a 3/4-inch hose to the nipple and run the other end of the hose to a floor drain.
Place the Washer in the Drain Pan - Carefully (and with the help of a friend) place the washing machine inside the drip pan and connect the water and electricity.
Note: Instead of running a hose, you can install PVC piping, but a hose is the simplest method.
Here are our favorite washing machine pans to help you start shopping:
Best Washing Machine Pan with a Drain Hole
The drain pan we covered above from DR Quality Parts is our favorite drain pan for washing machines. It has a pre-cut drain hole on the 30-inch side and is made of stainless steel, which makes it extremely durable.
It fits all washing machines that measure less than 31.75" x 29.75" and the PVC drain plug fitting is included.
If you're looking for a side drain pan, this is an extremely good choice. Its built to outlast your washing machine!
Best Washing Machine Pan without a Drain Hole
If you are looking for a washing machine drip pan without a drain hole, you should take a look at the one manufactured by DR Quality Parts.
It's made from high grade stainless steel and has welded corners to prevent leaks. There are 4 different sizes available so you should be able to find one to fit your specific washing machine.
Best Budget Friendly Washing Machine Pan
If you're looking for a budget friendly washing machine pan that doesn't break-the-bank you should check out the Camco 20750 drain pan. It's available in white, graphite, and pewter, and comes in two different sizes.
The PVC drain fitting is included, and the pan has pre-formed cut lines on the side and the bottom to give you plenty of drain options. Made in the USA, it's constructed of injection molded, no-break plastic, so it is tough and durable.
Last update on 2023-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API