washing machine appliance/hookups and overflow trays

I wanted to ask how many test the appliance for operation?

Do you also check the connections?

If a washing machine is installed on a 1st/2nd floor or a finished basement with no drain nearby do you report on the presence or absence of an over flow tray?

I would like to hear some report verbiage on washing machine connections and overflow trays.

Washing machines and dryers are considered personal property and are not included in a home inspection. They are no different than a gun safe, tv or riding lawnmower that have been negotiated in the purchase.

If they are on the interior of the home, I recommend upgrading to a drain pan that is routed to the exterior or a product like Floodstop with the option to turn off the water AND power to the washing machine.

If they are on the 2nd floor, a non-skid pad is needed under the tray because they will slide right across the floor with the vibration and get quite noisy.

I do not inspect appliances unless the client specifically requests it, my reports state:

The inspector is not required to operate, test or inspect kitchen appliances, clothes dryers, washing machines etc. nor their associated water connections and drain pipes. The inspector may operate them, but only as courtesy. We recommend turning off the water supplied to the clothes washing machine whenever it is not in use. We recommend having a professional inspect and clean the clothes dryer exhaust ducting and exhaust vent hood upon moving in and at least once each year thereafter.

Having the clothes washing machine located close to the bedrooms is quite popular however it can present a few problems. One serious implication is that the washing machine is now located in, and/or above a finished space. It is not uncommon for the hoses which supply water to the machine, to burst. This inevitably occurs when no one is home to notice and the amount of water discharging from the hose can do immense damage to contents, finishes and even the structure of the house. If a washing machine is located in or above a finished space it is best to have an area designed for that purpose including a waterproof surface below and a floor drain. We recommend replacing rubber type hoses with newer braided stainless steel ones that are much more dependable. We also recommend that the plumbing isolation valves be kept closed whenever the machine is not in operation. Another implication to consider are the vibrations that a washing machine can transmit into the structure of the house. The repeated vibration of structural components and finishing materials over time can cause premature deterioration such as nails coming loose, glue failing, drywall / compound cracks etc. We recommend that the appliance instructions be consulted in regards to proper loading of the appliance, vibration isolation pads can also be installed under the appliance feet.

Limitations & Exclusions of a Visual Appliance Inspection
As described within this report, the Standard Contract and the CAHPI Standards of Practice, this was a visual inspection and limited in scope by (but not restricted to) the following conditions:
• Inspection of central vacuum systems and household appliances is beyond the scope of a CAHPI/ASHI compliant home inspection. Any such inspections are to be at the discretion of the inspector.
• Thermostats, timers and other specialized features and controls were not tested. The temperature calibration, effectiveness, efficiency and overall performance of appliances is outside the scope of this inspection.
Refer to ASHI/CAHPI Standards of Practice sections 10.2, 13.1 & 13.2

All my reports state this:

“In accordance with industry standards, we do not test washing machines and their water connections and drainpipes. However, there are a few things of which you should be aware. The water supply to washing machines is usually left on, and their hoses can leak or burst under pressure and continue to flow. Therefore, we recommend replacing the rubber hose type with newer, braided, stainless steel ones that are much more dependable. You should also be aware that the newer washing machines discharge a greater volume of water than many of the older drainpipes can handle, which causes the water to back up and overflow, and the only remedy would be to replace the standpipe and trap with one that is a size larger. Although not required, whenever structural damage may result from an overflow, we recommend a pan with a plumbed drain. An alternative is a flood or leak detection device that will terminate the water supply in a water pipe failure.”


A flood stop device should be recommended if you havn’t seen the design NACHI TV has it.

Other: What Stephen said. I do not inspect WM or dryer, nor do I report if I did or not. I do inspect “things” associated with; electrical, gas, drains, vent(s).

Do you inspect the WM drain? What if it’s an an unoccupied home and completely accessible? If not, I understand why not, but you’d be wise to disclaim it. They often leak and cause floor damage.

You highlighted it.

Do you pour water down it?

If they are staying I test them just like I test kitchen appliances and look for improper hookup.

The correct term is drain pan and yes they should be used if in a place where water leaking will cause damage.

Had the opportunity at yesterdays new construction inspection to look at the 2nd floor pan connections and the plumber was there and I was talking to him and asking questions.

I lifted the pan to check the connections. Seems like it just sits on the pipe.

I would think the pan should be connected to the pipe. Maybe you can enlighten me on the pan to pipe connection. Loose? Connected? Why/ Why not?

199311 A 011 (Small).JPG

199311 A 020 (Small).JPG

They just sit on the pipe. These pans are built so that they can be installed by little old ladies and gay men. They are there for emergencies, and are not required, and if 1% spills outside the pipe, so what.


While the pan may be required by code, I am not aware of a code reference for how it is to be connected.

In the event of a hose burst or a malfunction of the discharge hose, the pan will offer marginal benefit if any.

A pan under a washing machine is NOT required by the IRC.

some municipalities here (in PA) do under local code…

I personally would never recommend a pan over a Flood Stop device on a second floor. If the AHJ says you need it well you know what you got to do.