I need to install a washing machine drain using a cast iron floor drain. The area is very small, and this is the only drain I can use (I do not own the home so cannot do much about the plumbing). The water heater drain tube is also inches away from this drain. Here is the type of drain I have in the utility room:

enter image description here

What is the best thing to do with these drains when it comes to washing machine drains?

Is there anything like a fernco donut that would be useful here, or anything other solutions short of just pushing the drain hose into the floor drain and hoping it never gets dislodged somehow?

  • 1
    Washing machines require a standpipe that is taller than the flood level of the washer. Is your idea that you will install a 2" pipe 36" tall above the drain? Is the utilty p-trap 2"? Apr 5, 2022 at 0:22
  • 2
    I don't think anything here will be "proper" by any normal definition of proper, or by plumbing code. A floor drain is a floor drain, so unless you are just having the washer dump on the floor, you're not using the floor drain correctly, and you don't have a way to provide a proper washer drain.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 5, 2022 at 0:57

1 Answer 1


You can route a washing machine drain hose directly to a floor drain. I recommend looking up your model on the manufacturer's website to review any instructions for your particular product, but it typically requires a more-rigid "outer hose" accessory.

The hose must rise up to the height of the machine and a vacuum breaker must be used at washer height, before the "outer hose" accessory runs down to the drain, where it would typically just be inserted. Use zip-ties or strapping or some other means to support this "upside down u-shaped hose with a vacuum-breaker at the top".

found a pic on the Whirlpool website:

enter image description here

  • P.S. I have seen some fancy gadgets that somehow attach to the floor drain to hold the hose... Apr 5, 2022 at 1:58
  • for a cast iron one, magnets!
    – Jasen
    Apr 5, 2022 at 9:06

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