drain pan for washer

I know we do not do code checks but my client is curious about a drain pan below a clothes washer on the second floor of a home. In new construction does anyone know if these are required. I do not think so but want to be sure. Thanks for any help.

I don’t think they are required, but they are very useful. And common sense (which the codes don’t necessarily have) dictates that a drain pan or floor drain would be really useful in helping to prevent water damage to the floor and ceiling of the first floor.

They were required when I was inspecting in Northern VA. (until 2002) At that time, I understood it to be a local requirement.

I’m sure one of our code guru’s can see if it is an IRC requirement.

I searched the IRC and UBC and I couldn’t find it to be a requirement.

Hi to all,

I have to agree with Jeff, the only aparent code requirements do not include washing machines above finished surfaces, which surprises me as I also thought it was required.

Then again, the codes are just the minimum and can be exceeded, especialy if common sense should ever come into play :wink:



And the current odds are? :smiley:

I guess around 50:1 against



That good, huh?
I may have to start tracking those odds again and, perhaps, get in on some action. :smiley: Or just go have a margarita. :shock:

Thanks I was pretty sure that they weren’t required in my area but just wanted a second opinion. All the new construction in my area that I have seen do not have them . I assume that all these builders can’t be ‘doing it wrong’. Thanks again. -Rob

I think it is a good thing if we call out, as superior workmanship and attention to detail, when we see something that shows that the builder really cares about the client.

We commonly call out their mistakes or carelessness or ‘just following code’. If we see something that tends to demonstrate that the builder went ‘above and beyond’, isn’t it only fair to highlight it?


I think it’s a personal preference issue.

I call out items in need of repair or attention because I want my clients to understand the immediate and future issues that may affect their decision to purchase the home.

I will verbally comment on some items that may go above and beyond the norm, but I do not add them into the report as I think this can tend to lessen the impact or unintentionally offset the significance of other items that I call out for correction.

If something is good - I say so, but dont write it up.

Not necessarily (IMHO).

We have tons of “custom builds” out here, where “above and beyond” is paid for and expected upon delivery.

If I were to try and outline those type of highlights, the report would be doubled in size (60 pages rather in 30).

Having said that, I would certainly point out the lack of a drain pan on the second floor under the clothes washing machine, as a potential for damage to the living space. . .

If I remember correctly, HouseMaster lost a big lawsuit a few years ago over that very type of fairness.
I leave the “above and beyond” stuff for the Realtor to highlight, based solely upon that HouseMaster lawsuit.

I think that was the essence of the HouseMaster lawsuit.


And in many cases the “above and beyond” is what sold the house to begin with. A good Realtor will know all about those “above and beyonds” and will have sold the house based significantly on them. Now it’s our job to bring them ol’ Realtors back down to Earth after flying in the skies with dollar marks blinding their eyes.

Required here (Evanston IL) in new construction when the code inspector feels that damage to the instalation location or floor below may occur - basically, anywhere but a basement. Drain required as well.

Well, what to you expect in Evanston :mrgreen:

Sorry, Mike. Just had to do it.

Well, thery ARE picky around here - we even have sidewalks!

I do not remember this being a requirement in the current UPC but, certainly if it’s on the second floor it would be HIGHLY recomended.