Washing Machine Drain Hose Too Long?

Washing Machine Drain Hose Too Long

Having a washing machine certainly makes life easier, and you probably don’t give your appliance a second thought. But, lots of different parts come together to make sure your washer works properly, including the drain hose. It might not seem like it, but the length of your drain hose makes a big difference.

If your washing machine drain hose is too long, you can end up with disgusting odors, overflowing water, and even clogs. Clogs can occur from overly long drain hoses because if the hose is too long, it can become kinked and damaged. If water struggles to make its way through a long hose, it can lead to standing water, producing awful smells.

You might be thinking, what’s the big deal? If my washing machine drain hose is too long, I’ll just cut it. But, it’s not as simple as grabbing a pair of scissors; you don’t want to cut the hose in the wrong place. Plus, if you cut it too short, you’ll end up with a series of different issues.

What Is The Correct Length Of A Washing Machine Drain Hose?

Washing machine drain hoses come in various standard sizes, anywhere from 4-feet to 15-feet and longer. Therefore, there’s no one ideal length, and many factors influence the size of the drain hose you need.

Instead of guessing the best length or trying to choose any standard size, you need to consider your washing machine setup. Typically, the drain hose comes from the bottom of your washing machine and runs up, hanging over a standpipe.

Sometimes you might hang the end of the drain hose over a laundry tub or sink or run it directly outside. However, the most common situation is a standpipe.

This upward bend of the hose creates a p-trap, and water drains through into the wastewater system. So, your hose must be able to loop upward, reach the standpipe, and hook over the edge.

Consider these factors when determining the size hose you need. Plus. Remember, you don’t want a lot of excess length.

How Tall Is The Standpipe?

A standpipe should ideally fall between 36 and 96 inches tall, although the minimum height is 30 inches. If it’s too low, you can have overflow issues. But if the standpipe is too high, you can get backflow, causing your machine to work overtime pumping out water.

But, depending on your washing machine, the minimum height for the standpipe could be 36 or even 39 inches. The standpipe needs to be higher than the washtub, so this will dictate your minimum.

If your standpipe is lower than this you don’t necessarily need to replace it. Instead, many machines include a device called an anti-siphon clip.

It attaches to the back of the washing machine and you clip the drain hose with it. This way, the clip raises the hose so it can come up and over the standpipe properly.

How Does The Drain Hose Go Into the Standpipe?

You don’t need any tools to put the drain hose into the standpipe, you simply hang it over the edge. If you’re worried about it falling out, you can buy a special device to keep it in place called a 180-degree pipe hook.

Alternatively, you can use a clamp or cable tie to keep the hose in place. Simply position it around the pipe and hose once you’ve placed the hose in the standpipe properly.

But, as long as the hose reaches down into the standpipe at least 4 inches, it should stay put. There’s no need to seal it or permanently attach it to the pipe.

But, don’t let it hang down in the pipe more than 6 inches. It’s essential to leave enough space within the standpipe for an air gap. This gap prevents the hose from pulling water out of the machine while it’s filling.

Problems With A Washing Machine Drain Hose That Is Too Long

If the drain hose is too long, it can lead to inadequate water flow through the hose and standing water. Basically, all of the water is struggling to travel the length of the hose then make it uphill into the standpipe.

Standing water can lead to foul odors and other problems. Remember, the water is coming from your dirty load of laundry that your machine just washed. So anything that came off your clothes, towels, etc., like dirt, sweat, and waste, is now sitting inside the drain hose.

Besides standing water, if you use a long drain hose you can end up with it bunching up and getting damaged. This can lead to clogs and drainage issues, overflowing water, and a huge mess.

How Can You Fix A Washing Machine Drain Hose That Is Too Long?

Once you get the drain hose in the appropriate position, if it’s too long, you have a few options. So, assess your hose setup and check to see if any of the following apply:

  • The hose is bunched up on the floor.
  • The drain hose is stuffed and crushed behind your washing machine.
  • You have to shove too much hose into the standpipe.

If any of these situations apply, you need a shorter drain hose.

1. Is Your Washing Machine Too Far From The Standpipe?

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If your washing machine is too far from the standpipe, ask yourself the obvious question–can you move the machine? The likely answer is no or not much since your washer needs to be near the hook-ups and water supply lines.

But, you can’t just buy a long hose and let it bunch up or lie on the floor. Instead, don’t buy a hose any longer than you need, then elevate the hose by attaching it to the back of the machine with an anti siphon clip.

Then, run the hose along the wall toward the standpipe, giving the hose a slight downhill slope. This lets gravity help pull water down the drain after your washing machine’s pump finishes pumping.

You’ll need to support the hose along the wall at regular points to keep it in place. Keep in mind, this might not be the most aesthetically appealing option, but it’s better for your washing machine and drainage.

2. Buy A Shorter Hose

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Of course, if your washing machine is near the standpipe and you’re dealing with a bunched up hose, the easiest solution is to buy a shorter one. New drain hoses only cost about $15 to $30. You can get one directly from your appliance’s manufacturer or a home improvement store.

Just make sure the hose you choose is compatible with your machine. Consult the appliance manual or snap a picture of the old hose to bring with you to the store. If your existing hose is in bad condition, then purchasing a new one is a no-brainer.

3. Cut Your Drain Hose

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If you’d rather not buy a new hose, if your existing hose is in good shape, you can cut it. If the hose is corrugated plastic or rubber, cutting it should be relatively easy using a utility knife or small hacksaw.

Just make sure you don’t cut near the end that connects to the washing machine. You’ll end up chopping off the end that has the proper connection for your machine.

Instead, measure the desired length from the end that connects to the washing machine. Make a mark and cut closer to the end that will loop over the standpipe.

When you’re measuring, you might want to attach the hose to your machine and clip it in place first if necessary. Bring it up and over toward the standpipe to get a better idea of how much length you need to cut.

Consider the 4 to 6 inches that need to fit down into the standpipe, then make your mark and cut.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if the washing machine drain hose is too short?

If your hose is too short, you can end up with it falling out of the standpipe and spilling gross water everywhere. Plus, you can’t position a shorter hose properly to have the necessary upward bend then loop over the standpipe.  This leads to poor drainage with your machine and other problems.

The best thing is to buy a longer hose that is the correct size. Or you can purchase a drainage hose extension kit that contains a coupler and extension hose. These kits typically cost about $25 to $35.

What should you do if the drain hose is leaking?

If you notice a leak from your drain hose, kill the power to the machine at the breaker. Disconnect the drain hose and check the rubber washers. You might need to replace them to stop the leak.

Or there could be a tiny hole somewhere in the line. You can push the drain hose through soapy water and squeeze it. If there’s a hole somewhere, you’ll notice bubbles forming.

If there’s a hole, while a temporary duct tape seal could work in a pinch, you need a new hose.