Q. Catch Pan Under Washer?

Q. Hey Mark,

Our home inspection report recommends a catch pan under the washing machine. What exactly is that and how do I get one?


A. Hey Andrew,

Recommending a catch pan under a washing machine is a common recommendation with some home inspectors. Some municipalities even require it in certain circumstances.

Personally, I don’t commonly recommend catch pans for a number of reasons. The first problem being that they are difficult to install after the home is already built. If installed properly, they will have a drain and plumbing to direct the water safely away from the leak. However, if not installed with a drain, or if the drain is clogged, they can easily overflow if the home is not occupied for a period of time, and the leak is not detected right away. Another reason being that they only “catch” the water that falls directly into them and do nothing to address water spraying all over the room from a busted hose or pipe. Lastly, they are easily damaged when replacing the washer/dryer, or removing them for servicing or cleaning.

Instead, I recommend specific devices be installed on all appliances that use water, because of the possibility of a future break. I have an affiliate relationship with a company that manufactures these devices and homeowners can install them themselves. The company is called “Flood Stop”. The devices have a small sensor that can be placed on the floor, which detects moisture. Once the sensor is activated, the device immediately closes a valve on the water supply to shut off water to the appliance. It also sets off an alarm to alert you that there is some sort of problem. Some insurance companies may offer discounts on your premiums with these devices installed. Be sure to check with your insurance carrier to see if that is the case with your coverage. These devices, depending on the appliance, run around $100-$125.

You can learn more about the flood stop products by clicking this link: Flood Stop. I have personally talked to the owner (and inventor) of flood stop and he has agreed to offer you (as well as any other reader accessing this special link) a 10% discount should decide to purchase any of his products. Simply enter coupon code “king” at your checkout.


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