Does the washing machine drain into the sewer line? 5 washer draining solutions

Washing machines are an inevitable part of every household. We’ve been using them for more than 100 years and they went through different stages of development. However, one thing hasn’t changed much: A DRAINAGE SYSTEM. It has remained the same for decades, so one of the main questions is: does the washing machine drain into the sewer line?

Yes, most washing machines drain into a sewer line, but it’s not a mandatory solution. There are plenty of laundry machine drainage options and sewer drain is the most common one. Simply, every skilled plumber anticipates and installs a drainage system during house building, so when you buy a washer, all you have to do is to connect it to the drainage system.

This article will help you to get a better understanding of the importance of the washing machine drainage system and answer the question: does the washing machine drain into the sewer line? Also, I’ll present to you other drainage options and their benefits and flaws.

Does the washing machine drain into the sewer line?

Does the washing machine drain into the sewer line

In most homes, laundry machines drain into a sewer line. But the drainage option with the main sewer drain is not the only one.

You can also connect your laundry machine to a standpipe, clothing tub, or utility sink. You’ll need to know what your existing setup is before you can choose a new laundry machine.

If you don’t already have one of these drainage options installed in your home, you’ll need to pay a plumber to put one in place before you can buy the machine of your dreams.

PRO TIP: if you don’t want to pay for additional plumbing work but still want a front-loading washer, consider buying a portable washing machine instead.

These laundry machines are free-standing and don’t require special drainage systems.

If a sewer line isn’t the perfect fit for you, you have several different alternatives, such as:

  1. Utility sink
  2. Committed drain pipe
  3. Clothing tub
  4. A Standpipe
  5. Underground line

Each of these methods has its own pros and cons, so we will cover and explain them further in the article.

Different washing machine drainage options

If you own a washing machine, you probably know that there are three different ways to drain it.

The first one is the most common way: through the sewer line. Sewer drainage is the most popular solution because it’s convenient and easy to connect a washer to it.

If a sewer line is not an option to drain your washing machine, below you can find different drainage alternatives.

Utility Sink

Modern washing machines could require the washer hose to be plumbed directly into the drainage pipe of the sink.

The sink should be properly sized to handle the water drained from the washing machine, and the drain pipe should exit from the side of the sink, rather than underneath. 


  • Practical for small bathrooms
  • Simple solution


  • Not a prescribed method for interfacing a washer channel hose
  • The size of the channel pipe from the sink channel may not be big enough
  • An obstructed sink sifter can bring flooding

Committed drain pipe

A committed drain pipe is a direct connection to the main drain line. This option makes sense if you don’t want your washing machine draining into a sewer.

You can also use this method if you live in an apartment and want your washing machine installed in the bathroom or kitchen because there will be no need for a sewer line extension.


  • Big enough to deal with all the water from the machine
  • Perfect fit for a small living space


  • If it’s visible, it may affect your interior design
  • Usually, it’s not an option for older buildings

Bath Tub

Even though this is not an ideal solution it’s pretty common in older households.

Basically, the hose from the washing machine is placed directly in the bathtub which releases dirty water. 


  • The simplest solution
  • No additional installation needed


  • You can’t use the bathtub while the laundry machine is releasing water
  • Cleaning of bathtub after every use
  • Dirty water may bring fibers that stuck in the siphon

A Standpipe

A standpipe drainage system is often used for apartments where there are no proper sewer lines and it’s impossible to install them (for example, old buildings).

Standpipe drains are usually installed next to washing machines by specialists and equipped with an air gap so that dirty water doesn’t flow back into the machine and cause flooding.


  • Easy to install
  • Least expensive option


  • It may not be the most eye-appealing option
  • Even though there’s an air gap, sometimes you may feel the smell from the washing machine. Hopefully, that’s resolvable. In this article, you can find out why it smells and how to fix it.

Underground Line

If you’re planning to keep your laundry machine in one place for a long time, an underground line connection will be the best washer waste choice for you.

This type of line is connected to the waste hose of the washer and goes down through the floor, pushing the used water outside the house.


  • It’s a good option if you don’t want to relocate your machine
  • Some older houses have it pre-installed


  • If the machine is moved, it will require plumbing work
  • If the pipe breaks, it may ruin your floor

Where does the washing machine water drain to?

If you’re still not certain about where the washing machine water drains to, it simply goes through a hose to your sewer line or your utility sink.

If you’re buying a pre-owned house, make sure you’ve checked your drainage options before you install your washing machine. It may save you a lot of nerves and money.

Can a washing machine drain into a toilet drain?

Yes, in many households it’s common that washers drain into a toilet drain. This can be one of the solutions for this situation. However, there are some drawbacks.

If your washing machine drains into a toilet drain and you are hearing gurgling sounds, first check your washer hose for kinks.

In case the hose itself is not kinked, look for swelling in the rubber gasket around the rim of your toilet’s drain opening. 

If you see signs of swelling, call a plumber to replace the gasket before any serious damage can occur.

What to do if you have a washing machine drain blockage or sewer drain clog?

A sewer drain clog is something that almost every household experiences from time to time. 

Even though unblocking can be annoying and stressful that doesn’t mean that’s impossible. 

From my experience, the best drain cleaner for a washing machine pipe is XionLab Safer Drain Opener.

It can clean all soap scum, grease, and fats from any sewer drainpipe. You may also try Drano which is quite effective with all types of drains unclog and clean.

Final thoughts

The truth is that most draining options are inexpensive and you could use them easily.

As long as you choose the right drainage system for your washing machine and adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines for installing drain lines, you can expect a smooth-running machine for many years to come without machine drain overflows and other problems. 

Even if you’re not mechanically inclined, don’t fear–finding a good plumber.

It shouldn’t be hard, there are plenty of plumbers who can help you fix the washing machine or do proper installations.

Plus, you may even save more money in the long run by learning how to have your washing machine hose connected to a drainage system in your own home without problems.

Happy cleaning!

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