Mailbag: How High Can a Washing Machine Drain Hose Run?

Keith wrote:

This is a weird gravity defying question for you folks & I tried searching but…… Today we have our washer on the 1st floor in the kitchen….we’re redoing the kitchen & the washer will join it’s sister in the basement… There is no plumbing the basement as the basement is well below grade. The main drain is ceiling height in the basement. 2 appliance “salesmen” have told me that the pump in the washer “should” be able to pump the water the 6 or so feet required to get it into the main drain tie-in. Does that make sense???? If not I’ve been told that I will have to install a laundry sink & then a small electric pump to make this work. Any thoughts?

Good question, thanks for axin’! Most washing machines made today, whether front loader or top loader, can pump out to a maximum height of eight feet. The stock drain hose that comes with the washer is only six feet long. So, in your situation, you’ll need to install a longer drain hose, like the one shown here.

You can also buy drain hose in bulk if you need something longer or more customizable.

As for the sink and sump pump situation, that’s pretty common in basement laundry installations. We had that same situation at our house before we moved our laundry upstairs outta the dungeon. This pump mounts to the bottom of your utility sink and pumps automatically as the need arises.


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