What is the correct height for the washing machine drain standpipe or outlet box?

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Manufacturers specify a height in their installation manual. Whirlpool recommends a minimum of 39” above the floor, and GE has a 30” minimum, except  that GE allows the top of the drain pipe opening to be lower if you secure the hose to the back of the machine near the top at a place the manufacturer indicates using a plastic “anti-siphon clip” Both manufacturers have a maximum height recommendation of 96”. Shown below is the Whirlpool diagram and the GE clip.

    And the standard height for a washing machine outlet box is 42” in our area. So now you have three different numbers. But the important thing is to get the drain, or the drain hose loop in the case of GE’s anti-siphon clip, above the flood level of the rim of the washer tub. When the drain is below the rim you risk the possibility that the drain hose will suck the water out of the washer tub just as fast as it goes in as the tub fills during the first cycle.

    The only code standard is that the top of the standpipe above the trap weir (top level of standing water in the trap below) can’t be less than 18” or or more than 42” according to the Residenital Edition of the Florida Building Code (P2706.1.2) and the International Residential Code.  But the trap at the bottom of the standpipe is usually not visible for vertification in a modern house.

    Also, see our blog posts What are the most common problems with washing machine installation and maintenance? and What is the maximum length for a washing machine drain hose? and Why are rubber washing machine hoses a safety risk?

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about APPLIANCES: 

 What are the building code requirements for installing an appliance (furnace, air handler, water heater) in the attic?

 Which house appliances need a dedicated electrical circuit? 

 Is a washing machine drain hose required to be secured at the standpipe?

 When was GFCI-protection for kitchen dishwasher receptacle outlet first required? 

 Why does venting a clothes dryer into a garage, attic, or crawl space cause problems?

 Does a refrigerator water supply line require a shutoff valve behind it? 

 My spa tub stopped working. What's wrong?

 What is the maximum recommended height above the floor for an above-the-range microwave?

 Why would a home have natural gas appliaces but no gas meter? 

 Is a hot water faucet required at a washing machine?

 Can I remove a 240-volt range receptacle and hard-wire the range? 

 Can a dishwasher be wired to a kitchen counter small appliance receptacle circuit?

 Why is it bad to have a clothes dryer vent near an air conditioning condenser (outdoor unit)? 

 Do home inspectors test the appliances?

 What are the most common defects with over-the-range microwaves?

 Are a range and refrigerator required kitchen appliances for a house to pass FHA inspection? 

 What are the code requirements for an outdoor dryer vent cover?

 What is the maximum length for a clothes dryer vent? 

 Why are my ceiling fan blades drooping?

 How do you inspect a dryer vent? 

• Why is there a water hose connected to the back of the clothes dryer?

   Visit our APPLIANCES page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.


How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes






Air Conditioner & Furnace Age/Size




Aging in Place


Click Below  

for Links

to Collections

of Blog Posts

by Subject


Doors and Windows


Energy Efficiency

Fireplaces and Chimneys

Heating and Air Conditioning

Home Inspection

Hurricane Resistance

Electrical Receptacle Outlets

Electrical Panels

Garages and Carports

Common Problems

Exterior Walls & Structures



Life Expectancy

Mobile/Manufactured Homes

Older and

Historic Houses

Mold, Lead & Other Contaminants

Modular Homes

Metal Roofs



Pool and Spa

Roof and Attic




"Should I Buy A..."


Termites, Wood Rot

& Pests

Structure and Rooms


Water Heaters

Water Heater Age

Septic Tank Systems

Plumbing Pipes


When It First

Became Code

Park Model Homes

Shingle Roofs


Wind Mitigation Form

"Does A Home


"What Is The Difference Between..."


Concrete and

Concrete Block


Rain Gutters


Crawl Spaces

Building Permits

Clay Soil




HUD-Code for

Mobile Homes

Flat Roofs

Sprinkler Systems

4-Point Inspections

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Building Codes

Inspector Licensing

& Standards

Washers and Dryers



Electrical Wiring

Plumbing Drains

and Traps

Smoke & CO Alarms

Top 5 results given instantly.

Click on magnifying glass

for all search results.