Can the Washing Machine Drain into a Sump Pump?

If your washing machine drains into your sump pump and is wondering if it is the correct setup to have, we have shared useful information that you can refer to. If this is how your appliances are designed, you might consider hiring the services of a professional to fix the problem. The water that drains from the washing machine is dirty and should drain directly into the septic system.

Can the washing machine drain into a sump pump? A washing machine should not drain into the sump pump. A washing machine that drains into the sump pump pushed dirty water into the pump and your yard. This can contaminate the groundwater and soil and lead to a more dangerous problem. Moreover, if the sump pump is already having issues with all the water trouble at your house, draining your washing machine through it can add stress to the system.

The sump pump drains groundwater away from the house when the groundwater level rises to a certain level. These pumps are useful in keeping the basement dry as they pump the water out of the ground and drain them away from your house. However, there are some fixtures in your home that should not be drained to the sump pump like the washing machine. Read the rest of the article to find out why.

Can the washing machine drain into a sump pump?
Image by bierfritze from Pixabay

Why Does a Washing Machine Should Not Drain into a Sump Pump?

The washing machine should not be drained into the sump pump because it puts out too much water at a fast rate that the sump pump might not be able to carry. There is also the issue of lint in the drain water that can plug up the sump pump filter. Moreover, soap used in the washing machine can fill the pump with air and make it lose its pumping ability.

Every time water enters the sump pit from the washing machine, the sump pump will need to kick on and run. As a result, this can add stress to the sump pump and make it wear out faster. In case the only available drain that you have is high off the basement floor which prevents the washing machine to drain properly, your best option is to contact a plumber to provide a solution to the problem.

What is a Sump Pump?

A sump pump is a small pump that drains water away from the sump basins. There are two main types of sump pumps which are the submersible sump pump and the basin pedestal sump pump. Submersible sump pumps are hidden in the sump basin while the pedestal sump pumps are mounted above the floor level on columns that protrude from the sump basin. The sump pump prevents groundwater intrusion and is also helpful in case your cellar gets flooded.  You can also check out this article that we have written titled, what is a laundry/utility sink pump? We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.

How Does a Sump Pump Work?

A sump pump works by moving water from your basement out of your home. Sump pumps are designed with valves that can sense escalating water levels. As the water gets too high, the sump pump automatically pumps excess water out of the basement with the use of a discharge line. The line connects the sump pump to the designated drainage area. A sump is a constructed pit which is usually a hole that is carved below the main surface of the basement floor. The pit is also called the basin and holds the sump pump.

Where to Drain a Sump Pump?

Sump pump water drains to a designated area outside of your home like a dry well, pond, creek, or neighborhood drain. It is ideal to keep the pump ten to twenty feet away from the foundation of your house. Some cities require building codes that determine where the sump pump can drain. Make sure to check with your local government for the rules and regulations that you need to follow.

Do I Need to Have a Sump Pump?

If your home is prone to flooding, then you need to have a sump pump. Regardless of flooding comes from the above-average rainfall or basements built below the water table, flooding can cause a lot of damage and should be avoided. If your home is not prone to flooding, it can still be prone to moisture that causes different types of mold and increase the risk of health issues. Make sure to install a sump pump so that water and moisture will not accumulate in your basement.

Sump Pump Sounds Like Washing Machine

If your sump pump produces noise, it can indicate a serious problem. When the pump nears the end of its lifecycle, the motor will start to make a roaring sound as it pumps water. While all sump pumps will make some degree of noise when working, they should not reach the upstairs in your house. Clanging and rattling sounds can be a sign of motor failure. Moreover, loud noise can indicate damage to the impeller.

What Drains into a Sump Pump?

As the water reaches a certain level in your home the sump pump works to drain it away. When groundwater accumulates outside the foundation of your home or in the basement, it will flow through the drainpipe into the sump basin.

Washing Machine Drainage Options

Make sure that you properly drain your washing machine. Some of the draining options that you can have to include the laundry tub, standpipe, and underground pipe connection. If your washing machine does not have proper drainage, it can cause a lot of water problems in your home.

Laundry Tub

As the wash cycle runs, dirty water should be replaced with clean water. A laundry tub is an ideal option for draining your washing machine. The drain hole is usually located above the ground at about 25 to 30 inches. Most of the washing machine manufacturers recommend this option when it comes to draining your washing machine. Check out this article titled, what is a laundry tub? We have discussed what a laundry tub is and its uses.

Stand Pipe

Another draining option would be to install a standpipe for the washing machine drainage. You can install the pipes if you have some knowledge of plumbing. Otherwise, it is best to hire a professional plumber to do the job. It is ideal to install a standpipe that is at least two inches in diameter so that water can properly flow. You can also use a 1.5 inches standpipe, but take note that the small diameter drainage option can block the water flow.

Underground Pipe Connection

This is the best drainage option but is also the most expensive. You will need to install underground standpipes for this connection. This will require you to dig down your concrete walls to make room for the pipes. The pipe will connect with the washing machine and get down to the floor to push the water out of the house and into the wastewater storage.

How to Run a Washing Machine Drain Outside

To run a washing machine drain outside, you will need to replace the drainage pipe with one that leads to your backyard. You can then choose to connect the piping to the irrigation network that you are currently using to water your backyard or you can add it to a greywater tank. Take note that each washing machine has different plumbing set up and there are rules that you need to follow for it to work properly.

Make a plan

You need to make a plan and figure out where you would like to drain the washing machine. Draining options include draining it into a barrel, irrigation system, or your neighborhood drainage. If you are planning to use a barrel, it should be able to carry 41 gallons of water which is the average water load that the washing machine makes. You can also check out this article that we have shared that discusses how you can make your utility room look nice. We have shared tips and ideas that you can follow.

Work with Your Plan

The next thing that you need to do would be to work on your plan. If you want to drain the laundry water from the basement to your ground floor, a laundry sump pump is required to push the water upwards. On the other hand, if you want to drain the water into a barrel, you will need the right size of the barrel. Make sure that you use a hose that measures 1-inch to funnel the water through and the tubing.

Connect Your Tubing

Run your tubing into the drainage system. You can use a pump, sump pit, or an irrigation channel. See to it that everything is properly installed and water-tight before you turn the washing machine on.

✅ Video – Building a Sump Pump System for Our Washing Machine

Sometimes I’m Right shared the video below on YouTube. It shows how they built a sump pump system for their washing machine. You can check out the video for tips and ideas.

Can a Washing Machine Drain into a Floor Drain?

You can connect the washer to the floor drain if the floor drain connects to the main sewer system. However, you need to remember that the washing machine produces a great amount of water that pumps out two to three times faster as compared to an ordinary garden hose.

Can You Put a Washing Machine in a Basement?

Do not place a washing machine into the basement or cellar unless you can make sure that the room is not damp. If you decide to place the washing machine in the basement, you need to install a pump booster system that is designed for appliances in the basement. This pump will relay water to a greater height. You can also check out this article that we have written titled, what sizes do utility sinks come in? We have shared the different sizes of utility sinks that you can choose from.


You have reached the end of this post that discusses if you can drain a washing machine into a sump pump. We have learned that it is not ideal to drain a washing machine into a sump pump for many reasons. Moreover, we have shared different washing machine drainage options that you can choose from. Thank you for reading!

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