How to Install a Washing Machine Drain Pan?

This is the most comprehensive guide to Install a Washing Machine Drain Pan.

A washing machine drain pan is a small, flat piece of metal or plastic that sits on the bottom of your washer and catches any water or soap that leaks out of the machine.

In this unique guide, you’ll learn what a drain pan does and how to install it step-by-step.

The steps outlined in the guide are easy and can be done by any homeowner.

Here’s what this article covers:

Let’s jump right in.

What is a Washing Machine Drain Pan?

A washing machine drain pan is a piece of hardware made up of metal or plastic that is similar to a tray.

It is placed under the washing machine in order to catch any water or detergent that leaks out of the machine while it is in operation.

This helps to prevent flooding in your basement and also keeps your floor clean.

Drain pans come in different sizes based on the size of your washer.

Typically, a drain pan for a small washer will have a smaller diameter than a drain pan for a large washer.

It is best to have a drain pan in cases where you stack your washer.

You can find drain pans at most home improvement stores.

How to Install a Washing Machine Drain Pan?

You may need to hire a professional plumber for the installation of a washing machine drain pan.

If you are confident enough to do it yourself, then stay with us, we will help you with the easy steps and the required tools for installation. 

Let’s take a quick look at the steps to install a washer’s drain pan or the tray.

What You Will Need

To complete the installation you should pre-equip yourself with all the necessary requirements.

Here’s what you will need:

  • User manual
  • Drain Pan
  • Someone to help you in lifting the washer
  • A Hacksaw or a suitable hardware-cutter
  • Pair of pliers to fasten and unfasten a few bolts
  • Dolly

Steps to install a washing machine drain pan.

Step 1: Turn off the supplies

The first thing that you should do is to turn off the water supply and unplug the machine.

Next, Disconnect the water hoses and drain hoses, and place a bucket under this area to capture any residual water that may drain out.

Lastly, Have a towel ready.

Step 2: Move your washer

The machine needs to be moved away so that you can access the drain pan and have enough room to get the work done.

This can be done with the help of your friend and by using a dolly.

If you do not have access to a dolly then you may have to carefully move your washer to a suitable location.

Step 3: Drain pipe fixture

If you are installing a drain pipe, you may need to use a hacksaw to cut the size with the appropriate measurements.

If you are replacing the pan, you can use the existing drain hose or pipe.

Step 4: Discarding the old pan

If you already have a drain pan installed and if you are in the process of replacement then, first, remove the old pan.

If the pan is welded to the machine, use a hacksaw to cut around it.

Then, use a pair of pliers and remove the bolts that hold it in place.

Finally, lift the pan out and discard it.

Step 5: Fixing the drain pan

Now install the pan to its dedicated floor space and make sure that the drain pipe holes are altered accordingly.

Finding the right hole to install the drain pan can be a little tricky.

Hence mindfully locate and measure your existing drain hole and make sure there is a small opening in the drain pan.

Note: Installing the drain pan may increase the vibration. If that’s the case, you may place anti-vibration pads to avoid unwanted vibrations.

Step 6: Complete the setup

With the help of an assistant and a dolly, lift and place the washing machine back to its space where the drain pan has been installed.

Finally, reconnect the supplies such as the water inlet & drain hoses and plug in your washer to the power supply. 

Step 7: Inspection

Run your washer and inspect for any leaks from the drain areas and drain pan fixtures.

Make sure to take special care when connecting the hoses back up so that there are no leaks.

You have successfully installed the washing machine’s drain pan.

Pros & Cons of having a washing machine drain pan

A washing machine drain pan is a valuable tool for any household.

It helps to prevent water damage and clogs in the drainage system.

With all the good stuff there is always a downside, let’s take a quick look at the Pros & Cons in detail.


  • It prevents water damage – If there is a spill or leak, the pan will catch the water and stop it from damaging floors, furniture, and other electronics in the area.
  • Avoids Clogging – It avoids clogs in the drainage system. If there are pieces of clothing or other materials caught in the drain, they will eventually cause a blockage. A washing machine drain pan helps to prevent this from happening by collecting the debris so it can be removed easily.
  • Easy To Clean – It’s easy to clean, you may simply remove the pan and hose down the area clean. It is not necessary to hire plumbers or other professionals for this said task.
  • Keeps mold and mildew growth Away – A washing machine drain pan can also help prevent mold and mildew growth in your home by catching any water that leaks from your washing machine.


  • May be difficult to remove if clogged with debris.
  • Not suitable for all washing machines.
  • It is not always easy to find this product in stores or online which makes it difficult to find a compatible replacement drain pan.
  • Depending on your machine, this pan can cause some kind of noise when it’s in use.
  • It may require some modification to the washing machine drainage system in order for it to fit properly.

What to do if your Washing Machine starts draining Badly?

With the drain pan or the tray installed, if your washing machine starts to drain badly, here are four things you can do to fix the problem.

Check the drain hose

If the water is draining out from the front side of the washing machine, it may be a case where the drain hose has either broken or has been pulled out of its connection.

Inspect the hose for damage and replace it if necessary.

Clear any clogs

If water is flowing back into your machine from below, it’s a sign that something is blocking the drain.

Try using a plunger to clear any obstructions.

Large pieces of clothing, towels, or newspapers can cause major blockages.

Check for leaks

If water is seeping from around the seals or if there’s a noticeable wet spot on the floor, there may be a leak.

Check for water sources near your washer (hoses, faucet, outside piping) and fix any leaks detected by you.

Call Professional

If none of these solutions work, you may need to call a professional to take a look around the washer’s drainage system.

What are the Pros and Cons of a washer’s drain pan?

Let us look into the core points with a few Pros and Cons of the washing machine drain pan,

Final Thoughts

A washing machine drain pan is a crucial part of any washing machine installation. 

It helps to catch any water and detergent that may leak from the machine’s drainage systems, thereby preventing damage to your flooring and furniture.

A good quality drain pan will also help to stop clothes from getting caught in the washing machine’s spinning cylinders, thus saving you time and energy.

The installation process may seem a bit complicated if you are doing this for the first time.

However, it is worth the effort, as it will save you a lot of money in the labor and materials costs.

With that said, if you are confused OR do not feel confident about the installation process, we suggest you call a professional.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions related to drain pans and installation that may be helpful.

What should I do if the washer’s drain pan is overflowing?

This usually happens when there is excess water flowing into the bucket.  If you try and turn the handle too much, it will break and will need a replacement. Therefore, you might need a more experienced hand to help you with this as it only takes a few turns to start draining.

Is it legal to install a drain pan?

Yes, as long as it is an in-line drain, any homeowner can install a drainage pan. So, drain pan installation is Legal as long as you are not breaking anything.

What should I tell my landlord about the drain pan?

It is always a good practice for everyone to be upfront about any additional installation or modification like these with your landlord. Being a tenant, you should inform your landlord that the drain pan is a part of the washer, and not something separate.

Is there anything I can clean my drain pan with?

There are many different types of cleaners, but even some mild dish soap will do the trick. You might want to consider using a commercial-grade liquid cleaner designed for your washer drain pan or simply use vinegar to clean.

Is it necessary to have a drain pan?

It is not mandated to have a drain pan, however, it becomes essential when emptying the actual washer.

What do you need to install a drain pan?

Before you install and fill the washer drain pan, please review the diagram and photo to ensure that the installation process is clear to you. Alternately, call a professional plumber who will be pre-equipped with the required tools and help you install the drain pan.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)