Does a Laundry Room Need a Floor Drain?

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The laundry room. It’s a place where you do your dirty work, and sometimes it can get really messy. But is there anything that can make the process of doing laundry easier?

One thing that could be helpful is a floor drain, but does your laundry room need one?

According to the IPC code, a floor drain isn’t required to be installed in a laundry room. However, floor drains are helpful in avoiding water damage both in your utility room and the rest of your house.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of floor drains in your laundry room.

Does a Laundry Room Need a Floor Drain?

Floor drains are helpful in avoiding water damage both in your utility room and the rest of your house. They work by directing water out of your home and into a municipal drain or sewer system.

There are many benefits to this system, including:

  • Prolonged appliance life
  • Improved water quality in the home because septic tanks do not become overwhelmed by excess wastewater
  • Reduced flooding and less risk of basement damage from sewage backup during heavy rainfall.
  • It’s more sanitary since the drain system keeps wastewater out of your home.

Although floor drains are generally only required for commercial use, they can be a helpful addition to your laundry room if you want to prevent water damage.

However, if you don’t want to install floor drains, there are other things that can help prevent water damage, like larger sewer grates and raised floors.

If your laundry room is on the ground level, it’s also helpful to elevate appliances (like washers or dryers) slightly above the rest of the room with bricks or wooden pallets.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Floor Drain?

A complete installation of a laundry room floor drain costs $3000 on average. This amount can vary depending on whether or not you’re doing the labor yourself, the size of the room, and the materials you choose.

Replacing the drain or declogging your system will cost much less, between $150 and $400.

Although this may seem quite expensive, it can save you a lot of money in the long run. This is because floods in the utility room can cost thousands of dollars in damage.

Can You Use a Floor Drain for a Washing Machine?

If your floor drain pipe is connected to the sewage system, you can use it to drain your washing machine and other appliances.

However, if the floor drain feeds down into a sump pump, this isn’t ideal for draining laundry water. This is because the sump pump can overflow and cause flooding.

If you’re not sure whether your floor drain is connected to the sewage system or a pump, it’s best to consult a plumber before using it as an appliance drain. This will help avoid potential problems with plumbing or appliances in the future.

Related: Do You Need a Sink in the Laundry Room?

Can Any Issues Occur With A Floor Drain?

There are three considerations you’ll need to keep in mind when installing or maintaining a floor drain:


The drain system is connected to your home’s plumbing, so it can easily become clogged with gunk.

This will require professional help from a plumber or contractor to clear the blockage. So if you have any questions about whether your floor drain is suitable for draining appliances, always err on the safe side and consult an expert.

Risk of flooding

Although floor drains are designed to reduce the risk of flooding, it is still possible, especially if your drain is connected to a sump pump. This will happen if the flooding is so extreme that the sump pump can’t keep up with the water flow.

Another cause of flooding water is a malfunctioning appliance. If you notice any overflowing water, call your plumber immediately. Remember that even small amounts of standing water can lead to major damage to your home.


If you have a connection to the city’s server pipe, you may experience a backflow when it floods. Backflow is when wastewater flows in the opposite direction of its normal flow, which can be dangerous if you’re not prepared.

If you notice backflow when it floods, turn off your water and consult a plumber immediately.

In order to prevent this from happening, you can install a backflow valve. A backflow valve is a device that can prevent wastewater from flowing back into your home. It costs about $300 on average to install.

If you’d like to install a backflow valve, consult your plumber so they can ensure that it’s installed properly and won’t cause any problems with the city’s main pipe or wastewater system.

If done incorrectly, a faulty installation could even lead to sewage backup during heavy rainfall.

Sewage Smell

If you notice a sewage smell coming from your floor drain, it’s probably due to the accumulation of decomposing waste in your pipe or well.

This is especially common in homes with high water tables or low-lying drainage systems where wastewater can’t flow away naturally. If this happens, you can pour water or vinegar down your floor drain to flush the debris out.

If this isn’t sufficient, call your plumber to come out and clean your floor drainpipe properly.

Final Thoughts

Does laundry room need floor drain? While a floor drain isn’t necessary for a laundry room, it can be a good investment if you want to prevent water damage.

The benefits of having this feature outweigh the costs by far. If your home has plumbing or wastewater connections for your floor drain, installing one can save you thousands in potential damage and help reduce flooding risk. A sump is a great option as well.

In order to decide if a floor drain is best for you, talk to a plumber. They can offer their professional advice on the best options for your home and your needs.


About Emma

Hey there! I'm Emma. When I'm not wrangling kids I like to walk aimlessly around hardware stores and watch HGTV for hours on end.

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