What Is a Washing Machine Pan?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2019
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A washing machine pan is a small tray-like device that sits underneath a washing machine. This product is designed to catch the overflow of water in the event the equipment leaks or a hose breaks. It is square or rectangular with a slight rim around the edge. There is typically a hose on one side of the pan, which is inserted into a floor drain so excess water can be removed quickly.

Many different styles of washing machine drain pans are available. Each can accommodate a different type of washing machine. Some work well with stackable units, while others are designed for front or top-loading machines. Washers with drawers on the bottom may need another style.

A small washing machine pan can be around 28 inches (71.12 cm) wide and 30 inches (76.2 cm) long. A slightly larger pan might be approximately 30 inches (76.2 cm) wide and 32 inches (81.28 cm) long. The lip on the pan is normally around an inch (2.54 cm) high. This lip extends around the perimeter of the machine and may have a rounded top or corners for safety.

The pan is normally made of heavy plastic, so it is not prone to rusting. Although it is extremely lightweight, it is made to withstand the weight of a washing machine without buckling. It does not generally break or crack when it is stood on. This means a washing machine pan normally lasts for many years.


In order to be effective, a washing machine pan needs to be installed near a floor drain. This is because the pan itself does not hold a great deal of water. For this reason, there is a hose attached to one end of the drain pan. This hose can be inserted into an opening in the floor, allowing excess water to be removed rather than creating a flood in the laundry area.

Two people are needed to install a washing machine pan. This is because the washing machine must be lifted onto the pan, centered, and leveled. Once the unit is in place, it does not need to be removed unless replacing the pan becomes necessary.

A washing machine pan can be very inexpensive to purchase. Even so, it can save a homeowner a great deal of money by preventing damaged floors in the event of a flood. This can make buying one of these items a good idea for many people.


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